March 28, 2015

Cigar News: Espinosa Especial Unveiled by Espinosa Cigars

On Thursday, March 26th, 2015, Espinosa Cigars announced their newest cigar as a company, the Espinosa Especial. The cigar, quoting Erik Espinosa, "is a new line, a new blend, a new cigar, but it's everything you have come to expect from Espinosa Cigars and La Zona. The cigar is going to be released to the market in April of this year, and the cigar will come in ten count boxes. Pricing was not announced in the press release, but given  the cigar comes in ten count boxes, box purchases will not be out of the question to any smoker.

The cigar will be offered in three vitolas: No. 1 (6 1/2" with a 48 ring gauge), No. 4 (5" with a 52 ring gauge), and the No. 5 (6" with a 54 ring gauge.) The cigar comes with a Mexican Capa Negra wrapper, and it has a binder and filler blend that are made up of Nicaraguan tobacco from the four major regions- Esteli, Jalapa, Condega, and Ometepe. The cigar is not aimed to be like the Espinosa Maduro, but is a new concept that has its own distinct personality. Espinosa has really led the way with Mexican wrappers, and that goes back to 2009 with the release of the Murcielago. The tobacco has and was used before Murcielago, but Espinosa was one of the first to use the tobacco with pride, acknowledging its strengths.  

March 27, 2015

Cigar Review: Davidoff Maduro T (Toro)

Davidoff is known for many things, and while what they are known for varies depending on the individual, I guarantee that no one says they are known for the Davidoff Maduro. There are few smokers I know who have truly treasured the Maduro offering from the company, and this is a blend that has been on the market for seven years now. I know many Davidoff smokers who have smoked through almost the entire portfolio, but when I ask about Davidoff Maduro, they tell me they have never had it. I don't get it, and I have stopped trying to understand it, but to this day I continue to rave about this line. After the Millennium Blend, it is my favorite line from the company, and it is very different than anything else Davidoff has done. What makes the release even more interesting is that the wrapper used is Nicaraguan, and the company went in a totally different direction than they have with past releases. Enough of the introductions though, let's look at the Davidoff Maduro T.

March 26, 2015

Habanos Critic Review: Cohiba Siglo V (2005)

In 1992, Habanos S.A. celebrated 500 years since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in Cuba, and with that celebration, they released the Linea 1492 Series. The Habanos would not actually be released to the market until 1994, but for those 500 years, they had five releases in place. They ranged from Siglo 1 to Siglo V, and they were releases the increased in length as they increased in numbers. They added a sixth, and the most well known of the Siglos in 2002, the Siglo VI, and what makes it odd was that they broke away from the tradition of having a release for every hundred years. The next release due would technically be in 2092, and if that happened I would be thoroughly impressed. We'd all be dead by then, but you never know. Anyways, we have covered the Siglo IV and Siglo VI, and today I cover a Siglo V. What makes this review great though is that it is not a recently released Siglo, bearing the new band, but rather a 10 year smoke from 2005.


Habanos Critic Review: Montecristo Churchills Añejados

In December of last year, Habanos S.A. announced a new vision and concept, especially for Habanos S.A., and it was called Añejados. It can be translated as Aged Habanos, and the idea behind is that Habanos S.A. would be releasing aged Habanos, something they don't do. These Habanos are between five and eight years old, and they have aging in Habana all that time. The releases would be limited to two Global Brands, and those brands would be Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta. The vitolas would be existing vitolas, and what makes these releases even more interesting is that the vitolas used in each brand are popular vitolas for the opposing brand. The Montecristo brand would have an aged Julieta No. 2, and the Romeo y Julieta brand would be receiving a Pirámides. Brother Catfish recently reviewed the Romeo offering, but today I look at the Montecristo Churchills Añejados.


March 25, 2015

Habanos Critic Review: Partagás Selección Privada Edición Limitada (2014)

Today we finish up our assessments of the 2014 limitadas, and see how they all line up. So far, they have been in line with past releases, some good and some disappointing, and that happens. I have always struggled with limitadas and regionals, great concepts but sometimes poor delivery, but in the defense of Habanos S.A., the same thing happens with limitadas in the United States. At least Habanos S.A. makes them limitadas and they don't keep them around afterwards. To finish up the 2014 limitadas, we look at the Partagás Selección Privada, and this release is the one that I was interested in smoking, but not super excited for or worried about. You could say it was my second favorite brand of the three releases last year, and it is also the second favorite vitola of the vitolas released last year. To be honest, I was most excited about the Bolívar, but in the end I was disappointed. (Thus proof of my theory on the limitada and regional releases.) The Cohiba was very good, I think it will be great, but let's focus on the Partagás.


Cigar Review: Buenaventura BV500

Curivari is one of those low-key brands in Nicaragua that is truly boutique. The people who know of them really dig their cigars, but those who don't have no idea. I would not say they are difficult to get, I have never had any troubles in finding them, but they are sometimes difficult in finding them in stock, as the supply they offer is not that great. With that being said, in 2013, Curivari ended up on the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 list with one of their lines, Buenaventura, and with that placement a lot of big things happened to the company. Before then, most cigar smokers did not know who they were, but after the rating, they were definitely interested. Today I look at the Buenaventura, and see how it smokes. Does it live up to the #7 rating of 2013? We shall see.

March 24, 2015

Cigar News: Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas Gets New Packaging

Drew Estate announced today that Papas Fritas, the successful short filler release will be packaged in a whole new way, and with the new packaging comes a better price. Originally released in tins of four, or 28 count sleeves/boxes, the new Papas Fritas will now be packaged in 50 count boxes, and sold in singles. The new price per cigar will drop from $6.40 to $5.25, and the boxes will sell around $262.50 before tax. The cigars will ship first to the Drew Diplomat Retailer Program accounts, and then will head to other accounts following that release.

Michael Cellucci, Drew Estate President, is quoted in saying that “Papas Fritas has been a good choice for any Liga Privada fan looking for a short smoke. We needed something for fans of Papas Fritas who already had plenty of tins and wanted a better value, so now we’re offering the cigar with no tin. The tins will now become a collector’s item and the Papas Fritas will be a little more budget friendly. It’s a win-win.” 

The cigar itself will remain the same, and it will feature a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, a Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and a Nicaraguan and Honduran filler blend. The cigar is a short filler smoke, or tripa corta, and as I have said before, is probably one of the most talked about short filler smoke on the market. I reviewed the cigar back in 2013, and have loved them ever since my first smoke.

Review Here.