Monday, June 22, 2009

Tatuaje Regios Reserva Cigar Review

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From Silo Cigars website:

"The first and most exclusive line in the Tatuaje collection. La Seleccion de Cazador, referred to as the Cabinet Selection, as well as the 'Brown Label'. These are produced in Miami by a select group of rollers dedicated to this line. Blended by Don Pepin Garcia and only rolled by the top torcedors in Miami trained by Pepin himself. Tatuaje brown label is a powerful and strong smoke that reminds us of the early cuban cigars that have power along with a underlying sweetness. If you have not had a chance to try a Tatuaje cigar do not hesitate any longer."

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The "Regios" at 50 ring gauge by 5 and 1/2 inches could be classified as either a robusto or toro size. This cigar is a Nicaraguan puro with all first generation Cuban seed tobacco. The wrapper is a fragrant dark brown Corojo leaf with a rustic appearance including a smattering of small water spots and small veins throughout. However, the construction of the cigar is immaculate and feels "sturdy" and "hefty", as rollers in Miami seem to place great pride in the quality of their work. The cigar is finished off "Cuban"-style with a triple cap.

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The cigar lit evenly and the draw produced was free and clear with just a little bit of resistance. If you want to know how a perfectly rolled cigar should look and feel like, then try a Tatuaje cigar rolled in Miami. The cigar I smoked burned slowly and evenly all the way down. The ash formed was light gray in color and tightly formed. No surprise considering the evenness of the packing.

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The aroma of the resting smoke was just heavenly. Light whisps of warm spice from a finely aged tobacco permeated the room. I smoked a Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 the day before and the cigar seemed to be smoking itself in between puffs. Picture the smoke that comes gushing out of a roadside flare and you will know what I'm talking about. The aroma of that cigar was sharp and pungent and definitely should have been relegated to the outside.

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The initial flavors of the Tatuaje Regios showed rich earthiness reminiscent of smooth dark chocolate with an underlying sweet creaminess. The finish was toasty. I also detected some tanginess associated with Nicaraguan Corojo tobacco, which itself is a unique flavor. At times the cigar seemed to straddle the line into bitterness. But I quickly determined that I was trying to smoke the cigar too fast. As I slowed my pace, the cigar did settle down and once again became very enjoyable. The cigar starts off medium bodied and ends up in the full range. The cigar finishes off nicely in a flourish of sweet cedary creaminess laden with a nice underlying note of nuttiness.

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The Regios sells for $1o a cigar. I think it is a fair price for this high quality tobacco out of Nicaragua. The construction can match and top most cigars coming out of Cuba in my opinion. When you look at some of the ho-hum cigars being priced in the $6 to $8 range, a few bucks more, in this case, does give you so much more.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

La Flor Dominicana Cabinet Oscuro Cigar Review

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This review is sponsored by Silo Cigars.

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The La Flor Dominicana L-400 Cabinet Oscuro is a stocky 54 ring gauge by 5.75 inch Toro-sized stick wrapped in an oily Ecuadorian Sumatra seed wrapper. The cigar is rustic looking with a few coarse veins and a blotchy appearance. This Dominican made cigar also contains a Dominican filler and binder.

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The cigar has a nice draw but burns unevenly. The first puff immediately shows that this is a full-flavored cigar. It starts off earthy with strong dark roasted coffee flavor which immediately settles into a sharp woody taste with a pinch of pepper on the finish. The pepper was a little irritating to my throat, but nothing an ice cold beer couldn't quench. The second half of the cigar was one-dimensional with the body of the smoke being primarily cedary and leathery in flavor. The pepper notes remain constant throughout. No bitterness was detected.

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The ash formed by the cigar was flakey and gray in color. It held on until I was ready to tap it off at the one inch point. The erratic burn line caused me to touch up the cigar with my torch several times. (But that's just me.)

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Overall, the La Flor Dominicana Cabinet Oscuro was not a bad cigar. I just don't think it's special enough to want me to buy it at $6.10 a pop. This cigar would probably appeal more to those that like their cigars big and spicy. If that's you, then you may want to give it try. La Flor Dominicana is known for their quality tobacco and full bodied cigars. You're sure to find more hits than misses with this brand.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rocky Patel Spring Collection Cigar Review

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This review is sponsored by Silo Cigars, home to rare cigars, aged cigars and hard to find boutique cigars. Call them at 1-865-675-7456 to inquire about this cigar.

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So I am a little late with this review, but I just have to tell you about this gem of a smoke called the Rocky Patel Spring Collection Toro-size. This cigar is available in three sizes, a 5x50 robusto, a 6x52 toro, and a 6.5x52 torpedo. They are all available in boxes of 20. The cigar is composed of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Broadleaf binder, and a Nicaraguan filler.

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After having reviewed the RP Winter and Summer Collections, I have to say that I am a big fan of what Rocky Patel has done so far. Each cigar is wonderfully unique in it's own way. The Spring Collection cigar is no exception. The construction of this hefty Toro is impeccable. It's perfectly symmetrical with a few veins which are not very prominent. The wrapper is earthy brown in color and feels slightly coarse and dry to the touch. My only complaint is that the aroma of the cigar was not very strong.

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After clipping off a small portion of the cap, I noticed that the draw was firm. The cigar lit easily and the initial flavors produced was very promising. I tasted a nice smooth coffee flavor with a hint of nutmeg or cloves. There was also a touch of nuttiness and nice complexity in the overall blend. The finish had a woodsy quality to it which was clean, almost minty in that it produced a cool sensation in my mouth. A pencil lead-like residue seemed to remain as well.

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The cigar progressed nicely as the flavors began to deepen and get richer as I smoked it. The body of the smoke got cedary and creamy with a nice balancing sweetness of dried fruit and just a touch of pepper. The cigar managed to remain smooth and bitter-free through to the end. This was a very satisfying smoke to say the least. The last third pushed the flavor strength from medium to full.

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The cigar burned with a slight waviness which I chose to touch up on occasion. The burn line was sharp and the ash formed was white and compact. The wrapper held together well until the last third when it cracked in several places.

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The cigar retails for about $8.85 a stick for the Toro size. I wouldn't hesistate to buy a few more to keep in my humidor due to it's limited availability. I would call the Rocky Patel Spring Collection a special occasion cigar. You definitely get your money's worth. It's packed with so much tobacco you can't help but smoke it slowly. All the better to appreciate it's wonderful complexity.

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