The Riverside Lounge House is a little place you’ll find in Louisville, Kentucky. If you enjoy a relaxing environment with low ambient lighting and a strain of jazz playing in the backdrop, you would probably feel right at home there. At the Riverside Lounge House, you can enjoy a local craft beer, good company and conversation, and your favorite stogie. Riverside also makes their own cigars, and they were kind enough to send me a sampler of their house blend.
Origin : Nicaragua Format : Robusto Size : 5 x 50 Wrapper : La Estrella Habano Criollo (’08) Filler : La Estrella Habano Criollo (’08) Binder : La Estrella Habano Criollo (’08) Hand-Made Price : ~$15 each
The La Vérité (the truth in French) project, developed by Pete Johnson, is an unusual undertaking using only tobacco from Pepin Garcia’s La Estrella (the star in Spanish) farm in Nicaragua, using only a single crop from a given year. The vintage concept is similar to wine, each vintage being significantly different from another. As far as I remember, one was even able to buy "futures" of the La Vérité series. To my knowledge, these cigars were relased in 2008 and 2009, while the 2010 release was delayed and still hasn't hit the shelves (correct me if I'm wrong).
The 2008 first size, La Vérité, is a 7 x 47 Churchill and is the commanding ship of the entire project. This vitola was available in boxes of 10, 25, 50, and master cases of 100. The second, L'Esprit de Vérité, is a 5 x 50 Robusto that is blended to be a lighter smoke. It was only available in boxes of 10 and 25. I think these are still available at some retailers, but of course at higher prices than initial MSRP (at least $15 per stick).
The CAO La Traviata Animado was released in 2009, and is a reincarnation of an old cigar line from over a hundred years ago. The fillers come from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua in Pueblo Nuevo, favorite grounds for CAO. The Ecuadorian wrapper is a Habano from Ecuador. The name of the cigar line, “La Traviata,” is derived from the name of an opera by Giuseppe Verdi adapted from an Alexandre Dumas book. It’s a promising selection of tobacco leaves. Let’s see how the blend measures up.
Cu-bao – the Taino word meaning “where fertile land is abundant” or “a great place”, made its debut in 2008. It was created by Eddie Ortega and Erik Espinosa when they were partners in EO Brands. In 2013 Eddie Ortega reintroduced the brand. Cubao cigars are manufactured in Esteli Nicaragua at the My Father factory.
Origin : Nicaragua Format : El Brujito (toro) Size : 6 x 52 Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro Filler : Nicaraguan Longfillers Grown in Esteli & Jalapa Binder : Mexican San Andres Negro Strength : Medium to Full Hand-Made Price : $6.95 each More info about purchasing Nica Rustica...
Drew Estate’s Nica Rustica is said to be blended “for hard core tobacco lovers.” The self proclaimed “rustic, un-refined” stick is draped in a rugged-looking Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper leaf. The dark chocolate-brown colored wrapper is flecked with some small, puckered veins and is left long to cover the foot. The simple, mustard colored band is in line with the un-refined vibe of the cigar. Beneath the Connecticut Broadleaf is a Mexican San Andres Negro binder snuggly wrapped around long fillers grown in Esteli and Jalapa. The cap is thin but nicely mounted and pulled into a taught pigtail. It cuts cleanly using the punch cutter on my Colibri Evoke Lighter.
The Rocky Patel Royale was released last year by the famous cigar company and is available as either a Robusto or a Toro. It took the company six years (really?) to develop this cigar because of all the special tobacco leaves that go into the blend! The Rocky Patel Royale has received a lot of favorable reviews, and I wanted to experience this unique blend for myself.
Over recent months, the limelight has started to shine on Córdoba & Morales. The boutique cigar brand is operated by Azaires and Emile Mustafa, who were taught how to hand roll fine cigars by their grandmother. Right now, the company only offers a handful of cigar lines, but they appear to be off to an auspicious start. Our own DrFever already reviewed the Family Reserve around one year ago. The Córdoba & Morales 19th Hole, that we are examining today, contains a Nicaraguan binder and filler inside an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper.
Origin : Nicaragua Format : Robusto Grande Size : 5.5 x 54 Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Filler : Ometepe Binder : Ometepe Strength : Medium to Full Hand-Made Price : $8.75 More info about purchasing Cult Ometepe...
Painstakingly created in Esteli, Nicaragua by the owner of Quality Importers, the Cult brand is a labor of love. Since its launch in the beginning of 2013, the Cult brand has been earning mixed reviews from cigar lovers all over the world. The Cult Ometepe is swaddled in a dark, ruddy colored Ecuadorian Habano leaf. The wrapper leaf is veiny and rough, giving the Ometepe a desultory look. The five-and-a-half inch long stick is banded with a drab brown and white “Cult” band. All in all, the Cult Ometepe is not a stick that would catch my attention on the shelf of a brick and mortar.