2013 V MaduroShape: Double Robusto
Size: 5 x 54
Strength: Medium – Full
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper Type: San Andres
Color: Maduro
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua / Nicaragua

Sharp cedar to start.  Hints of cocoa from the San Andres wrapper.

The cocoa fades shortly in to the first third, which is unfortunate since that is my favorite thing about previous V maduro releases.  More earth/leater/cedar with the 2013.  Still richer than a typical/standard V profile.

Second third, and the flavors are drying out a bit.  Mostly leather/earth, just a tiny bit of cedar.  No real sweetness.

Overall richness picks up in the final third but still just heavy leather/earth/cedar for the most part.  Maybe the slightest bit of cocoa but not much, and it’s WAY back in the background.

Straight burn, slightly firm draw, decent smoke output.

Rating: 3, especially compared to previous V Maduro releases.  It’s a little disappointing – not as sweet/chocolatey as past releases have been which is what I’ve always loved about them.  More earth/leather, here.  Still really good just doesn’t live up to previous versions.

Tat Black CGShape: Corona Gorda
Size: 5 5/8 x 46
Strength: Full
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper Type: Nicaraguan Sungrown Criollo
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua / Nicaragua
Grade: Hand Rolled / Long Filler
Blender: Pete Johnson

The Tatuaje Black corona gorda is similar to the petite lancero (as it should be, I suppose), with a ramped up level of flavor.  As with the PL, the Tatuaje Black CG is about as complex a cigar as you’ll find on the market, but a break down of each third is unnecessary as it’s a constantly changing blend of a handful of core flavors.

At various points I got a chewy caramel sweetness, rich nuttiness, pepper, leather, earth, and a citrus-y tang.

The blending of the flavors of this cigar is perfect – always keeping you on your toes and never becoming boring.  If there any changes, it’s in the increase in richness of the everything as the cigar burns along.

Easy draw, loads of thick smoke output, razor sharp burn.

Rating: 5.  This is a Top 5-10 cigar for me, easily.  The petite lancero was already there and this is much fuller profile overall.  It’s almost tough to put thoughts in to words with this stick simply because there’s so much going on and it’s all kinda going on at once.  Ironic that one my most favorite cigars is the one I have the most trouble describing.


MOWPAShape: Corona
Size: 5 x 42
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper Type: Nicaragua
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua
Blender: AJ Fernandez

This stick was from a March 2011 box.

Pepper to start, but much more subdued than it was when fresh.  Still, the flavors are fairly strong given the amount of downtime.  Light cocoa in the background.

Same flavors through the end of the first third and in to the second.  Pleasing blend of pepper, earth, and light cocoa.  Age has been kind to it – very nice blend of these flavors.

Flavors increase in intensity to the end.  Thick mouthfeel.  Pepper dies down toward the end of the final third.  General earthy sweetness finishes it out.

Straight burn, open draw, decent smoke output.

Rating:  3.  This is a solid cigar.  Nothing that’ll rock your world but it’s better than many others in the $3-$4 price range especially considering that it’s a Cigars International (and affiliates) exclusive cigar, which I tend to find lacking in the flavor (and overall quality) department.  Easily my favorite of the Man O’ War series.

Tatuaje Petit TatuajeShape: Small Panatela
Size: 4.25 x 32
Strength: Full
Country of Origin: USA
Wrapper Type: Ecuadorian Habano
Color: Colorado Maduro
Binder / Filler: Nicaraguan / Nicaraguan
Grade: Hand Rolled / Long Filler
Blender: Pete Johnson

Just some quick thoughts on a short cigar, no sense in breaking it down in thirds since there are no real changes as it burns along.

General sweet tobacco flavors throughout.  Pepper on the retrohale gives it a little kick. Hints of chocolate and cocoa linger after each puff.

Easy burn, decent smoke output, relatively open draw for such a small cigar.

Rating:  As far small cigars are concerned, this is a 4 or 5 on my scale.  It’s not something you’d smoke while kicking back with a whiskey or beer because it simply doesn’t last long enough to get in to ‘relax mode’, but it packs a heck of a lot of flavor in to a very small package if time is short.

The Collective Cigar FederationShape: Box-pressed Prensado
Size: 6 1/4 x 52
Strength: Fulll
Country of Origin: USA
Wrapper Type: Mexican San Andrés Café Claro
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo and Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler: Nicaraguan

Heavy pepper to start, bitter coffee.

Pepper and coffee lasted through the firs third.

Beginning of the second third and the cigar takes on a sweeter profile, pepper is giving it almost a carbonated mouthfeel, with rich cocoa in the background.  Reminds me of a chocolate stout beer.

Pepper has died down quite a bit at the halfway point.  Rich cocoa flavors.  Incredibly heavy mouthfeel.  Fairly strong bodied, too.

Earthy flavors in the final third.  Return of bitter cocoa.

Good smoke output, but it needed a few relights and as many touch ups.

Rating: 4.  Really tasty cigar. It was a tad strong which, along with the construction issues, leads me to believe that this was a fairly fresh cigar.  Some downtime would likely benefit these.

Oliva Serie V – Nub 460

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Oliva V NubSize: 4 x 60
Strength: Medium – Full
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper Type: Nicaragua Sungrown Habano
Color: Colorado Maduro
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua / Nicaragua

Cedar and cocoa to start.  Rich, heavy flavors but not sweet.  Cedar dominated the early puffs.

Pepper emerged as the first third burns along.  Fairly strong compliment to the cedar, and it pushed any hints of cocoa to the background.  Nothing outside of the normal, expected V profile.

Smoothed out a bit by the end of the first third.  Cedar remains the dominant flavor.

Got a bit creamier in the second third.  Cocoa fighting through the cigar, giving it cinnamon sugar flavor.

The cigar required a couple re-lights at the halfway point, resulting in just a little bitterness.  It quickly subsided, with cedar and now a slight nuttiness returning.

Final third, back to cedar/pepper with background cocoa flavors.

Straight burn, easy draw, and good construction overall aside from the re-lights at the halfway point.

Rating: 4.  The V Nub is a solid addition to the line up, should it become part of their regular production (or at least as limited as the #4).  Not as balanced as the aforementioned #4, which is still my favorite, but I’d rate this higher than the belicoso which has has been my second favorite vitola of the line until now.

Ezra Zion TantrumShape: Petit Corona
Size: 4.44 x 44
Strength: Medium-Full
Country of Origin: USA
Wrapper Type: Nicaraguan Criollo
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua / Nicaragua

Started off with pepper and sweet cedar.  Berry tartness, too.  Lots going on with the first few puffs.

A more prominent sweetness emerges towards the end of the first third.  Creamy, straight tobacco.

The creamy tobacco is the main flavor through the halfway point, and pepper returns as a background flavor.

The final third sees a return of the initial tartness.  It’s almost what I’d call “bitter”, but it’s not quite at that level.

Straight burn, lots of smoke output, slightly looser draw than I prefer.  Required one relight around the halfway point and another near the end.

Rating:  3.5.  Mixed feelings with this one.  Really unique flavor profile but the tartness was oh-so-close to being bitter.  I’d like to get a few more of these to bury for a while to see if things mellow out a bit.

Davidoff CigarilloShape: Cigarillo
Size: 3.5 x 23
Strength: Mild
Country of Origin: Denmark
Wrapper Type: Sumatra
Color: Colorado
Binder / Filler: Dominican Republic / Dominican Republic

Started a tad harsh/hot, but I expected that to an extent with such a small ring gauge.  Nothing that hurt or really detracted all that much from the experience.

Cedar and creamy, sweet vanilla flavors were present throughout the duration of the cigar.  Nothing particularly strong, but it added depth to stick.

And 10 minutes after lighting, I was done.  No flavor changes to speak of since there just wasn’t any time for things to really develop.  Not that I was expecting any incredibly level of complexity to begin with.

Straight burn, easy draw, nice smoke output.  Ash was about as flaky as a cigarette.

Rating:  3.  There was more to this cigar than I’d expected, but it wasn’t so good that I’d want to smoke them every day.  For a cigar experience on a cigarette smoke break, sure, these get the job done as well as you’ll be able to find.  Personally, I’d prefer to set aside another 20 minutes or so for something a little larger.  $6-$8 for a ‘box’ of 10 is reasonable.

Ortega Serie D 9Shape: Lancero
Size: 6 1/2 x 38
Strength: Full
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper Type: Mexican San Andres
Color: Maduro
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua / Nicaragua
Blender: Eddie Ortega

Starts with spice (but not pepper) and sweet cocoa.

First third sees a building of the spice and cocoa sweetness.

No changes in the flavors during the final third, but they grow more intense with each puff.  Incredibly rich.  If there were such a thing as chocolate honey, this is what I imagine it’d taste like.

The spice kicks up a bit in the final third, still sweet underneath that.

Somewhat tight draw in the first half, often requiring a double or triple puff to get any sort of smoke output.  Perhaps extended downtime will take care of this. as this particular cigar was just a few days OTT.  Draw opened up after the halfway point.  Straight burn, decent smoke output.

Rating: 4.  The only thing holding it back from my highest mark was the draw for the first half of the cigar.  As far as the flavor was concerned, it was my favorite from any vitola in the Serie D Maduro line.  Great stick.

LGC Retro EspecialeShape: Grand Corona
Size: 5 3/4 x 47
Strength: Medium – Full
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper Type: Honduran Connecticut Seed
Color: Colorado Claro
Binder / Filler: Nicaragua, Mexico / Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Cigar started with biting cedar and just a hint of pepper.

Both flavors ease up by the end of the first third and are joined by a sweet nuttiness, but nothing overpowering.  Perhaps creamy is a better descriptor.

And, well, that’s about it for the rest of the cigar.  Fairly one dimensional but it’s a good dimension, so no complaints from me.

Easy enough draw, decent smoke output, straight burn with just one touch up near the end.

Rating: 3.  These are relatively cheap and are a nice enough cigar when you’re not really sure what you want, or perhaps you’ll be distracted by something else and don’t want to have to pay attention to flavor changes and/or maintenance.