To all those who thought it was not possible, it is. I went a whole week without smoking a cigar by Tatuaje. This week I smoked some terrific cigars that are limited, boutique, new and even some older classics. It was a week that proved that there are so many good cigars on the market these days, you can easily forget about some. Factories in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua are producing amazing cigars, and every manufacturer has access to some incredible tobacco. There are a lot of smokers that get caught up smoking cigars from one manufacturer or even one brand, and it is a shame because of what we have to choose from on the market today. We are smoking during the Golden Age of the cigar industry, and because of that now is the opportunity to reach out for something new when walking into a humidor.
|Herrera Esteli Robusto|
I can not get enough of this cigar, and I think everyone who has smoked it can say the same. It is a cigar that has really completes Drew Estate, and has taken them down a road they have never gone. They have never been a company that touched the traditional side when it comes to cigars, even with their Liga Privada brand, but this cigar has taken them down that road. Using incredible tobacco and amazing rollers, they have created a terrific smoke that is getting a great amount of attention among cigar smokers today. This attention is well deserved. Very complex while remaining at a medium level in strength and medium full level in body, the cigar gives the smoker a wonderful experience from beginning to end. Willy Herrera really did an amazing job with this blend and I look forward to future projects.
|La Aurora 100 Anos Preferidos|
When it comes to La Aurora, the first cigar that comes to mind is the 100 Anos. One of the best Dominican puros I have smoked, the line was spectacular. Of course the company received a large amount of requests to re-release the line after the cigars were all gone, and since the initial release they have brought it back on several occasions. When they released the line in the famed La Aurora size, the Preferidos, I was eager to smoke it. The cigar shows all the great flavors of the La Aurora 100 Anos, but offers those flavors in the wonderful figurado vitola that gives you the nice fluctuation of flavors from the wrapper and filler being dominant. If you have not smoked this cigar, there are still some retailers that have them in stock, and you should not hesitate in picking some of these up.
|CAO Lx2 Robusto|
I have not smoked a CAO in sometime, and the last one I smoked was the Italia. To be honest with you, the Italia is my favorite CAO release, and is a smoke of theirs that I smoked 99% of the time when reaching for a CAO. Following that though is the Lx2. The cigar was a release by CAO that was meant to capture the cigar smokers looking for more strength and body in their cigars, hence the name ligero times two. The cigar features tobacco from the great Pueblo Nuevo region north of Esteli, and is a cigar that is rich and full of filling flavors. The cigars and the company have definitely changed since General brought them fully under their wings, and there is something about it that takes away the old and great CAO vibe. Fortunately that old vibe has been rejuvenated with Crowned Heads.
|Intemperance BAXXI The Intrigue|
RoMa Craft Tobac is a company that is definitely gaining ground in terms of popularity and being well known among cigar smokers in this great nation. The company is still a true boutique, but it is on the rise. The company owns their own factory, and is growing in size fairly quickly. Focused on using high quality tobacco, no matter the origin, the company has blends that feature tobacco from Central America, South America, Africa and Asia. The CroMagnon Aquitaine is by far my favorite brand in their portfolio, but that is followed by the Intemperance BAXXI. In the brand, The Intrigue is my favorite vitola, and this petito is packed with tons of flavors and a solid medium strength level. Constructed wonderfully, this is a cigar that never disappoints in any fields.
|Lou Rodriguez Connecticut Lancero|
Nutty, sweet, cedary and creamy, this lancero is truly wonderful. It is hands down the best Connecticut Lancero on the market, and is a cigar that is mild to medium in terms of strength while rocking a medium body flavor profile. This is a cigar that many can smoke and enjoy, but is a great cigar at introducing the wonderful lancero size to a new smoker. The cigar burns cool from beginning to end and never disappoints in the flavor department or construction. I am a big fan of Lou Rodriguez, and there are many reasons for that. There is something special about establishing a relationship with a boutique manufacturer early on in their career, and the fact that he lives in the same state as me is pretty cool as well. He is a passionate manufacturer, and he is wanting to keep a lot of the old school vibes with his cigars which I respect.
|Viaje White Label Project Super Shot|
When production began on the White Label Project 12 Gauge, the first 300 bundles were rolled incorrectly. What did Viaje do with these 300 bundles that has cigars that were .25″ too long? They decided to lay them down and release them in the spring with the Zombie Super Shot, Exclusivo Super Lance and the Zombie. The cigar is identical really to the WLP 12 Gauge Criollo, except it is a little bit longer. I am a big fan of the 10 Gauge, 12 Gauge and Super Shot releases, and it was cool to get a couple of these to smoke. While the cigar is not mind blowing, for the smokers out there who are big Viaje fans, it is almost a collectors item you could say.
|Headley Grange Hermoso No. 4|
A terrific sophomore release by Crowned Heads, I feel this blend takes the company to a whole new level. The cigar is constructed wonderfully from beginning to end, and is packed with amazing flavors that are complex and one of a kind. The company is still fairly “low key,” but they are definitely well known in the passionate cigar smoking community. Besides producing some terrific blends, the companies best decision was pairing up with E.P. Carrillo. They have access to some terrific tobacco, and are having their cigars made in the best way possible as well. This is a cigar that is meant for spring and summer, so smoke these babies up!
|E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2013 Robusto|
By far the best Short Run that has been released by E.P. Carrillo, the cigar is a classic example of a medium strength level cigar that is packed with flavors. Medium full in body, this cigar takes you on a journey of complexity and enjoyment. The construction on these cigars are top notch, and like all the blends by E.P. Carrillo, very unique. Carrillo does an excellent job of having certain blends be unique and not overlap, and this is another example of that. One of the best cigars on the market that utilizes Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, this is a cigar I will stock my humidor with for as long as possible. In my opinion, you can not go wrong with any cigar that is made by E.P. Carrillo.