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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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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JC Newman El Baton Robusto Review

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The reason this review comes about is because a customer asked me to bring this cigar into my shop. I try to be as accommodating as possible for my customers when I have the shelf space. I brought in the El Baton Robusto and Belicoso. Both retail for $6.99 which I think is a good deal for an “everyday smoke”. I decided to give the robusto a whirl and here we are!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
The El Baton website does not give specifics about what type of tobacco from Nicaragua they use, just that it is from Nicaragua.

Appearance & Smell
This has a toothy, medium brown wrapper. It has some veins but the veins seem very fitting and not overbearing. The smell is earthy and a little oaky.

Smoke Preparation
I used a Xikar X1 to put a flat cut on the cigar. The cut was good and appears to have no construction problems.

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Burn & Draw
The lighting process was easy and the cigar seemed to take an immediate and even light. The draw was nice, not too easy and not too hard, just an easy medium. As the cigar went on, it did start to burn unevenly a bit. You can see the unevenness in the picture above. Then it even back out which you can see in the next pic.

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Strength & Body
Immediate impression is that it is a medium. As it goes on, it gains a little more strength. So medium plus at max. There was not a lot of complexity in terms of flavor variation and transitions. It was rather bland overall.

Final Thoughts
This cigar had good construction which is expected of anything coming from JC Newman. When it came to flavor and actually enjoying the smoke, it really wasn’t there for me. I found it to be bland and boring. Would I smoke it again and give it another chance? Yes. The notes of earthiness and oak weren’t bad but it got boring. I would be willing to give them another shot to see if my palate picks up something new. At an “everyday smoke” price, it’s well constructed and would be one that I could give out at any occasion and not feel bad about price or strength. Perhaps I will give it another chance soon!

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Sourced: Locally
Brand Information: El Baton Website

Peterson Tankard Pipe Refurbish

A friend sent me a Peterson Tankard that he had picked up. He asked me to make it shine like new again. So here are the before and after pics of the process! It’s hard to tell in the before pictures but there was a decent amount of oxidization that had occurred to the stem. I usually get better pictures than this so I’m sorry for the poor lighting/pictures. Trust me though, it really was an awesome refurb!

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Stem
Even with the flash on my camera, it’s hard to tell that there was quite a bit of oxidation that needed to be removed. I wet sanded the stem using 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned on the inside. The stem is finished with a buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Bowl
This bad boy was pretty clean on the inside. There wasn’t a lot of carbonation that had to be removed. BUT the bowl had some serious ghosting, whatever tobacco that was smoked in this pipe before was very strong. So I reamed the bowl down and added a professional grade bowl coating after sanitation to help dispel any remaining ghosting (per request of my friend). The shank was then cleaned and sanitized as well. The metal ring was shined up with some fine steel wool. The bowl was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

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I’m sorry that the lighting isn’t that great in these pictures. The transformation really was awesome! My friend will receive his pipe back soon and I can’t wait for him to light it up. Thank you for reading about this refurb and let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

Nub Connecticut Review

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The Nub Connecticut is not new for me but it has been awhile since I smoked one. I decided that I wanted a morning smoke with my coffee. The shorter size of the Nub line lent itself to be a great option for starting the day off right! Here are my thoughts on this cigar!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Appearance & Smell
The pre-light appearance is a smooth, tan wrapper that looks delicious. The pre-light smell has creaminess and some cedar notes.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the very end of the cap. I also used my Xikar Enigma double torch to get the cigar lit.

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Burn & Draw
This had a great draw for a morning cigar. It was a little bit easier to pull through than I like my other cigars but it was nice to have an easy smoke in the morning. Burn stayed mostly even. You can see some slight unevenness in the picture above but it was never enough that I felt like I needed to touch it up,

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Strength & Body
I found this cigar to be mild to medium. The Connecticut wrapper keeps it like but the Nicaraguan filler has a little more strength to it. The flavor was great! It stayed pretty true to the pre-light smell, lots of creamy richness, cedar notes, and a little bit of nuttiness.

Final Thoughts
This is definitely a smoke I would have again as a morning cigar. It paired very well with my coffee, the draw was easy, the strength was never overwhelming. Overall, I found it to be a great way to start my day and I would definitely buy some more of these! I will note that this cigar might be a little more mellow than other Nub Connecticuts because it was in my humidor since 5-18-16.

Source: Purchased Locally

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Golden Grain Pipe Refurb

This was another pipe that came to me in a lot of estate pipes. It’s a beautiful little Golden Grain. The grain in the bowl was gorgeous, so I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on the stem to make the whole pipe stand out again. Here are the before pictures:

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Stem
The stem had some fairly heavy oxidation, so I wet-sanded it with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The tooth marks were shallow enough that they came out with the oxidation removal. The stem was finished up with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Bowl
I reamed the char/layers out of the bowl and sanitized it with vodka. The vodka helped to clean out the extra carbon and dust. The shank received the same vodka cleaning with q-tips as well. The top of the bowl had some buildup, so I topped it by dry-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. Then I re-stained the top to match the rest of the bowl. The bowl was also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here are the after pics!

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Thanks for looking!

Wellington Churchwarden Refurb

This was a nifty pipe that came to me in a lot that I purchased from an estate sale. It looked like it had been smoked once or twice but it still had a sale price sticker on the bottom of the stem near the button. I thought it was odd that it wasn’t removed when it was smoked. I’m not sure if it was the original sale price sticker or a second hand sale price sticker but it’s cool either way!

Here are the before pictures!

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Stem
This pipe had quite a bit of oxidation. It looks like it had some water/liquid spots on it from long ago. Luckily I didn’t have to fight with tooth marks! A quick wet-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. It was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax. I did remove the sticker to gain uniformity in the vulcanite.

Bowl
Since the bowl only seemed to be smoked once or twice, there wasn’t a lot to clean out. I did a very light reaming and cleaned/sanitized it with q-tips and vodka. There were a couple spots on the outside that needed a quick buff, so they were also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here is the finished product!

 

 

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The pipe turned out perfect! It’s hard to tell from the lights and reflections but the button end on each side of the stem turned out awesome! I can’t wait for this pipe to find a new home!

Thanks for taking a look!