Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nat Sherman Timeless No. 2

Nat Sherman Timeless No. 2 Cigar
I picked up this, my first, Nat Sherman Timeless No. 2 back around the first of the year so it has a bit of time in the humidor. You can find singles of the Timeless at  for $8.00 each.

Construction of this cigar was nice. The oily, seamless, Colorado claro colored wrapper contains only a few smaller veins giving the No. 2 a great overall appearance. After clipping the end with my Xikar cutter, there are strong floral notes from the foot and the free draw has peppery, fruity nuances that linger.

Once the cigar was toasted and burning there are medium bodied flavors of toast, nuts, sweet cream, brown sugar, earth, oak, black pepper, chai tea and tree fruit. The fifty-five minute smoking time ends with an enjoyable coffee with extra cream and sugar, medium body finish.

Overall this Nat Sherman Timeless No. 2 was a nice cigar that I will smoke again.

Rated 93

Starbucks Classic Pour-Over Brewer and Mug Set

Starbucks Ceramic Pour-over Coffee Set
This Starbucks Classic Pour-Over Brewer and Mug Set came my way as a gift. Coffee and cigar related gifts are just the best in my book. This set sells for $16.95 on the Starbucks website.

It's a pretty cool looking set and I was really excited to give it a try, but once I did, that's where the excitement ended.

It looks great, the pour-over cone looks like it holds the right amount of water to brew a full cup with one pour. It comes with a couple of the recommended #2 filters. When the filter is inserted into the cone it takes up about 2/3 of the provided space. I added coffee and was ready to go.

Once you add water, the filter sucks down to the bottom and only covers the bottom 1/3 of the cone. Oh well the one pour theory was shot. The next problem only took a few seconds to pop up. The cone has a fairly tight seal so as coffee and steam displace the air in the cup, the steam is forced out as water bubbles that drip down the cup all the way around. Then the big problem shows up. Since there are no holes in the bottom of the cone, you have no way to tell  how full the cup is getting so you have to lift the hot cone (with no handle) off the cup and look. Actually you have to do this more than once to judge your pour.

It's apparent that who ever designed this system never tested it before production. On this product rates a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Out of five reviews, only one person had the same results I did. I'm guess the other reviews are planted. It's reviews like those that keep me doing what I do. Telling the truth about the products I review.

On the positive side, I love the mug!

I give this Starbucks Classic Pour-Over Brewer and Mug Set a 4 star out of 10 rating.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nestor Miranda Collection Maduro (Red) Robusto

Nestor Miranda Collection (Red) Maduro Robusto Cigar
This maduro robusto is the last cigar from the Nestor Miranda Collection sample pack Paula picked at the Habana Vieja Lounge in San Jose, CA while at Cisco. As you probably know maduro wrapped cigars are by far my favorites, let's see how this one stacks up.

Overall this cigar was great. Construction of this firmly packed cigar was top-notch from head to foot. The maduro colored wrapper was practically vein free, the seams were all tight and there's a triple cap to top it off.

Cold, there were notes of cocoa from the foot and the free draw had notes of spicy fruit. Once toasted and burning there were medium bodied flavors of black pepper, fruit, peat, anise, dark chocolate, charcoal and toast. The cigar finished in the full bodied range with a pleasant mixture of fruit, charcoal and cocoa. It was a pretty tasty cigar. While burning, it produced a large volume of smoke with a semi-dry finish and it had a sweet lingering aftertaste.

The burn was sharp full length, but the forty-five minute smoking time left me wanting a bit more of this cigar.

Overall the Nestor Miranda Collection Maduro (Red) Robusto was a pretty good cigar and I will be picking up more!

Rated 92

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shawty Short Panatela by Moscato Cigars

A couple of weeks back I entered Moscato CigarsInstagram contest and ended up winning a sampler and cutter. I chose the 32 x 4 short panatela Shawty to smoke and review first. If you'd like to try them you can pick up a single from Bull City Cigar Co. for $7.48

Construction wise this is a nice cigar. It has a silky-smooth, seamless, claro colored wrapper with only the finest of veins showing. Checking the cold aromas there were notes of blueberry from the foot and from the free cold draw.

Once the cigar was burning the initial flavor was again blueberry. During the thirty-five minute burn there were some classic cigar flavors popping in and out as well. There were notes of black pepper, sugar, earth, toast and cream. When the cream hit, the Shawty tasted like a blueberry cream sickle. Tasty!

If you like infused cigars and especially blueberry, you should really like this cigar. My only complaint is the price verses the short smoking time. Other than that, it was a well burning, tasty little devil.

As a final note, the infusion is pretty strong, even using double bags for the three cigars and could still smell the aroma. The problem was solved by using my tuperdor and a Boveda 2-way pack to save my other cigars.

Rated 92

Monday, July 28, 2014

Test The Seal On Your Humidor

Test The Seal On Your Humidor
Do you ever wonder why no matter how often you fill your humidifier you just can't keep your humidor humidity in the correct range? Well it's probably not your humidifier, it's probably the seal on your humidor.

Don't worry, there's an easy test and an easy fix.

To start, take a dollar bill, actually any bill will work, and close it into the lid of your humidor so about half the length is sticking out. Now give it a gentle pull. If it pulls right out with no resistance, you have a bad seal on your humidor. You should be able to pull the bill out, but there should be a bit of resistance when you do. Be sure to test all four sides.

This display humidor in the picture has been a devil child. It's a great looking humidor and it  has "Sure Seal" technology, but it's more like "sure doesn't seal" technology. It took using three rectangle and two jar humidifiers to keep the humidity in the correct range, but even that wasn't perfect. It was a full time job keeping all five filled and if you did them all the same day the humidity would jump to 75%. It was an absolute nightmare.

Working with the gang at Boveda and they suggested using four of the 72% 2-way packs. Since switching to Boveda the humidity has remained a constant 69%. This humidor just may be worth keeping now.

Java Delight Sumatra Coffee

Java Delight Sumatra
Just to fill the gaps, I picked the Java Delight Sumatra up from a local supermarket the other day. It's a SuperValu Inc. product and there's no information on their website. The only information I have is what was on the coffee display. It's listed as: Medium roast, fruity and exotic.

From the bag, the whole beans have a robust aroma of coffee, cocoa and nuts. As the beans are poured to the grinder you can only see hints of oily caramelization. After grinding, the aroma shifts completely with notes of cocoa, toast and a hint of ripe fruit. The pour-over produced a huge dark bloom with a full bodied aroma of warm bread, tree fruit and cocoa.

Once cupped the first semi-sweet flavors were a deep, rich, earthy mix of cocoa, coffee and toast. It was brisk, but heavy with a syrupy mouthfeel and a lingering earthy aftertaste. As the coffee cooled, the flavors became more subtle with a hint of charcoal and the sweetness increased a bit.

Overall, this Java Delight Sumatra produced a pretty good cup of coffee. Good enough, I will remember this as a stand-by every day roast.

Rated. 4.2 of 5

Liga Privada No. 9 Robusto by Drew Estate

In honor of this being my 300th post, I smoked one of the better cigars in my stash, the Liga Privada No. 9 Robusto by Drew Estate. You can pick these up as a single from for $12.70 each.

Just by the feel, I knew this would be a great smoke. The oily oscuro wrapper felt like fine sandpaper to my fingers, it was rolled on seamlessly and had only the finest of veins. From the foot of this well packed cigar, my nose could sense notes of deep, earthy, fruity, tobacco. Once the triple cap was clipped the free draw produced flavors of spicy dried fruit.

After I had the No. 9 cigar burning the initial full bodied flavors were dark chocolate and ripe tree fruit. I found this cigar very interesting and complex. The flavor shifts were subtle and slow to develop but once they did it was like; BANG, I'm here now. The other flavors were cashew, brown sugar, earth, oak, campfire, espresso, anise, mocha, cream and charcoal. The one hour and forty minute burn time finished with a fantastic flavor mix of burnt mocha.

The No. 9 produced loads of campfire scented smoke and it developed a nice oil line just above the burn. Overall this Liga Privada No. 9 Robusto by Drew Estate was a fantastic cigar and I'm glad I picked it for my 300th post!

Rated 95

Bean Box Coffee Subscription

Friday, July 25, 2014

Boveda 2-Way Humidity Pack Test Part 2

I've been using the Boveda 2-way humidity packs for nearly two weeks now so I thought today would be a good time to update my progress.

First, I'd like to mention that after reading my initial blog post, the gang at Boveda told  me they were sending a fix for my problems humidor.

Boveda sent me four, 72% packs and told me that using these should put my humidity right at 69%. Guess what? It did!  For the first time ever this humidor is dead-on 69%.

They explained that it's not only the door that's not sealing properly, it's also the seal on the four glass panels letting moisture escape.

After nearly two weeks you have no idea of the headaches these 2-way packs have prevented and the time they have saved.

There is no more adding humidifiers, or taking one out. No more adding water almost every day and no more mess.

Initially I rated the packs at 10 out of 10. I am sticking with that rating. Now it's wait and see how long they last in each humidor.

I would like to thank Boveda again for the opportunity to try their products and for fixing my humidity problems! Thank you!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Joya Red Short Churchill

Joya Red Short Churchill Cigar
This Joya Red, short Churchill is covered by a silky smooth, near seamless, Colorado claro colored wrapper that shows a bit of oil and has only a few very fine veins. From the cold foot there was a sweet and spicy aroma to the nose. Once the end cap was clipped the free cold draw showed hints of sweet, spicy, toast.

From the burning cigar the flavors were a mild bodied mix of toast, sugar, spicy cedar, mild black pepper, sweet cream, black tea, earth, nuts, brown sugar and leather. The Red left a lingering sweetness in my mouth after each draw and the cigar finished with a tasty, medium bodied mix of coffee and cream.

Smoking time was fantastic at fifty minutes, the burn line was razor sharp full length and the wrapper developed a nice oily gloss in the second half. With a price around $5.75 and a flavor mix this complex, the Joya Red is a real bargain.

Put this cigar on your to-smoke list!

Rated 94

I would like to thank Drew Estate for providing this sample for review. 

Azan Burgundy Short Campana

Azan Burgundy Short Campana
Today we take a look at the Azan Burgundy Short Campana, from Roberto Duran Cigars. Sized at 4 3/8" x 46 this Burgundy may be small, but don't let that fool you, it's crammed full of big flavors. Let's take a look at the flavors first.

Testing cold aromas, from the foot, there were notes of wheat straw and the free cold draw tasted like sweet over ripe tree fruit. Once the Azan Burgundy was burning ,the initial mild bodied flavor mix was oak, white pepper and caramel. It was nice, but that's just the beginning. Soon to follow were notes of sweet cream, sugar, toast leather and brown sugar, all of this took place in the first inch. As it burned on, the sweet cream with sugar came back plus other nuances of, sweet tea, nuts and earth The cigar finished with a medium bodied mix of sweet cream and mild black pepper.

Looking back at the construction, this little stick was well put together. The claro colored wrapper was seamless, nearly vein free and it was packed tightly from head to foot. At thirty-five minutes,smoking time was a bit shorter than expected, but in the acceptable range, and the burn line was razor sharp full length.

Overall, the Azan Burgundy Short Campana was a fantastic stick with it's complex mix of flavors, top-notch construction and a price right around $4.00. These still might be bit hard to track down, but if you find one, don't  pass it up!

Rated 95

I would like to thank Gabriel Piñeres of for hooking me up with these samples.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nestor Miranda Collection Habano (Green) Robusto

Here is another of the new cigars from the Nestor Miranda Collection sample pack Paula picked at the Habana Vieja Lounge in San Jose, CA while at Cisco.

This firmly packed cigar is wrapped in a seamless habano wrapper that contains only small veins and it's topped of with a triple cap. From the foot there is a sweet tea aroma while the firm draw tastes like white pepper and ripe tree fruit.

As the medium bodied cigar burned there was a nice flavor mix consisting of sweet tea, white pepper, oak, caramel, ripe tree fruit, rich fermented tobacco and a toast with brown sugar finish. A one point in time the smoke had a dry red wine type finish. I don't find that in a cigar very often, but I like it.

As this Green Label burned, it was a bit wavy, but it never needed correction and gave me a full fifty-five minutes of smoking pleasure.

Like the Blue label, this Green label was rock-solid in construction, burn time and flavors.

Rated 92

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

La Gloria Cubana Rival Twin Chapter 2

La Gloria Cubana Rival Twin Chapter 2
Back a couple weeks I reviewed the Chapter 1 version of this cigar, while it had great flavors, the burn was a nightmare. I picked up this La Gloria Cubana Rival Twin Chapter 2 the other day to see if it really came from the same book. Since the Chapter 1 had some burn problems, I dry boxed this cigar for a day just in case.

Again the Chapter 2 is a beast, at 7 x 64 it's bigger than the Chapter 1. It has a dark Oscuro colored wrapper that's both toothy and oily. It's rolled on with some visible seams, but no holes in this one, and a few smaller veins. A good looking triple cap holds it all together. Testing cold aromas the foot smells like fruity sweet tea, while the free cold draw gave me a blast of spicy cocoa.

Once this beast was burning I found medium bodied flavors of cocoa, rich fermented tobacco, ripe plum, brown sugar, cream, oak, leather, chai tea and coffee. The one hour and fifty-five minute smoking experience ended with a medium/full bodied espresso flavored finish.

A nice oil sheen developed on the wrapper in the second half and this Chapter 2 had a complex flavor mix. However, like it's twin this cigar was again plagued with burn problems as the canoeing needed serious correction three times.

Like I said, the flavor mix in the cigar was fantastic and so was the long burn time, but I picked this cigar up locally and I expected the burn to be a bit better on a $12.00 stick.

Rated 90

Eight O'Clock Coffee The Original

Eight O'Clock Coffee The Original
This sample of Eight O'Clock Coffee, "The Original", came right off the supermarket shelf the other day. It's a medium roast blend that included a large volume of broken and partial beans. Actually, I was surprised by the volume of broken beans as I poured each sample into the grinder.

When the bag was opened, to the nose there were rich aromas of toast and coffee, while the pour-over aromas were a mix of cocoa and warm bread.

I brewed and sampled four cups of The Original to be sure of my tasting notes. On the Eight O'Clock web site they list this coffee as "sweet, fruity and well balanced." Like most other coffee reviews that's not exactly what I found.

In my samples there were semi-sweet flavors of toast, nuts and earth, with a hint of cocoa as the coffee cooled. I found the coffee clean and well balanced with a medium bodied, slightly dry mouth feel.

Overall, The Original, from Eight O'Clock coffee brewed a flavorful rewarding cup of coffee that I could drink all day.

Rated 4.0

Drew Estate Undercrown Robusto

Drew Estate Undercrown Robusto Cigar
I've had a five pack of these Drew Estate Undercrown Robustos aging for about six months now and I'm finally getting around to smoking my first one (except the Dogma I reviewed this spring). I've been saving several cigars for special occasions and I think today is the day to break one out. You can pick these up online from for $7.45 each, when they have them in stock.

From the foot there is a strong aroma of rich, fermented tobacco and the free cold draw has flavor notes of oak and brown sugar. The oily, toothy, maduro colored wrapper is seamless to the eye and it contains only a couple smaller veins. A triple cap adds a nice finishing touch to a great looking cigar.

The Undercrown opens with a medium bodied mix of flavors that are floral and chocolaty, plus it produces an amazing amount of smoke. Within the first quarter inch an oil line forms just above the razor sharp burn line and a hint of black pepper enters the mix. As the cigar burns there are other flavors of earth, dark chocolate, ripe tree fruit, leather, toast, and charcoal. The cigar ended it's sixty minute burn time by providing a full bodied finish of charcoal and milk chocolate.

The Undercrown, by Drew Estate, had great construction, a fantastic flavor mix and a long burn time. If you haven't tried these yet they should be at the top of your to-smoke list!

Rated 95

Monday, July 21, 2014

Product Review: Folding Chrome Cigar Stand

Folding Chrome Cigar Stand
This nifty little chrome folding cigar stand came as a bonus to last months Freight Train cigar of the month club package from Cigar Train.

It's actually a pretty handy tool. It folds almost flat, hold nearly any ring gauge cigar and it's small enough to fit in my wallet so it's always with me.

Most online retailers carry this stand but the best online price I've found is from for $5.99.

Rated 10 of 10

Alec Bradley Nica Puro Toro

Alec Bradley Nica Puro Toro
I'm pretty sure this Alec Bradley Nica Puro Toro came in last months Freight Train, cigar of the month package from Cigar Train here in Spokane.

Overall it's a really nice looking stick. The oily, maduro colored wrapper is rolled on with seamless skill, it has only a couple smaller veins and supports a triple cap.

From the foot there were notes of anise and ripe tree fruit, while the firm cold draw had fruity, spicy cedar notes. Once the Nico Puro was toasted and burning the medium bodied smoke had initial flavors of cocoa mixed with toast. A complementary mix of flavors soon followed; there were notes earth, peat, raw sugar, oak, cream, ripe tree fruit, charcoal and brown sugar. All of this led up to a nice full bodied finish of burnt mocha and brown sugar.

In the first two thirds there were some real burn problems with this stick, it not only canoed, but it tunneled. After two corrections the burn evened out for the final third. Even with the burn problems the Alec Bradley Nica Puro Toro delivered a lengthy seventy-five minutes of great flavors.

Rated 91

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My New Cigar Themed Ink

Skull and Cigar Watercolor Tattoo
Well yesterday we rented the Project 2:24 Tattoo Studio here in Spokane for nine hours. It went great! Paula got two new tattoo's and so did I.

Here is my new skull and cigar tattoo!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Revere Robusto by 262 Cigars

Revere Robusto by 262 Cigars
I picked up this 262 Cigars Revere Robusto the other day while at Cigar Train. Since the Allegiance that was reviewed a while back was such a good cigar, I decided to give the Revere a shot too.

The Revere robusto is packed firmly from head to foot and it's covered with a seamless, lightly veined, oily, claro colored wrapper. From the foot there is a mild aroma of cocoa to the nose and the firm cold draw has notes of spiced black tea.

Once burning, the medium bodied cigar had a fairly complex flavor mix consisting of earth, black pepper, ripe fruit, brown sugar, peat, raw sugar, leather and oak. The fifty minute burn time was topped off with an nice full bodied toasty finish.

Overall this was a very nice cigar. It had great construction, a sharp burn line and great flavors. I will be smoking this 262 Revere again.

Rated 93

Friday, July 18, 2014

How To Nub A Cigar: Part 2

The Cigar Clip
My other main method to nub the last inch of a great tasting cigar is "The Cigar Clip". I reviewed this little gems a couple months back and it works great. You can read the full review right here.

I really like using The Cigar Clip because it easily adjusts for nearly any size cigar so it takes care those that don't fit into a pipe bowl. It doesn't cause any wrapper damage, plus it fits into my pocket or wallet for those times I am on the go.

You can pick one up for a $10.00 bill right off The Cigar Pros web site.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brick House Maduro Robusto

Brick House Maduro Robusto
Last Sunday was the 1 year anniversary party for Cigar Train here in Spokane. As and added bonus, Ed Ryan from JMG International was there slinging Brick House cigar deals all day. I picked up a couple of these Brick House Maduro Robustos in one of the deals.

This well packed robusto was all wrapped up with a seamless, stout, toothy, oscuro colored wrapper that contained only a couple smaller veins. As a bonus it was finished off with a slick looking triple cap.

From the cold foot there were flavor notes of tree fruit and cocoa while the free draw tasted like spicy cedar mixed with fruit. Once the Brick House Maduro was burning it produced huge, medium bodied, mouthfuls of cocoa and black licorice flavored smoke. These initial flavors were soon followed by notes of toast, cream, chocolate, black pepper, ripe tree fruit, straw and charcoal. The cigar finished with a full bodied mix of black pepper and burnt mocha.

Overall this was a darn tasty cigar. The flavor mix was fairly complex, the burn was razor sharp and it had a forty-five minute burn time. If you haven't tried this cigar you should!

Rated 93





(Miami, Florida) July 17, 2014— Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars, after a successful 2013 launch with the Azan Line of cigars and the recent announcement of the Roberto Duran Premium Cigar Brand is ready to introduce two additional cigar brands: Neya and the Baracoa Line.

Roberto Pelayo Duran is fully committed to providing a full line at this year’s IPCPR. The Addition of the premium Neya and the value cigar Baracoa will fill in the gap in the Roberto P. Duran line as the announcement was made last week that he will introduce a super-premium brand, Roberto P. Duran Cigar.

The Neya Premium cigar brand is a premium brand which comes in a cedar 20 count cabinet. The Filler and Binder is both Nicaraguan while the wrapper is a Habana Ecuador. The Neya line will be expressed through five sizes with the two largest sizes holding a description of F8 as they will be full bodied cigars even though all sizes carry the same blend. The Neya will retail between $4.00 and $7.00 per cigar. Neya Premium Cigar sizes: Petite Corona 5 1/8 X 42 CAB, Robusto 4 7/8 X CAB, Canonazo 6 X 52 CAB, Toro 6 X 56 CAB, and the Yanquee 6 X 60 CAB.

Roberto said:” Neya is a brand that took some time to develop as we used very well fermented leaves and well-aged Nicaraguan ligero. This is a full flavored cigar in the way that we understood the term in Cuba, which is to mean not spicy but a strongly flavored cigar which increases in strength when smoking the two larger sizes. As with all of our cigars they are rolled under strict supervision in our Nicatobacco Factory in Nicaragua.”


Baracoa, (full name Roberto Duran Baracoa) was created as a great everyday cigar. The RD Baracoa which represents the city of Roberto P. Duran family origin in Cuba (Baracoa) is made with the same quality and care of Roberto’s other cigar lines. The filler and binder is both Nicaraguan with the wrapper an Ecuador Habana Criollo. Baracoa comes in carton 20 box count and will be represented in 9 sizes with three of them in box press form. RD Baracoa sure to please a wide array of cigar palates. The Baracoa line of cigars will retail between $3.00 and $.4.50 a cigar. Baracoa Cigar sizes: Robusto 4 7/8 X 50, Torpedo 6 1/8 X 52, Toro 6 X 52, Churchill 7 X 47 Gordito 4 X 58, Gigantes 6 X 60, Robusto 5 X 50 Box Press, Toro 6 X 52 Box Press, and Torpedo 6 1/8 X 52 Box Press.

Roberto said:” Baracoa is a true power house value cigar gives boasts plenty of quality for the price”, Roberto continued,” I am very excited to introduce Neya, Baracoa and the previously announced Roberto P. Duran Cigar Brand to the public. We are about producing top quality products and we invite everyone to our booth (3813) to experience the passion we put into all of our brands.”

Roberto Pelayo Duran began his life’s work in his homeland of Havana, Cuba where tobacco grabbed a hold of him, and never let go. Supervising the production of cigar manufacturing in Cuba was only the beginning as he later went on to assemble and manage distribution of all Cuban cigar brands for Asia at The Pacific Cigar Company Ltd. Most recently, he contributed to the new global brand marketing strategy for British American Tobacco. The creation of Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars has given Roberto the platform to introduce a brand of cigars that offer the same quality, construction, and detail which he exceeded from those he supervised while in Cuba.

For more information about Roberto P. Duran Premium Cigars, please visit For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Creativas Group at

Gevalia Kaffe Columbia Coffee

Gevalia Kaffe Columbia Coffee
I'm running low on coffee's to review so I picked this Gevalia Kaffe, Columbia coffee up at the store the other day; I've seen it advertised and wanted to give it a try. The only down side to this review is they had no whole bean, so this sample is pre-ground.

From the bag the Gevalia Kaffe, coffee has mellow coffee and wheat aroma. Doing the pour-over, the wheat takes over and it gives off a predominate warm bread like aroma, while developing a creamy bloom.

Tasting the cupped coffee, it was bright, crisp, tart and light, with a palate cleansing mouth feel. The flavors found were lime, warm bread, earth, caramel and wheat. As the coffee cools it develops the caramel sweetness with a lingering wheat aftertaste.

For a second test I auto-dripped a pot and found drastic differences in both the body and flavor. The body was heavier with more of a syrupy texture, while the main flavor found was warm bread. While the auto-drip sample was a great cup of coffee, it lacked the complexity found by doing a pour-over.

Rated 4.7 of 5

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Boveda 2-Way Humidity Pack Test Part 1

Boveda 2-Way Humidity Pack
I don't know about everyone else, but keeping the humidity constant in four humidors is a nightmare for me.

Back a couple weeks, Fred @godfar, Brian @CigarTrain and I were at the @LegendsofFire lounge and the subject of humidity control came up. Fred told us how well the Boveda 2-way packs work for him and suggested we give them a try. To make a long story short, (with Fred's help), I contacted Boveda and they agreed to send a sample for testing.

With luck, I had just calibrated all my hygrometers with the Boveda One Step Calibration Kit (here is the product review) less than a month ago so I am sure they are still calibrated.

Boveda 2-Way Humidity Pack
I currently use four humidors and here's where they started out:

Humidor 1: 100 count, solid wood, 68%, using 1 jar, 1 rectangle.

Humidor 2: 100 count, solid wood, 72%, No humidification in use the last week.

Humidor 3: 50 count, glass top, 69%, using, 1 jar, 2 sticks, 1 puck, 1 water pack, 1 tube.

Humidor 4: 75 count, glass all 4 sides, 62%, using 3 rectangles, 2 jars.

Replaced by Boveda 2-Way Humidity Pack
Replaced by Boveda 2-way packs

Here's where all four humidors are two days later:

Humidor 1: 69%, 4 Boveda packs. 1 hour to adjust from 68%.

Humidor 2: 69%, 4 Boveda packs. 2 hours to adjust from 72%.

Humidor 3: 69%, 2 Boveda packs. 0 adjustment.

Humidor 4: 65%, 6 Boveda packs. 2 days and needs at least 2 more packs for a total of 8.

Humidor 4 is my problem child and it will probably go away once it gets reviewed--all my humidors except number 4 pass the dollar bill test with ease.

I had never tried the Boveda 2-way packs due to the perceived costs of using them and here's what I calculated.

The tangle of items in the picture above that I replaced have a full retail value of about $120 and they last about a year. But besides the purchase price of humidifiers I have to add in the costs associated with failures. So far this year I've had mold problems twice in the same humidor so the second time it was replaced at $100. A humidifier fell from the lid, soaked and ruined three cigars, $30, two blown up wrappers, $20. Just counting those items I have spent $270 on humidity control this year, plus all of this doesn't count the headache created by monitoring and keeping all of these humidifiers full.

If I replace humidor number 4 with a solid wood 100 count humidor and the packs last 3 months I will use 56 packs per year at a full retail cost of  $210; that's 3, 20-packs. That's less for a full year of humidity control than I have spent the last six months.

Overall, in just two days Boveda 2-way packs have solved most of  my humidity problems, except humidor 4 and that's another story. I will add updates every three or four weeks so everyone knows how these are working out in the long run. Right now, they are great!

I would like to thank Boveda for providing these samples for review.

1502 Nicaragua: Pre-release

Again I am fortunate enough to receive a pre-release sample of the 1502 Nicaragua, from Global Premium Cigars, distributed by House of Emilio. Unlike the other cigars offered by 1502 Cigars, this stick is a Nicaraguan Puro and contains tobaccos from the four principal tobacco regions in Nicaragua: Jalapa, Esteli, Condega and Ometepe Island. Viewing the information about this cigar on the Global Premium Cigars website there is not much information on the specific tobaccos or blends. However, according to Enrique Sanchez "It's the Puro that I created for my son, so that he never forgets his roots, 100% Nicaraguan". That's pretty neat in my opinion!
Being a curious type of guy, I asked Leonel Poveda, from Global Premium Cigars, if the 1502 Nicaragua will be released with the same white band as the sample and he replied, "The label will be the white label. This cigar is not a 'Gem' like the other three 1502, this one is the Nica roots, tobacco from the motherland for your daily enjoyment! So, if like Enrique, you may enjoy an Emerald for breakfast, a Ruby after lunch, and a Black Gold after a great and hearty dinner. I love my 'Gems' but enjoy a Nicaragua all day long, any day!".

The 1502 Nicaragua will be released as a 5 x 50 robusto in boxes of 30 with an MSRP of $5.75 per cigar. Well with all that behind us let's get on to the cigar itself...
Quick Details
  • Cigar Size: 6  x 50 Toro
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Cutting Method: Xikar guillotine
  • Paired with: Diet Pepsi
  • Price: Pre-release sample provided by Global Premium Cigars

1502 Nicaragua Cigar
At a glance, the construction of this cigar, like all 1502 cigars, is top notch. The natural wrapper was rolled on with near seamless perfection and wraps down over the foot allowing just a small peek of filler tobaccos inside. The wrapper itself contains only the finest of veins and is light brown, claro, in color. Through the nose I found notes of rich tobacco and sweet tea from the body and foot. Once the end was clipped the firm but free cold draw yielded flavors of sweet tea and spicy cedar.

Putting a match to the foot, the cigar was burning with ease. In the first third the most prevalent flavors were sweet tea, earth, cream, oak, spicy cedar, tree fruit and mild pepper. Right at the cigar's mid point there was an area with heavy floral notes. Into the final third the spice and sweet cream developed as the prominent  flavors but nearly every draw had hints of the other flavors found in the first third. This complex flavor mix created an enjoyable long satisfying finish.
As the cigar burned it left behind a clean burn line, with an oil ring in the wrapper and a soft light gray ash that fell right at the 1/3 mark.

Overall I think this is a fantastic medium body cigar. It had top notch construction, a great burn and a complex flavor mix that kept me guessing with each draw. I look forward to smoking many more of these in the future and I wish to thank Global Premium Cigars for giving me the opportunity to review this pre-release 1520 Nicaragua.

Appearance and construction: 19
Flavor: 19
Smoking characteristics: 19
Overall experience: 19
Purchased Price: 18
Total: 94

Global Premium Cigars Releases New Cigar, the 1502 Nicaragua

Global Premium Cigars Releases New Cigar, the 1502 Nicaragua

Miami, Florida, July 16, 2014

Global Premium Cigars is pleased to announce the release of its newest cigar, the 1502 Nicaragua. Global Premium Cigars is a tobacco company which is proud of its Nicaraguan heritage. The new cigar continues the company's tradition of excellence and is the only cigar in the 1502 cigars line that is 100% pure Nicaraguan tobacco.

Nicaragua is one of only two countries in the world which can produce cigars entirely from their tobacco. The 1502 Nicaragua epitomizes this birthright, as it is made from tobacco from all four regions of Nicaragua: Esteli, Condega, Jalapa, Ometepe.

"This cigar was created for my newborn son. So that he never forgets his roots - 100% Nicaraguan," said Enrique Sanchez, President of Global Premium Cigars.

The 1502 Nicaragua is packaged in a golden wrapper with a white band. It is a medium to medium-plus cigar that is stronger than the 1502 Line's Emerald. The cigar will be available in the Robusto vitola, measuring 5 X 50, and in boxes of 30 cigars, box pressed. Retailers are urged to order them in time for their customers.

For more information please email or contact via the website:

You can read the pre-release review here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nestor Miranda Collection Connecticut (Blue) Robusto

Paula picked up this new Nestor Miranda Collection sample pack from the Habana Vieja Lounge in San Jose, CA during her trip to Cisco last week. Today we look at the Blue, Connecticut, robusto.

Construction of this cigar is top-of-the-line. The Colorado Claro colored wrapper is nearly vein free and is rolled on with seamless skill. There is also a tight fitting triple cap to top every thing off.

Cold aromas feature sweet tea from the foot and the free cold draw tastes a bit like chai tea. With the first puffs the mild bodied smoke has a mellow sweet cream flavoring. The cream is soon followed by toast, caramel, leather, oak and some mild black pepper. In the final third there is a medium bodied finish of cream and brown sugar.

Although the flavor mix wasn't super complex, the Blue was a great tasting cigar, plus it had a razor sharp burn line and a fifty minute smoking time. I can see myself smoking these as a morning breakfast cigar with coffee.

Rated 93

Monday, July 14, 2014

Peet's Coffee: Major Dickason's Blend

Peet's Coffee: Major Dickason's Blend
There's a pretty funny story behind this review. Paula, my wife, spent most of last week in San Jose, CA, obtaining a Cisco certification. During her free time, what little she had, her mission was to find me a locally roasted coffee to review. For one reason or another she didn't have much luck and grabbed this Major Dickason's blend from  Peet's Coffee, in the airport on her way home.

So after she's home we make a trip to Walmart, and what do we see? The exact same blend of coffee sitting on the shelf for $4.00 less per bag. Needless to say, we both had a good laugh.

Checking aromas from the bag there were pleasant notes of coffee and cocoa. The pour-over process created a large frothy bloom, with aroma notes of coffee and warm bread. From the cup I could smell notes of coffee and caramel.

With the first sips this Major Dickason's Blend is, rich, deep and full bodied. It has a syrupy mouth-feel and leaves my mouth salivating for another sip. The piping hot coffee has flavors of sandalwood, earth, cocoa and a bit of underlying spiciness. As it cools the body increases and the cocoa nuances develop becoming deeper and richer with nearly each sip.

I found this Major Dickason's blend from Peet's coffee to be rich and satisfying with flavors and body that continue to develop as the coffee cools.

It earns a 4.8 out of 5 star rating.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

How To Nub A Cigar: Part 1

From time-to-time we all get that cigar that tastes so good we just don't want to give up on it. We end up with scorched fingers and sometime even lips trying to get that last great tasting puff.

This is the first of a short how-to series on how to get the most from those great tasting cigar nubs.

Robusto is my favorite size. Why? Well a 50 ring cigar nub fits perfectly into the bowl of my pipe. This allows me to finish a great tasting nub without burning my fingers or my lips.

So, you say your not a pipe smoker. You can try this without rushing to pick up a $150 Italian pipe. A pipe to smoke your nubs in can actually be had for $5.00 on up.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mayibme Robusto by A.J. Fernandez

Mayibme Robusto by A.J. Fernandez
Here's a stick that's been on my "to-smoke" list for some time. After smoking it yesterday I regret waiting. Being a genuine "cheap ash," I waited until the Mayibme Robusto by A.J. Fernandez was on sale before picking one up at Cigar Train.

Construction of the Mayibme was as good as I've ever seen. It was packed firmly full length and covered by a seamless, nearly vein free, oily, Colorado colored wrapper, which was topped off with a triple cap.

From the foot there were mixed aromas of toast and cocoa, while the free cold draw had notes of oak and leather.

Once the flame jumped to the cigar's foot there was a full bodied explosion of oak, cocoa and black pepper. These initial flavors were quickly followed by a complex mix of leather, brown sugar, brown paper bag, toast, sweet tea, charcoal, chocolate, espresso, and a fantastic burnt mocha finish. It seamed like there was a slight flavor shift with each puff.

Top of the line construction and a complex flavor mix coupled with a ninety minute burn time make this cigar a real winner. If you haven't picked up a Mayibme, maybe it's time you should!

Rated 94


A.J. Fernandez Cigars

A.J. Fernandez Cigars

(Miami, Florida) July 11, 2014— A.J. Fernandez Cigars, known for producing consistently highly rated and sought after cigars is proud to unveil “New World” at the 2014 IPCPR in Las Vegas. New World will be showcased as a value brand featuring the same quality, consistency, and workmanship that is expected from A.J. Fernandez. The New World Cigar brand is the first blend in where A.J. Fernandez and father Ismael Fernandez come together

Master blender A.J. Fernandez has created New World. A unique cigar which pays homage to the discovery of then “mystical smoking leaf” called tobacco by the Europeans when their ships landed in what is now called the New World. In November 1492, Jerez and Luis de Torres first observed natives smoking as they were searching for the Emperor of China. Not knowing they landed in what is now known as Cuba, they came across natives that made rolls of palm and mais leaves in the manner of a musket formed of paper with tobacco on the inside. One would light one side and drink the smoke out of the other.

A.J. Fernandez said: “The New World Cigar relates to expanding one’s knowledge and questioning the status quo by discovering our personal New Worlds as we go through life. The team at A.J. Fernandez Cigars is grateful for the amazing support we have received from the consumer and therefore will offer the New World Cigar at a value price as we invite everyone to join us on our New World journey. Furthermore, I am especially proud to announce that my father Ismael Fernandez who recently retired after 17 years with the Plasencia family has now joined the A.J. Fernandez family. New World marks the first cigar that we work on together since he joined the company. “

The New World blend is an elegant box press cigar, beautifully adorned with a cigar band that depicts the European landing on the shores of the “New World.” As with every A.J. Fernandez cigar brand, New World is carefully hand crafted cigar which was blended under strict supervision of A.J. Fernandez in their Estelí, Nicaragua based factory.

The New World Cigar is a medium to full bodied cigar with an amazing aroma. Smokers of New World will experience elements of sweetness, spiciness in a very balanced and refined cigar. The New World Cigar is composed of a Jalapa binder, Viso Ometepe Filler, Condega Ligero, Esteli-Finca Soledad Ligero, wrapped in a beautiful Dark Nicaragua. At a MSRP of six dollars, A.J. Fernandez is looking for New World to be a first class cigar that can be a daily source of enjoyment.

New World Cigars come in a beautifully adorned 21 count box and come in four sizes.

Navegante: 5 ½ X 55 Robusto
Almirante: 51/2 X 55 Belicoso
Gobernador: 6 ½ X 55 Toro
Virrey: 6 X 58 Gordo

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.

For media inquiries please contact Creativas Group Public Relations via:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Azan White Premium Robusto

Azan White Premium Robusto
I've been looking forward to reviewing the Azan White Premium Robusto for a couple of  months now. Let's see what it's all about.

Construction of this cigar is top-notch. The silky claro colored wrapper is rolled on with seamless skill and it's practically vein free.
Checking cold aromas there are notes of rich tobacco and fruit from the foot, while the free cold draw on this firmly packed cigar has hints of spicy cedar. Once the cigar is burning there are mild bodied nuances of nuts, cream, toast, oak, leather and sugar.

The flavor mix lacked any real complexity, but it was a solid, good tasting, mild bodied cigar. With a sixty minute burn time and a price in the $6.00 range, this is a pretty darn good cigar!

Rated 92

I would like to thank Gabriel Piñeres of for hooking me up with these samples.

Drew Estate Isla Del Sol Toro

Drew Estate Isla Del Sol Toro
Normally I don't do infused, but this Isla del Sol by Drew Estate is the number one seller at Cigar Train and it's infused with Sumatra Mandheling coffee. Why is that important? Sumatra Mandheling is by far my favorite coffee. You can grab these from by the box, five-pack or single. The singles are just $4.15 each.

Construction of this cigar is fantastic. It starts with a seamless, almost vein free, Colorado Claro colored wrapper over a well packed binder and filler, ending with a triple cap on top.

The only word that describes the flavor mix of the Isla del Sol is "unique." Testing the foot aroma, it's sweet, tasting the end cap, it's sweet, checking the free cold draw, it's sweet. Put a flame to the foot, it's sweet too. It doesn't taste like coffee, it doesn't taste like cigar. But guess what? The Isla del Sol is a pretty tasty cigar!

Bottom line, would I smoke the Isla del Sol everyday? Nope. However it was a great tasting, long burning cigar (eighty minutes), that will make a great change of pace once in a while.

Give it a try and see what you think.

Rated 93

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Camacho Corojo Maduro Gigante

Camacho Corojo Maduro Gigante
I picked up this Camacho Corojo Maduro Gigante cigar from Cigar Train a couple of months ago. If your not close to Spokane you can pick up a single from for a meager $8.25 ea.

It comes wrapped in a great looking maduro colored wrapper and it's packed well full length. The cigar is put together nicely with nearly invisible seams, the finest of veins and a triple cap. Testing the aroma at the foot there are bold notes of molasses and the free cold draw has notes of ripe tree fruit.

Once lit, the cigar starts out in the medium body range and finishes medium/full. It has a nice balance of flavors, heavy to earth and chocolate, with some spicy cedar, earth, barnyard, molasses, coffee, cream and sugar.

After the first inch or so the wrapper started developing an oily sheen and the smoking time of the Corojo Maduro Gigante was an excellent eight-five minutes.

Just let me say, I've really been impressed by these Camacho cigars over the past two months and plan on always keeping a few in my humidors.

Rated 93

Sam Leccia Luchador El Hombre

Luchador Robusto cigar
I picked this Sam Leccia Luchador El Hombre (robusto), up a couple of days after it was released while visiting Cigar Train. You can get your very own single for $8.10 at

This Sam Leccia Luchador has a thick, maduro colored wrapper with tight visible seams, light veins and a nice sandpaper-like tooth. The cigar is packed well full length with no hard or soft spots to be found. There's a light fermented tobacco aroma from the foot and the free cold draw has hints of fruity red wine.

As the Luchador burns the complex flavor mix consists of cocoa, fruit, raw sugar (lots of sugar in this one), leather,cream, oak, brown sugar, molasses, red wine and charcoal with a burnt mocha finish.

In my opinion, Sam Leccia has another winner on his hands here. The Luchador started in the medium body range and ended about as full bodied as a cigar can get. It had a fairly even burn line and it gave me a full sixty minutes of  smoking pleasure.

If you haven't tried the Luchador by Leccia Tobacco you defiantly should!

Rated 94

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Viva Republica Rapture Perdition

I picked up this Viva Republica Rapture Perdition (robusto) on my last visit to Cigar Train. If you don't live in Spokane, they can be found online at for $36.50 per five-pack.

Construction of this cigar is fantastic. It has a stout, toothy, maduro colored, nearly vein free wrapper with tight almost invisible seams. From the foot there are notes to the nose of rich cocoa and after giving the cigar a deep V-cut from my Colibri cutter the slightly tight cold draw had flavors of cocoa mixed with toast.

The burning cigar started out in the medium body range with flavors of toast, oak, chocolate, anise, black pepper, brown sugar, mocha, dark chocolate and charcoal. In the final third the cigar had progressed into the full body range and finished with my favorite burnt mocha flavor mix.

Smoking time for this complex, Rapture Perdition was right at sixty minutes and the tight cold draw was never a problem once the cigar was burning.

If you get a chance to try these out, don't pass it up.

Rated 93

Five Questions With AKA Cigars Jay Lundy

This is the first of what is hopefully a new weekly series here on Cheap Ash Cigar. Some of these answers I may already know, some you may already know, but I am sure there are readers that know none of these answers and this will all be new information for them.

For the first installment of "Five Questions" we have Jay Lundy of AKA Cigars, a boutique cigar company that produces some top-of-the-line cigars.

I would like to thank Jay for taking time out of his hectic schedule to share this information with us. Thank you Jay!

1. What led you to create your own line of cigars?

I was an avid cigar smoker since around 1990 and then more heavy starting around 1998. I got into the industry around 2001 helping my partner rep different companies, working the trade-shows, visiting many manufacturers and farms. Over the years I became friends with a lot of the greats in the industry and really learned a lot from them. For a decade I was telling all these guys I wanted to someday do my own thing and the one single piece of advice that was given to me over and over was to "Be Myself" and to make whatever I did "A Part Of Myself". That's exactly what I did with AKA. I'm a very Proud and Patriotic American and I love to "Step Up" & "Give Back" and that's what AKA is all about.

2. What has been the most enjoyable aspect of creating your own cigars?

I would have to say that every time I'm visiting a shop or doing an event and people tell me they really enjoy our cigars and like what we're about as a company. It's very humbling and very appreciated. After that its just to look back at all these years of very hard work and to see where we are today and then to dream about where we will be in the future. But for us it always has been and always will be about making high quality cigars and many new friends along the way.

3. What is your typical week like? I.e. events, travel, visiting shops, etc.

Really depends on the time of year. When I'm on a "Heavy Schedule" I may be out on the road Monday or Tuesday thru Friday or Saturday for 2-5 weeks in a row and then one week back home and then all over again. Weeks at home are still filled with work. I "Eat, Breath, Sleep, and ?hit AKA". Lmao

4. Can you give any hints what may be coming down the pipe from AKA?

We are releasing a Lancero in the Nth Degree at the trade-show and that's it for this year. We will be opening up more territories this year and spending most of our time promoting those areas. We are also in the very early stages of planning a new release(s) for next year along with new specialty vitola packs for events.

5. What are your personal top 5 cigars to smoke?

Hard Question? I enjoy a lot of different smokes however if I had to pick 5, hummmm...
Tatuaje 2003 Cojonu
Liga #9
Room 101 Namakubi
Illusione Epernay


Charlie Toraño Captiva

Charlie Toraño Captiva


(Miami, FL) July 8, 2014Toraño Family Cigar Co., respected in the cigar- making industry for nearly 100 years, proudly announces that Charlie Toraño, for the first time, will unveil a cigar under his own name: Charlie Toraño Captiva.

Charlie Toraño represents the fourth generation in the Toraño tobacco family. Working alongside his father and industry legend Carlos Toraño for 15 years, Charlie has had his hand in creating unique cigar brands under the family name as well as for countless other major distributors. Charlie, who has held the title of President of Toraño Family Cigar Company for over a decade, felt it was time to create a cigar under his own name which represents his personal tastes and pastimes.

“Captiva, which is a very small island off the coast of Southwest Florida, is my favorite place in the entire world,” said Charlie Toraño. Every year I plan a summer family trip there which serves as my get-away from the everyday. It takes me back to the true essence of cigars. I am able to smoke and simply relax as I feel the pressures of life dissipate with every puff. I am able to reflect, count my blessings, and recharge my batteries. The Captiva cigar is a very elegant and flavorful cigar which represents the slow rhythms of the Island.”

The Captiva cigar is made with a beautiful oily Ecuadorian wrapper and is combined with Nicaraguan fillers that have been specially aged and selected by Charlie. The cigar is medium to full bodied, with notes of coffee, chocolate, and sweet peppery spice. Captiva will retail between $7.95 and $8.95 and will come in 4 sizes: Robusto 5x52, Toro 6x50, Churchill 7x47, and BFC 6x60.

A leader in the cigar industry, Toraño Family Cigar Company is a four generation company currently based in Miami, FL. It enjoys a rich heritage and history in tobacco growing and manufacturing. For more information: Please also follow Toraño on Face book: Toraño A family Cigar Company or on Twitter: @TORANOFAMCIGARS.

For more information, please contact Creativas Group via email:  Photographs and interviews are available by request.

Cigar Federation Now Under New Ownership

Cigar Federation


Cigar Federation will enter into a new chapter today. I am very excited to take Cigar Federation to the next level. Please let me know if you have questions in the comments below.


Cigar Federation, the #1 cigar social-network and entertainment website, has been purchased by Logan Lawler.

“I am ecstatic.” said Lawler “The cigar industry is a great family of people who are bonded together by one thing—passion! It’s a thrill to be able to continue to work and innovate in a culture that embraces the next generation of new media.”

Cigar Federation was founded by Ezra Zion Cigars in 2011, though Lawler and his team have been managing the website since the beginning of 2013.

“I can’t think of anybody else that I’d rather see write the next chapter in the Cigar Federation story.” said previous owner Kyle Hoover. “I’m expecting great things.”

“I couldn’t be happier. Logan is the right person to take Cigar Federation to the next level.” said previous owner Chris Kelly.

The Cigar Federation moderator staff and it’s lineup of weekly live show programming, including CigarChat, Stogie Geeks, HalfAshed, What Embargo, and Sharing our Paritings, will also continue.

“We’ve got a great content and personalities on the site. Our traffic numbers are setting new records every month. We’re going to build on the foundation that’s been laid while continuing to grow the community though new innovations.” continued Lawler.

"Under its own brand Delaware Cigars will continue to be the exclusive advertised store on Cigar Federation."

For more information visit or email

Monday, July 7, 2014

Emilio Cigars Draig Cayuquero Robusto: Quick Review

Emilio Cigars Draig Cayuquero Robusto
Emilio Cigars comes up with some great band artwork for their cigars and this Draig Cayuquero is another solid example.You can pick these up by the five-pack from the Cigar Federation store for $55.00

Construction of the Draig Cayuquero was flawless, the dark, maduro colored wrapper was nearly vein free, it was rolled on tightly with nary a seem, plus there was a bit of tooth and a slight oil sheen. I found a mild, but pleasant spicy cocoa aroma from the foot and after cutting the triple cap with my Xikar cutter, the free cold draw had the same notes of spice and cocoa.

After putting a flame to the foot, the first few draws were a mix of medium bodied black pepper, earth and cocoa. The burning cigar left behind a light/dark gray ash that held until the cigar's mid point. About the same time as the ash fell, the strength shifted to full bodied and so did the flavors. When the flavors shifted it was big, a big bold blast of cocoa that left a tasty chocolate aftertaste in my mouth, plus some earth and oak. Then right around the band area, my favorite flavor mix appeared, burnt mocha. Burnt mocha is a mix of cream, charcoal and chocolate. It's what I hope to find in every maduro cigar I smoke and the Draig Cayuquero didn't let me down.

I'm a pretty fast smoker, but I did get fifty great minutes of smoking pleasure from the Draig Cayuquero.  It smoked cool full length, it had a razor sharp burn line and developed a nice oily sheen on the wrapper in the second half.

Overall this was a top of the line cigar. It had great construction, a great burn and a fantastic flavor mix, plus it has a cool dragon on the band!

I'd like to thank House of Emilio for providing this sample for review.

Rated 94

Sunday, July 6, 2014

LA Gloria Cubana Rival Twin Chapter 1: Quick Review

Here's another cigar I picked up at Cigar Train a couple of weeks back. You can pick up this LA Gloria Cubana Rival Twin Chapter 1 from from as a single for $9.50.

This 7 x 62 cigar is a beast. It's covered with a super oily maduro colored wrapper with only the finest of veins, it's packed well full length and it has a triple cap. I hate to say this, but the wrapper has a near 1/4" hole just below the bottom band.

Checking cold aromas there are strong notes of rich fermented tobacco and the free draw has notes of spicy cedar with hints of fruit. Once the Cigar is burning there's a huge blast of medium/full bodied chocolate, followed by some oak, earth and dark chocolate. After twice correcting the burn in the first half there were other notes of sandalwood, ripe tree fruit, molasses, barnyard and cream.

After sixty minutes, one relight and four burn corrections I gave up on this stick. Also, there were two more smaller wrapper holes under the top band. I could see from the ash the burn problems were caused by an off center bunch, its really too bad since the flavor mix was outstanding.

Rated 88

Saturday, July 5, 2014

San Lotano Oval Corona: Quick Review

San Lotano Oval Corona Cigar

I've smoked several San Lotano Ovals in the past but for one reason or another haven't taken the time to write a review. To correct that, I picked one up today on my weekly visit to Cigar Train. You can grab yourself a single San Lotano Oval from for $6.93

Construction of the Oval is fantastic. The oily Colorado colored wrapper is near vein free, it had some light tooth and it was rolled on with seamless skill. The foot had aromas of fermented tobacco while the free cold draw tasted like spicy cedar. Once the cigar was burning the medium body smoke had nuances of black pepper followed by a bit of ripe fruit. Those flavors were soon followed by a complex mix of honey, toast, nuts, anise, brown sugar, cocoa, cream, oak and a full bodied peppery, cocoa finish.

Super construction, fantastic, complex flavors and a forty-five minute burn time make this cigar a real winner.

Rated 94