Tagged "cigars review"

The Oliva Serie V Cigar Review - The Answer to a Ligero-Lover's Wish

Posted by freedomcigars on

[caption id="attachment_424" align="alignleft" width="188" caption="Oliva Serie V Liga Especial at My Discount Cigars"]Oliva Serie V Liga Especial at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

The Oliva Serie V is a ligero-lovers dream cigar! With its rich colors, beautiful oily wrapper and impeccable construction it comes together in great harmony. Created by Oliva Cigar Company (no relation to Oliva Tobacco Co.) is headquartered in Miami, Florida and rolls their cigars in Nicaragua. The company has slowly acquired its place on the map in the cigar industry through their persistence, patience, drive, passion and always putting out a quality product. The Oliva name, with all its lines, has risen to the forefront in cigar production. The Oliva Serie V Liga is a complex blend of Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos blended with specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero and finished with a high priming Habano sun-grown wrapper. Because the Olivas are not known for their power, but more for their flavor, Oliva Cigar Co. decided to please the more seasoned cigar smokers who demanded a more muscular cigar with the Oliva Serie V line.

The Oliva Serie V is not only attractive aesthetically with its 4-seam cap, but it is full of diverse and dynamic flavors from coffee, chocolate, wood, nuts and sweet cedar that all frame a substantial leather core. A subtle yet well-balanced spice is present throughout. With the rich and long finish its complexity shines through. The Oliva Serie V Liga is blended to deliver a fuller bodied taste yet it maintains an unparalleled smoothness. Its wrapper a bit toothy with some faint veins and billowy, thick, white smoke, the Oliva Serie V will make you appreciate Nicaraguan cigars on a deeper level.

[caption id="attachment_425" align="alignright" width="251" caption="Oliva Serie V Liga Double Robusto at My Discount Cigars"]Oliva Serie V Liga Double Robusto at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Flavor: Full
Wrapper: Habano Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Jalapa Valley Ligero

Oliva Serie V has been named as Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 Cigars of the Year for several of its blends in the past decade, including winning the #22 spot for Top 25 Cigars of the Year for its Oliva Serie V Double Robusto blend (rated 92) in 2011! The Oliva Serie V Liga Especial is very reasonably priced, as are the other 8 vitolas in this line (Belicoso, Churchill Extra, Double Robusto, Double Robusto Tubos, Double Toro, Lancero, Special V Figurado, Toro Maduro 2011 and Torpedo), which makes this cigar not only a top-ranker for Cigar Aficionado, but in our book as well!


The Oliva Serie V line is available online here at MyDiscountCigar.com.

To learn more about the Oliva Serie V series and the other Oliva lines please visit OlivaCigar.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


An In-Depth Cigar Review of the Oliva Serie V Torpedo by Lucky7 of CigarFan.Net

by lucky7

Oliva Serie V Torpedo

Skip the fluff and jump straight to the review!

Cigar Stats of the Oliva Serie V Torpedo Cigar
Brand Owner: Oliva Cigar Company – Miami, FL
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva S. A. (Tabolisa) – Esteli, Nicaragua
Model/Vitola: Oliva Serie V (Ligero Especial) Torpedo
Size: 6.0 x 56
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano Sun Grown)
Filler & Binder: Nicaragua (only specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero)
Body: Medium to Full
MSRP: $6.75 USD
Cigar Insider Rating: 94 (September 2007)
Cigar Aficionado Rating: 94 (December 2007)
Cigar Aficionado Rating: 93 (2007 Top 25 List – January 2008)

Six other vitola sizes available

  • Double Robusto 5.0 x 54 (robusto grande)
  • Belicoso 5.0 x 54
  • Double Toro 6.0 x 60 (toro grande)
  • Special V Figurado 6.0 x 60
  • Lancero 7.0 x 38
  • Churchill Extra 7.0 x 52

All sizes come in dark lacquered cedar boxes of 24, packaged naked with no cellophane sleeves. The Lancero is the exception packaged in boxes of 36. Although I have not seen one, Cigar Insider states the Serie V also comes in a culebra size available exclusively at special events.

The Olivas

The Oliva Family has been growing tobacco for a little over 120 years. Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba beginning in 1886. His growing operations were suspended while he fought in Cuba’s War of Independence. On his return, Melanio resumed his operations and in the early 1920’s his son Hipolito took over. Hipolito cultivated the Oliva family fields for several decades but as Cuba became over-run by communists, the tobacco landscape changed. Hipolito’s son, Gilberto Sr., was born literally across the street from Cuba’s Hoyo de Monterrey factory and following in his fathers footsteps, that is where he first worked in Cuba’s tobacco industry. When Gilberto, Sr. took over the family’s business he shifted from growing to brokering tobacco. In the early 1960’s the pressure in Cuba became unbearable and Gilberto, Sr. left in search of growing conditions that would produce that distinct Cuban taste. His travels took him to Honduras, Panama, Mexico and even the Philippines before he finally found his desired fertile ground in Nicaragua and today the Oliva Family is Nicaragua’s second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco.

In 1984 Gilberto, Sr. decided it was time to expand into cigar making for other brands and in 1994 began to produce the first Oliva Family cigar line. After success with their frontmarks in the USA, last year the Oliva’s began selling their cigars in Europe and today Oliva lines are enjoyed around the world. Business is booming!

Oliva Family Members
The Oliva Family.
(From left to right, Jeannie, Carlos, Gilberto, Sr., Jose and Gilberto, Jr.)

Management of Oliva Cigar Company activities is still very much a family affair with Gilberto Sr. overseeing growing, curing, and fermenting operations and Gilberto, Jr. deeply entrenched in blending. Cigar rolling falls under the direction of Carlos. Jeannie and Jose manage marketing, customer relations and distribution operations from the Miami office.

The Oliva Serie V

The Oliva’s have been listening to their customers asking, “Where’s the beef? Love the quality of your cigars but we need more power!” Finally their answer is ready. With a soft-release in June 2007 and official release at the 2007 RTDA the buzz on the Serie V has been high volume. Vice President of Operations, Jose Oliva describes development of the Serie V blend as the most challenging undertaking the company has ever embarked upon. In his opinion, a cigar smoker should feel the strength of a cigar in the stomach and head, not in the throat. Striking the right balance of potency with ultimate smoothness was the goal.

With all of the tobacco for the Serie V grown on Oliva Family Farms in Nicaragua it is the strongest cigar they have released to-date. With maximum production anticipated at 750K per year due to limited availability of tobaccos, they will be quickly be at that level and following a Cigar Aficionado rating of 94, it will be a challenge to stay up with demand. I can see the price on these puppies going through the roof.

Cigar.com claims, in order to be an authorized Serie V dealer, tobacconists must undergo special training from Oliva representatives aimed at providing insight to the sheer power of the blend. The Oliva Serie V Torpedo cigar only contains ligero leaf (the strongest variety of tobacco), but is blended so the initial taste doesn’t overwhelm the enthusiast with in your face power. In other words, the Oliva Serie V Torpedo is very strong but can still be enjoyed by individuals who prefer medium bodied cigars. Upon lighting, many may believe the Serie V is medium in body, but as Jose Oliva himself has explained, if you exhale through the nose you will realize the true strength of the Oliva Serie V Torpedo.

Oliva Serie V Cigar Band

Cigar Insider released a vertical tasting of the entire line in September 2007 with the average rating weighing in at a whopping 89.7 points. The Oliva Serie V Torpedo led the pack with an individual rating of 94 points. CI claims, “The Torpedo was an outstanding cigar, with aesthetics, strength, complexity and many flavors that kept the cigar interesting and balanced.”

Cigar Aficionado ranks the Oliva Serie V Torpedo as #4 on the list of the top 25 smokes of 2007. Impressive!

From the website …..

Oliva Serie V Website Photo

Serie V is a complex blend of Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos. Blended with specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero, and finished with a high priming Habano Sun Grown Wrapper (high priming being closer to the top of the tobacco plant and therefore soaking up more sun). It is blended to deliver full body taste while maintaining an unparalleled smoothness. This flavorful blend exhibits complex tobacco with rich coffee and dark chocolate tones. A subtle and well balanced spice is present throughout.

Bottom line up front …..
Although not the powerhouse I was expecting, the Oliva Serie V Torpedo is a beauty to behold and a premium quality full flavored smoke with balance and finesse sure to become a favorite for many cigar smokers. Definitely the richest and strongest Oliva Family cigar on the market today! My only concern is if the Oliva’s can keep up with demand and thereby maintain the reasonable price-point. As of this writing they are very hard to find in-stock.

The Oliva Serie V Torpedo sports a silky smooth Colorado maduro wrapper with no veins to speak of and a small tooth evident over its length. The chubby torpedo is a very solid, tightly packed 56 ring with the conical cap packed too tight IMO. Handsome to look at, the stick feels very nice in the hand. Scent from the wrap is very mild tobacco except toward the foot where there was a slight touch of barnyard. A good whiff of the foot tingled the olfactory and caused a tobacco sneeze. The bunching at the foot shows a healthy amount of dark ligero as advertised (about now the drooling has begun!).

One of the three cigars smoked for this review had a lengthwise crack in the wrap about one and one half inches long located about a half inch from the foot. It caused no burn problems but was unsightly and worrisome. Not sure the stick was properly cared for prior to coming into my possession. This always concerns me when a review is in the offing. I would rather smoke the best sticks and offer a review on the merits. That is part of the reason I smoked three Serie V cigars prior to writing the review. The other part is I just love smoking cigars and probably would have smoked five if they were around.

The clip took some hand strength as I had anticipated. On the first stick I removed about a half inch (half of the torpedo cone) and the draw was very tight. Flavor in the pre-light draw was interesting with a light sweet grass and nuts on the palate. After lighting, the first few pulls on the draw were still too much work so I clipped a bit more (toward the cap end just below the shoulder of the cone) and the draw opened up to perfect. Don’t be shy when clipping this one and you will be rewarded with a fine draw. Remove most of the torpedo cone.

The Smoking Experience
The aroma from the toasting foot is exquisite. Due to the amount of ligero in this Oliva Serie V Torpedo cigar, the lighting takes a little more effort. Toast the foot really well before beginning to pull for the light. Initial pulls were very smooth and creamy. So much so I found myself thinking, where’s the bang associated with ligero. No worries. It was coming. I just had to exhibit a little patience. Like the pre-light draw, initial flavors were of sweet grass and nuts with a little pepper on the tongue. About a quarter inch in the ligero twang on the nose arrived in force. At the one inch mark the blend smoothes out to a base of creamy toasted hardwood and earthy leather with slightly sweet notes of vanilla/caramel with some spicy nuances. Over the first 2 thirds the flavor is consistent and then builds in intensity with the entrance of some cocoa and espresso flavors. The finish starts crisply short but builds over the length of the cigar to a long one with distinct flavors of dark, unsweetened chocolate and black coffee.

The ash is light gray and very smooth. Stack of quarters effect is barely visible. It held for me to about two and a half inches and took several solid taps before it fell. Interestingly, the ash is the same color for the wrap and the filler indicating well fermented tobaccos.

Oliva Serie V Ash

The burn is slow and cool with a few bumps developing in the burn line but no torch corrections necessary. The Oliva Serie V Torpedo cigar is a dream for smoke rings as the volume of smoke is incredible.

In addition to the wrapper anomaly discussed above, I had other wrapper splits and unraveling in all three cigars for this review. Amazing to me, none of the problems caused the burn to waver but they did detract a bit from the smoking experience. I’m not sure this isn’t a phenomena typical to habano wrappers in general. I’ve had several treat me this way. Just a very sensitive and fragile wrapper leaf.

Smoketime ~85 minutes.

My take …..
I find Oliva Family cigars are generally mild to medium and a little less potent than I prefer. Although the Oliva Serie V Torpedo is most definitely stronger, it was not the monster I was expecting with all the hype and the “Ligero Especial” moniker. I would call it medium to full bodied but for $5, a fine flavorful smoke. I enjoyed it very much. The $5 price tag must have carried allot of weight in CI 94 rating which was a little high IMHO. Most definitely a quality smoke for the price and I can see it becoming very popular in regular rotations if the Oliva’s production can match demand. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

MSRP is $6.75 per stick. The Oliva Serie V Torpedo is a fine cigar and with the high CA/CI rating don’t hesitate to pull the trigger if you find them available.

I had an online vendor call me and say “We don’t know how your order for these snuck through since we are currently out-of-stock. You must have pressed the submit button just before we updated the website.” @*&#*^^^!%@$$#!!


Thank you Lucky7 for taking your time to write such an excellent review of the  Oliva Serie V Torpedo!

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An Insight Into Hoyo de Monterrey's Excalibur Blends

Posted by freedomcigars on

Today we honor the legendary Excalibur blends by Hoyo de Monterrey.  Hoyo de Monterrey has always been a consistent, well made, reasonably priced brand. We will highlight the flavor characters of each of the following blends:  Excalibur Legend, Excalibur Dark Knight, the Excalibur Cameroon blend and Excalibur (as well as Excalibur Maduro).

[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignleft" width="134" caption="Excalibur Legends at My Discount Cigar"]Excalibur Legends at My Discount Cigar[/caption]

Excalibur Legend:
As one of the most well-known brands to come from Honduras it is only fitting that the Hoyo de Monterrey's Excalibur Legend would pay homage to this brand's pedigree with such a regal title and its rich flavors that just command such attention. The Excalibur Legend is blended with proprietary tobacco cultivated exclusively for the company on the remote volcanic island of Ometepe and combines it with a potent Dominican ligero tobacco. All the tobaccos used to make this blend give it a complex combination  with a spicy and rich finish. General Cigar Company took the same wrapper for the Excalibur Legend that it used on the Excalibur Dark Knight blend, which should give you an idea of the boldness of your smoking experience. The Excalibur Legend is clearly designed to appeal to a more "seasoned" smoker who demands a full-flavored stogie.  With its well-earned 91 rating by Cigar Insider (of Cigar Aficionado) they describe it with the following terms "This thick cigar is rich with leather from the the first puff, developing to show tea and toast flavors. A balanced smoke with a profoundly leathery core."  We couldn't have said it better! So jump on the Excalibur Legend bandwagon and prepare for a smooth and intense ride.

Country of Origin: Honduras
Flavor: Full
Wrapper: Honduran Claro
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler, Nicaragua, Dominican, Honduras
Cigars in the Legend line: Excalibur Challenger (5 1/4 x 50), Excalibur Conquerer (6 1/4 x 54), Excalibur Crusader (5 3/4 x 45)

[caption id="attachment_395" align="alignleft" width="198" caption="Excalibur Dark Knight at My Discount Cigar"]Excalibur Dark Knight at My Discount Cigar[/caption]

Excalibur Dark Knight:
The Excalibur Dark Knight line, the cream of the Hoyo de Monterrey crop, is wrapped in a beautiful Cuban Havana seed wrapper, complex filler and binder, giving them a robust but exquisitely smooth taste. This line was originally part of the Excalibur 1066 line (phased out by the General Cigar Company in 2010), the Excalibur Dark Knight now has its own platform to highlight the incredible taste of its unique and rich wrapper. Even though with a name like "Dark Knight" it does not come with a bat logo, experienced cigar smokers will vouch that since its introduction in 2004 it does however pack a punch with its rich, dark and complex flavors and is housed in a stained dark wooden box that resembles a treasure chest. The Hoyo de Monterrey's Excalibur Dark Knight blend expertly balances a rich, full flavor with full body. The consistent and beautiful burn make this cigar a dream to smoke. The Excalibur Dark Knight has just the right draw and exudes hints of wood, leather and sweetness. Stick after stick the Excalibur Dark Knight  will give you a very fulfilling smoking experience that makes it worth your money and your while.

Country of Origin: Honduras
Flavor: Full
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Republic
Cigars in the Excalibur Dark Knight line: Excalibur Dark Knight I (5 3/4 x 54), Excalibur Dark Knight II (6 1/2 x 52), Excalibur Dark Knight III (4 1/2 x 50), Excalibur Dark Knight IV Tubo (5 x 52)

Excalibur Cameroon:

After Hoyo de Monterrey phased out the 1066 line in 2010, the Excalibur Cameroon line was introduced. The Excalibur Cameroon cigar is a full-bodied Honduran cigar that is highlighted by its rich Cameroon wrapper and its flavorful Connecticut Broadleaf binder.  Its unique story is that the Excalibur Cameroon cigar was named "The People's Choice Cigar" because its blend was selected by cigar smokers who have a deep passion for cigars. The Cameroon series features a shiny Cameroon wrapper which enhances this collection with its uniquely spicy tone. The Excalibur Cameroon is a blend that combines Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. Its character is enhanced by a select Connecticut Broadleaf binder which is grown in the Connecticut River Valley.  Because the tobaccos of the Excalibur Cameroon are cured over a lengthy period of time, the flavors become richer with some spicy overtones, pleasing the most discriminating smoker. With an 88 rating by Cigar Insider (of Cigar Aficionado), the Excalibur Cameroon is undoubtedly a well-made cigar with a great draw and burn, a well-placed cap, silky smooth and balanced smoke, and flavors that range from pepper, ginger, floral, toasty, buttery, creamy with some chalky and vanilla notes throughout.

Country of Origin: Honduras
Flavor: Medium
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic
Cigars in the Excalibur Cameroon line:  Excalibur Cameroon Galahad (6 3/4 x 47), the Excalibur Cameroon King Arthur (6 1/4 x 45), the Excalibur Cameroon Lancelot (7 1/4 x 54) and the Excalibur Cameroon Merlin (5 1/4 x 50)

[caption id="attachment_397" align="alignleft" width="172" caption="Excalibur Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Excalibur Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Excalibur (Excalibur Maduro):

The Excalibur cigar is the perfect example of Honduran craftsmanship that combines a golden USA Connecticut Shade wrapper with a rich binder and filler, exuding a creamy aroma and a long finish. A superb cigar with great detail to construction, Hoyo de Monterrey's Excalibur is lighter in color than a Cuban cigar due to its fine Connecticut Shade wrapper and the excellent quality using the top 10% of the factory's tobacco from Nicaragua and Honduras.  Once these fine cigars are rolled by master cigar makers in tradition that dates back to 1865, they are then carefully packaged in lovely Spanish cedar boxes to enhance their character and bouquet. The Excalibur is aged in cedar, is mild to medium-bodied and complex. Seasoned smokers favor the Excalibur cigar's complexity.  This golden brown Excalibur cigar tantalizes the palate with toasty smoke and an array of flavors ranging from cedar, spice, earth, wood, nuts and slight sweet notes. It is mild to medium in body, but if you prefer a bolder and fuller flavor try the Excalibur Maduro blend with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The Excalibur Maduro is a dark and attractive cigar enveloped in an oily, and toothy Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a second layer of dark Connecticut Broadleaf for the binder. Not only did Cigar Insider (of Cigar Aficionado) rate the Excalibur Epicure Maduro as the #8 cigar of 2007 as "The 25 Best Cigars of the Year", Cigar Cyclopedia gave the collection an "A" rating as well. Excalibur, the cigar that was inspired by the legendary sword of King Arthur, strikes a perfect balance between the smooth flavors of its blonde wrapper and the straightforward taste of its rich filler tobaccos. With over 12 sizes and shapes to select from you have no excuse not to find one Excalibur to your liking.

Country of Origin: Honduras
Flavor: Mild to Medium
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Shade (Connecticut Broadleaf - Maduro)
Binder: Connecticut Shade (Connecticut Broadleaf - Maduro)
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras
Cigars in the Excalibur (Maduro) line:  Excalibur #1 (Maduro #1) (7 1/4 x 54), Excalibur #2 (Maduro #2) (6 3/4 x 47), Excalibur #3 (Maduro #3) (6 1/8 x 48), Excalibur #4 (Maduro #4) (5 5/8 x 46), Excalibur #5 (Maduro #5) (6 1/4 x 45), Excalibur #6 (Maduro #6) (5 1/2 x 38), Excalibur #7 (Maduro #7) (5 x 43), Excalibur Cigarillos 20-Ct Tin (4 x 25), Excalibur Emperor (8 1/2 x 52), Excalibur Epicure (Epicure Maduro) (5 1/4 x 50), Excalibur Miniatures 20-Ct. Tin (3 x 22), Excalibur Prensado (6 1/8 x 48)

For the true test we suggest you try one of each of the Excalibur blends, starting with the Excalibur, followed by an Excalibur Cameroon, then sampling an Excalibur Legend and finishing off with an after-dinner smoke of an Excalibur Dark Knight blend.

The Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur blends are all available for purchase online at MyDiscountCigar.com.

To read more about Hoyo de Monterrey's Excalibur blends please visit their official site at CigarWorld.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


Seth Geise, of Seth's Humidor, Shares His Review of the Hoyo De Monterrey's Excalibur Epicure Maduro

[caption id="attachment_400" align="aligncenter" width="229" caption="Seth's Humidor Reviews Excalibur Epicure Maduro"]Seth's Humidor Reviews Excalibur Epicure Maduro[/caption]

The other day I was smoking an Illusione ~4/2g~ and a Ramon Allones Gigantes side by side when I was asked by a customer what my opinion was on the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Epicure Maduro. I immediately told him that I loved that cigar, and though I hadn’t smoke one in some time it was time to light one up. The cigar for me has always delivered wonderful flavors, nice medium body, and a great affordable price. The cigar did well by Cigar Aficionado in 2007, and I think they are just as great now as they were for the staff at Cigar Aficionado then. Though General Cigars and Altadis are not boutique manufacturers, the fact that they are so large gives them the opportunity to get some great tobacco that smaller manufacturers could never get. The Hoyo de Monterrey is one of the oldest cigar lines in the industry, and is one of the few lines that are made in and outside of Cuba to this day.

The Hoyo line began in Cuba in 1865, and was begun by Don José Gener y Batet. He originally came to Cuba from Spain in 1831, and before starting the line worked on the tobacco plantations in Pinar del Rio before starting his own factory in Habana, Cuba. The line quickly became one of the most popular lines in Cuba, and in a short time had the largest factory. Hoyo de Monterrey is translated as “hole of Monterrey”, and refers to the area in which the tobacco for this cigar came from. It was considered one of the best areas. Eventually the company was sold to Fernando Palicio who continued to make the Hoyo line along with the other lines they took on, Belinda and Punch. When the revolution came about in Cuba he sold the line to the Villazon Family, who was making cigars in Tampa, Florida at the time. There they continued to make the line from Honduran tobacco before being bought by another General. The company was run by Frank Llaneza at the time, and continued to be run by him till General Cigars bought them. Eventually the lines production was moved down to Honduras, and now it is made from tobacco from more than just Honduras.
My favorite cigar in the non-Cuban Hoyo line is the Excalibur Epicure Maduro. The Epicure measures 5 ¼” and has a 50 ring gauge. The cigar is composed of tobacco from four prominent growing nations, and from some of the best regions in those nations as well I imagine. The cigar begins with a Maduro Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and binder, and has filler tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. The factory in which the cigar is made is the Honduras American Tabaco S. A. in Cofradia, Honduras just outside of Danli. This is the same factory in which all Punch and Sancho Panza cigars are made. The Excalibur Epicure Maduro is truly a classic, and great to look at. The wrapper is a very dark brown, definitely maduro in coloring, and has a great cap to it. There are few veins if any present in the cigar, and it has a wonderful aroma of coffee, cocoa, wood and earth. It is slightly oily and toothy to touch as well.
As I light up the Excalibur Epicure Maduro cigar I am immediately greeted by flavors of coffee and cedar. The flavors are easy to pick out, and they stay with you on the long finish. As I get further into the first third I begin to pick up more notes of herbs, spices and rich chocolate. The cigar has a beautiful burn to it, it is perfect, and the ash is a very light gray. The ash is very strong and holding on to the cigar firmly, and it is producing a nice amount of smoke. The flavors are very pleasant and the cigar is a solid medium in body.
When I get into the second third the first thing that I notice is that the ash on this cigar is not letting go anytime soon, and I imagine that I will be able to hold on to it till the final third easily. I am still picking up those wonderful flavors of coffee, cedar and chocolate, but the herbal notes have faded some. The spice notes increase some in this third, but the cigar is still a solid medium. The flavors have not changed dramatically so far, but it is just delivering the wonderful flavors consistently, and that is what is most important, it is a solid smoke.
I am in the final third of the Excalibur Epicure Maduro now, and that beautiful ash is still there. The burn line on this cigar is still absolutely perfect, and it is producing a nice amount smoke after each draw. The flavors are fairly similar to that of the second third, and it is very enjoyable. The cigar is rich in cocoa, spice and coffee notes, and it makes the cigar perfect for me anytime of the day. The Excalibur Epicure Maduro is a cigar that is great to give to any smoker, and is a great everyday cigar. The cigar still has a spicy wood finish, and when I put the cigar down it was still smoking cool and wonderful.

Some might not have great things to say about this cigar because it is made by General, and because it is a cigar that is easily accessible and not boutique, but that is just silly. This is a cigar that always delivers, and never bores. It is not overly complex in the flavor department, but the flavors it does have are wonderful throughout and never dull. With flavors being consistent throughout the cigar has to be bunched just perfectly, and this cigar was. You could never go wrong with this cigar, and even though I do not smoke them often or have them in my humidor it does not mean it is bad. This is a cigar that every retailer should carry, and it will move. All the shops I recommend carry these smokes, and there is a reason for that. This is a consistent cigar aimed for every smoker. If I were to buy one cigar from General Cigars this Excalibur Epicure Maduro would be it, and following this it would be the Punch Uppercut. A 90 rated cigar that will always deliver. The Excalibur Epicure Maduro is a great cigar to share with your friends who are big time smokers, and a cigar that is great for newcomers as well.


Thanks for a super review Seth!


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A Review of Cusano Cigars, Big Bang for Your Buck

Posted by freedomcigars on

The Cusano 18 cigar earned an esteemed 91 rating in the January 2004 issue of Cigar Aficionado's Cigar Insider and was made a "Smokeshop Selection" by the Robb report in September 2004. Below we give you some insight on the construction and flavor profiles of the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut cigars, the Cusano 18 Paired Maduro cigars and the Cusano M1 blends.

[caption id="attachment_356" align="alignleft" width="88" caption="Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

The Cusano 18 Double Connecticut cigars are rich, creamy and packed with flavor. The Cusano 18 Double Connecticut's filler is comprised of Dominican Oro (gold) which has been aging since it was harvested more than eighteen years ago in 1985. Highlighting the extraordinary flavors of this rare filler is a both a rich Cuban Piloto and a mouth-watering Olor from the San Vicente region of the Dominican Republic. A Connecticut Shade leaf is then used as the binder which complements the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut's complex filler blend. To finish the composition is a second medium-tone, very flavorful Connecticut Shade wrapper which further amplifies the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut cigar's already rich, creamy flavor.  The incredible volume of flavor produced by this unique combination of filler tobacco, combined with the Double Connecticut Shade wrapper, offers a mouth-watering richness and a creamy finish in a mild to medium bodied cigar. The blondish wrapper of the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut gives off a greenish hue and the flavors that hit your palate are creamy sweet and grassy notes.


[caption id="attachment_355" align="alignright" width="120" caption="Cusano 18 Paired Maduro Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Cusano 18 Paired Maduro Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

The Cusano 18 Paired Maduro Toro is a stout stogie with a lovely, shiny, brown wrapper.  It produces a heavy and rich smoke and is fuller in taste and body.  The Cusano 18 Paired Maduro Toro is blended with a Brazilian Mata Fina Maduro wrapper, a Dominican Piloto leaf for the filler, and a 1999 San Vicente Olor binder topped off with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper for a more intense, deep and full-flavored smoke.  Expect to taste hints of smoky leather, herbal, woody and spicy undertones leading to a chewy, long finish.  The flavors of the Cusano 18 Paired Maduro Toro cigar are well-balanced and rich.  Dark and rich, pleasant to the touch, with a tart cedary finish, the Cusano 18 Paired Maduro Toro is a solid cigar through and through.

Aged to perfection, we hope you enjoy the well-rounded, 91-rated, Cusano 18 Double Connecticut and the Cusano 18 Paired Maduro cigars as much as we do.

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Flavor: Double Connecticut - Mild to Medium, Paired Maduro - Medium
Wrapper: Double Connecticut - 2 USA Connecticut Shade, Paired Maduro - USA Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and Brazil
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic


Cusano M1 Cigars at My Discount Cigars
Cusano M1 Cigars at My Discount Cigars


The Cusano M1 was created for the Macanudo lover on a budget.  The Cusano M1 cigars are sweet and creamy with an excellent construction and satisfying flavor.  For the smokers who prefer a more mellow, slightly sweeter, smooth and less expensive cigar the Cusano M1 is the perfect choice.  Expect a long, gray ash and an easy draw.  The Cusano M1 is an affordable cigar packed in a bundle of 20 and is one of the best values of all the Cusano blends. The Cusano M1 comes in 5 sizes:  Cafe Robusto (5 x 36), Churchill (7 1/2 x 50), Corona (6 1/2 x 42), Robusto (5 x 50) and Torpedo (6 x 52T).

With its loose draw, semi flaky ash and fast but consistent burn the Cusano M1 does have a consistent flavor profile.  The Cusano M1 exudes creamy toffee as well as coffee tones.  Even though it has a one-dimensional flavor profile, it is still an enjoyable smoke.

It is blended with a mild Dominican mixed filler and a Connecticut shade wrapper.  The Cusano M1 was rated a 9.0 by Smoke Magazine and ranks as one of the higher rated bundled cigars on the market.  It is definitely worth your while to invest in a full bundle. The Cusano M1 is an excellent cigar to keep in your humidor to share with friends.

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Flavor: Mild
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

The Cusano 18 Double Connecticut cigars, the Cusano 18 Paired Maduro cigars and the Cusano M1 cigars are all available online at MyDiscountCigar.com.

To read more about all of the Cusano blends please visit their site at CusanoCigars.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


The Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto Cigar, as Reviewed by Jesse of CigarJack

Today I smoked a one year-old Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto cigar. See how it stacked up against one I smoked about a year ago:

Here’s the story. About a year ago I smoked a Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Natural. For those of you who don’t know, this cigar is made with 18 year-old filler tobacco that was left over from some experimental wrapper leaf grown in the Dominican Republic way back when. I thought it was a pretty good, smooth smoke the first time I had it. Its main downfall was the harsh, almost “chemical” aftertaste that it left on my palate. I figured that some time in my coolerdoor might do it some good, so I left the box of 20-minus-one to sleep in my coolerdoor and forgot about it.

A year later (more or less) and here I am looking for a smoke to review. I skimmed over a couple Fuente boxes and came across this old box of Cusano’s. And I remembered my little experiment. I decided I’d pick up one of these sticks and give it a second look.

Here’s the review:

Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto

Vital Stats

  • Size: 5×50, Robusto
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Shade, Natural
  • Binder: Dominican
  • Filler: Dominican
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Price: ~$3.75 in a box of 20
  • Smoke Time: ~1 hour and 15 minutes


The Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto cigar comes in boxes of 20 and each stick comes wrapped in cellophane. Upon removal of the plastic, it becomes evident that this is a very nice looking cigar. It has a smooth wrapper with a nice feel to it. It almost reminds me of swede. It isn’t toothy and has very few, if any veins running its length. It is pretty firm, but not overly packed with tobacco. It has a very large cap that should be quite hard to damage during the cut. The stick isn’t lumpy or uneven, and appears to be free of defect.

When I bring the foot of the cigar to my nose I get sweet cappuccino scents and almost a creamy vanilla bean character. It definitely entices the senses. The head clips easily and cleanly with my Cuban Crafter’s cutter (soon to be replaced by a Palio). The pre-light draw brings forth the same sweet cappuccino and vanilla notes as before. I’m looking forward to toasting this stogie.

Lighting Up

It only takes three wooden matches to get the foot of this cigar going. The Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto is producing copious amounts of thick white smoke. The draw feels pretty moderate in my mouth, but the impression is that it is looser than it really is. I attribute this to the large amount of easy smoke this cigar produces.

The initial flavors of vanilla and light cappuccino come through even stronger during this first third of the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto cigar. The word “creamy” comes to mind when describing the feel on my palate. I get a slight “tingly”, peppery sensation on my lips and it seems to complement the rich creaminess of the cigar. The burn is pretty even, if not a little fast at the moment. There are also hints of distinct tobacco coming through.

Second Third

As the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robuto cigar progresses I begin to get some definite cedar notes at first. It begins to shift to a fresh oak or even maple aroma. It almost brings forth some thoughts of maple syrup. This is all probably due to the underlying sweetness of the cigar. It’s not an “in-your-face” processed white sugar sweetness, more of a natural cane sugar sweet. I also start to get some hazelnut notes. The cigar honestly reminds me of a creamy, frothy, smooth, hazelnut cappuccino. One thing to note, this is burning quickly, but really not all that hot. I’ll just have to slow down a bit.

Final Third

For its last third the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut cigar definitely looses is cedar and wood dimension and begins a sort of toasty spice flavor. By the end, the cigar just becomes downright bitter, and returns to that chemical aftertaste that I unfortunately had with my first experience with this cigar a year ago. All of the sweet creaminess that the cigar possessed early on has all but vanished and I end up putting this cigar down slightly past the band.

Bottom Line

For the most part, the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut was a good smoke. It was not entirely complex and the “hazelnut cappuccino” flavor that I used to describe its base remained for the majority of the cigar. This stick did benefit from some age. It was much smoother this time around. This was certainly a mild smoke, something that I would recommend as a good morning stick (maybe with a cappuccino?) or a good cigar for someone just getting into the habit – *cough* – hobby. One cannot overlook the price tag also. At under $6 a stick, the Cusano 18 Double Connecticut Robusto cigar is certainly something that everyone should try at least once.

Overall: 6 out of 10, BUY


Thank you for sharing this great review with all the smokers out there Jesse!

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