Epic Maduro Reserva – Double Corona

This Epic was a gift from the North East sales representative, Victor Lucatorto and I owe him a million thanks for introducing me to this Dominican dame that deserves every one of the accolades that has been bestowed upon it. The company is a fairly new boutique brand that is quickly making quite a name for itself, and the passion behind these cigars could not be more evident with its flawless construction, striking appearance and savory flavor profile. This Latina is produced at the Charles Fairmorn factory on the Dominican…

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Pain Killer by GTO Cigars – Robusto

A well-balanced full-bodied, full-strength cigar that is satisfying and savory. From GTO Cigars website: “GTO Cigars is a small batch, boutique manufacturer who meticulously scrutinizes each cigar leaving our factory at Tabacalera GTO Dominicana. We control every step of the cigar manufacturing process from the plating of the ‘Piloto Cubano’ seeds in the fertile soil of the Valle del Cibao to selecting, growing and then cultivating the tobacco plants to the fermentation and aging of the tobacco leaves. Our rollers are some of the most experienced in the Dominican Republic.…

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Jordan Alexander III Legend Corojo – Toro

An incredibly well-balanced cigar with an elegant appearance and savory flavor profile that will satisfy even the most discerning cigar smoker. From the website of Jordan Alexander III “The story of Jordan Alexander III Premium Cigar Company begins with family and friendship. We found a deep passion in the stories and lifestyle that a simple smoke brought to us. Spending years learning about the blends, the methods, and the simple pleasures of the industry, we began a venture to build a legend. Officially being launched to the public in 2013, the Jordan…

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Tantrum by Ezra Zion Cigar Company – Prensado Pequeno

A deeply complex ‘little baby powerhouse’ loaded with an abundance of delicious flavors. The Tantrum by Ezra Zion Cigar Company was the company’s third release and is available as a Limited Edition. The Tantrum is made in one vitola presented in boxes of 28 with only 1500 boxes produced annually. From Chris Kelly, co-owner of Ezra Zion Cigar Company “Every blend name for Ezra Zion has a story behind it. When the three of us were brainstorming ideas about doing a small cigar with big bold flavor, Kyle likened the…

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Daniel Marshall Red Label – Churchill

A well-aged flavor bomb with an earthy core that is an excellent cigar for the most discerning smoker. Daniel Marshall is world renowned for making high-end humidors that grace the homes of movie stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino and Brad Pitt. His reputation for quality is so high that his humidors have been featured in movies and have been given away as gifts from U.S. presidents. Now, after teaming up with Industry legend Manuel Quesada, Marshall has created his own line of cigars, DM Red Label –…

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Epicurean – AG Azul – Justus

A great, wholesome cigar worth smoking over and over again! From Epicurean’s website: “Epicurean Cigars was created under the careful eye of Steven Ysidron with its focus on handcrafted small batch salon cigars.  Steven started making cigars in the late 1980’s with his father and the Fuente family in the Dominican Republic.  His passion for the long forgotten art of making hand-rolled cigars stems from four generations of his Cuban cigar making heritage that has been reborn in the Epicurean brand.” I was introduced the AG Azul about seven months…

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La Flor Dominicana Cameroon Cabinet – Chisel

One of the industry’s most sought after sticks that is a far cry from your ordinary Cameroon wrapped cigar From LFD Website: “Our Cameroon Cabinets are very limited because we only use dark and oily aged Ligero Cameroon wrappers. We blended these cigars with Dominican and Nicaraguan filler and binder.” The LFD Cameroon Cabinet Chisel is one of the industry’s most sought after cigars because it was once an extremely rare stick. Back in December of 2011 when it was released there were only 500,000 sticks available. Today, because of…

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Emilio Series H Maduro – Toro

An outstanding all around smoke that is a perfect model for a traditional cigar I expect when looking for some relaxing quiet time. The Series H was Gary Griffith’s debut cigar after creating his own company, Emilio Cigars after years in the construction industry. He blended this inaugural release during his first trip to Central America prior to meeting his dear friend A.J. Fernandez, who was instrumental in a few of Griffith’s more recent blends. I was introduced to Emilio Series H about six months ago when her father, Gary…

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Emilio Cigars Draig Cayuquero – Robusto

A well-constructed cigar with an incredible flavor profile blended for the discerning cigar smoker. The Draig Cayuquero is the second release in Emilio’s Draig line. The Draig, which means dragon in Welsh, is a limited production, small-batch line of cigars by Emilio Cigars using a different factory and a different blend each year. The Draig uses unique tobaccos that are rarely found in most of today’s cigars. It is yet another line that successfully demonstrates Gary Griffith’s mastery. From Gary Griffith’s Facebook page: “There is a small town in the…

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Royal Gold Cigars, Kismet – Luck (6×50)

A boring cigar that lacked complexity and excitement that I wouldn’t go out of my way to find From Royal Gold Cigars website: “Produced by the Augusto Reyes Family at Corporacion Cigar Export in Santiago, DR – Kismet is a true labor of love.  It is a Dominican PURO (all Dominican tobacco) using six different tobaccos grown by the Reyes family at various locations in the Dominican Republic. The blend takes full advantage of the varied climates and rich soils of this beautiful country. Kismet is an Urdu word meaning…

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Ezra Zion Eminence – Churchill

– A must try cigar that is well balanced and flavorful with flawless construction and an impeccable draw I have smoked and reviewed the Jamais Vu and FHK prior to the Eminence and I was highly impressed with their flavor profiles and construction; however, now that I have experienced the Eminence, I must say this is my favorite Ezra Zion cigar to date. Each release seems to top the previous blend while the company continues to make great strides in the industry. Eminence left a lasting impression on me the…

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Las Cumbres Tabaco – Señorial – Paco Rubusto

“It’s an amazing cigar. It is the strongest, fullest body that I have blended. If it is not my best blend ever, it is in my very top two.” –          Jose Blanco   The story behind the Señorial is that of true passion. The final product took more than 30 test blends and seven months of relentless determination for Jose Blanco to deliver his highly anticipated release, Señorial. It is rolled using well-aged, (4 years) top-quality premium fillers from his cousin, Jochi Blanco’s farm Tabacalera Palma in Tamboril, Santiago on…

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Epicurean Gonzo Santeria – Heina 6 x 52

One of the most flavorful, well-balanced cigars that I have had in quite some time. The Gonzo Santeria is the fourth release by Steven Ysidron’s Epicurean Cigars. Epicurean is infamous for its small batch, Nicaraguan blends using top-quality, aged tobaccos.  In 1999 Ysidron and his family started producing cigars out of Nicaragua, but his roots originated in Dominican Republic where he and his father made cigars with the Fuente family since the late 1980s. I have had my eye on this Nicaraguan flame ever since Gary Griffith of House of…

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Sindicato by Sindicato Cigars – Corona Gorda

A deep, complex smoke loaded with delicious flavors. The Sindicato by Sindicato Cigars is the company’s newest release and is considered to be the company’s flagship offering. It is the fourth release in the company’s brief two-year tenure. Sindicato is a unique company in that it is comprised of many ‘investors’ (retailers across the country) led by a Board of Directors, CEO and President. The Sindicato is a Nicaraguan puro blended by the infamous Arsenio Ramos at the Casa Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua with tobaccos from the Fernandez farms.…

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Bodega Reunion Digestivo – Double Robusto ( 5 x 54)

A complex cigar with unique flavors and the savory characteristics of an ‘after dinner’ treat. Bodega Premium Blends is a new brand in the industry distributed by Gary Griffith and the House of Emilio team.  The company is run by Gino Domanico (@Cigar_G) but founded by four friends from Canada in 2013. According to the company’s website: “The line was inspired by the culinary arts. Spanish for digestif, Digestivo usually refers to ‘a cocktail or other alcoholic beverage that is specifically served after a meal’. Spirits such as port, brandy,…

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Dominican Big Leaguer – Big Papi (6 x 54)

If you are not familiar with the Dominican Big Leaguer (DBL) brand of premium handmade Dominican cigars, then you don’t know what you are missing. They are complex, flavorful, full-bodied smokes that will rock your palate, for sure. Up until recently I didn’t know much about the company or the cigars until I was invited to attend a DBL event at Mane Street Cigars in Woodbridge, NJ on Friday, May 16. The story behind the brand and the founder is quite fascinating. DBL was founded by Master Blender Francisco Almonte…

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1502 Black Gold Lancero

A strong, full-bodied cigar that is rich in character and bold in flavor – Proudly Nicaraguan. From the Global Premium Cigars website “If you like strong cigars, you’ll definitely love this one. This particular cigar is made to satisfy the discerning smoker who enjoys bold and strong flavors. It has a double binder and long filler from Nicaragua. With its natural Maduro sun-grown tobacco wrapper, nurtured with all the natural elements where it gets its favor, especially its strength and character.” Enrique Sanchez I., founder and CEO of Global Premium…

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Ezra Zion – Honor Series FHK – Inspired (5 ½ x 50)

A complex flavor bomb that lives up to Ezra Zion standards of quality and excellence. The Honor Series FHK was released at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, 2014 as the year’s first cigar release. From House of Emilio website: “The name FHK stands for ‘Fathers of Hoover and Kelly’. Being history buffs we’ve researched our family heritage and were amazed at what we found: war heroes, ministers, statesman, and hardworking entrepreneurs. Chris had the idea to do a tribute to our forefathers who’ve made us who we…

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1502 Ruby Lancero

The 1502 Ruby is one of three cigar offerings by Global Premium Cigars (GPC), which was founded by Enrique Sanchez Icaza. The company is based in Nicaragua and focuses primarily on Nicaraguan blends. The 1502 is the company’s premium line and gets its name from the year that Christopher Columbus discovered Nicaragua. The Lancero is the newest vitola offered in each of the company’s three core lines, the Black, Emerald and Ruby. From the GPC website: “It is the blend created for the discerning smoker’s delight, one that recognizes a…

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Nomad S-307 – Torpedo

An extremely smooth and flavorful smoke that appeals to novice and experienced smokers alike. The Nomad S-307 was the company’s second core line and also the second Nicaraguan blend behind the limited release LE Lot 1386 that was a near sellout upon its inception at the 2013 IPCPR. I was introduced to the Nomad S-307 by her good friend Gary Griffith of House of Emelio several months back. I finally decided to take her out for a couple of late afternoon cocktails on this beautiful afternoon here in NJ. When…

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Nomad Connecticut Fuerte – Robusto

A nice mild-medium smoke with a little kick that could be enjoyed any time of day The Connecticut Fuerte is the third core line released by Nomad Cigar Company since the company’s inception in 2012 by founder, Fred Rewey. The CT Fuerte is hand rolled in the Dominican Republic at the Tabacalera L & V where his self-title blend, Nomad is also made. From Nomad’s website: “For nearly two years now I have sought to release a blend with a Connecticut wrapper. Heck, that seemed easy enough. The blending of…

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Toraño Vault D-042 Robusto

A nice, well-balanced cigar that delivers a quality smoking experience packed with plenty of Vitamin ‘N’ Like most cigars, there is a colorful story behind the “Blends from the Vault” series in the Toraño family lineup. Company president Charlie Toraño’s father, Carlos kept a diary of ‘secret’ blends that dates back to 1982, which the company secures in a locked ‘Vault’. This D-042 is a follow up to the highly acclaimed A-008 and was one of two new cigars launched by Toraño Family Cigars at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show.…

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Rodrigo Cigars – La Fortaleza – Elegante (6 ¾ x 48)

“It’s gorgeous. The black and silver band, the natural dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper – It all plays well to the senses and when you see the cigar you can’t help but reach for it.”        – George Rodriguez, founder of Rodrigo Cigars I have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with Rodrigo Cigars. I have tried each of the three blends and can honestly say they are all outstanding. Each blend brings unique characteristics that make me say, “WoW”. Today’s review is of the La Fortaleza Elegante – the stronger,…

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La Musa Μελέτη (Melete) – Toro

An exquisite cigar with a deep, rich and complex flavor profile that can be enjoyed any time of the day and worshiped by experienced cigar smokers. Named in honor of a dear friend of Gary Griffith, the La Musa (the Muse) line by Emilio Cigars features four distinct blends derived from Greek Mythology. La Mousa, being the original is followed by three other blends named after the original Plutarchian muses: Melete, Aoide, Mneme. The Melete (Μελέτη) is the first of the three muses released by Emilio Cigars and according to…

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