Friday, April 24, 2009

La Flor Dominicana Cabinet Maduro #6

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This review is sponsored by Silo Cigars, home to rare cigars, aged cigars and hard to find boutique cigars.

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No fancy window dressing for this cigar. This beautifully rolled 54 ring gauge by 5.75" torpedo comes unbanded in wood cabinets of 50. The wrapper is a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro which has a nice oily sheen and a toothy surface. I found two large veins running the length of the cigar but it still didn't detract from it's overall neat appearance. The cigar has small lumps throughout and feels firmly packed as you move towards the foot. After clipping the cigar, the resulting draw was slightly firm but free. I tasted a nice sweetness and spiciness on my tongue.

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The initial flavors start off a bit strong and separated, I get the expected earthy burnt coffee taste, with some hints of chocolate and spice. Notes of rich leather develop early leading to a dry woody finish. The second third was much more harmonious in flavor. The taste was so smooth and so indicative of a properly aged tobacco blend that it can almost justify it's $8.80 a stick price tag. The draw did open up more as I smoked the cigar, and if it wasn't for the fact that I was concerned about my cigar un-raveling, I would have cut deeper into the cap. The taste was so much better with a fuller draw.

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As far as strength goes, the cigar seemed to start off in the full bodied range, then mellowed out to a medium to full smooth cigar. I see no reason why you couldn't enjoy this cigar mid-day as well as evening. The blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler wrapped in a Dominican binder seemed to contain just the right amount of dried fruit sweetness to balance out the rich leathery taste. No harshness or bitterness was detected.

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The burn qualities of this cigar was satisfactory. The ash formed was an impressive bright white. It started off compact and then looked a little flakey as I smoked the cigar. The burn line also seemed straight when I started then began to blister and wave as I went along. Nothing too drastic, but you may need to touch it up on occasion.

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Overall, I was impressed with this La Flor Dominicana cigar. The old addage of "you get what you pay for" seems to apply to this cigar. The quality of the tobacco was first rate, even though it isn't classified as an "ultra-premium" cigar, it is a step above a mid-priced smoke. If you are a big fan of large ring gauges and torpedos, I feel this cigar is worthy of your consideration. It's a slow starter but you will find that it finishes well. You may want to have a toothpick handy because you will want to nub this one.

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Call Silo Cigars at 1-865-675-7456 to inquire about availability and prices.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Siglo Limited Reserve Cigar Review

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This review is sponsored by Silo Cigars.

After having smoked a few Altadis cigars in recent years, I can honestly say they are not my favorite cigars. I find the flavors to be one dimensional and their construction to be pretty on the outside but plugged on the inside. The Siglo Limited Reserve is an attractive looking cigar which fortunately was not overpacked with filler. The draw was perfect and showed just a slight pull of resistance.

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The initial flavors were rich and earthy like gourmet dark roasted coffee beans with fruity overtones. The spice level was not overwhelming and the finish was dry and toasty. Eventually the cigar smokes primarily woody with some nuttiness, dried fruit, and notes of black pepper present. Usually I like these flavors but somehow this cigar managed to turn it into a nasty syrup like coating on my tastebuds. Maybe some age will do this cigar good.

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The cigar burned well with a sharp burn line. The ash was light in color and flaky looking, but it held on well until I was ready to tap it off. After ashing the cigar the cone of ligero was pretty minimal, and so the strength of the cigar is at most medium.

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I smoked the Siglo II which is a corona gorda (45 by 5.65"). Silo sells them for $5.45 a stick. They are also available in boxes of 25. The cigar blender is Frank Llaneza. The cigars are manufactured in Nicaragua and uses an Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper, a Nicaraguan Broadleaf binder and a filler of Nicaraguan and Domincan tobaccos.

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While I was not "wowed" by this cigar, it isn't a bad richly flavored smoke. If anything, I would probably buy some to take to the golf course with me.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Viaje Oro Cigar Review

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I last smoked a Viaje Oro back in August of last year. It was a toro sized cigar which I found very enjoyable, with distinctive Nicaraguan Crillo flavor. This time around I had the chance to smoke the corona size (44 by 5.5") called the "Chico", courtesy of my favorite retailer, Silo Cigars.

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The Chico had a neatly rolled appearance with near invisible seams. The cap was immaculate and the wrapper was gorgeous in color, with dark brown mottling over a reddish brown background. The cigar felt smooth to the touch and evenly packed throughout. The cigar gave off a cedary aroma at the foot and some earthiness along it's body.

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After clipping the cigar with a guillotine cutter, the resulting draw was not plugged but very firm. In fact, too firm for my taste. After lighting the cigar, the Viaje Chico gave off a pleasant room note which can be characterized as warm and spicy. My husband commented that, "it was what a good cigar should smell like". Unfortunately, the limited draw produced a wimpy volume of smoke which forced me to take small "sips". Luckily each sip was rich and flavorful otherwise I would have been tempted to throw the cigar in the compost pile.

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The initial flavor was dark coffee and cinnamon that was slightly sweet along with a distinctive Nicaraguan Criollo flavor. Eventually the flavors become more harmonious with notes of cedar blending in with the coffee, for a nice sweet, spicy and tart treat. The finish is long and smooth with no signs of bitterness.

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The Viaje Oro is available in five sizes and come in boxes of 20. Viaje also makes a cigar using a Corojo 99 wrapper which is more medium bodied called the Platino. All their cigars are Nicaraguan puros. I recommend you give the Viaje Oro a try to experience a deliciously smooth Criollo cigar. Although, you may want to smoke the larger ring gauges to ensure a better, more relaxing draw.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pinar Del Rio Clasico Cigar Review

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This cigar review is sponsored by Silo Cigars, home to rare cigars, aged cigars and hard to find boutique cigars.

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Abraham Flores and Juan Rodriguez of Pinar Del Rio cigars are just the latest cigar makers attempting to cater to the tastes of new smokers and lovers of mild bodied cigars. The Pinar Del Rio Clasico with Connecticut shade wrapper is their latest creation. The binder is Dominican and the filler is a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos.

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This cigar is available in five sizes with prices ranging from $103.50 to $152.10 for a box of 25. My friends over at Silo Cigars provided me with a sample of the "Double Corona" size which is a comfortable 46 ring gauge by 6 inches. I just love the way this vitola feels in my hand and mouth.

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The cigar looks neatly rolled with a "paper bag"-smooth Connecticut shade wrapper that had an organic appearance with a few medium sized veins and a couple of very tiny water spots. The cigar gave off an aroma of sweet cedar and hay.

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Clipping the cigar was easy and the draw was free with a slight pull of resistance. The flavors on the pre-light draw displayed touches of sweet dried fruit and green peppercorn. The cigar lit easily and the resulting body of smoke was nice and thick. The initial flavors showed sweet notes of hay and toasty wood. The strength was mild and should please those who favor cigars with very little spice and kick. The first half of the cigar maintained a consistent flavor profile which unfortunately began to grow dull and forgetable. But it's best to maintain your patience with this cigar because the second half delivered a much richer flavor of sweet cedar which was very tasty and had a long smooth finish. No bitterness or harshness was found.

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The burn properties of this cigar was excellent. The burn line was sharp and mostly even throughout. The ash formed was light gray in color and compact and held on until I was ready to tap it off.

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Overall, I found this cigar to be an excellent smoker with a pleasant and mild flavor profile. It would make a great morning cigar or an all day smoke. It you are interested in fuller bodied cigars, Pinar Del Rio does make some rather good ones with their Habano Sun Grown and Habano Oscuro blends. The entire line of Pinar Del Rio cigars can be found at Silo Cigars on-line.

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