July 30, 2014

Cigar Review: Carlos Fernandez Behike (Extra Ligero)

Habanos S.A. has its pros and cons, but one aspect that it has, which is absolutely great, is that they send their best rollers around the world to La Casa del Habanos for events and so forth. They even do rollings in Cuba for tourists, and you are able to get cigars from these men and women right from the rolling table. Catfish knows more about this side of Habanos S.A. then I do, but one individual that is a well known roller, and use to roll at the Partagas Factory is Carlos Fernandez. Today I am going to be looking at some of his custom rolls, and these were rolled by the request of Catfish. Technically it is not a Habano, but it is composed of 100% Cuban tobacco, and is rolled by one of the best rollers for Habanos S.A. The cigar I am smoking is the Carlos Fernandez Behike, and per Catfish's request, it has extra ligero in the blend.

July 28, 2014

Cigar Review: El Gran Rey Belicoso by Curivari Cigars

With a company like Curivari, you don't need to say much to get the attention of a cigar smoker who has not heard of them. Saying the name more often than not will get a cigar smoker to say "who?" They are the true definition of boutique company and manage to keep a very low profile all of the time. They do very little, if any, advertisement of their products, and they are non existent when it comes to social media. They receive very little attention from social media at the IPCPR from the guys I know who go, but this might be the year where they actually have people flocking. Based out of Nicaragua, this is a company that has been around for many years, but it wasn't until they began releasing their sticks to the United States that they started grabbing the attention of media guys like myself. Last year was a big year for them, they made it into the Top 25 for Cigar Aficionado, and today I look at one of their other brands.

July 25, 2014

Cigar Review: Tatuaje Drac (Pudgy Monsters)

One of the coolest releases ever done in terms of packaging has to be Tatuaje The Drac. With the box shaped like a coffin and the bands placed at the foot of the cigar upside down, making the cigar look like a fang when reading the band, the packaging was great and Vampiresque. The cigar itself was fairly solid, and though not nearly as good as the first release to the Monster Series, The Frank, it was a successful release as they usually all are. To be honest though, there is very little that is as good as The Frank, and the Mummy is in second place in my opinion. I think of the cigar as the classiest of the releases, and that is because of the packaging behind the stick. Speaking of the cigar though, I am not a fan of tapered heads, they just don't speak to me, but with a release like this you really can't go any other way. I remember smoking a couple in 2009, enjoying them, and smoking a Lil' Dracs in 2012 and sharing a similar opinion. Today though, I look at the Pudgy Monsters offering of The Drac and see how it compares. 

July 23, 2014

Cigar Review: Montecristo Petit No. 2

Montecristo Petit No. 2

Montecristo is probably the most well known brand in the world. Everyone knows the name and the story behind it. Along with that, the Montecristo No. 2 is probably one of the most well known cigars in the world too. It is easily the most well known figurado/pyramid/torpedo, and everyone attempts to make the next torpedo that will beat this cigar. It received the Number 1 rating from Cigar Aficionado last year, deservedly so, and along with receiving such a high rating from last year, Habanos S.A. announced the release of a smaller version of the cigar, the Petit No. 2. I was curious to see how the cigar would be, given the fact that the No. 2 is an absolute classic, so today I check out this smoke and see how the shorter version compares. 

July 21, 2014

Cigar Review: Joya Red Toro (Joya de Nicaragua)

I had the pleasure of touring the Joya de Nicaragua facilities in April and upon entering and leaving the factory I met wonderful individuals and experienced a factory that was traditional and older, but also very comforting because of that. You could feel the history around you when there and you saw it in the building surfaces and on the people's faces as well. It is a factory that is surrounded by homes and it does not come off as a factory in an industrial area, but a factory that was building within a neighborhood. Picture Arsenal Stadium and Wrigley Field, and that is what this factory is like. While there we were given some samples to begin with and we were told that it was a cigar they were working on. Nothing else was said at the time about the cigar, but instead we smoked the unknown and shared our thoughts. It was a cigar that spoke to me upon lighting, and when I found out that it was the new project from the company, I was thrilled. That new project is called Joya Red, and it is the cigar the company is featuring at this year's trade show. It is a cigar that has the company returning to their roots you can say, but what is unique is that it is crafted from the new generation of Joya de Nicaragua, Juan Martinez. Today I look at the Joya Red and it is exciting to look at this cigar while it is being showcased at the IPCPR.