Nestor Miranda Connecticut Robusto Review

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I had the chance to stop by the Miami Cigar booth while at the IPCPR last year and was pleased to find some new cigars that I hadn’t tried. Since I hadn’t tried any of the new Nestor Miranda Collection, I was excited to get my hands on a few. This has had about 10 months of rest on it in my humidor and I was excited to try it out. Here are my thoughts!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto, 50×4.5

Appearance & Smell
Mmmmmm, this has a very nice looking Connecticut wrapper on it. A couple veins are visible but it certainly is not a toothy wrapper. The smell on the wrapper and the foot give me a lot of sweet hay notes and a little bit of earthiness.

Smoke Preparation
I sure do love my trusty tools! I cut the cap with a flat cut using my Xikar Xi1 cutter and I lit it using a Xikar Enigma double torch lighter.

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Burn & Draw
The cigar lit very well and evenly. The draw was the slightest bit tight but I liked having the little extra pull so I didn’t mind. For the most part, this cigar burned very evenly. When it would start to burn crooked, it corrected itself. I didn’t have to touch up the cigar once.

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Strength & Body
I was really expecting this to be more of a mild cigar and it really leaned toward the mild plus to medium side. As for the body, who nelly! The sweet hay I smelled really showed up during the burn with some rich earthiness. I’m not sure if it was the hay-taste or inherent to the cigar but I also had a lot of bitterness throughout the smoke as well. That bitterness threw my pallet off a bit and I never quite recovered to be able to look for other nuances.

Final Thoughts
I’m mixed on this one. I would try it again just to see if the same taste issues happened again with the bitterness. If it happened again though, I would never buy one. The construction is flawless, it burned great. I did have to stop just over halfway through because a rain storm caught me, that’s part of why I would try it again. I would want to see if it balances out in the last half. Not the worst I have smoked but certainly not the best.

Have you smoked it? What are your thoughts?

Source: IPCPR
Brand Information: Miami Cigars

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La Flor Dominicana Factory Press 2017 Review

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Ahhhhh, the La Flor Dominicana Factory Press, a harder-to-find cigar but within a reasonable realm to find and afford. It had been about 3 years since I had smoked a Factory Press of any sort. I decided that last night was the time for me to bust into a new one. Here are my thoughts!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Toro Extra, 6.5×58

Appearance & Smell
Generally smooth appearance with a couple veins. As you probably guessed from the name, it is in a box pressed shape. It smells like rich earth, coffee, and of sweetness.

Smoke Preparation
I opened the cigar up using my Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap. I used a Xikar Enigma double torch to toast and get an even light on the cigar.

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Burn & Draw
The burn on the cigar was pretty nice. It got slightly uneven a couple times but it corrected itself almost every time. The only time it did not correct the burn was towards the end (check the last photo). The draw was a dream! Not too tight and not too loose. I don’t normally smoke larger ring cigars but having the box press and a perfect draw made it a good experience.

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Strength & Body
This was definitely a medium-plus cigar, if you smoked it to the end it would get a bit fuller. The body provided rich earth and cocoa notes. The sweetness I had smelled at the beginning came from the cocoa. There was a hint of earthy, red spice throughout the smoke but it was never a dominant flavor for my palate, it always played in the background.

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Final Thoughts
Goodness, this is a great cigar! It’s a little pricier than a lot of other cigars but at $15-$16, I think it’s worth it for special occasions or if you just wanted to spoil yourself. Even though I don’t like larger ring gauges usually, the box press made it a comfortable smoke.  I would definitely suggest setting aside an 1.5 to 2 hours to complete it, it’s not a small cigar!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: La Flor Dominicana

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Sobremesa El Americano Cigar Review

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Steve Saka is the Master Blender at Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, which is the company that puts out the Sobremesa. Does the name sound familiar? It might be because Steve Saka was the president of Drew Estate Cigars from 2005 to 2013. The man knows the cigar industry inside and out. Admittedly, I didn’t know that this cigar was from Steve Saka’s design when I first smoked it. Here are my thoughts!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: La Meca Ecuador Habano Grade 1 Rosado
Binder: Matacapan Negro de Temporal
Filler: Variety of Nicaraguan and a bit of USA Broadleaf
Vitola: El Americano, 6×52

Appearance & Smell:
The appearance is a beautiful milk chocolate wrapper. The wrapper is very smooth with relatively small veins. The label and foot wrap are beautiful on this cigar. The smell is very complex. There is a depth of cocoa and leather.

Smoke Preparation:
I cut this cigar with my Xikar Xi1 flat cutter. I lit this cigar with my Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light.

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Burn & Draw:
Whoa. The burn was nice and slow but the draw wasn’t too tough. It felt like a dream to pull on this cigar. This cigar burned ridiculously even. I never had to touch it up.

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Strength & Body:
I felt like this cigar stayed at a medium plus for strength. It isn’t a nicotine bomb but it surely does have a great body! The complexity was lovely! This is not a cigar that I would suggest for a beginner. The Sobremesa has a lot of complexity to unpack and I think people should have a fairly experienced pallet to be able to really enjoy this cigar. There was cocoa, leather, cream, and a hint of sweet spice that bounced in and out.

Final Thoughts:
WOW. Not knowing that this cigar was made by Steve Sara, I came into it truly blind. I was very impressed with it. This cigar is a dream cigar for me and my pallet! The complexity was lovely, the burn and draw were fantastic, and I couldn’t help but smoke it done to the very end. I didn’t even want to let it go after it got down to my fingers. This is about a $12-$13 cigar for the size I smoked and I feel like it was worth every bit of it. Let me know what you think!

Source: Sample
Brand Info: Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust

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Recluse Draconian Cigar Review

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The Recluse cigar line is made by Iconic cigars which is headed up by Scott Weeks. I had heard of a couple of the Recluse cigars before and did smoke the Amadeus Habano before but the Draconian was a whole new beast for me! I don’t usually smoke larger vitals but for this one, I went for it. Here is what I came up with!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: MBC (Proprietary)
Fillers: Briziago HD, Piloto Cubano, Iconic Ligero (Proprietary), Dominican Ligero
Vitola: Sidewinder #3, 7×57

Appearance & Smell:
The wrapper has a very nice slightly dark brown appearance. It looks a fair bit lighter in the picture compared to in person. Not very veiny at all. This has a very smooth wrapper to the look and the feel. It appears to be an oval type box press and has a half chisel tip at the end. The smell is rather light. I picked up some pepper and some cocoa. Unfortunately, this cigar had a crack starting towards the end of the foot. But as I have said in previous reviews, every cigar smoker has had this happen to them. So I still smoke them anyway!

Smoke Preparation:
I cut this one with my trusty Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cigar. I then lit the end with my Xikar Enigma double torch.

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Burn & Draw: 
Even though the cigar is an odd shape, the draw was very nice. The burn was slightly crooked because of the crack at first. The burn evened itself out pretty well without me having to touch it up. I don’t usually smoke larger cigars but I pleasantly surprised by this one.

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Strength & Body:
Even though this cigar touts an Ecuadorian Maduro, it really came across as a medium strength cigar to me. The body was very enjoyable. I picked up: Creaminess, cocoa, pepper, and some dark earthy tones.

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Final Thoughts:
The fact that this cigar had a fairly large crack in it that made it burn a little crooked BUT it completely corrected itself without touchups, says volumes to me! What a fantastic construction! The flavor was there, the design was there. I don’t usually smoke larger cigars because it’s almost uncomfortable to me. The half chisel tip made it very smokeable and enjoyable. Depending on where you pick it up, this cigar usually goes for around $11-$12 retail and I think it was worth it!

Source: Obtained Locally
Brand Information: Iconic Leaf/Recluse Cigars

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Emilio Grimalkin Cigar Review (2018 Release)

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Grimalkin. Interesting name. Alright, let’s roll with it. I hadn’t heard of the prior release of the Grimalkin, so this cigar was completely new to me. During my research I found out that it had been released before over 6 years ago. Apparently, rumor has it that the My Father Factory was making the original release and that it was a Nicaraguan puro. This time, James Brown and the crew at Fabrica Oveja Negra are making this new release but it is a Nicaraguan puro again. Here are my thoughts!

Blend Profile:
All I know at this point is that it is a Nicaraguan puro!
Vitola: Toro, 6×50

Appearance & Smell:
It has a fairly veiny wrapper. It feels well rolled and has a rich medium brown wrapper. The smell has deep earth, red clay, and a bit of pepper.

Smoke Preparation:
I used a Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cigar. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch lighter to evenly light it.

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Burn & Draw:
This cigar has a fantastic draw! It was a perfect medium, not too tight and not too loose. The cigar burned evenly throughout most of it. I was smoking outside so I ended up having to touch up the end once or twice. Overall, I was very pleased with the burn and the draw.

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Strength & Body:
The strength of this cigar was very much a medium-plus without a lot of fluctuation. The body did have a fair amount of complexity to it. For the first third I really got a lot of bitterness but it really smoothed out in the middle. It was VERY earthy, it really had some teeth to it though.

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Final Thoughts:
This was a sample given to me so I don’t think it had a lot of rest. I would like to see what a month or two in a humidor would do to this blend. I enjoyed the earthiness and the depth of the blend. I think there is a lot more in this cigar that I just couldn’t pull out of it yet. I certainly would smoke one again and I look forward to it! Retail cost will be $9-$10 and it will come in a robusto and toro size.

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Charter Oak Broadleaf Toro Cigar Review

One of my friends was visiting me at the shop and asked if I had ever tried a Charter Oak. I told him that I really hadn’t been too adventurous lately and I hadn’t heard of it. He hooked me up with the toro in the Broadleaf. So here we go!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadlead
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Vitola: Toro, 6×52

Appearance & Smell:
Tis broadleaf appears to have a nice oil to it. The wrapper also has a good grit. The cigar also looks well constructed. The smell is deliciously sweet and carries notes of cedar.

Smoke Preparation:
I was feeling a little froggy and decided to go with a v-cut. I used a no-name inexpensive plastic cutter to put a v-cut on it. I did use my trusty Xikar Enigma double torch to light the cigar evenly.

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Burn & Draw:
The burn was just lovely! This cigar had an even burn throughout the entire smoke. I didn’t have to touch it up once. The draw was just as fantastic. It is always a pleasure to have a well-constructed cigar that you don’t have to maintain, just smoke.

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Strength & Body:
I suspect that this cigar was meant to have a little more kick than I actually picked up. For me it turned out to just be a medium. It was so smooth that I wouldn’t be afraid to give it to the newest of smokers. The flavor was out-of-this-world! Deliciously complex and surprisingly buttery!

Final Thoughts:
Well, I always go in skeptical when cigar smokers (not reps or industry people) give me cigars and tell me they are great. I have been given a few skunks. You know the type of smokes, $4-$5 cigars that people swear are just as good as Padrons but you can’t make it through more than a quarter. I was really pleasantly surprised by this cigar! I should have known because the guy I got it from has probably smoked more than I have and that’s saying something! I would buy this for myself any day of the week.

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Providencia El Santo Cigar Review

I was contacted by a representative of Providencia Cigars to see if I would be interested in bringing them into my humidor. I had never heard of the company and I was more than willing to learn about them and their cigars. They sent me some information and some samples to check out. The El Santa was the first cigar that I had a chance to try. Here is the rundown!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Sumatra Nicaraguan Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Vitola: Torpedo

Appearance & Smell:
The appearance is a little rugged. The wrapper has some nice toothless to it. It has a beautiful brown tone. The smell is very much rich cocoa and earthiness.

Smoke Preparation:
I used my Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cap. I lit the cigar with my Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light on the cigar.

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Burn & Draw:
The draw was really nice and smooth. The burn stayed consistently even throughout the entire smoke. I was even outside in the wind and the cigar burned even as long as I kept it rotated.

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Strength & Body: 
The strength presented itself as a medium for the first half of the cigar and then it stepped up into a medium plus during the second half of the cigar. The body was very nice. It had a couple flavor transitions that included: Spice, cocoa, earthiness, and oak.

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Final Thoughts:
This was a pretty darn good cigar. I will definitely be looking into the price points and consider bringing it into my retail humidor. It is always pleasant to find smaller cigar companies that are making well-constructed cigars with great flavor.

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