Monday, June 30, 2014

Viva Republica Guerrilla Warfare: Quick Review

This Viva Republica Guerrilla Warefare Petite Corona was included in this month's Freight Train package from Cigar Train. You can find these online from for a mere $3.60 each.

Construction of the Guerrilla Warfare was solid. It was packed well full length, the Colorado colored wrapper was seamless and contained only fine veins.

Mild barnyard was the aroma from the foot and the free cold draw had notes of spicy oak. Once burning, this full bodied little stick had flavors of molasses, earth, pepper, oak, spicy cedar and a coffee with molasses finish.

For a little cigar it was nice.  Viva Republica packs tons of flavor in a small, sub $4.00 cigar. The burn was razor sharp full length and it gave me 40 minutes of smoking pleasure.

Rated 92

Camacho Ecuador Robusto

Camacho Ecuador Robusto
I've eagerly awaited the chance to smoke and review this new Camacho Ecuador Robusto. carries the Ecuador by the box, as five packs or as a single for $6.80.

Construction of this robusto is superb. It's packed well full length, it has a triple cap plus a seamless and nearly vein free, oily, Colorado colored wrapper. From the foot there are notes of molasses and the cold draw reminds me of spicy black tea.

The first few mouthfuls of medium bodied smoke taste like black tea with a bit of sugar added and the oily gloss grows on the wrapper with every puff. As the burn progresses there are notes of brown sugar, fermented tobacco, toast, sweet cream, oak, leather, caramel and a hint of coffee with cream at the nub.

Overall this new Ecuador is a winner. It has great flavors, a fifty-five minute burn time, a super oily wrapper, and top of the line construction. The burn was pretty jagged in the first half, but it burnt through it without a touch up. This cigar definitely needs to be on your "to smoke" list.

Rated 94

La Aurora 107 Lancero: Quick Review

La Aurora 107 Lancero
The La Aurora 107 Lancero came in this months Freight Train package from Cigar Train and sells in-store for $7.99.

It's covered with a seamless Colorado colored wrapper with near invisible seams and a pig-tail cap.

From the foot there is a strong sweet tea aroma and the free cold draw is predominantly flavored like brown sugar.

As the 107 turns to ash there are medium bodied flavors of molasses, light black pepper, oak, leather, spicy cedar, caramel, cocoa, cream, coffee and rich tobacco. The finish was a tasty mix of sweet cream and earth.

Overall this was a flavorful long burning cigar that lasted a full 60 minutes. Around the mid point the burn did need a correction, but it was fine in the second half.

Rated 92

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pinolero Maduro Robusto: Quick Review

Pinolero Maduro Robusto
I picked up this Pinolero Maduro Robusto by A.J. Fernandez a couple of months back from Cigar Train for $7.99

The Pinolero is covered by a stout, toothy, maduro colored wrapper with tight seams and small veins. It's packed well full length and has a triple cap. From the foot there are notes of cocoa and toast, while the free cold draw tastes of bold spicy cedar.

The first few mouthfuls of smoke are full bodied and peppery coca mixed with oak. The pepper quickly fades as the cocoa turns into more of a milk chocolate flavor, plus there's a touch of leather. Other flavors soon follow, brown sugar, toast, molasses, wheat straw, coffee, cream and charcoal. All of this leads up to a great burnt mocha finish in the final third.

This Pinolero had a fantastic flavor mix, top notch construction, a razor sharp burn, and lasted for 55 minutes. It's another winner from A.J Fernandez!

Rated 94

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cuban Stock Joya De Havana Figurado #1: Quick Review

Cuban Stock Joys De Havana
This Joya de Havana from Cuban Stock Cigars has great overall construction. The stout, oily, maduro wrapper has lots of tooth, has great seams and fine veins. You can pick up this figurado for $6.00 from

From the foot there were notes of honey with fruit, while the free cold draw tasted like ripe tree fruit. Once burning there was a initial blast of cocoa and sweet cream. Throughout the 70 minute burn there were other medium body flavors of oak, honey, leather, toast, coffee, milk chocolate and charcoal. The cigar finished in the medium to full range with my favorite burnt mocha flavor mix.

I'd like to thank Cuban Stock Cigars for providing this sample.

Rated 94

Build Your Own Tuperdor For Extra Cigar Storage: How To

On occasion most of us run out of room to store cigars. Well at least I do. I deal with the problem by keeping a medium sized, air-tight, storage container on hand.

Mine is 10" x 15" x 6" and will hold about 100 cigars not in boxes or two robusto boxes from most cigar companies. Just slip in a water pillow, a small jell humidifier, or a Boveda pack and you are good to go. Since these plastic containers are normally air-tight they stay at a fairly constant humidity level. Mine works so well I don't even add a hygrometer any more. If you try this, I strongly recommend that you monitor the humidity level. Better safe than sorry!

Normally a tuperdor only gets used around here for short term storage and there are a couple reasons for that. First, I smoke quite a few budget cigars, some of these can be pretty dank and I can smell the ammonia build up inside the air-tight container. I deal with the ammonia, depending upon how bad it is, buy either leaving the top ajar on one corner or taking the lid off every other day for a few minutes allowing some fresh air to circulate. Second, my main humidors are lined with Spanish cedar so I keep them stocked first.

So there you have it, my low-cost solution for cigar storage.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Room 101 The Big Payback Robusto: Quick Review

Room 101 The Big Payback Robusto
On my visit to Cigar Train today, I picked up the newest cigar from Room 101, The Big Payback robusto for a mere $5.60.

This is a sharp looking cigar, the black and silver dual band stands out against the Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. The wrapper does have some veins (they are on the back side in the picture), but it also has some nice tooth, nice seamless construction it looks super oily.

From the foot there's a faint aroma mix of tobacco and cocoa with same flavors found in the free, airy cold draw. Once burning the first few puffs were a mild body mix of earth and oak. As the burn progressed there were added flavors of barnyard, fire wood, peat, leather and a hint of molasses. For the finish there were notes of cocoa, espresso and rich tobacco.

Overall all The Big Payback was an interesting smoke. The body started out in the mild range, with big robust flavors, and seemed to increase in strength with nearly every draw. It ended as a full flavored, as a full bodied cigar. With a 45 minute smoking time and it's current pricing this cigar is hard to beat.

Rated 92

Boss Lady E-Cigar by Smoker Stax

Boss Lady E-Cigar
Today we look at the Boss Lady E-Cigar from Smoker Stax.

The Boss Lady is about 6 x 46 in size with nearly the heft and feel of a cigar, it's a little heavier over all and at the foot, but can still be held in your mouth hands free. It's covered with a pink, durable wrapper; I've been holding between my teeth as I puff on it and there no signs of wear.

Since the Boss Lady is geared toward the ladies,the vapor is strawberry flavor. I'm not a real fan of anything strawberry, but this is actually pretty good. Another key point is that it produces a high volume of vapor; perhaps more than any other vaping product I have used.

With a $19.95 price tag and the unit delivering the 1800 puffs stated on the package it would save me about $35.00 compared to cigarette puffs. That's a great savings.

Rated 9.5

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Victor Sinclair Connecticut Yankee Churchill: Quick Review

Victor Sinclair Connecticut Yankee Curchill
The Victor Sinclair Connecticut Yankee is one of my daily go to smokes. It seems there are always a few floating around my humidors. The first thing you notice about this cigar is the thick, dark maduro colored wrapper. The wrapper is oily, has some tooth, smaller veins and tight seams.

Pre-light flavors are a mix of coffee and chocolate with the wrapper leaving a semi-sweet chocolate taste on my lips. Once the cigar is burning the first medium bodied puffs have flavors of espresso and then some earth. As the burn progresses there is touch of black pepper, leather and dark chocolate. The cigar finishes in the full body range with a great burnt mocha flavor mix, (espresso, cream and chocolate).

These Victor Sinclair Connecticut Yankees are bursting with flavors and can be found for sale in nearly every on-line cigar store, but I pick them up quite often for around $7 per 5-pack, so check around before you buy.

Rated 93

Overload Your Senses With Rwanda Musasa From Cravens Coffee: Quick Review

Rwanda Musasa From Cravens Coffee
If you want a sensory overload, this Rwanda Musasa coffee from Cravens Coffee is just the ticket. As the bag is opened your nose will be greeted with a bold smoky aroma with a hint of nuts and toast. It's a light roast, but there is still some oily caramelization showing on a few of the beans. Once through the grinder, the Rwanda Musasa gives off rich aromas of coffee and toast. Doing a pour-over a large frothy head develops and the aroma of fresh baked bread fills the air.

Once cupped, the first sips are bright and crisp with hints tart citrus. The mouth feel is light, it's refreshing to the palate and there is an underlying sweetness just waiting to appear. As it cools it develops a bit more mouth feel and sweetness builds, plus there are flavor notes of smoky earth, toasted nuts and warm bread.

A couple quick notes of interest. This Musasa is grown near the gorilla habitat in the mountains of Central Rwanda and women make up 80% of the work force.

Rated 4.9

I would like to thank Cravens Coffee for providing this sample for review.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LA Aurora Ruby Perfecto Tube: Quick Review

La Aurora Ruby Perfecto Cigar
I've always wanted to try this LA Aurora Ruby, I have a thing for tube cigars, and last night I finally did. You can pick up a Ruby single from for $14.68.

Construction was nice. The stout maduro colored wrapper had a bit of tooth, nice seams and a few fine veins. Even though it's a perfecto the cold draw was free and had notes of cocoa.

The cigar lacked complexity, but it had bold medium bodied chocolate right from the start. In the second half, toast was the main flavor with hints of earth and cocoa. Smoking time was right at an hour, but the burn canoed up one side in the final third so I put it to rest a few minutes early.

Overall it was a pretty tasty stick that I'll probably smoke again.

Rated 90

One Step Hygrometer Calibration by Boveda: Quick Review

Boveda hygrometer calibration kit
Since this is a quick review I won't back story this project, but after using this One Step Calibration Kit from Boveda I'll never mess with damp salt again.

You can grab these Boveda kits from Famous Smoke Shop for only $4.97 each. These kits have saved me countless hours of setting hygrometers. 

The instructions say to place the hygrometer in the bag for 24 before doing any adjustments, but after calibrating six hygrometers about eight hours works fine for me.

If you look at the picture, that hygrometer reads 75%, it's been in there two months and it's still dead-on.

For five bucks a pop, I'll never use anything else. Well done Boveda!

Rated 10 out of 10

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Collective From Cigar Federation: Quick Review

The Collective Cigar
The Collective, is blended by Ezra Zion Cigars exclusively for Cigar Federation. You can grab them from the Cigar Federation Store for $49.45 per 5-pack.

Overall the construction of The Collective is superb. It looks slightly box-pressed, it's covered in an oily, maduro colored wrapper with very fine veins and it has a bit of fine sandpaper like tooth.

From the foot there are notes of toast mixed with sweet tea and the free cold draw had a touch of lingering spice with cocoa.

Within the first inch there were notes of spice, toast, oak, earth, sugar and cocoa, plus the wrapper left a nice sweetness to the lips. As the cigar slowly turned to ash there were other flavors of cream, black tea, coffee, honey and a great tasting burnt mocha finish.

Cigar Federation calls The Collective medium bodied, this cigar was mild at the foot and full bodied at the nub. The burn was a bit erratic, but it never had to be touched up and the cigar burned a long 1 hour 45 minutes!

Rated 94

Enjoy A Cigar Where It's Not Allowed, The Don E-Cigar From Smoker Stax: Quick Review

Smoker Stax the Don E-Cigar
First, I need to clarify, I am not looking for a cigar replacement, however I am looking for a cigarette replacement. With that in mind I've actually used The Don E-Cigar from Smoker Stax quite a bit more than anticipated. In fact, I'm puffing on it right now as I sit here writing this review. 

 "The Don" has a simulated maduro wrapper, in real life it's a bit light in color, but it gets the job done nicely. That brings up a major point. It's amazing how durable this wrapper material is, I've been chewing on it for a couple of days now and there are absolutely no signs of wear. The e-cigar is balanced, meaning it can be held in your mouth hands free, (I couldn't do that with my last e-cig). It creates a nice volume of vapor--enough for vapor rings--there's no gurgling inside from excessive trapped moisture, no over heating and there's a cool red light in the foot that comes on when you puff.

Flavor wise, in my opinion it has the faint taste of a maduro cigar, it's more like smoky molasses, but hey, it tastes darn good. It tastes enough like a cigar that I've been grabbing it to puff on when there isn't time for a cigar. That translates into a lot more use than anticipated plus I can lay it down anywhere with out worrying scorching something.

Smoker Stax, says it's good for 1800 puffs, which I am not really testing, I'll leave that for a machine to count, I have puff counted cigarettes though. At  a price of $29.99 per unit for "The Don", I would save $15.00 over the cost of 1800 cigarette puffs. That's a pretty good savings, along with the health benefits and it tastes like a cigar!

Rated 9.5

I would like to thank Smoker Stax for providing these samples for review!

Cravens Coffee Burundi Ibuco With Cigar Pairing Notes

Complex and satisfying, Burundi Ibuco from Cravens Coffee.

Quick Details

  • Roast: Dark
  • Country: Africa
  • Origin: Single
  • Price: $12.00 12 oz. bag
Cravens Coffee Burundi Ibuco
Since Cravens coffee asked me to review this sample I really ran it through the gauntlet using two different brewing methods and pairing it with two distinctly different cigars. I always check aromas from the bag and grinder before brewing. These beans had a bold mix of cocoa and coffee in the bag and once the oily, caramelized beans were ground, the aroma changed to a mix of cocoa and coffee with hints of roasted nuts. Doing a pour-over the aroma again changed with notes of blueberries rising up to greet my nose. As an added bonus, the introduction of hot water to the ground coffee produced a huge frothy bloom.

Tasting notes:

Once the Burundi Ibuco was cupped, the first sips yielded bright and crisp, palate cleansing flavors of nuts, sandalwood and blueberries with a lingering sweet bread aftertaste. Like always the coffee cooled as I sipped away, as it did, the body changed becoming heavier with more of a syrupy,  hearty mouth feel and a tart fruit aftertaste replaced the sweet bread. There were other flavor notes of cocoa, grain, berries.
When I French pressed another sample, the blueberry aroma became stronger, the coffee felt heavier and more syrup-like, with deeper flavors of grain and sandalwood. As the coffee cooled in the cup the flavors changed drastically tasting a bit like a chocolate milk shake.

As I mentioned, I smoked two cigars while tasting these samples. Pairing the Burundi Ibuco with a Connecticut wrapped cigar brought out the coffee and cream nuances of the cigar, while the maduro wrapped cigar brought out the chocolate notes in the coffee. I found these contrasting results very interesting.

Overall I found this Burundi Ibuco to brew into a complex, delicious and satisfying cup of coffee with its constantly changing flavors and body profiles.

I give this Burundi Ibuco from Cravens Coffee a 4.9 out of 5 star rating.

The Four Horsemen: The Petite Coronas By AKA Cigars

No, it's not The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, it's the four petite coronas from AKA. Little cigars with so much flavor they'll just kick your ass.

More wrapper and less fillers, equal more wrapper influenced flavors from all four of these cigars. I've reviewed all four these cigars before, but not in these vitolas. Let me tell you, I was impressed with the flavors each of these little sticks from AKA Cigars produced. I've included a link for each blend back to the original review with blend information and ratings.
It starts with a silky smooth, seamless and vein free wrapper with notes of toast and brown sugar from the foot. After clipping the cap the free cold draw has a spicy brown sugar flavor, it's a bit like spiced rum. Once the Solace is burning this mild bodied cigar has nice flavor mix. I found, sugar, molasses, oak, toast, spicy Spanish cedar, tree fruit, caramel, white pepper and sweet cream. Add to this a razor sharp burn, lots of smoke and a 50 minute smoking time and we have a winner.

AKA Nth Degree Petite Corona
Nth Degree

Nth Degree:
The blue and silver bands against the dark maduro colored wrapper are a real attention getter, but once you get past the looks it's the flavors that keep you going. After the band, the next focal point is the stout, toothy, seamless wrapper and triple cap on the Nth Degree. There's a bold rich tobacco aroma from the foot and the firm cold draw, from this tightly packed cigar, has notes of wheat straw. With he first medium bodied puffs I found flavors of oak, earth and black pepper. As the sharp burn line moved up the body, there are notes of toast, cocoa, raisins, cream, sugar, charcoal and chocolate with a full bodied burnt mocha finish.

AKA Hybrid Petite Corona

This was the first blend from AKA I ever smoked. AKA Cigars were featured on Cigar Chat back in the day when we all smoked and compared the same cigar.
A pig tail cap is the focal point of the Hybrid. Once you get past the cap you see the another seamless, vein free wrapper with a bit of tooth. Red wine, fruit and earth are what you find from the foot and the free cold draw has notes of toast and spicy cedar. Once burning there are full bodied notes of oak, brown sugar, tree fruit, grass, earth and a touch of barnyard. Overall the flavors remind me of the aroma from a used, oak wine barrel.

AKA Respect 2013 Petite Corona
Respect 2013

Respect 2013:
One word describes the Respect 2013; Delicious.
From the foot there are bold notes of oak and cocoa with the same mix found from the free cold draw. Black and silver dual bands cover the stout, toothy seamless maduro colored wrapper. Once the Respect is burning there are over the top flavors of cocoa, tobacco, tree fruit, oak, toast, nuts, brown sugar, cream and raisin. Add a burnt mocha finish and a 45 minute smoking time to these big flavors and you have one delicious cigar!

There you have it boys and girls; the down and dirty of four great little sticks from AKA Cigars!

AKA Petite corona cigars

It's also deserves mentioning that not only does AKA Cigars make some great products, they give back by supporting “The Wounded Warrior Project” and "Operation Cigars for Warriors". Check out the web sites and support our true American Heroes!

I would like to thank AKA Cigars for providing these samples for review. Thank you!

Press Release - Emilio Draig Cayuquero Lancero

Newark, DE
June 24, 2014

Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars announced this morning that the limited edition Emilio Cigars Draig Cayuquero lanceros will begin shipping on June 25, in honor of his 60th birthday. Only 100 boxes of 10 cigars were produced in this extremely limited run of cigars.

The Draig Cayuquero uses a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, and fillers from the Jalapa and Esteli regions of Nicaragua, and has been critically acclaimed by numerous reviewers.

According to Griffith this will be the only time the Cayuquero is produced in the lancero size.

The Draig series of cigars honors Griffith's Welsh heritage, and each Draig blend is entirely different.

Gary A. Griffith

Emilio Draig Cayuquero Lancero

Monday, June 23, 2014

Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 '50 Years': Quick Review

This Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 '50 Years' is an older release that came my way via a Torano sampler I picked up a while back. You can still pick them up on the CI website by the box of 10 for $59.95

It's covered by a stout, toothy, oscuro colored wrapper that has only the finest of veins. There's a big blast of cocoa from the foot and the free cold draw is cocoa and spice.

Once it's set on fire all you can taste is bold full bodied chocolate up front. As the burn line moves up the cigar a bit of spice shows up followed by coffee, oak, earth, charcoal and sweet cream. It finishes with my favorite flavor mix of burnt mocha.

If you like chocolate bombs this would be a cigar to try. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for with big, bold flavors, a great burn and a 60 minute smoking time.

Rated 93

Rodrigo Cigars Boutique Blend G5: Quick Review

Rodrigo Cigars Boutique Blend G5
This Rodrigo Boutique Blend G5 was provided for review by House of Emilio. You can pick up a single at Club Leaf and Bean for $8.00

Construction of this G5 is fantastic. The stout Colorado colored Habano wrapper looks oily, has a bit of tooth and very fine veins. It's packed firmly full length and the free cold draw has floral notes mixed with sweet tea and some lingering spice.

Once this medium bodied cigar is burning you can still taste the light floaral notes with some sugar and oak mixed in. As the cigar burns on there are flavors of honey, tea, tobacco, ripe fruit, nuts, molasses, earth, black pepper and sweet cream. There's also a lingering sweet aftertaste full length.

Great construction, complex flavors, oily wrapper and a nice burn. What more can you ask for?

Rated 94

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Oliva Series O Robusto: Quick Review

Oliva Series O Robusto
This Oliva Series O is another first time cigar. It too was part of a sampler, but you can grab one from for $5.96.

It has great construction. The Colorado colored wrapper is nearly seamless and vein free. The body is well packed, it has a triple cap and the draw is free.

There are flavors up front of mild black pepper, brown sugar and oak. As the burn continues on, there are other notes of coffee, cream, chared toast, earth and campfire. It finished with flavors of coffee with extra cream and sugar, plus a 60 minute smoking time.

Rated 93

H. Upmann The Banker Annuity: Quick Review

H. Upmann The Banker
Today's cigar is The Banker, Annuity, by H. Upmann. It was included in this month's Freight Train package from Cigar Train and has a price tag of $8.99.

This Annuity, (Toro), is almost completely cover by band. However, the band is put on in a manner that removal won't damage the wrapper. It has a super oily Habano wrapper with nary a vein and invisible seams.

From the foot there are aromas of honey and fruit while the free cold draw yeilds flavors of honey, citrus and black pepper.

I'd have to call the flavor mix solid, yet simple. The first few draws were rich fermented tobacco, then came cream, white pepper, honey, caramel and a splash of coffee. It finished with cream and pepper. This was one oily wrapper, it looked like oil would drip off by the time the cigar was nubbed and it had a good 55 minute smoking time.

Rated 91

Friday, June 20, 2014

Macanudo Cafe Hyde Park

Macanudo Cafe Hyde Park

Back in the day, I smoked two or three Macanudo Portofino's a week, but it's probably been 10 years since the last one. I was excited to get this cigar in a sampler a while back. You can grab a single from for $7.00.

I've always been impressed by the amazing wrappers on Macanudo cigars. This shade grown wrapper is oily, seamless and practically vein free. Nice!

Initially there's a big blast of mild bodied sweet cream and spicy cedar. Those flavors are followed by brown sugar, rich tobacco, toast, fruit, nuts and oak with a coffee and cream finish.

Add a 70 minute smoking time into the mix here and we have a pretty nice cigar.

Rated 93

Montecristo Classic Robusto: Quick Review

Montecristo Classic Robusto cigar

Again, this Montecristo Classic Robusto was included in a sampler I picked up a while back. I'm not sure what the price was but you can pick up a single from for $10.70.

Being this is my first Montecristo ever smoked I was pretty excited to give it a spin. The natural wrapper had only very fine veins and was rolled on tight and neat. It was a nice looking stick.

From the foot there was a sweet tea aroma and the free cold draw was flavored like spicy cedar. Once burning the initial flavors were oak, cream and pepper. The cream was soon replaced by some earth and that's were the flavor mix stayed until the final third. In the final third there was some toast and barnyard followed by bold pepper finish.

This medium bodied Montecristo Classic was a solid cigar. It had a fair flavor mix, great construction, great burn and a 50 minute smoking time.

Rated 91

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Perdomo Lot 23 Gordito: Quick Review

The Perdomo Lot 23 is the #1 selling cigar at Cigar Train here in Spokane. I picked up this gordito a couple of months back for $5.15.

Covered with a stout, toothy, maduro colored wrapper with tight seams and only a few fine veins this Lot 23 looks good. From the foot there was any earthy aroma and the firm cold draw had flavors of spicy cedar and cocoa.

Initially there are flavors of oak, cocoa and earth from the burning cigar. Later, other flavors of sugar, molasses, sweet cream and chocolate join in. The Lot 23 finishes with a flavor mix of toasted marshmallow and cocoa.

A cigar with nice flavors,  medium to full body strength, 70 minutes of smoking pleasure and a price under $6.00 all make the Perdomo Lot 23 a real winner. It's clear why this is Cigar Train's top selling cigar.

Rated 93

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(Miami, Florida) June 19, 2014— M.G.M. Cigars proudly announces the return of the Buena Vista Cigar brand of premium cigars to the United States. In 2011 Buena Vista Cigars made a brief appearance in the U.S. scene with tons of internet buzz and rave reviews from cigar media. M.G.M. Cigars has now brought back to the U.S.  public the “Worlds fines Cuban seed cigar”-Buena Vista Cigars.

The genesis of MGM Cigar can be traced to Cuba and the year 2009. At the time,  the notion of crafting a Premium Cigar with the highest quality in every aspect of its creation, without any of the restrictions imposed by the island upon the product and its processes,  gained support and backing. This support was from a group of very experienced cigar makers.

In 2011 Buena Vista Cigars was released with a sizable amount of industry hype do superb cigar construction, one of kind luxury presentation and packaging, and most importantly, the quality of the cigar itself. The Buena Vista Prominente received a 94 Rating in Smoke Magazine with one of the panelists simply stating: “The one word that comes to mind is Awesome.” The Buena Vista Robusto was featured in Cigar Journal in the article “60 Cigars that you should try.

Circumstances beyond the manufacturer’s control hindered the project’s development and successful advancement. The entire production of 200,000 cigars was stored in temperature and humidity-controlled cedar conditioning rooms, until 2013. At that point, José E. Borges Batista, founding partner and current President of MGM Cigar, arrived to the United States (after a prolonged wait) bringing with him dreams of freedom, prosperity, and his irrevocable mission of pressing ahead with the MGM Cigar project.

José E. Borges said: “The M.GM. Cigar project and first brand Buena Vista cigar was nothing more than a dream in 2009. It quickly caught flight, only to be put to bed for a short while. I am thankful to have relocated to the United States where I am free to forge ahead with our project. We look forward to re-introducing the Buena Vista Cigar brand which pays homage to all who, through music and from one generation to another, have kept the Cuban traditions, values and joie de vivre alive.”

Buena Vista Reserva 2008 is a well-balanced cigar of medium strength. It’s crafted by Cuban master rollers, who expertly mix a filler of select tobacco harvested in the Dominican Republic, aged two years (2008-2010) and then dress it with an elegant Habano 98 wrapper from Ecuador. These cigars have rested in cedar conditioning rooms for three years, surrounded by an optimal temperature and level of humidity. This process accents and balances the tobacco’s nuances, ensuring the connoisseur a uniquely pleasurable experience.

The Buena Vista brand is presented in boxes of 10 units and comes in 9 vitolas:

CIGAR SIZES (VITOLAS)                                                     DIMENSIONS

PROMINENTE                                                                        7 x 49
SUBLIME                                                                                6.3 x 54
PIRAMIDE                                                                              6.3 x 52
DOBLE ROBUSTO                                                                 5.5 x 52
ROBUSTO                                                                              5.3 x 54
CORONA LARGA                                                               4.8 x 50
CORONA                                                                              5.1 x 46
PETIT PYRAMID                                                                     4.9 x 52
SHORT CHURCHILL                                                             4.3 x 54

About MGM Cigars:

MGM Cigar proudly announces the launch of its Buena Vista Cigars. These one-of-a-kind masterpieces, issued in limited quantities and reserves, inspired in the founder’s roots, are presented with the fervent pledge. The pledge that the most demanding cigar connoisseur will experience great enjoyment in a product only enhanced with time and that is capable of satisfying the smoker’s five senses. MGM Cigars is based in an elegant yet highly functional manufacturing plant in the La Palma Free Zone, located in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. This is where the pinnacle of cigars are skillfully rolled and expertly stored in aging rooms in limited quantities.

For more information on MGM Cigar please visit: WWW.MGMCIGARS.COM

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Creativas Group at or 305.595.7888.
Creativas Group Inc. provides public relations and marketing counsel to South Florida-based businesses, nationally recognized special events and leading non-profit organizations. For more information, please log onto or email Photographs and interviews are available by request.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Padron 2000 Robusto: Quick Review

Padron 2000 Robusto
I grabbed this Padron 2000 Robusto last night from Cigar Train for $7.99 while picking up my monthly Freight Train cigars. Believe it or not this is actually the first Padron I've smoked.

The maduro colored wrapper is rolled on with seamless care and there are only a couple very fine veins. There's also a bit of tooth to the wrapper.

Once the cigar was burning there's a big blast of chocolate right up front. The chocolate is followed closely by some oak, brown sugar and earth. In my book it's a pretty tasty mix. These initial flavors were followed by cream, charcoal, barnyard, molasses and peat with a great burnt mocha finish.

Overall this was a pretty good cigar. It had great construction and out of the park flavors, but I was disappointed with a 35 minute burn time.

Rated 91

Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That. Damp Cigars, Why?

So, I have a question and could use some help. It drives me batty, well I already am, to not know the answer to something. OK, here's the question.

Why do some cigars arrive to damp to smoke?

I had a pretty good grip on this until yesterday. I published a review and the cigar had went out twice, it was damp and I knew it once it was burning. But I was asked how long they had been in my humidor because they needed to adjust from Florida to Washington. Well that sounded reasonable, but I still wanted to know if elevation makes a difference.

After two hours of reading the short answer is no. If anything occurred due to elevation there might be slightly less RH in a cigar due to elevation and several variables would need to change at the same time.

So does anyone have an all inclusive answer about this?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Poker Stix Smokers Wild: Quick Review

Poker Stix Smokers Wild Cigar
I picked up an assorted five pack of Poker Stix about a month back off the Cheap Humidors web site for $14.95.

This Smokers Wild cigar has an oily natural wrapper that's rolled on right. It's nearly seamless and has only a few fine veins.

Once it's burning, there are mild bodied flavors of oak and earth with a touch of black pepper. Overall it's an earthy mix with some toast, nuts, tobacco and cream mixed in. There's a nice medium bodied finish of cream and sugar.

Overall the flavors were great, but the burn was a bit of a problem. The cigar went out twice, which rarely happens to me, and it needed correction once as it canoed up one side.

With the mild/medium body, the great overall appearance and the mild flavors I wouldn't be afraid to pass these out to my non cigar smoking buddies during a poker game.

Rated 88

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Silvio Palomino Santa Ana Torpedo: Quick Review

Silvio Palomino Santa Ana Torpedo Cigar
Here's another selection from the Silvio Palomino Cigars sampler I grabbed a couple weeks back, the Santa Ana Torpedo.

It' covered by a stout, oily maduro wrapper. The wrapper itself is a little rough looking but it's rolled on tight with nice seams and a couple medium veins. From the foot there is a bold aroma of rich fermented tobacco and the free draw has some fruity spice.

From the first draw this cigar hit me with big, bold, out of the ballpark, flavors of chocolate and earth. The wrapper also has a sweet chocolate flavor that stays on the lips between puffs. Farther into the cigar, there's some fruity red wine, sugar and oak.

Amazing. That one word sums up the flavor mix of this cigar. On this cigar, the wrapper was a bit rough looking, but if you let that scare you away you'll be missing out on some big flavors. These flavors are why I smoke maduro cigars.

You can grab these off their website for $72.90 per box of 25.

Rated 93

Obsidian White Noise Robusto: Quick Review

Obsidian White Noise Robusto Cigar
I pick up a sampler from time to time to get a nice selection of sticks to review and different cigars to smoke. The Obsidian White Noise was part of a sampler, but you can pick one up at for $7.25.

Wide bands always worry me when it comes to wrapper damage. This band had so much glue that it took a knife to get under the seam, but it came off without damaging the wrapper. The oily, Colorado colored wrapper was rolled on with seamless care, there were only a few fine veins and it was covered by a good looking triple cap.

From the foot there was a mild barnyard aroma and the free cold draw had flavors of red wine and toast. Once burning the initial medium bodied flavors were a tasty mix of nuts and sweet cream. As the but progressed there were notes of toast, sugar, oak, mild earth and a dash of black pepper.

This was a nice, mellow, well burning, medium bodied stick with a smooth flavor mix. It was a great cigar to relax with on Fathers day.

Rated 92

Man O' War Aged Maduro Robusto: Quick Review

Man O War Aged Maduro Cigar
I've smoked a few of these now but haven't done a review. This Man O' War Aged Maduro is another blend from A.J. Fernandez that I picked up from Cigar Train a while back for $7.50.

It's covered with a stout, toothy, dark maduro colored wrapper with fine veins, tight seams and a triple cap. From the foot I find notes of cocoa and wheat, while the free cold draw has nuances of spicy Spanish cedar.

Once burning, the first few full bodied draws are a mix of cocoa and black pepper. The pepper soon fades away to a mix of toast, earth and oak. As the sharp burn moves up the cigar I find flavors of dried fruit, leather, espresso, chocolate, charcoal and burnt mocha finish in the final third.

Rated 93

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Box-Pressed Toro: Quick Review

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990
This Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Toro is another stick from that 5 Rocky's for $12.00 sampler I picked up at a few weeks back.

I see a nicely constructed cigar with an oily maduro colored wrapper. There is a nice sweet tobacco aroma from the foot and the free cold draw delivers a good blast of sweet spice.

The burning cigar starts out with medium body and flavors of cocoa, mild black pepper and burning grass. Further along there are other flavors of oak, bitter coffee that fades in and out, sweet cream and brown sugar. As the cigar draws to and end the full bodied finish has flavors of chocolate and toasted nuts.

Overall the cigar has an even slow burn, it smokes cool, has good flavors and the box-press holds its shape well.

Rated 92

Friday, June 13, 2014

Gurkha Ghost Shadow: Quick Review

Gurkha Ghost Cigar

I picked up this Gurkha Ghost, Shadow (Robusto), from Cigar Train a couple months back for $6.99.

Construction is nice, there are tight seams, very fine veins and some nice tooth to this stout maduro colored wrapper. The cigar is packed well full length and it has a triple cap.

From the cold foot there were notes of rich tobacco and spice to the nose and the free cold draw hit my mouth with a blast of spice.

Flavors from the first inch were a mix of cocoa, brown sugar, peat and earth. Further along there were other flavors of oak molasses, charcoal, hay, espresso and chocolate. The flavor shifts were subtle but tasty.

The medium/full bodied Gurkha Ghost had a cool, slow, clean burn and it produced a large volume of smoke from the foot and to the mouth. Overall it was a pretty good cigar!

Rated 93

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Man O' War Side Project Skull Crusher by A.J. Fernandez: Quick Review

Man O' War Side Project Skull Crusher
I like Man O' War's a lot and this Skull Crusher is the first Side Project I've had the chance to smoke. This one came in a sampler, but you can pick up a single from for $9.00. Well lets give this a spin and see if it really crushes my skull.

Even with my glasses on it was tough to spot the seams in the oily wrapper and there are only very fine veins. One thing that did surprise me is the cap over the foot. Cold, the draw is free with a nice spicy mix of fermented tobacco and cocoa.

Once burning, I pick up flavors from the Skull Crusher of black pepper, oak and cocoa that rapidly change into bold, full bodied chocolate. After the first inch there I find some earth, brown sugar, coffee, toast and roasted nuts.

A.J Fernandez did it again, this Skull Crusher was a great stick. It had great flavors, super construction and a long 90 minute burn time.

Oh, by the way, my skull remains intact!

Rated 94

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camacho Diploma Figurado: Quick Review

Camacho Diploma Cigar
I picked this Camacho Diploma  up at Cigar Train a couple weeks back for $12.99. On the band it says "Begging to be taken for a spin". Well let's spin it. . .

This is a great looking cigar. It has tight seams, practicly no veins, it's packed well full length and the wrapper is a nice even maduro color. There's a mild fermented tobacco aroma from the foot that greets the nose and the free cold draw has hints of fruit and a lingering spice.

Initially there are large plumes of medium bodied smoke, remminissant of sweet read wine after a bite of chocolate. Delectable! As the cigar burned it developed a deep oil sheen and there were other flavor notes of ripe tree fruit, rich tobacco, citrus, earth, sweet cream, cocoa, oak, charcoal and a great burnt mocha finish.

By the end it moved into the full body range, it was slow and cool burning, just an overall great cigar.

Rated 94

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Don Lino Africa Robusto: Quick Review

Don Lino Africa Robusto
I picked this Don Lino Africa up in a sampler some time, some where, but other than that I don't remember. The cigar has a stout, toothy, maduro wrapper with hints of fruit from the foot and spicy cedar from the free cold draw.

First impression. This is a pretty nice cigar. A good tasting mix of fruit, oak, earth and cocoa, were my reward for lighting up this stogie. Along the way there were other flavors of, toast, charcoal, molasses, but I was in for a big surprise. Right at the mid point the flavor mix shifted to bold, full bodied, burnt mocha and never waivered to the very end. Wow.

While browsing a catalog the other day I ran across this cigar and thought to myself, "nah it's probably not very good", not remembering there was one tucked away in a humidor here at home. Well I was definitely wrong, this cigar was the bomb! It had greatest construction and fantastic flavors. If you get the chance to smoke one of these don't pass it up!

Rated 94



 (Miami, Florida) June 10, 2014— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, known for producing some of the finest cigars in the industry is proud to announce Robbie Streitz as their new Nation Sales Manager. Robbie will manage the sales force from A.J. Fernandez headquarters located in Sunrise, Florida.

Robbie Streitz, a lifetime cigar enthusiast and Southern California native received his start in the tobacco industry when he started his own radio show; the CigaRobbie Radio Show out of WTAN 1340 A.M. The CigarRobbie show’s listenership quickly swelled which lead to the shows broadcast in six Southeastern States. Robbie entertained listeners has he hosted dozens of industry notables during his run broadcasting the show.

Robbie turned his love for tobacco into a successful career when he attained the position of Nation Sales Manager of a boutique cigar company. After a successful run, management at A.J. Fernandez Cigars took notice of Robbie’s talent and dedication and offered him the head sales position.

Kris Kachaturian managing partner at A.J. Fernandez Cigars said: “We are looking to take A.J. Fernandez Cigars to the next level as we are hard at work putting together the kind of staff that that will focus on customer satisfaction. We believe that Robbie Streitz possess the passion, experience, and dedication to push A.J. Fernandez forward.”

Robbie Streitz said: “I am honored to have received this opportunity and look forward as the national sales manager for A.J. Fernandez to building a culture of positive growth by implementing new standards of business.  I was the hard working blue collar guy that would hang out in a cigar lounge with my buddies; to work in this industry is a dream for a guy like me. I love my clients and always try to build a better relationship with them through, truth, respect and professionalism. I hope one day I am looked upon as a man that helped this industry.”

About A.J. Fernandez Cigars:
A.J. Fernandez Cigars is based on the rich tradition of the Fernandez cigar legacy. A.J. Fernandez now produces unparalleled, hand-rolled cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua which have garnered numerous top ratings and acclaim from cigar publications and consumers alike.  Today A.J. Fernandez continues the family tradition as he oversees production and manages day to day operations in his factory in Estelí.

Follow A.J Fernandez Cigars on Social Media here: Facebook: AJ Fernandez Cigars

For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Creativas Group at

Date: June 10, 2014         
Media Contact:
Liza M Santana/Gabriel Pineres
305.968.2384 /786.541.7411

Cuban Stock Cigars Royal Selection Box-pressed Toro

I did a full review on this Cuban Stock Cigars on about three years back. Since Cuban Stock Cigars sent another in the latest review batch I decided to revisit the Royal Selection.

Construction of this box-pressed toro was simply flawless. Checking cold aromas there was the faint scent of nuts and toast from the foot, with toast and cocoa from the free cold draw.

Once lit there were flavors of black pepper, oak, earth, ripe fruit, and chocolate all within the first inch. Talk about a complex opening act. As the burn moved up the cigar there were other flavors of anise, charcoal, a hint of barnyard, molasses and some floral notes, with a rich, fruity, burnt mocha finish.

Well what do you know, my findings are nearly the same. This Royal Selection is just a solid cigar. You can pick this stick up for $6.20 at

Rated 94

Monday, June 9, 2014

Oliva Master Blends 3 Robusto: Quick Review

Oliva Master Blends 3 Robusto Cigar
A fine looking oval pressed cigar is what we have here. From the foot this Oliva Master Blend 3 Robusto cigar has a very faint rich tobacco aroma but the cold draw is very firm with a mix of spice and cocoa that lingers.

The first flavors were a good blast of cocoa with a bit of spice and tobacco mixed in. As the cigar burned, there were other flavors of oak, ripe fruit, cedar, lots of chocolate, sweet cream, earth and a bit of red pepper in the end.

Overall the cigar had a great flavor mix, a great outward apperance and a 65 minute smoking time, but the draw was just to tight. Couple the tight draw with a $10.99 price tag and I have to ding it a couple points.

Also, this was part of Cigar Train's freight train cigar of the month club offering.

Rated 91

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oliva Series V Robusto: Quick Review

Oliva Series V Robusto Cigar
I was once told this Oliva Series V maduro was the best tasting maduro cigar made. I picked on up at Cigar Train the other day for $8.99. Let's find out how good it really is.

I picked up mild hints of fruit and cocoa from the foot and firm cold draw but the first few puffs once the cigar were burning were tasty, bold chocolate. There were other flavors in the mix, charcoal, rich tobacco, brown sugar, oak, cream and mild tree fruit.

The body was medium in the first half full in the second and the draw was cave your skull in tight the first half.

Was it the best tasting maduro I have ever smoked? No, but it was darn good with notes of chocolate full length. Even with the tight draw I loved this cigar.

Rated 93

Friday, June 6, 2014

Rocky Patel II-XXVI Robusto: Quick Review

A great maduro colored toothy wrapper and good looking dual bands are just the icing on the cake for this Rocky Patel II-XXVI robusto. It's seamless, nearly vein free, has a great draw and fruity flavors cold.

The first big mouthfuls of medium bodied smoke are a mix of fruit, oak and earth. Shortly after, bold chocolate pushes away the other flavors, then some anise, charcoal, brown sugar and sweet cream to round out the mix.

I picked this up at Cigar Train for $13.99 which I think is a bit pricey, but the cigar has a soild, great tasting flavor mix.

Rated 92

262 Cigars Allegiance Robusto: Quick Review

This 262 Cigars, Allegiance robusto is my first cigar cigar from 262. I picked it up at Cigar Train the other day for $7.99 I saw this stick on Facebook and the band said "buy me," so I did!

Construction is top of the line on this baby. It's seamless, nearly vein free and packed firm full length. The foot and cold draw both tasted of sweet tea and the draw is nearly perfect.

Up front there were mild bodied flavors of tea mixed with toast, sweet cream and nuts. The second half started moving into the medium body range with a touch of black pepper, more toast, some oak and coffee with a sweet cream finish.

Well, 262 Cigars impressed me with this Allegiance. I suggest you give it a try.

Rated 94

Thursday, June 5, 2014

5 Vegas Gold Torpedo: Quick Review

5 Vegas gold
This 5 Vegas Gold Torpedo came as part of a sampler, but you can pick up a 5-pack for $20.00 on the CI site.

This stick has pretty decent construction and a silky Connecticut wrapper. Up front there are mild bodied flavors of nuts, oak and sweet cream. In the second half I found a splash of black pepper, toast, some sugar and more sweet cream. However, I did get some bitterness around the band that I was able to purge away.

Smoking time: 75 minutes

Rated 91

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rocky Patel Thunder by Nimish Robusto: Quick Review

Thunder by Nimish
This is another stick I picked up at Cigar Train a couple months back for $6.99.

Construction of this Rocky Patel Thunder by Nimish was top of the line. The maduro wrapper was rolled on tight, there were only fine veins showing and an overall oily appearance, plus it had a pig tail cap.

From the foot there was a mild essence of barnyard aroma. The free cold draw had the mixed flavors of pepper and red wine. From the burning cigar I found notes of mild black pepper, bold ripe tree fruit, sugar, earth, barnyard, cocoa, coffee and cream. Fairly complex, full bodied and darn tasty!

Rated 93

Foundry Cigars AC-DC Shoreham: Quick Review

A silky wrapper, great cold aromas, a smooth cold draw and a firmly packed body. Construction of this Foundry AC-DC Shoreham was top notch.

The mild bodied flavor mix was tasty and complex with a mix of cream, toast, sugar, oak, hay, coffee, a touch of black pepper, earth, anise, cocoa, wheat and brown sugar.

A razor burn plus a one hour smoking time coupled with top of the line construction and complex flavor mix make this cigar a winner.

I picked this Foundry AC-DC Shoreham up at Cigar Train yesterday for $8.99

Rated 94

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jovecito E-Cigar by Smoker Stax: Quick Review

This E-cigar sample was provided by Smoker Stax at I took these on to review not as a cigar replacement, who would want to stop smoking cigars anyway, but as a cigarette replacement since I do want to quit using those nasty things.

So anyway, this Jovencito e-cigar is pretty neat so far. It's about 6 x 46 in size, it almost has the heft and feel of a cigar and this model has pretty good cigar-like flavors. On it states this model has a flavor mix of rum, chocolate and smokey tobacco. I can taste all the flavors mentioned and this unit does remind me of a very mild cigar.

With a $19.95 price tag, if the unit delivers the 1800 puffs stated on the package it would save me about $35.00 in cigarette costs. Not to bad.

Rated 9.2

Monday, June 2, 2014

Puros Indios #4 Quick Review

I picked up a six pack the other day at for around $6.99. It's a nice mild - medium cigar with flavors of rich tobacco, earth, brown sugar, coffee, oak and a hint of cocoa.

This would be a good cigar to keep on hand for friends or to use as a yard 'gar with it's classic cigar flavors and 45 minute burn time.

Rated 91