April 17, 2015

Cigar Review: AVO Limited Edition Improvisation Series – Classic Covers 2015

In March of this year, AVO announced that they would not be releasing its annual birthday cigar for Avo, but they did announce that there would be a limited edition release. This announcement followed up the beginning of the year face lift for the company, and the resurrection of the brand, similar to what did and is happening with Camacho. The new limited releases would be called the Improvisation Series, and like the brand it would be themed around music. The first release would be titled Classic Covers, and as the AVO brand manager Scott Kolesaire stated, it is a "cover" of the AVO Classic. They wanted to offer a modern take of a classic release, and so they used the base blend with some tweaks here and there. I love the concept, and the relationship to music with that, so with that being said, let's take a look at the new AVO limited, the AVO Limited Edition Improvisation Series – Classic Covers 2015.

April 15, 2015

Cigar News: Casa Fernandez Announces Newest JFR, "JFR Lunatic El Chiquito"

Last Thursday, Casa Fernandez announced their newest release in the JFR Lunatic line, and is being called JFR Lunatic El Chiquito. The petit gordo measures 4 3/4" with a 70 ring gauge, and while this is far from being a "small cigar," it is quite smaller than the JFR Lunatic.

El Chiquito will feature a San Andres Maduro wrapper and will cover a Nicaraguan filler and binder blend. The cigar will come in boxes of 28, and individual prices will be around $6.98 and box prices around $195.44. The cigar itself will feature more ligero tobacco than is present in the JFR Lunatic, and will be finished with a pigtail cap. Casa Fernandez made it a point to stat that the cigar is the largest ring gauge smoke under 5", and I will hold back my personal comments and thoughts.

Cigar News: Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars by Drew Estate Begins Shipping ... New Blend as Well

Drew Estate Cigars announced this afternoon that their Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars will begin shipping to Pappy & Co. headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigar is a long-filler, premium cigar made totally by hand in very small batches at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua. The cigar features Kentucky seed, Kentucky grown tobacco that was fire cured and then barrel fermented. The blend includes barrel fermented "tapa negra" style wrapper over a Mexican San Andres base wrapper. The blend is also composed of Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler blend.

The cigar will be released in two size, a 5.25" by 52 ring gauge robusto and a 6" by 54 ring gauge toro. The cigars will come in ten count boxes, and pricing is set at $130.00 and $150.00 respectively. Both Jonathan Drew and Drew Estate President Mike Cellucci expressed excitement over the release of the cigar.

If interested in the process of the making of Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Drew Estate has assembled a series of videos featuring Jonathan Drew throughout the entire process, explaining all the steps. You can watch the videos here: http://pappyvanwinklecigars.com. Since its original announcement in November of 2014, the cigar has received a change in the blend, showing the continuous work that the company has put into the cigar.

Cigar Review: Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch

In late 2014, Altadis announced that there would be a new release for the Montecristo brand and it would be a release that was a result of the Grupo de Maestros. This team, a group of managers for the companies Dominican operations at Tabacalera de Garcia, have been behind the Dominican releases for the company, and have had some great success with the blends that have made it to market. What makes this new Montecristo special though is that the Montecristo will focus on the group themselves, and is being marketed as their personal blend. Combined, these individuals have over 160 years experience in the factory, and the shortest period of time for an individual in group is 15 years, which is still quite impressive. The group is led by Javier Elmudesi, who runs Tabacalera de Garcia, and other members include - Victor Avila, Carlos Travieso, Nestor Rodriguez, Candido Rosario, and Pedro Ventura. I have been a fan of their releases overall to date, so let's see how the Montecristo Grupo de Maestros Private Batch smokes.

Cigar News: Don Reynaldo by Warped Cigars Making Return at 2015 IPCPR

On Tuesday, April 14th, 2015, Warped Cigars announced that the limited 2014 release Don Reynaldo would be making a return at this year's IPCPR trade show. No other information was released in the press release, but with little information comes much excitement. The original Don Reynaldo was titled Coronas De Luxe, and it was a 5 1/2" by 42 ring gauge corona. The cigar was made at El Titan de Bronze in Miami, Florida, and was composed of a Dominican Corojo wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. Production was capped at 100 boxes of ten cigars, and was limited to 11 retailers. 

April 13, 2015

Cigar Review: Room 101 Master Collection Three Mutante

In 2013, Matt Booth and Room 101 Cigars announced their newest release, and it would be a release called Master Collection One. With the name, there was no denying that there would be a follow up release, and sure enough in 2014 we got Master Collection Two. The series would feature the same five vitolas every year, but each year the packaging would get a change and more importantly, the cigars would be a new blend. At the beginning of this year, Room 101 announced that we would be seeing the Mater Collection Three, and that this would be the final installment in the series. Like year's past, it would feature a whole new blend and the packaging would be different as well. I have always been a fan of the series, finding them to be the best releases from Room 101, and today I look at the final release and see how it smokes. Booth loves his Mutante vitola, as do I, so let's take a look at the Master Collection Three Mutante.

April 10, 2015

Cigar Review: Room 101 Ichiban Roxxo

On March 12th, 2015, Room 101 Cigars announced that they would be releasing their second release in the Ichiban Series , and that the cigar would be a Roxxo vitola going to Scott Faison's Cigar Realm in Ashland, Virginia.The Ichiban Series was first announced at the beginning of the year, and it would be a series of eight releases with the releases going to eight different retailers and being offered in different vitolas each time. The Ichiban Roxxo is the second release thus far, and Booth picked Cigar Realm as one of the retailers due to the relationship he has had with the store and how successful the brand has done there. Cigar Realm has two locations in the Richmond, VA area, and it is seen as the "preeminent retail cigar establishment and lounge," in central Virginia. Cigar Realm is an appointed Davidoff merchant, a member of IPCPR, and a member of Cigar Rights of America. With those introductions, let's take a look at the Room 101 Ichiban Roxxo, the exclusive for Cigar Realm.