Week in Review
Well, 2014 is coming to a close and I am looking forward to the new year. It was a good year in terms of releases, and it was a good year for so many countries in terms of cigars released being from them. It is hard to point a finger at a particular country in determining which one was producing the best cigars, but I can tell you that the days of Nicaraguan domination are coming to a close. This past week was a good week for me in terms of what I smoked, and I smoked a lot of good stuff from lot of the countries out there making cigars. This past week I smoked cigars from Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, and all of them were great. Let’s take a look and if you miss me throughout the week, see you in the new year.
First, here is a list of the cigars I reviewed this past week:
Monday: Nestor Miranda Collection Coffee Break Habano
Wednesday: Cromagnon Venus
Friday: Debonaire Maduro Belicoso
Now, let’s take a look at everything I smoked this week:
The Atabey Ritos is an incredible cigar and simply one of the most amazing cigars I smoked this year. There is a reason it made it into my Top 10, and if I smoked this every year I would not be surprised if it made it there all the time. Fortunately, the price is so high that I will not smoke them all the time unless I have some special occasions. The cigar delivers incredible construction from beginning to end and stick to stick. It has a flavor profile that is mild, it is not in your face or even medium, and the same goes for strength and body. The cigar delivers flavors of grass, hay, light tobacco and stone fruit throughout, and is a cigar so many could enjoy, but a connoisseur truly appreciate.
A classic for the brand, and yet not my favorite Bolivar or Habanos, the Belicosos Finos is a well known belicoso that is a great example of the Bolivar line. When young, this cigar delivers some old-school flavors of earth, wood, coffee and spices, but with age it becomes even more elegant and softer. These can be fairly strong when young, but most of the time I find they smoke at a level between medium and medium-full. These are definitely a Habanos to pick up a box of, and I would age them for at least four years before smoking, longer if you can be truly patience. This particular smoke was from 2008.
Long Live The King is probably my favorite line from Caldwell Cigar Co., and it is a great example of strong Dominican tobacco. The blend is beautiful and it delivers flavors that are very summer like and natural. I got notes of spices, leather, floral and herbal qualities, and some earth throughout, and it delivered some solid construction with that. The cigar ended up being in my Top 10 for 2014, and the company as a whole had two releases in my Top 25. I love the line in a lot of sizes, but the Petit Double Wide Short Churchill is easily my favorite. Definitely worth picking up a lot of these for the humidor.
The CroMagnon line is not a line to my liking. I often wonder why people love it as much as they do, that is until I smoked the Venus. The CroMagnon Venus is a terrific petit salomone, and it is a cigar with a beautiful figure. It delivers a great flavor profile that shows the excellent of Connecticut Broadleaf throughout, and it has a nice bit of transitioning present with that. While I would not recommend other vitolas in the line, if asked, I would tell people to pick up a box of these. The cigar delivers flavors of oak, coffee and cocoa throughout, and with that is terrific construction. This was a cigar that really caught me off guard.
Released this year, the Debonaire Maduro is the newest offering from Debonaire. The cigar features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and while I typically don’t gravitate towards the wrapper, Phil did an incredible job in the blending of this beauty. The cigar shows solid construction throughout, and with that some amazing flavors. I picked up notes of cocoa, earth and sweet spices, and it is a cigar that I would smoke quite often with readily available. The prices are higher with the Debonaire brand, but then again this a ultra-premium quality, so there is a reason for that.
This cigar was recently rated as Cigar of the Year by Cigar Journal, and since I had not smoked it yet before seeing the review, I had to smoke some to see what the buzz was all about. The cigar showed excellent construction throughout and with that were some cherry cordial flavors. Overall, I was not that impressed with the cigar and I felt it was a disappointment. A.J. always manages to create a unique blend, I will give him that, but this one was just not my cup of tea. Along with that, the company put all this Satisfaction Guarantee and 100% Premium Quality warranty on the band which was terrible in my opinion. Were your other releases not as guaranteed or composed of premium tobacco? Review Coming Soon.
I smoked a fairly new Regius this week, and this was the first Exclusivo USA that he released this year. The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro and is blended with tobacco from all over the country. It showed excellent construction throughout, and some really enjoyable flavors as well. I prefer the Claro Especial to this version, the bands as well, but I like this cigar a lot and would definitely put some in my humidor to age. Regius of London is putting out some great products and if you have not experienced them, I highly recommend you try them out, you will not be disappointed. Review Coming Soon.
I smoked another Saint Luis Rey from 2005 this week, and this was when the cigars were unbanded, The cigars have not changed since they were banded, but after nine years of aging, the cigar has gotten ten times better. I am a big fan of the Saint Luis Rey line, and I believe they are a hidden gem for Habanos S.A. The cigar still delivers some great flavors with its youth, and it is showing some soft Asian spice notes, stone fruit qualities and some hay, tobacco and cedar as well. If you have not tried a Saint Luis Rey, I suggest you pick some up as soon you can. This is a great brand and I wish I could smoke them in more vitola offerings.
Re-released last year, and released in numbers that would prevent smokers from not getting their hands on a jar, the Black Label Corona Gorda 2013 was a solid release from the company and a nice Nicaraguan puro. It is one of my favorites blends from Tatuaje, and it is probably one of my favorite releases out of My Father Cigars. The company can do such great with just Nicaraguan tobacco, they just don’t do it that often. I still have a full mazo of these without the jar. Yes, I bought them before the jars were released when they were very limited, and they still show some great flavors of chocolate, orange peel, tobacco, leather and wood.