RoMa Craft 2018 CRAFT Cigar Review

Ahhhh yes, the lure of the “hard-to-get” or “hard-to-find” cigars is always a constant for regular cigar smokers. The RoMa Craft 2018 CRAFT cigar has a similar lure, not that it is super hard to find or necessarily purchase, it’s just a smidgen bit more difficult than a regular production cigar. The reason this one is a little harder to get is because there are only 2,000 boxes made. In addition to having a limited supply, when RoMa fans find them, they buy them… ALL. Boxes, five packs, singles, they simply clean out their local sources.

I was lucky enough t get my hands on a few and here are my thoughts!

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Blend Profile
Wrappers: Ecuadorian Connecticut Candela, Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler: Pennsylvania Broadleaf Double Ligero GRS-1, Nicaraguan and Dominican Criollo
Vitola: 5×60 Figurado

Appearance & Smell
The candela really pops at the end of this cigar and with the stripe towards the head. The candela is very eye catching in contrast to the dark maduro. In addition to the candela contrast, the cone shape that they call figurado made me do a double take. The smell was very interesting. The candela pieces really gave me hay and earthiness, the madder gave me cream, earth, and roasted nuts.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a clean flat cut on the cap. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch to get a good even light.

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Burn & Draw
It took me a little bit longer than normal to get it lit and burning the way that I wanted to. I can say that it burned very evenly from the get-go. I was surprised by how good the draw was and how evenly it burned throughout the whole smoke. I was concerned that the unusual shape might adversely affect the smoke but it turned out to be really good. The ad held really well. As you can tell from the next few pictures, this was a very well constructed cigar.

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Strength & Body
This is definitely not what you would consider a typical candela cigar! That Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro really packs a punch. It’s not overwhelming but I would definitely put it in the medium-plus to full strength range. The body is really lovely. When I got to the middle of the cigar I was really enchanted by the complexity of the flavors from the different tobaccos intermingling.

Final Thoughts
Would I smoke it again? Yes and I plan to! Would I search all over the world and pay “whatever the price” to get one? No. They are really great smokes but I suggest not paying over the MSRP of $15. If you get the chance to grab one and smoke it, then I would definitely suggest it. It was worth the money and the time. Well done to RoMaCraft for accomplishing a fantastic release of CRAFT 2018!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: RoMa Craft Tobac

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Avo Classic Robusto Review

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I have only smoked a couple different Avos so when a friend of mine came to town and offered me a chance at an Avo classic, I said YES! So here we are, I got to smoke a cigar and you get to read about it.

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Country of Origin: Republic of Dominica
Vitola: Robusto, 5×50

Appearance & Smell
This is a good looking cigar! A light brown color that isn’t as light as most Connecticut wrappers. The veins are prominent but really take away from the look for me. I really like the subtle band, it’s a far cry from what Davidoff has done with the Camacho line. Instead it looks… classic! How fitting?

Smoke Preparation
If you have been following me, you already know I tend to gravitate to a flat cut, so why change now? I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap and my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it lit.

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Burn & Draw
I could not have asked for a better burn and draw! I didn’t have to touch up this cigar once because it burned so evenly. I was even outside on a windy day and with a little cigar rotation the burn stayed perfect. The ash held on very well, the construction was fantastic. The draw was in that perfect medium range, not too loose and not too tight.

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Strength & Body
I felt that the entire cigar was mild through and through. This cigar didn’t have a lot of complexity but I was okay with that. The notes I was picking up on the cigar made it good that it wasn’t changing constantly like other cigars. The body was really creamy, with fresh dirt and some cedar.

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Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed this cigar! The construction was flawless and that helped make it a good experience. I would definitely purchase this but strictly for mild cigar moods/events. Events like golfing, when you are outside on a sunny hot day, or if you are purchasing for a friend who doesn’t smoke very often, this would be a great cigar to grab. If you are into heavy smokes, spice, or a lot of complexity, this cigar probably isn’t for you. For those of you who do smoke it, let me know what you thought about it!

Source: Gift from a friend
Brand Information: Avo Cigars

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Dunhill Pipe Refurb

I have had the opportunity to work on a couple different Dunhills and they are always a pleasure to work on. Before you think to yourself, “Well of course it is because of the prestige and the price tag! It’s really more about the reasons that Dunhill maintains the prestige and such a high price tag: Quality materials and craftsmanship. I can tell the difference in vulcanite stems that I work on and overtime I touch a Dunhill, I can feel the quality. Well, this refurb was for a friend and I hope you enjoy the before-and-after pics and he enjoys the smoke. Cheers!

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Stem
The stem just needed a good cleaning with oxidation removal. I wet-sanded the stem with the grits of 500, 1000, and 1200. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned in the airway. The finishing touches were a buffing of both red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Bowl
I reamed the bowl and was surprised to find the first mistake I had ever seen in a Dunhill! When drilling the shank into the bowl, they slightly over-drilled and went a little bit into the far side of the bowl. It wasn’t by any means a large drill mark but when being smoked, it created a bigger “hole” if you will. I don’t usually like to bowl coat Dunhills but I did on this one. After the reaming, sanitizing, and cleaning, I put in a professional grade bowl coating to help prevent that imperfection from getting worse or spreading. I then worked on getting some of the grime off the top of the bowl without hurting the rustication. I used a lot of q-tips and vodka. The shank was also cleaned and sanitized. The finishing touches were again buffing with both red tripoli and carnauba wax. Man! That really made the silver shank band shine!

Here is the finished product:

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Thanks for looking!

La Aurora 107 Robusto Review

I remember smoking a La Aurora 107 about 5 years ago. I remember it was a sample and that I really liked it. It was so long ago that I no longer remembered anything about the flavor or the strength. Recently a friend hooked me up with this cigar and I couldn’t wait to get into it!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Nicaragua, Brazil, Peru, Dominica
Blend note: The fillers are all aged for 6 years.

Appearance & Smell
This has a deliciously brown toothy wrapper without too many surface veins. The wrapper almost has a tinge of red to it. The smell is strong, definitely has some spice, little bit of cedar, and a whole lot of cocoa.

Smoke Preparation
Sticking with my recent routine, I used my Xikar Xi1 to flat cut the cap and my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it lit.

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Burn & Draw
What’s not to love about a well-rolled cigar? This cigar burned like a champ. It had a slightly tougher draw than many cigars I have smoked but I didn’t mind it or think that it was too tight. I enjoyed having to pull a little harder rather than having a cigar with too easy of a pull that makes it burn too quickly. This cigar held it’s ash very nicely.

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Strength & Body
I was impressed by the complexity of this cigar. The flavor transitions are their but they all meld nicely. The rich earthiness with cocoa and a little spice in the background kept me wanting more. It started off as a medium, by the time I was getting to the end it felt like more of a medium-plus.

Final Thoughts
If you want a powerhouse of a cigar that is necessarily just stuffed with nicotine strength but it has the flavor to make you want to grab it again, this would be a great smoke for you! I suspect that if I were to smoke one of these a day for five days, I would pick up more complexity and flavors everyday. The combination of using four tobaccos from different countries really made this a fun smoke. I believe they retail for around $7-$8 per cigar for the robust and is worth it.

Sourced: From a friend
Brand Information: La Aurora Cigars

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CAO Zocalo 6×60 Review (Pre-Release)

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So this review is going to be a little different than some of my others because I am missing quite a bit of the information. The reason I am missing the information is because this cigar has not been released yet. I was told that they haven’t even started shipping yet! Let’s get into it!

Blend Profile
I have exactly zero blend information on this one so I am flying blind.
Vitola: 6×60

Appearance & Smell
This cigar had a nice rich, brown wrapper that has a nice toothy feel to it. There was also a fair amount of oil on the outside of the wrapper. The band is interesting, big, and bold. I look forward to hearing more about how the label came about. The smell is earthy and has some cocoa. There was also a faint hint of spice.

Smoke Preparation
I seem to be in a habit lately… I once again used my Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap and my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it lit.

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Burn & Draw
This cigar kept a very nice even burn throughout the whole smoke. I know it had to be a sample but it didn’t seem to need any extra rest to burn correctly. The draw was great for a 6×60.

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Strength & Body
This cigar was in the medium to medium-plus in terms of strength for me. The body was there and it had a nice complexity of flavors that did change a little bit throughout the smoke. After the initial lighting I was picking up more of the spice that I had smelled. As the cigar went on, I got more of the cocoa and earthiness.

Final Thoughts
The truth is: I’m not a big CAO fan. I never really have been. I enjoyed the America and the Brazilia and that was about it. This cigar seemed to sway me to think a little more positively of CAO. I was impressed by the flavors and the great construction of the cigar. I have no information about the price point but I am really curious to find out how much these will retail for and which other vitolas they will roll out. Keep it on your radar and see what you think if/when they pop up at your local retail shop! Cheers!

Source: It’s a secret.
Brand Information: CAO Cigars 

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Aging Room Solera Sun Grown Review

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Like most tobacconists, I like to try a cigar before I make the decision to bring it into my humidor. No one wants to be stuck with a box of cigars that just simply does not move. When I saw this cigar, I made the snap decision to bring it into my humidor before I even had the chance to smoke it. I just had a gut feeling about it! Well, here is the review and I can tell you that I am happy with my decision!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Dominican Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican Habano
Filler: Dominican Habano

Appearance & Smell
Wowza! This has rich and earthy notes before lighting. I picked up quite a bit of cedar too. The pre-light smell really made me want to get into this smoke.

Smoke Preparation
I went with my trusty flat cut by using a Xikar X1 to cut the cap. I lit the cigar with my double torch Xikar Enigma.

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Burn & Draw
This cigar was awesome when it came to the burn and draw. It burned very evenly throughout the whole cigar with zero touch-ups. The draw was just a treat because I didn’t have to pull too hard but there was enough resistance to keep this burning evenly for a long time.

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Strength & Body
I would definitely consider this a medium to a medium-plus cigar. The Sun Grown wrapper mixed the Habano really gives a nice body to this smoke with some real complexity.

Final Thoughts
This cigar was a treat! I am very pleased to see Aging Room going in this direction. Between the complexity of the flavors, the perfect burn, and the strength, I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon smoke. For a $7 cigar, this was one I would definitely pick up again!

Sourced: Locally
Brand Information: Aging Room Cigars

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Camacho Candela Robusto (Limited) Review

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I am absolutely positive that I am not the only cigar smoker who has pre-conceived notions that all candela wrapped cigars are going to be mild. So before you skip this review, let me assure you that this was not your “typical” candela cigar. Read on to get the low down on this interesting smoke!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo Candela
Binder: Honduran Original Corojo
Filler: Honduran Original Corojo
Country of Origin: Honduras

Appearance & Smell
The wrapper had a bit of hay/grass smell to it. There were some veins but overall a very pretty cigar. When smelling the foot I got more earthiness and cedar notes. I love the green band but I am probably partial because green is my favorite color!

Smoke Preparation
I went my traditional route and put a flat cut on this cigar with my Xikar Xi1. I also lit it with my double torch Xikar Enigma.

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Burn & Draw
This cigar was easy to light and keep lit. The draw was perfectly in the middle, not too tight and not too loose. I only had to touch it up once but that was when I let it sit for too long. The ash held very well and I didn’t find myself struggling at all with the construction.

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Strength & Body
Here is the surprising part of the candela, the strength really is a medium to a medium-plus. By using the original corojo blend, it really boosts the strength of the candela. The body is all there and it was a nice departure from the typical mild candela cigars.

Final Thoughts
I went in expecting a mild smoke which has become standard for candela cigars. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this cigar had more kick and a lot more flavor than other candelas I have smoked. It still carried some of the hay/grass taste but it really was a secondary flavor. The corojo really takes the front seat and the candela seems to meld very nicely by adding some nice contrast to the smoke. So before you roll your eyes and run away thinking this is “just another candela”, give it a shot and see what you think. It retails for about $7-$8 and I think it is worth the money. Plus, there were only 4,000 boxes made, why not give it a try before they are gone?

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Camacho Cigars

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