Quick Cigar Reviews During 2014
Review of Victor Calvo Gold Belicoso Cigar
Victor Calvo Gold cigars are made at Tabacalera Tambor de Esteli in Nicaragua, using Ecuadorian Sun-Grown Sumatra wrappers, Connecticut binders, and a blend of filler tobaccos from Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The size that I sampled was the Belicoso, which is box pressed and measures six inches in length with a ring gauge of 54. The cigar began with a moderate taste of pepper, and was medium bodied. After about five minutes, the pepper began to fade but not completely, while a very pleasant sweet tobacco flavor started to emerge. During the next several minutes, some spice entered the mix, and the flavor of the cigar approached 4 points on a 5-point scale. However, at about the 30-minute mark, the flavor started to become slightly less enjoyable, but was not at all bad.
The cigar had a good draw, held a medium-to-long ash, and had a relatively even burn. One minor touch-up light was applied 20 minutes after initially lighting up, and it took me an hour to smoke the cigar down to 2½ inches remaining when it went out on its own. Overall, I rate the Victor Calvo Gold Belicoso cigar at 3.75 points. This cigar is a decent value at under $5 per stick when purchased in a 5-pack or box of 20. Available at Mike's Cigars.
Review of The Edge Cigar by Rocky Patel
First of all, my reviews are not limited to new or recently released cigars. I reviewed The Edge Lite back in 2007 for About.com, but never reviewed the original Edge cigar, which is a much fuller bodied smoke than the Lite version. When The Edge was originally released many years ago, it did not have a band, but a foot band was added later (also many years ago). What was considered to be a power bomb back in the day now belongs at the upper end of the medium-to-full range.
The Edge cigar that I sampled for this quick review was a Nicaraguan puro in the Toro size (6 x 52) having a Habano wrapper. The cigar had a deep, rich and earthy tobacco flavor with some sweet spice. The Edge Habano is a very solid smoke and yes, like the other versions of The Edge cigar, it still delivers. The cigar is very well made and has a great draw, even burn, and holds a medium-to-long ash. No relights nor touch-ups were needed during the 50 minutes that it took me to smoke the cigar down to two inches remaining. I rate The Edge Habano with a “Rock” solid 4 points on a 5-point scale. This is the same rating that I gave to The Edge Lite, which is a medium bodied cigar that I think most mainstream smokers would prefer over the others. However, which cigar to choose depends on how well your palate is developed and what you have a taste for at the time. A 5-pack in the Toro size sells for about $30, and a box of 20 is approximately $112. The Edge cigars have been around for a while and are widely available both online and at local tobacconists. Purchase Edge Lite Cigars Online.
Review of 90 Miles Cigar
It is 90 miles to Cuba from the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States. Flor de Gonzalez created the 90 Miles cigar as a tribute to the U.S. for allowing Cubans to live freely and prosper in this country (so close, but yet so far). This cigar is made in Nicaragua with Nicaraguan fillers and binders and a Habano Rosado wrapper. These cigar are available in four sizes, including the Torpedo that I sampled which measures 6½ x 52.
The cigar's flavor began with a mixture of some sweet spice, pepper and a little bit of bitterness. It took about 10 minutes for the taste to improve from a rating of 2.5 points at the start to a more respectable 3 points on a 5-point scale beyond that point. After the first 10 minutes or so, I found the cigar to be medium bodied and quite mellow. The cigar had a good draw, relatively even burn and held a medium-to-long ash. No touch-up lights were needed, but a relight was required at the 30-minute mark. The flavor actually improved to almost 3.5 points a few minutes after the relight. I even detected some notes of caramel. It took me a full hour to smoke the cigar down to two inches remaining. Price for the Torpedo is $5.90 per single, but a better deal is available if purchased in 5-packs or boxes of 20 cigars. Available at Mike's Cigars.
Review of Wicked Indie Toro Cigar
Wicked Indie may be the first cigar released by East India Trading Company (a part of Gurkha Cigars), but with this review, it is the third of the three cigars put out by East India that I have sampled. Back in my days with About.com, I reviewed the second and third releases, namely Red Witch and Rogue. Don't stop reading, but of all three cigars, I enjoyed the Red Witch the most.
Wicked Indie cigars are Nicaraguan puros that are available in four sizes. The Toro size that I sampled measures 6 x 54. A bundle of 20 Toro's sells for around $68, and a 5-pack is about $18. At about $3.50 per stick, these are definitely value-priced cigars. At the start, I found the Wicked Indie to be medium bodied with a pleasant tobacco flavor having a little spice. However, after about 10-15 minutes, what began as a 3.5-point flavor dropped to 3.25 points as the spice began to fade. After an additional 10-15 minutes, the flavor was down to 3 points. The cigar had a good draw, but the burn was uneven and required several touch-up lights and eventually a relight. It took me 45 minutes to smoke the cigar down to just over 2½ inches remaining. Overall, I rate this cigar 3.25 points. Available at Mike's Cigars.
Review of La Duena Robusto No. 5 Cigar
La Duena cigars are made by My Father Cigars in Nicaragua, and were blended by Pete Johnson (Tatuaje) and Jamie Garcia of the famous Garcia cigar family. This cigar was made to honor Jamie's sister Janny Garcia, and the name La Duena translates to female owner. The cigar is made with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a blend of Nicaraguan and Connecticut Broadleaf filler tobaccos. Available in five sizes, the Robusto No. 5 that I sampled measures 5 x 50. This particular size sells for about $155 per box of 21 cigars or $39 for a 5-pack. I found the Robusto No. 5 to be medium bodied and pleasingly smooth. The predominate flavor was cedar, along with some earthiness and subtle spices. The cigar was very well made and had a great draw, even burn, and held a long ash. No relights nor touch-ups were needed during the 35 minutes that it took me to smoke the cigar down to two inches remaining. I rate it a very respectable 3.5 points on a 5-point scale. Available at Mike's Cigars.
Review of Don Cirilo Habano Cigar
Don Cirilo Reserva Familiar No. 3 Habano cigars are made by Filipe Gregorio in the Dominican Republic with Habano Rosado wrappers, and are available in four box pressed vitolas. The Super Toro size that I sampled measures 6 x 56. The cigars are priced at $8.50 per single stick, $33 for a 5-pack, and $160 for a box of 25 cigars. The cigar began with a slightly sweet and medium spicy flavor, which gradually faded after about 10 minutes or so. The taste was pleasant and just a bit nutty for the remainder of the smoke. This medium-to-full bodied stick had a good draw, held a long ash, and had a relatively even burn. A couple of minor touch-up lights were applied during the 90 minutes that it took me to smoke the cigar down to two inches remaining. I rate it 3.75 points overall on a 5-point scale, but the flavor was a little better at the start and ended closer to 3.5 points. Available at Mike's Cigars.
Review of Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva Cigar
As the name suggests, Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva cigars are made in Miami, but with a blend of tobaccos grown in three different regions within Nicaragua. These cigars are available in three sizes, including the Robusto that I sampled which measures 5¼ x 52. The Robusto size is sold in boxes of 15 cigars for about $120, and in 5-packs for around $45, which averages out to $8 and $9 per stick, respectively. The cigar has a deep, rich and full flavor with just a hint of spice at the start, then a taste of cocoa becomes more prominent as the spice gradually fades away. The flavor became less enjoyable after the first 15 minutes (from 4 down to 3.5 points on a 5-point scale), when the cigar needed a relight. After 30 minutes, a touch-up light was applied to correct an uneven burn as the flavor continued to decline (now down to 3 points). I put the cigar down after it went out again after 45 minutes of total smoking time, with three inches remaining. A very good cigar for the first 15 minutes, but somewhat of a disappointing finish. My overall rating is 3.5 points. Available at Smoke Inn.
Review of Swag Elite Cigar
Swag Cigar Lifestyle cigars are Dominican puros from Oliveros Cigars made entirely with tobaccos from one farm in the Dominican Republic. These cigars are available in several sizes, including the Elite which measures 7 x 38 and is priced at $5.40 per single cigar. Each individual cigar is packaged in a paper sleeve and wears a foot band in addition to the standard band below the head of the cigar. I found the cigar to be medium-to-full bodied with an initial toasty, sweet and peppery flavor. After about five minutes, the taste was more nutty than anything else. The cigar held a medium-to-long ash, had an even burn, and a good draw which delivered a decent enough volume of smoke despite its narrow ring gauge. It took me an hour to smoke the cigar down to two inches remaining, without the need for any relights nor touch-ups. I rate it a solid 3.5 points on a 5-point scale. Available at Mike's Cigars.
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