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Old 08-16-2007, 10:32 AM   #21
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good to see your reviews up and running again.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:38 AM   #22
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August 27, 2007

Cusano 18 Maduro Robusto 5 X 50

This paired maduro uses Dominican Oro tobacco in the filler. The wrapper is composed of two tobaccos. The first is a Connecticut broadleaf and the second is a Brazilian Mata Fina. The latter of which is placed inside the filler.

Pre light
I used a Xikar on this cigar which yielded a generous draw.. The pre light draw was excellent with core earth and leather flavors. The cigar it self has good construction with an oily, brown wrapper

1 third
I decided to not pair this cigar with a beverage. I have not smoked it before, but I have had the double Connecticut which I found to be very mild and lacking in rich, tobacco flavors. Iím hoping the addition of maduro will add strength and character to this cigar. The cigar begins with a smooth combination of leather and spice. It offers just the right amount of smoke. The cigar settles into a consistent, medium body.

2 Third

The burn is slightly uneven but seems to correct itself. There is an addition of a light cocoa flavor that further adds to the smooth, creamy nature of this cigar.

Last third

The foot required a touchup with my lighter. The flavors start to give way to bitter coffee.

Over all impression,
This cigar certainly provided me with much more flavor than the double Connecticut counterpart. There is a small amount of spice that does not detract from the consistent smooth and creamy character. I wouldnít consider buying a box of these cigars; however, it does provide a nice change of pace with its blend of several tobaccos.

Rating:
88/100
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:46 PM   #23
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Nice rating Chris!!!
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:27 PM   #24
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Nice review of the Cusano 18 PM. I didn't have any uneven burn on a Toro that I smoked a while back. I liked the subtle cocoa and coffee flavor that I experienced, but I thought it had less tobacco flavor compared to the Double Connecticut.

It's now my favorite amongst the Cusano 18 line.

I think it's a good cigar for the lighter days.
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Old 08-28-2007, 07:41 PM   #25
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I do like the PM more than the DC. Im finding more and more that i like a stronger cigar. I still keep a few 18's in my humi. If i ever do get the urge for a bit lighter smoke i know that i can count on that one to be full of flavor and i know it will burn well.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:03 AM   #26
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August 29, 2007

H. Upmann Connoisseur #1 5 X 48

This cigar belongs to the Hermosos no. 4 format. It is unbanded and has been aged for six years. A generous HCF brother gifted it to me. The box code is LRL MAY 001

Pre light
I used a Xikar on this cigar that yielded a generous draw. The pre light draw was excellent with light tobacco and cream flavors. The cigar itself has good construction with a medium brown wrapper

1 third
I decided to not pair this cigar with a beverage. I have not smoked it before, and was very excited to finally try it. The cigar begins with a smooth combination of cream and nutty flavors. There is absolutely no harshness or bitterness remaining. It offers just the right amount of smoke. The cigar settles into a consistent, medium body. My only problem so far is an uneven burn that I managed to correct with two minor touchups. The ash has a dark, gray color.

2 Third

The burn has corrected itself and is fairly even. There is an addition of a light amount of pepper that does not detract from the smoothness of the flavor.

Last third

Not much harshness as I would have expected. The flavors become prominently nutty in nature.

Over all impression,
A mild- to medium-bodied cigars that is both complex and aromatic. The smoothness in this cigar makes for a very relaxing smoke. I wouldíve given it one more smoke ring if not for the burn issues.

Rating:
4/6 smoke rings
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:04 PM   #27
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September 13, 2007

Saint Luis Rey Regios 48 x 4.5

This cigar belongs to the Hermosos no. 4 format. This cigar is from a dress box of 25 with a box code of AOM SEP 06.

Pre light
I used a Xikar on this cigar that yielded just a small clipping leaving a majority of the cap intact.. The pre light draw was excellent with light tobacco and sweet flavors. The cigar itself has good construction with a rich, brown wrapper.

1 third
I am smoking out on the porch on a quiet, cool night with the chirping of the crickets as my only company. The cigar lights easily, and the burn is very even about half an inch into it. I am getting a generous amount of smoke with lots of mild cream and sweet cedar flavors. Iím also picking up a bit of a nutty aftertaste.

2 Third
The burn has become a bit uneven and required a slight touchup with my torch. The nutty flavors have become more prominent with an addition of a slight spiciness. It is certainly transitioning from a mild- to medium-bodied cigar.

Last third
A second touchup was required. Although some harshness is developing, Iím getting some pleasant peaberry coffee flavors. The aftertaste has become more peppery.


Over all impression,
Iíve unwittingly been smoking a larger number of Hermosos No. 4 lately, and this cigar was definitely an enjoyable smoke. It offers a great deal of depth and complexity, but it is still young and will require some aging time to improve the flavors and character.

Rating:
3/6 smoke rings
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:44 AM   #28
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Nice review Chris! Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:25 AM   #29
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September 16, 2007

Coronado by La Flor Double Corona 50 x 7

Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
MSRP: $8-9/cigar

It has been about six or seven months since I first tried this cigar. At that time, I was not very impressed and felt it had been way over-hyped with its #2 ranking in CA. I decided it was time to give it another shot to look for changes in its character.

Pre light
I used a Xikar on this cigar that yielded a large opening in the cap leaving for a generous draw.. The pre light draw was easy and consisted of caramel and tobacco flavors. The cigar itself has good construction with a tan wrapper and few prominent veins. The wrapper is slightly coarse to the touch.

1 Third
I am outside on my porch on a cool, clear Central Ohio day. The first few puffs of the cigar reveal is it full-bodied with a mixture of chocolate and white pepper flavors that tinge the nostrils. The ash is very loose, and the cigar offers a large amount of smoke. Iím also detecting subtle notes of cinnamon.

2 Third
The burn has remained fairly even, and the cigar has settled down to mainly smooth, cinnamon flavors. Another inch into the cigar required a relight.

Last third
Not much change in flavor at this point. The cigar is burning well with no harshness. Another relight was required.

Over all impression:
I spent about two hours smoking this cigar. I think I rushed it a bit as Iím getting quite a nicotine kick. Litto Gomez makes some terrific cigars, but I think this cigar is not as good as the Double Ligero line. I was expecting a bit more of a harsh cigar; however, it was quite smooth and enjoyable if one has the time to dedicate to it. Pick up a few singles to try it, but donít spend the money on a full box.

Rating:
3/6 smoke rings (an average cigar)
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:04 PM   #30
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Love reading your post Chris
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:09 AM   #31
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Thanks for the kind words, David. I'm really liking this new format I've started using for reviews and would like to thank BarcoChris as I stole it from him, LOL.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:10 AM   #32
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September 18, 2007

Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Corona Gorda 46x5.7

Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
MSRP: $8-9/cigar

Iíve had a 5-pack of these sitting in my humidor for about a year,, and Iíve smoked one every few months and thought it was time for a review. This cigar is rolled at Chateau de la Fuente, and it was introduced soon after the Ashton VSG line.

Pre light
I used a Xikar on this cigar that yielded a near-perfect cut. The pre-light aroma and taste our of sweet tobacco with a slight tanginess to the finish. The cigar itself has good construction with a Cameroon wrapper that is silky to the touch. The cigar has definitely noticeable veins.

1 Third
I am outside on my porch on a sunny morning. It is about 65F, and the birds are singing. The cigar starts right off with a very smooth, sweet taste and a hint of nuts. It offers a large amount of smoke, and the ash is burning a very light shade of gray. The ash holds very well and falls flush with the foot.

2 Third
The burn is steadily even. Iím now picking up a slight hint of pepper in addition to the other mentioned flavors. The aftertaste is a bit tangy.

Last third
Iím still enjoying a steady burn with sweet and peppery flavors. There is not much transition at this point. The cigar is smooth and enjoyable for a leisurely morning.

Over all impression:
Iíve always found Cameroon Ėwrapped cigars to have an even burn with generous amounts of smoke, and this cigar is no exception. The cigar is well-balanced but does not offer the amount of complexity I usually like. Stilll, a few singles would make a fine addition to any humidor whether youíre a seasoned smoker or just starting out.

Rating:
4/6 smoke rings (a good cigar)
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:29 PM   #33
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September 21, 2007

Ramon Allones Small Club Corona (2005) 42 x 4-3/8

An HCF brother generously gifted this cigar to me. It belongs to the minuto format. It is covered in a rich, brown wrapper that is slightly toothy.

Pre light
I used my trusty Xikar to get a near-perfect cut. The pre-light aroma is rich and woody, and the draw is smooth and spicy.

1 Third
The cigar lights easily and spicy flavors immediately emanate. I can tell this will be a medium- to full-bodied smoke. Cedar and chocolate flavors are also present. Iím also picking up a subtle hint of lemon zest that leaves for a clean aftertaste.

2 Third
This cigar started out with a bit of a firm draw which has become easy at this point. The ash is holding well, and the burn is quite even. Fruity and herbal flavors are becoming apparent at this point.

Last third
The flavors are predominantly herbal in nature. The burn has been excellent throughout, and the cigar has nice balance.

Overall impression:
This was my first RASCC, and I enjoyed it a great deal. The cigar is well-balanced. The flavors were a bit unexpected, but this was a complex cigar.

Rating:
4/6 smoke rings (a good cigar)
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:19 PM   #34
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Ramon Allones Gigantes (2005) 49 x 7 5/8

An HCF brother generously gifted this cigar to me as well . It belongs to the prominente format. It is covered in a rich, brown wrapper. The cigar is a bit stiff due to the massive amount of tobacco in this large cigar.

Pre light
I got a generous cut with my Xikar. The aroma is floral and woody. It is a warm night here on my porch as I light this cigar.

1 Third
The cigar begins with chocolate and spice flavors. The aroma of the smoke is floral and peppery. Two inches into the cigar, the ash is holding well, and the burn is perfect.

2 Third
The burn is consistently even. Iím getting the original flavors that have become very smooth. Iím also picking up creamy, coffee flavors as well. Very enjoyable so far with loads of smoke.

Last third
No harshness at all. The flavors have mellowed and blended together very well. Iím getting lots of cedar at this point.

Overall impression:
This is simply a great cigar. It is smooth, complex, and creamy. This cigar makes for a very relaxing two+ hours. I canít even imagine how good this cigar would be at five years.

Rating:
5/6 smoke rings (an outstanding cigar, destined to be classic)
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:11 AM   #35
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September 26, 2007

Ashton VSG Illusion 44 x 6.5

Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
MSRP: $9-10/cigar

The Ashton VSG is blended by Carlos Fuente Jr. and was introduced in 1999. The wrapper is very dark. The cigar is considered full-bodied. The band is a beautiful, gold color with the Ashton crown logo and the Cabinet VSG insignia.

Pre light
I snipped the cap easily with my Xikar. The pre-light aroma is of coffee and cedar. The cigar lights easily and gives off a generous amount of smoke from the beginning.

1 Third
Itís a Wednesday morning here in Gahanna. The temperature is about 68F, and the wind is blowing gently across the porch. The initial flavors are of coffee, wood, and spice that blend together well.

2 Third
The burn is almost perfect, and the ash is holding very well until falling flush with the foot. The flavors are staying consistent making for an enjoyable smoke. The aftertaste has hints of pepper and wood.

Last third
This cigar has had an excellent burn throughout demonstrating the excellent construction. There is no harshness. The flavors are mellow, possibly due to the 2 years of rest in my humidor.

Over all impression:
Iíve never had a bad Ashton VSG which is testimony to the construction and blend of these cigars. They are certainly worth MSRP and make for a great smoke on any occasion. I would recommend keeping a few of these in oneís humidor at all times.

Rating:
5/6 smoke rings (an excellent cigar)
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:41 AM   #36
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Tatuaje Cojonu 2003 52 x 6.5

Wrapper: Nicaraguan (Corojo)
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
MSRP: $12-14/cigar

The classic Tatuaje line is probably the most famous of Don ďPepinĒ Garciaís brand. This particular cigar is rolled in his Miami factory by a few select rollers who pay careful attention to detail. This particular cigar has been resting in my humidor for about a year to see if it will mellow and allow the flavors, rather than just strength, to come through.

Pre light
My trusty Xikar once again yields a fine clipping of the cap. The pre-light aroma is of earth and leather. The wrapper is a dark brown corojo leaf. The cigar itself shows excellent construction. It is very stiff due to the large amounts of tobacco packed into this behemoth. It is apparent it will be a full- bodied smoke.

1 Third
Itís Thursday morning, and I have a rare weekday off from work. We are currently experiencing rain showers, and I have no intention of leaving my front porch for quite some time. The cigar lights easily with a bit of care, and I am treated to a blend of earth, leather, and spice within the first few puffs. The cigar gives off a large amount of smoke with aromas of cedar and coffee.

2 Third
The burn is leaning toward one side thus requiring a careful touch-up. The flavors are blending together very well leaving a smooth coffee taste with just a hint of spice. Iím still working on evening out the burn, but itís getting close at this point. The ash, however, holds very well, at two inches or more.



Last third
No harshness at all. The burn is finally good. The flavors have actually become very mellow now.

Over all impression:
A lot of cigars try very hard to be Cuban and completely miss the point. I would in no way say this is as good as most Habanos Iíve had, but one can tell that careful attention has been given to produce this cigar in the Cuban tradition. The cigar should pair well with a full-bodied coffee. With the exception of the work on the burn, I enjoyed this cigar. It make for a nice change of pace.

Rating:
4/6 smoke rings (a good cigar)
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Old 09-30-2007, 05:34 PM   #37
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H. Upmann #2
Box Code: ROA NOV 06
Measurements: 52 x 6 1/8
Size: Piramide

There are a lot of comparisons between this cigar and the Montecristo #2. Having had an absolutely horrible Montecristo #2 from an 06 box on Thursday (tight draw, uneven burn, and grassy aftertaste), I decided to light up an H. Upmann from a similar time period to see how well it does. I would not want to smoke a lot of cigars out of this particular box in order to let them age over a few years; however, itís good to see where it is right now.

Pre light
Very easy cut with my Xikar yielding an easy draw. The pre-light flavors are of cedar and earth. The cigar is a dark brown torpedo with few veins. It appears to be filled just right. Itís a cool evening here in Ohio, and Iím joined by my friendly neighborhood crickets for company.

1 Third
The cigar opens up with rich cedar, leather, and a small amount of spice. There is a slight tanginess to the aftertaste. Itís already starting out much better than the Montecristo #2. There is a generous amount of smoke with an earthy aroma.

2 Third
The burn is even, and the ash falls without effort from the foot. Iím getting flavors of chocolate and espresso now as well. This is definitely a full-bodied cigar.

Last third
This cigar is still keeping an almost perfect burn. The flavors are mixing well with a prominent flavor of earth and cedar. Iím still getting a large amount of smoke.

Overall impression:
I have to say this cigar is much better than its 06 cousin. It is full-flavored without being overwhelming and has excellent construction. I think it will only get better with age.

Rating:
4/6 smoke rings (a good cigar that will improve with time)
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:09 AM   #38
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Don Pepin Garcia Delicias 50 x 7

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
MSRP: $7-8/cigar

This vitola belongs to the original Don Pepin ďBlue LabelĒ line. It bears a medium-brown, oily corojo wrapper and is constructed at Don Pepinsís Little Havana factory. The label has ďDon Pepin GarciaĒ in gold lettering backed by a blue label. There are American flags on both sides.

Pre light
As usual I used my Xikar and obtained a nice cut. The prel-light aromas are of cedar and leather. It is a sunny morning here in Gahanna with a temperature of 72F.

1 Third
The cigar lights easily. The initial flavors are leather and a hint of pepper. The peppery taste is almost like jalapeno but not really as spicy as I would have thought. The cigar has an even burn and the ash is very white. The cigar is yielding a generous amount of smoke with a pleasant, peppery aroma.

2 Third
This cigar has a nice medium body. Vendors describe it as full-bodied, but it has probably mellowed a bit sitting in my humidor for about a year. Not much change in the flavor. The ash forms long but drops when it wants.

Last third
Iím picking up some slight butteriness in addition to the other flavors.
The burn has stayed even throughout the entire smoke. Definite consistency in flavors are aroma with no harshness.

Over all impression:
This cigar has excellent construction and burn. I was expecting a bit more in terms of flavor and body. Although I enjoyed smoking this cigar, I like the Tatuaje Miami line much better. I would suggest picking up a few singles from this line, but I would not want an entire box.

Rating:
4/6 smoke rings (a good cigar; smoke it now instead of later on)
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:09 AM   #39
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October 13, 2007

Rafael Gonzalez Coronas Extra
Size: Corona Gorda 46 x 5 5/8
Box Code: GSO AGO 06


Pre light
Aromas of light tobacco , cedar, and tea from this fine constructed cigar. The wrapper is light brown with a smooth, silky texture. There are few prominent veins.

1 Third
Iím out on my porch on a cool, sunny Ohio afternoon listening to the cars go by and watching people mow their lawns for possibly the last time this year. My sidewalk is covered in leaves that I need to clear, but itís time for a cigar first. The cigar begins with light coffee and cream flavors with subtle hints of nutmeg.

2 Third
The ash is forming well, and the burn is very even. Iím now picking up flavors of chocolate with toasted nutmeg becoming more apparent. The cigar is mild to medium in body. The aftertaste is floral in nature.

Last third
The cigar required a slight touch-up at this point. The flavors of chocolate and nutmeg are remaining consistent. The cigar is generating a large amount of aromatic smoke.

Over all impression:
A cigar without much comlplexity or depth, it still provides for an enjoyable smoking experience. The flavors are subtle and sublime providing for a good morning or lazy-day smoke.

Rating:
3/6 smoke rings (an average cigar but worth smoking)
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:33 PM   #40
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October 14, 2007

Ramon Allones Belicoso Fino
Regional Edition UK 2005
Size: 52 x 5 1/2
Box Code: SVF JUL 05


Pre light
Aromas of light tobacco and leather. The cigar has a medium-brown, oily wrapper with a few prominent veins. The pre-light draw is just right. The cigar is constructed very well.

1 Third
Itís a cool night, and Iím on the porch listening to the latest Dogwatch. This cigar is out of a box that has been resting for 30 days. Iíve heard such good things about it; I could barely wait to light one. First impressions are that this cigar is much smoother than a RASS with similar flavors of leather and a small amount of spice. The cigar has a bit of a rustic and woody taste, which is enjoyable.

2 Third
The aftertaste is in itself complex with flavors that are spicy, tangy, and vegetal. The cigar is burning incredibly even. So far it is a flavor bomb in every puff. This cigar is excellent so far.

Last third
The ash is holding very well, and the burn is staying very consistent. The flavors are outstanding and staying consistent as well.

Over all impression:
This cigar is one of the best smokes Iíve ever had. It is complex, flavorful, and well constructed. It will get only better with more age.

Rating:
6/6 smoke rings (already a classic for my tastes)
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