Tag Archives: candela

Villiger, General Cigar, and Drew Estate Cigars

Since I posted the contest Wednesday (go enter if you haven’t already!), I have a fee more cigars than normal to post about. Bear with me, it was a pretty good week!  We’ll start off with Villiger‘s newest release, the La Flor de Ynclan. A couple of months ago a package arrived at my door that weighed about 12 pounds and I thought “what the heck is in here?” It turned out to be a little box with three La Flor de Ynclan cigars in Churchill, torpedo and robusto sizes, and a bottle of Zaffra Rum, a very generous gift, many thank to the folks at Villiger and Creativas! Most of my loyal readers know that I don’t drink, so one of these days (and I should have done it while the weather was warmer!), I’ll have to have some people over and have them sample this rum and put out a spread of Villiger cigars. From the Villiger website:

 

The La Flor De Ynclan is a special cigar, diligently crafted by Heinrich Villiger and master blender Jose Matias Maragoto of ABAM Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic.

Heinrich Villiger, chairman of the board of Villiger Soehne AG, came across a young ambitious Cuban native 22 years ago in the Dominican Republic. That Cuban, Jose Matias Maragoto was an unknown cigar maker, who was beginning a new life in a new country. Fast forward two decades, the once untested Matias Maragoto is the overseer of all Villiger made product made in the DR. The Flor de Ynclan cigar, is the fruition of a bond between two different men from different backgrounds, over the love of tobacco.

The La Flor De Ynclan is a cigar that presents a distinct full-flavor experience, due to the extended aging of the tobacco. Choice Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobacco, along with a true Indonesian binder, wrapped in a beautiful Ecuadorian wrapper make the La Flor De Ynclan a cigar that has been worth the wait.

FlordeYnclan

 

I started with the Churchill, a beautiful 7″ x 48 (close enough), with the above-mentioned components. I thought this was a terrific cigar. It was solid medium, and had a quality that I though would suite the European market well. It was complex with some citrus sweetness and a twinge of spice. There have been some Villiger cigars that I really liked, some were so-so, but this one stands apart, I think. It was very tasty, worth a try. I am disappointed that they discontinued the Trill line (made at Tabacalera Palma), although the name is kinda dumb, the cigar is good. I bought a box while I had the chance.

 

BolivarMoving on, I found myself at The Wooden Indian Tobacconist once again where Sean Williams, the Cohiba Brand Ambassador, was appearing for a meet and greet with the lounge membership. I first met Sean at the 2011 IPCPR show, in his El Primer Mundo booth. Ironically, Willie Herrera was hanging out in the booth with him at the same time, so it was also when I met Willie. I got there early and bought some General Cigar Co. cigars that I hadn’t smoked before, as well as a couple of the newer Sean_CohibaBolivars that I’ve enjoyed in the past. The only Cohibas that they had in stock were the Macasar, and I had a couple of those in the humidor already (and they are really pricey!). I was in the mood for Broadleaf, so the Bolivar 652 Toro was the smoke of choice. I know, I know, the Bolivar has a Connecticut Habano Maduro wrapper, not Broadleaf, but it was as close as I was going to get, OK?  This was released at the 2015 IPCPR show, and was Michael Giannini’s project re-imagining the Bolivar (and Ramon Allones). I like the box design, but I can’t say I love the band, it could have been classier, not Rami_Generalthat my opinion counts. I wonder what Mr. Giannini is up to? The Bolivar cigar is great, to my palate. I dig the closed foot and pigtail cap on these and they are very well priced. Anyway, it was a great evening at the Wooden Indian. Dave and his staff are top-notch and it was nice catching up with Sean ( and Rami, the area sales rep, another cool dude).  One last thing about this cigar. It’s neither on the Cigarworld.com or the Foundry websites, the only info I have is from the General Cigar Co. press info from the show.

 

LigaPrivadaSerieUnico_AI slipped back and forth between General Cigar Co. and Drew Estate this week, but I was probably heavier on the DE. I had to smoke another of the Florida Sun Grown toros since I bought a few more at the Wooden Indian charity event, and it was pretty darned tasty. Friday I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to smoke, and decided to go big and smoke a Liga Privada Serie Unico “A” that came from the Connecticut Barn Smoker. I probably should have swapped it for one from the 2014 two count box, but I was too lazy.  An “A” is a traditional Cuban size, it’s 9″ x 47, two notable examples being the Cuban Montecristo and the Sancho Panza Sancho. I took a walk with this cigar and when I got home an hour later I was just hitting the 6″ mark.  It was delicious, but due to its length, was on the milder side for a Liga Privada. It’s a good cigar, no doubt, and actually burned faster than I would have thought, I was finished in a little over two hours. From what I can tell, this is more of a T52 blend as it has the Connecticut stalk cut Habano wrapper, so I guess I’m still looking to satisfy my Broadleaf desire. I’ll find something today. These are only available at events, and are probably considered something of a unicorn in the Liga Privada world. I loved it, I thought it was delicious, but if I had ponied up a bunch of $ on the secondary market I’d have felt a little let down.

 

AcidKubaCandelaSince the current contest features a Drew Estate Acid KubaKuba Candela, I was kinda challenged to smoke one. Fortunately, I had one, as well as a couple of the little Blondie Candelas. I could have wimped out and went with the Blondie and gotten it over with, but why not just go for the gusto?  The regular KubaKuba is just distasteful to me, can’t even stand the smell.  I smoked a Kuba Maduro once in Nicaragua after about eight cigars and it was enjoyable. I entered this with as open a mind as I could muster, and, to lend credence to that, I didn’t take a spare cigar on my walk. I was committed (or should be). Happy to report that I enjoyed the cigar. The Candela wrapper has some bitterness that counters the sweet floweryness of the infusion. If one doesn’t like Candela cigars, I don’t imagine this one is going to change that opinion, because the grassy candellaness (my made up word for the day) is apparent. But, like it’s siblings in the Acid line, it’s well made with quality tobaccos. If you like the Acid line, try this, it’s probably going to be interesting. If you like Candela wrapped cigars, try this. If you don’t like either Candela or infused, I don’t know what to tell you…maybe this one would be a good change of pace, open your mind!

 

I was going to add one more cigar in here, but it’s getting long, I’ll circle back to that cigar. It was good and came highly recommended, I want to smoke another one and pay a little more attention to it before writing about it. Also, I bought a ticket to a Meet and Greet with Ernesto Carillo at the CigarCigars King of Prussia Mall store (smoke while your wife shops!) on Wednesday, October 11 which seems like a good deal, $25 for three cigars, booze and hors d’oeuvres and the chance to talk to a legend in the cigar business. Interestingly, this is a General Cigar event, featuring the new La Gloria Cubana Colleccion Reserva.

 

That’s all for now, until the next time, when we’ll select a contest winner,

 

CigarCraig

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Tortuga, Nestor Miranda, and Fratello Cigars

Tortuga_Reserva215_DiplomaticoLast Monday, before it snowed and I smoked a bunch of the Casta Cigars offerings (which, by the way, are only available direct from their website for now), I was in a Tortuga kinda mood, so I picked a single Tortuga Reserva Diplomatico from the humidor. The Diplomatico is a big cigar, 7½” x 58, why I decided on a cigar this large on a winter Monday evening is anyone’s guess. For me, at least, any Tortuga is a good decision, as I love the flavors in this Honduran made Nicaraguan puro. I can always count on the Tortuga line to satisfy me, and the box pressed Reserva line has the right balance of strength and flavor that just always works. I need to catch up with Victor Vitale again soon, he’s been quiet lately. He makes great, under-rated and appreciated cigars. I’m sure some warm, sunny day I’ll wish I had this one back, but it sure hit the spot! Fortunately, I have an old Tortuga Limited Edition and an Ora Vivo Armand Asante in this size still in the humidor.

 

CandelasFriday was Saint Paddy’s Day, and the temptation for me is to smoke a Candela. I rounded up my small stash of Candela cigars, and derivatives (Barber Poles with Candela), and decided I wasn’t in the mood for a Candela, so I found a Nestor Miranda Collection Habano Danno One Life Addition that, at least, had a green band.  This one was a couple years old, and is another formidable sized cigar, measuring 7″ x 56. The Danno line commemorates NMCDannoNestor Miranda’s  late son, Danny. It’s made at the My Father Factory in Esteli and is a wonderful blend of Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Honduran tobaccos. I really like the latest incarnation of the Nestor Miranda Collection cigars, sadly, I only seem to smoke them in the robusto format, which I enjoy in all four varieties (Maduro, Habano, Connecticut and Corojo), this size is special though. It’s more of a good thing.  I remain mystified that two years after re-working the packaging and bands on this line, the website remains out-dated.

 

Fratello_Oro_RobustoYesterday was a damp, overcast Saturday, so after running some errands, doing some good deeds, I relaxed on the porch with a Fratello Oro Robusto, the newest offering from Omar de Frias. I was tempted to smoke this on St. Paddy’s day, considering the irony that the 6’9″ Omar is pretty much the exact opposite of a leprechaun, at least in stature. I could definitely see Omar dancing around in green leprechaun costume.  Gotta say, the Fratello Oro is magically delicious! This Fratello is made in the Dominican Republic, with an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, Cameroon binder and Dominican, Nicaraguan and Colombian fillers, no Peruvian tobacco in this one! It’s got the creamy, grassy flavor from the Ecuador Connecticut, the sweet “Camerooniness” from the binder, some strength and unique spice from the filler blend. It comes together in a very good, full-flavored cigar! While it didn’t absolutely blow my mind like the Fratello Bianco Boxer torpedo did, it was an excellent cigar with very good flavor and performance. I have yet to meet a Fratello I didn’t like.

 

That’s about all I have for today, hopefully the snow melts off as Spring officially starts tomorrow and we head towards my favorite time of year. Take a look forward to the beginning of June, when the Philly Cigar Festival is being held in Pottstown, PA. In the coming weeks I’m going to have a contest to give away a ticket to this multi-vendor event, so if you’re in the area, or are willing to travel, you might want to get in on the contest. I plan to be there, hopefully some of my readers can join me!  Now, I just need to give the organizers a little grief about using one of my photos on their website without giving me credit!  Until the next time,

 

CigarCraig

 

 

 

 

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A Camacho Corojo Candela for St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2010

I know, I just mentioned smoking a Camacho Corojo Candela Monarca last week, but it’s St. Patty’s Day!  This box of cigars has been very consistent.  The draw is very loose, so I started out piercing the cap with a Cigar Spike, then gave it a traditional cut after the hole started to tar up.  The same full flavor, with that tinge of chlorophyll from the emerald green wrapper.  Very heavy, yet refreshing at the same time. Sadly, I’m down to my last 5 or 6 of these.

There was a very good article on Cigar Aficionado‘s website from back in 2003 about candela cigars.  It’s worth a read: http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/CA_Archives/CA_Show_Article/0,2322,1251,00.html

I’ve been nursing a cold for the past few days, but it’s subsided a bit, at least enough to enjoy a cigar.  I got to thinking that I’ve never really celebrated St. Patty’s day.  I’m not particularly religious, and I’m not particularly Irish, but, as a huge snake hater, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who can clear an entire country of snakes.  I like that.

One last thing:  I’m still waiting to hear from this month’s contest winner, Sebastian.  If I don’t hear from him by March 31, I’ll have to award the prize to the runner-up.  Sebastian, please e-mail me your address!  There’s a fine 5 pack of JdN Antaños courtesy of Drew Estate on the line!

That’s it for now, until the next cigar,

CigarCraig

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Random Cigar Musings – Wednesday March 10, 2010

I’ve been on a maduro torpedo kick this week.  After Saturday’s Diesel Unholy Cocktail, I followed it up on Sunday with a very nice CAO Brazilia Samba.  The Samba is a 6¼ x 54 torpedo with a Brazilian wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit.  It burned very evenly and was on the stronger side of medium bodied. Cocoa, coffee and some spiceyness were the dominant flavors, ones that I expect and enjoy in this line.  I am pretty sure I got this one at the CAO party at the Palms in Las Vegas at the 2008 IPCPR show.  They handed out a handful of CAO, Toraño, and Henri Wintermans cigars at the door and Lynyrd Skynyrd provided the entertainment.  Quite a cool evening.

Last night I picked out a Toraño Exodus 1959 – 50 Years Torpedo.  Slightly shorter than the Samba at 5½ x 52, it also sports a Brazilian wrapper and Nicaraguan filler, but with a Honduran binder.  Similar in flavor to the CAO, but I found it milder.  I was a little disappointed by this one, I expected stronger flavors.  The construction was top notch of course.  I’ve had good experiences with this line, too bad this one didn’t live up to my expectations.  I picked this one up at Cigars International last fall when they had a Toraño event at the Superstore in Bethlehem.  I have a couple  Casa Toraño Maduro Lanceros for which I have high hopes.

After all the dark wrapped torps this week I decided I needed to change it up a little tonight and grabbed a Camacho Corojo Candela Monarca.  I know, I should have saved this for March 17th, it being the appropriate emerald green for St. Patrick’s Day. The cigars from this box have all been rather loosely rolled, giving them a very free draw.  I found out some time ago that if I pierce the cap with a Cigar Spike, it makes for a perfect draw. These are a strong cigar, although the candela wrapper tempers the power that the Corojo line is famous for a little.  These can still overwhelm if one isn’t careful. I find them a nice change of pace.  I still have several from a box I purchased a few years ago from Rock’s Smoke Shop in East Stroudsburg, PA. so smoking one next week isn’t out of the question.

Don’t forget, only a couple day left to get your entries in for this month’s contest.  Click here and leave a comment with your guess!  Thanks once again to the fine folks at Drew Estate for providing outstanding prizes!

Until the next cigar,

CigarCraig

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