Tagged "Nicaragua"

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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The Dunhill Signed Ranged, A Cigar I Personally Stand Behind

Posted by freedomcigars on

Oh, this cigar gets us very excited! Cigar Aficionado has named the 92-rated Dunhill Signed Range Toro the #19 Top Cigar of 2011 (and the #10 cigar of the year in 2007), and rightfully so!  At the risk of sounding biased, the Dunhill Signed Range is by far one of our favorite cigars and it is certainly a very difficult cigar to acquire any information on and sometimes equally hard to purchase.  We are fortunate enough to carry 3 of the sizes (it comes in at least 6 sizes total when you can find it): Robusto (4 1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 50) and the Torpedo (5 1/2 x 52T).

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Flavor: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

[caption id="attachment_417" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Dunhill Signed Range Cigars at My Discount CigarsFlavor: Medium"]Dunhill Signed Range Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

British American Tobacco selected Carlos Torano to take over the production of the Dominican Dunhill Signed Range line and have also launched the newest line of Dunhills, the Nicaraguan Signed Range, which filled the demand for a more fuller-bodied cigar. The Dunhill Nicaraguan Signed Range line was introduced in 2007.

We can't stress enough how creamy, smooth and flavor-packed the Dunhill Signed Range is! Handmade in Nicaragua under the close supervision of the Torano family the Dunhill Signed Range cigars feature Nicaraguan wrappers, Cameroon binders, and aged Nicaraguan and Dominican filler leaves for a medium to full-bodied creamy smoke bursting with nutty, coffee, dark chocolate, cedar, caramel and slight peppery notes!

Besides the incredible smoothness and most delicious flavor profile of the Dunhill Signed Range, what makes it doubly enticing, especially for collectors, is that each box is individually numbered and features the signatures of the inspectors as well as some of the rollers responsible for that unique batch. The Dunhill Signed Range cigars are definitely not given enough credit or attention and we hope that you take our word for how very special, tasty, and unique these cigars truly are and splurge for a box (if not a full box, then at least try the 5-cigar sampler) of this treasure!

[caption id="attachment_418" align="alignleft" width="112" caption="Dunhill Signed Range Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Dunhill Signed Range Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]


The Dunhill Signed Range is available for purchase online at MyDiscountCigar.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


Lisa, of Her Humidor Cigar Reviews, Shares Her Experience of the Dunhill Signed Range Short Robusto

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I don't know if it's just me but does any one else have a problem with on-line retailers sending you the wrong cigar? Maybe they see the name and think that just because I'm female they think they can get away with it. For example, instead of the Esteban Carreras 1961 corona, I get the Carlos Torano 1916 corona. Now granted they both have Spanish names and dates in their name but still...

Another switcharoo done to me is the Dunhill Signed Range Short Robusto Dominican for the Dunhill Signed Range Nicaraguan. This time I can't complain because not only was this cigar more expensive (being discontinued), but it also tasted fantastic.

The Dunhill Signed Range cigar line was released first in Great Britain in 2001 then released in the U.S. in 2002. Originally the cigars were manufactured at the Cuevas and Torano factory in Navarette, Dominican Republic. The Dunhill Signed Range cigars were created to cater to the popularity of more fuller bodied cigars compared to the mild blend found in their Dunhill Aged cigars. The tobacco used in the Dominican produced Signed Range is a Connecticut seed Ecuadorean wrapper, Pennsylvania broadleaf seed binder, and a Columbian and Dominican filler. In 2007, production was moved to Nicaragua and the Torano factory based in Esteli. The manufacturer states that this was a "quest to find the best super premium cigar blend". The Nicaraguan Signed Range contains a Cuban seed Nicaraguan wrapper, African cameroon binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican long filler tobaccos.

If you buy a box of these Dunhill Signed Range cigars you will notice that they are numbered and feature the signatures of the people responsible for creating the cigars. The torcedor (cigar roller), escogedor (sorter), empacador (packer) and the ultimo control de calidad (quality supervisor) all hand sign each box they are responsible for.

The band on my Dunhill Signed Range cigar gives away the fact that these were produced in the Dominican Republic. In fact, the toro sized Signed Range Nicaraguan that I ordered at the same time shows the correct label. The Dominican band has a more modern simplistic look compared to the Nicaraguan which has the "Dunhill" name in cursive with "since 1907" underneath it.

The Dunhill Signed Range cigar was well constructed. The wrapping was nice and tight and held on during the entire smoke. The wrapper color I would describe as a smooth "paper bag" brown with some small veins through out. The cigar felt firm and nicely packed. The pre-light draw was free and felt perfect with a very slight minimal resistance. The flavor on the pre-light draw was a creamy sweet tea. The wrapper itself smelled like sweet earthy tobacco and the foot like sweet black tea. The cap was nicely formed with two seams and cut easily with a Palio cutter.

You get a nice volume of smoke with each draw. Immediately you taste nice toasted wood flavors with a slight bitter tinge and warm spices in the background. The flavor starts off mild but tastes very balanced and smooth. You also get a little whisper of cream and vanilla. The burn starts off a little lopsided but nothing too drastic. The burn line is nice and sharp and the ash formed is very compact and light gray in color. Eventually, you taste a more cinnamon on the finish. The mildness makes this cigar seem like an ideal smoke for your morning coffee. The smoke leaves a nice trace of sweetness in the mouth. The resting smoke is very pleasant and exudes warm spiced tobacco.

At the one inch point, the Dunhill Signed Range cigar develops more creaminess like roasted nuts and spice. Plus the flavors become more pronounced and tastier. In the second third, the flavors remain smooth and you get the same toasty wood and spices plus a much longer finish of cedar and light leather along with nuts and vanilla. There is definitely nice complexity in this cigar. At this point the Dunhill Signed Range cigar is solidly medium but beginning to develop into the full range. Still no bitterness or harshness. The flavor is deep and rich at the two inch sweet spot with a nice caramelized vanilla sugar residual finish.

The final third displays an interesting pronounced cedar and leather body which just dominates the palate. I also notice more clove spice which is really nice and some pepper. The back of my throat can feel a little heat as if someone sprinkled pepper on my cigar behind my back. The Dunhill Signed Range cigar is in the full range in the last third. The flavors stay smooth and the finish is now marathon long. It also stays surprisingly cool even though you are down to the nub.

Even though this cigar is a bit pricey at $10.85 for a short robusto (4 and 1/2" by 52 ring gauge) for which I actually paid $9.75, I would consider buying the Dunhill Signed Range cigar again because of it's elegant flavors and complexity. I'm interested in tasting the Nicaraguan Dunhill Signed Range to see if it is better or just as complex. I mentioned that I also received the toro sized Signed Range which is Nicaraguan so I should be getting the opportunity to compare these cigars very soon.


Thanks Lisa B. for your great review! It's a pleasure getting another woman's point of view!


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The Warlock (No, Not Charlie Sheen)

Posted by freedomcigars on

Most of you might assume that "Warlock" means a male version of a witch (and some of you younger folks might associate it with Charlie Sheen on one of his recent rants), but if you dig deeper, in "Old Norse" it actually means "caller of the spirits."

[caption id="attachment_411" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Warlock Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Warlock Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Ranked as the #9 cigar of 2011 by Cigar Aficionado with a 92 rating for their Robusto size, the Warlock was released in 2010 by Altadis U.S.A. Inc.  Specially crafted by hand in Nicaragua's Condega region by cigar-maker Omar Ortez, the super-premium Warlock cigar packs ample boldness and flavor. While the majority of cigar factories in Nicaragua are found in Esteli, the Warlock hails from the Condega region where the tobaccos are just the right balance, not as strong as the tobaccos of Esteli, yet not as creamy as those grown in the Jalapa region. Though it is not classified as a boutique cigar it is a bit of a stretch for Altadis U.S.A. the cigar giant, with its edgy overall appearance, outlaw name, gothic black font on the silver band, and housed in a rustic-looking wooden box.

Image aside, the Warlock is a strong smoke from the first puff and is balanced with leathery, salty flavors, and earthy notes complemented by subtle spices. The leather aroma is not the old-shoe type of leather, but more of a smooth, buttery, soft leather coat. On the finish there is a woody tone reminiscent of white wine oak casks. It is a bit of a firmer cigar to the touch with a well-placed cap and just a few slight veins. You will get a consistent, even burn and an ash that will hold out to about 2". The oily, dark Ecuadorian Cuban-seed wrappers that envelop the Warlock cigar, combined with Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers and a rich Nicaraguan binder make this cigar a complex and robust powerhouse. Though the Warlock is powerful, it is in the same token quite refined. This cigar would be well-paired with a full-bodied cab or a fine Scotch. The medium to full-bodied Warlock cigar was created to be strong, and boy do they deliver! A definite treat for all the senses.


[caption id="attachment_410" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Warlock Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Warlock Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Flavor: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

The Warlock cigars are available for purchase online here at MyDiscountCigar.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


Cigar Review of the Warlock Robusto, by Seth Geise of Seth's Humidor

January 27, 2012

Warlock Robusto

When one thinks of cigars by Altadis, the Warlock line is not your typical line. More often than not one will think of Montecristo or Romeo Y Julieta. There is nothing wrong with those lines, but the Warlock Robusto captures something a little more special. The great aspect of the Warlock Robusto line is that it has always captured those great qualities of a boutique brand while having the backing of a large cigar manufacturing company. When the cigar was initially released in 2010 it captured the eyes of smokers like myself, who is a boutique smoker, and it also caught the eyes of those who loved the lines Altadis had. Unfortunately, like most cigars after several months, I lost attention to newer products, but when the cigar recently got the Number 9 Ranking by Cigar Aficionado, I began to pay some more attention again. I am fortunate enough to be able to be in touch with Altadis, and when they offered me some samples to review, I was more than glad to try them out again and review them.

The Warlock line is made in Nicaragua by Omar Ortez, and is made in their Nicaraguan factory called Agros Tobacos. Omar Ortez has worked with Altadis for many years now, and besides having his own line Omar Ortez Originals, he has worked on other blends of theirs as well, and is the sole creator behind the Warlock line. The Warlock Robusto cigar is made with tobacco of theirs that has been selected because of its rich and bold flavors, and is made from some of the best countries as well. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Cubano seed, and underneath that  is a Nicaraguan binder. With a great binder and wrapper there lies a great filler blend composed of tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. I should note that all the tobacco from Nicaragua in this cigar is actually tobacco from the Condega region in Nicaragua. The region is known for producing very balanced and flavorful tobacco. It is not as flavorful and refined as tobacco from Jalapa,or as strong as that of tobacco in Esteli, but is a perfect balance between the two.

The vitola I smoked was the robusto vitola, which was the smoke that recently received the very high ranking, and it measures 4 3/4" with a 54 ring gauge. The Warlock Robusto cigar is beautiful in hand, and has that dark coloring and fonts associated with the world surrounding a "warlock." It has a dark chocolate brown wrapper, Colorado Maduro, and it has some veins present here and there. It is a very firm cigar, and the cap is placed on perfectly. Feeling all the oils that are present in the wrapper I am getting wonderful aromas of barnyard, rich earth, leather and damp wood from the foot and wrapper of the cigar. As I cut the cigar the cold draw is great, and producing some great flavors with it. I am really looking forward to this smoke, and so I am lighting it up.

Beautiful and Oily Ecuadorian Cubano Wrapper

From the get go the Warlock Robusto cigar shows those rich earth flavors that I got from the pre-light aroma. It is a very pleasant smoke that is producing a huge amount of smoke. As I get further into the first third I begin to pick up a lot more flavors, and some really unique qualities to it. There is a nice bit of salted wood, rich earth and leather, along with this caramel mocha finish. It's really an enjoyable smoke, and it reminds me of Cuban cigars that are very rich. Not that Cuban cigars aren't rich, but it is reminiscent in some ways of a Bolivar, Partagas, or even a Ramon Allones. It is just a lovely cigar that has great qualities. I would say the Warlock Robusto cigar is smoking at a solid medium for me, and it is leaving a solid ash that is charcoal gray in coloring. The cigar is burning incredibly even and slow. I feel that the oils from the wrapper are cooling off the heat so it burns slowly, it is very nice. 

As I get into the second third of the Warlock cigar, it is still showing those awesome flavors from the first third, and is staying at a solid medium in terms of strength. I am really digging the flavors that this cigar is giving off, and it is really a cigar that I find to be one of a kind. It captures two different flavor profiles while being one cigar. It's like drinking a Shiraz and Chardonnay at once, and having it be great. Those flavors of salted wood, caramel and leather you typically find in one cigar, and then the rich earth, mocha, and barnyard flavors you find in another. A very enjoyable cigar. The burn line is still perfect in the second third, and I am holding on to the ash from the first third. The coloring is still that of charcoal gray, and the cigar is producing tons of rich smoke.

I am the final third of the Warlock Robusto cigar now, and this great experience is coming to a close. The cigar is still burning perfectly in this third, and leaving a beautiful ash and burn line, and the smoke is still very thick and aromatic. As I get close to the nub the cigar is still burning cool, and even when I get into the nub the cigar never got hot and was great all the way to the end. In terms of flavor the cigar stayed very same in the final third to what it was in the first two thirds, but it was so great I did not want it to change. Those unique flavors were very complex, and I am sure I have been something when trying to pick out the flavors. As I have been saying the combination of caramel, mocha, wood, salt, leather, rich earth, and barnyard have been phenomenal throughout, and I can see how this cigar kept on capturing the attention and palates of the Cigar Aficionado Tasting Panel.

These Warlock Robusto cigars were so entertaining to smoke. I felt that they really captured these qualities that you typically find in a rich Cuban cigar, and that made them so great for me. They were always flavorful from beginning to end, and they performed very well as cigars. They were not powerful or soft, solid medium in body, but the flavors were damn great. I really love that Altadis is attempting to make some boutique smokes no matter the size of the company, and try and captivate those cigar snobs out there who love boutique smokes. I think they are taking some right steps in reaching out to a lot of smokers, and this is a prime example of that. This was a great cigar in that sense, and is a great cigar in general. I give the Warlock Robusto cigar a 92, and really look forward to smoking more of these down the road. I have smoked them before, but this is the first time that I really sat down and analyzed them, and because of that I picked up those wonderful qualities it had to offer. This is one of the best brands that Altadis makes, and it is also one of their brands that is in actuality boutique. Quite simply,  a wonderful cigar by Omar Ortez and Altadis, and congratulation on the great ranking you all got in Cigar Aficionado Top 25 Cigars of 2011!


Seth, thanks for yet another amazing and detailed review!

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The Montecristo Afrique: A Cigar Review of an African Rarity

Posted by freedomcigars on

[caption id="attachment_367" align="alignleft" width="44" caption="Montecristo Afrique Sublimation at My Discount Cigars"]Montecristo Afrique Sublimation at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

The Montecristo Afrique, is a truly rare gem.  Rarely is a truly unique, new blend created in the cigar industry, as most new brands are just remodifications of existing blends.  One of the reasons being that there is a limited variety of black cigar tobacco available for cigar producers to create new blends.  Master blenders, like great chefs, when given the same ingredients as the others to work with, can create amazing tobacco blends. But unless given a new ingredient to work with they are limited in creating truly unique cigars.  The Montecristo Afrique is exactly the rare and unique cigar that only a master blender can create.  It is the joint efforts between George Gershel, Altadis USA's Tobacco Expert, and Lew Rothman.  The Montecristo Afrique is blended with African-grown black tobaccos, specifically a wonderful new leaf from Tanzania.  After much experimentation, a nearly all-African blend was created, which includes a touch of spicy Peruvian ligero bound by an Ecuadorian Sumatran binder, and wrapped in a African-grown Cameroon leaf.

Just like its unique Tanzanian leaf, the flavor of the Montecristo Afrique is equally unique.  Stronger, more dense and richer in body in the smaller ring sizes, and considerably milder in the larger ring sizes, the Montecristo Afrique is certainly a complex smoking experience.  While its ligero core is more peppery, the velvety smoke of the Tanzanian leaves kicks in.  The flavors progressed from a woody, spicy earth to a creamy, chocolatey, coffee.  With the delicate spice of the Cameroon wrapper, the Montecristo Afrique cigar's flavor is intoxicating on the palate, to say the least, and is possibly the creamiest cigar our staff has ever smoked.

The Montecristo Afrique is an absolute must-try for all cigar aficionados.  With several sizes available, here are just a few    we sampled:  Lemosho (5 x 40), Machame (5 x 44), Sublimation (5 1/2 x 43 in glass tubes), and Uhuru (5 x 47).  The Montecristo Afrique cigars are nabbed up very quickly, if you can get a box of them consider yourself lucky!

[caption id="attachment_368" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Montecristo Afrique Cigars at My Discount Cigars"]Montecristo Afrique Cigars at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Flavor: Medium to Full
Wrapper: African Cameroon
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Peruvian Ligero, Africa, Nicaragua

The Montecristo Afrique blends are available online here at MyDiscountCigar.com.

You can learn more about the Montecristo Afrique cigars at AltadisUSA.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


Cigar Review of the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru Cigar by Walt, of Stogie Review

Origin: Dominican Republic

[caption id="attachment_371" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Montecristo Afrique Uhuru Cigars"]Montecristo Afrique Uhuru Cigars[/caption]

Length: 5.00
Ring: 47
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper Color: Medium Brown (E)
Wrapper Type: Cameroon
Binder: ECU
Shape: Parejo

Yesterday I was in the mood for a cigar. I had been running in and out of the house all day and I just wanted to kick back and relax. I opened up the Humidor and it was a toss up. It was either going to be the Montecristo Afrique or a Romeo y Jullieta – Aniversario. On a whim I picked up the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru and vastly enjoyed this cigar.

I purchased a five pack of the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru smokes from JR back in Feb. This was my last one, and I think that the two months of aging put this cigar over the top. It was much different than I remember the last ones being. Here is how it went.

I pulled the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru cigar out of the cellophane sheath if came in and took some time to look over it. It was slightly veiny but attractive. The Montecristo Afrique Uhuru cigar was firm yet pliable between the fingers. This cigar smelled very rich inviting. My plug cutter cut a beautiful plug with no cracking or splitting in the cap.

Upon lighting the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru there was a vibe from this cigar that made you feel as though it was going to be a good cigar. The initial draw was very light and flavorful. The resting smoke emitting from the foot was nice and light.

The first couple of puffs were kind of tricky. The aroma of the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru cigar was almost woodsy while the taste was sweet and totally different from what I was expecting from the smell. The smoke exiting from my mouth left a sweet taste on my lips that was nice. I’ve never had this before.

As I moved on down the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru cigar the flavors became more and more subtle. After about an inch and a half, the flavors were sort of soft on the pallet. They sort of rolled on then rolled clean off the pallet as you blew out the smoke.

At around the half way point of the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru cigar there were slight hints of pepper that complimented the smooth initial tastes of the cigar. From the start the burn rate was nice and slow with a perfect burn. The ash was firm and what I would describe as a bright grey ash.

The flavors started to evolve some more as I continued to smoke. At this point I was getting sweet smells in my sinuses as I blew the smoke out of my nose. The pepper flavor on my pallet was starting to pick up a bit and I was now getting what tasted like black coffee.

All of the initial flavors started to subside and there was now a distinct pepper flavor on my pallet that was quiet good. The build up to this was very enjoyable. The burn rate was still good as well as the ash. By now there was only about an inch of the cigar left. I continued to smoke the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru until I could no longer hold it.

The worst part of this cigar was when it was time to let it go out. The Montecristo Afrique Uhuru was so enjoyable that I just couldn’t get myself to put it down and walk away. I smoked this cigar for just over an hour and a half. I don?t know if it was just the atmosphere or the fact that I was looking forward to a good cigar all day, but this stick was an absolute joy to smoke and I would highly recommend the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru as a late afternoon early evening smoke.


Thanks for sharing your smoking experience of the Montecristo Afrique Uhuru, Walt!

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Tabak Especial Cigars, Blowing Smokers' Minds Since 2008!

Posted by freedomcigars on

[caption id="attachment_347" align="alignleft" width="53" caption="Tabak Especial Robusto Negra at My Discount Cigars"]Tabak Especial Robusto Negra at My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Jonathan Drew and the Drew Estate team do it again! Another successful infused blend by Drew Estate that appeals to cigar lovers AND coffee drinkers all over the world.  The Tabak Especial cigar is the culmination of Drew Estate taking the art of blending coffee and cigars to new heights. The process involves slowly infusing rich tobaccos with the finest Fair Trade harvested coffees from the fertile mountains of Nicaragua into the Tabak Especial line. Drew Estate has created a smoking experience that is pure tobacco velvet upon the palate with the perfect nuance of luscious espresso coffee. The combination results in pleasing yet not overpowering flavors of coffee beans and milk chocolate mixed with savory sweetness and the most enticing aroma.

The Tabak Especial line was designed by Drew Estate as a bridge between the smokers who are used to infused cigars, such as their ACID line, and the more traditional cigars that are not infused, like their Chateau Real line. The Tabak Especial cigar comes in 2 lines, the Dulce (Natural) line and the Negra (Maduro) line. Your choice of either extra-dark Connecticut Broadleaf or natural Connecticut Shade wrappers envelop a Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan Criollo filler leaves. Before aging, the cigars are slowly infused with Nicaraguan estate-grown coffee.

The Tabak Especial comes in several sizes both in the Dulce blend as well as the Negra blend. Here are just some of the sizes available:  Belicoso (5 x 54), Cafecita (4 x 32, 10-count Tin), Corona (4 3/4 x 46), Robusto (5 x 54), Toro (6 x 52), Negra Sampler (5 various Negra cigars), and the Dulce Sampler (5 various Dulce cigars).

[caption id="attachment_346" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Tabak Especial Robusto Dulce Cigars At My Discount Cigars"]Tabak Especial Robusto Dulce Cigars At My Discount Cigars[/caption]

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Flavor: Dulce - Mild to Medium, Negra - Medium to Full
Wrapper: Dulce - Connecticut Shade-Grown, Negra - Extra Dark Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua

The cigar smokers who miss the discontinued Drew Estate Kahlua brand, the Tabak Especial cigar is the blend that replaced them. The two blends are nearly identical in flavor. Tantalize your taste buds with a velvety sweet, perfectly balanced Tabak Especial cigar, it's the bomb, we promise. If you have a sweet tooth the Tabak Especial cigar is the cigar for you (you won't even crave dessert after smoking this treat)… it will appeal to even the most die-hard traditionalist!

The Tabak Especial blends are available here at MyDiscountCigar.com.

To read more about the Tabak Especial cigars, please visit DrewEstate.com.

~ Peace, Love, Cigars ~


Drew Estate's Tabak Especial Toro Negra Cigar Review by Tony Casas

Posted July 13, 2009
This week’s review will be that of Drew Estate - Tabak Especial line. I have made a decent sized purchase from cigar.com as of late, and couldn’t decide which one I wanted to hit first. I was VERY tempted to try the Cafe con Leche, as I have yet to try this one. But seeing how I was pre-paired with dark beers, I didn’t want to get lost in its smooth flavor.

So I decided on the Tabak Especial Toro Negra:

Drew Estate - Tabak Especial - (Image courtesey of cigar.com)Drew Estate - Tabak Especial - (Image courtesy of cigar.com)

Just like last time cigar.com was really good about shipping these ASAP. If I’m not mistaken they ship from Pennsylvania, and since I live on the western most tip of Texas, I didn’t expect these anytime soon (especially since I’m a cheapskate and shipped value). Again, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my shipment only 3 days later. Each set of 3 cigars came wrapped in cellophane, then placed in air-tight ziplock cigar bags along with humi-care gel packets. Then each bag was shipped in separate boxed filled with air-filled protectant pouches. Pretty impressive.

The Good Stuff:

Strength: Medium  -  Size: 6 x 52  -  Country: Nicaragua  -  Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro  -  Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Sumatra / Nicaraguan Criollo

The Tabak Especial Toro Negra cigar is yet another amazingly constructed cigar by Drew Estate. It’s very rare that you get less than perfect from them. One of the first noticeable difference between this cigar and many others is the fact that it supports what is called “shaggy foot”. What a shaggy footed cigar is a cigar that’s inner filler tobacco leaves extend far further than the wrapper itself. Although it looks a bit funny it holds a purpose. By constructing a  cigar this way you enable the smoker to enjoy the tastes of both the binder/filler tobacco separate than that of the wrapper. Along with this it is believed that it gives off a much more even burn as well.

Prelight: Again, the Tabak Especial Toro by Drew Estate cigar sports a flawless construction. The wrapper is a deep, extremely dark maduro which makes even the smallest flaw stand out. The Tabak Especial’s aroma consisted of very strong coffee with hints of cedar and cocoa. Unlike most other Drew Estates this cigar carries with it a dual band. One on the neck, and one at the foot of cigar. I am assuming this has something to do with the shaggy foot technique. The Tabak Especial Toro has a very well construction rounded cap, and a very oily wrapper. There were no soft spots. Again I am trusting my Cuban Crafters Perfecto double blade cutter, and a standard single flame Colibri torch.

First Smoke: First of all the Drew Estate Tabak Especial Negra Toro cigar was incredibly easy to light. This again, has to do with the shaggy foot. The toasting of the cigar was effortless, and resulted in a complete, perfect burn. The first scents were that of milk chocolate, lined with coffee, and of course tobacco. Unlike the Drew Estate – Rocky Patel Java, this cigar was much more mellow, and a lot sweeter. The cigar produced a very large draw right off the back , with large hefty smoke accompanying it. To my surprise the ask only held on for a little over 3/4 of an inch before releasing into my ash tray. The cigar was moist, so this was a shocker.

Halfway There: One great thing about the Tabak Especial Negra Toro cigar is even halfway through and further the draw doesn’t change, and neither for the strengths and flavor. Tabak Especial is a lighter strength cigar making the smoke very easy and relaxing. The ash is still spilling off quickly, but this is not bothersome in anyway. The cigar remains intact and there is absolutely no unwrapping of any kind.

Finish: As stated in previous posts, I’m not a nub smoker. I usually give in with an inch or so still left. I don’t know if it was the amazing conversation or the fact that this Drew Estate Tabak Especial Negra Toro cigar is so remarkable, but I took it all the way down to nothing. Literally, I burned the tips of my fingers trying to get every last drop outta this thing. This cigar is remarkable. It finishes just as easy as it begins holding its flavor all the way through. Absolutely no signs of unwrapping.

Overview: What can I say?! Drew Estate delivers again. The Tabak Especial Toro Negra is a remarkable cigar, from the burn, and construction to the draw and the flavors. I can honestly say even the most die-hard non-infused cigar smoker would be stupid not the at least give these a run.

On a side note: Recently I reviewed a Rocky Patel – Drew Estate – Java Maduro Box pressed cigar. To sum the differences up is pretty simple. Tabak Especial is a lot creamier, sweeter, and lighter than the Java line. Java boasts HUGE draws, and in your face strengths. Both come from opposites ends of the “coffee infused”  spectrum.


Thanks for the great review and insight, Tony!


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