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05
Dec

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

Origin : Nicaragua
Jas Sum Kral CigarsFormat : Lancero
Size : 7 x 48
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano Light Claro
Filler : Undisclosed
Binder : Half Mexican San Andres/Half Jalapa Seco Leaf
Hand-Made (factory: New Order of the Ages (NOA))
Body : Medium to Medium-Full
Price : $9.50 each

From JSK’s website:

The idea came from one man, Riste Risteski, who was disappointed with most cigars currently available on the market. Smoking mainly Cuban cigars, he wanted to create a profile which maintained Cuban standards, while adding an interesting yet elegant twist. He wanted to add value to what is already a saturated boutique market. Being Macedonian and both large in stature AND personality, the name for this cigar came easily, JAS SUM KRAL, I AM KING in English.

He noticed many of those calling themselves boutique cigar makers, weren’t involved in the actual blending process. He decided the only way to properly create JAS SUM KRAL, was to set out to find the right factory. After speaking with several trusted individuals in the industry, he decided on New Order of the Ages, owned by master blender, Noel Rojas.

Upon arriving in Esteli, Noel suggested getting right to work. Having discussed with Noel prior to arriving Noel already had a profile in mind. Riste and Noel sampled leaf after leaf of the finest tobacco. Finally assembling what is sure to change the boutique cigar market. We are extremely proud and excited to release JAS SUM KRAL. We hope that you will join Riste on this journey.

Riste is a hard-working guy who is very present on social media. It’s been fun to watch his boutique brand take off, and great reviews have come flooding in over and over. Let’s take a look at the JSK Red Knight Lancero.

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
The JSK Red Knight Lancero is an excellent looking cigar. The wrapper is silky smooth with a medium brown tone with a reddish hue. Riste added some classy twists with a closed foot and a twisted pigtail cap. You can’t see the pack, but the cigar feels solid in hand, but not too dense, so I’m expecting a good draw.

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

Construction : 4.5 out of 5 stars
The draw is perfect throughout, especially for a lancero, which can sometimes be over-tight. The ash was snow white, and dropped in close to one-inch chunks all the way down to the nub. Zero touch-ups were needed, and I was able to keep it cool down to a tiny nub. The final smoke time was 1 hour and 4 minutes, which I felt was a tiny bit fast, but that was mainly due to my constant puffing because I was having a great time tasting this cigar. The cigar did have a bit of strength, so I’d recommend this after a meal and not on an empty stomach.

Flavor : 5 out of 5 stars

Pre-light Experience:

From the wrapper, I got notes of sweet barnyard and a slightly floral and honey-like sweetness. The cold draw, already excellent despite the closed foot, is a sweet tobacco and has some nice black pepper already there which creates a little tingle on my tongue.

First Impressions:

First light it’s off to a quick start with loads of a red pepper, black pepper, and a tiny hint of dry cocoa. On the retrohale, I have to tread lightly for the first 5 puffs, as the pepper and spice notes are quite bold. The heat has a definite cinnamon quality. Certainly a start to grab your attention! Full-bodied start. The draw is perfect and it’s a joy to take slow, small pulls and let the smoke trickle out of my mouth and nose. This really gives me a chance to pick out flavor notes and analyze the profile.

First 3rd:

Once the nearly snow-white ash falls about an inch in, there is a big flavor shift. The pepper dies off considerably, which allows JSK’s complexity to shine. The retro is now very smooth, and there’s still some cinnamon. However, now I can taste cream, sweet bread, bakers spice, cedar, hints of cocoa, and deep down I catch a glimpse of an enticing stewed cherry. I’m reminded of a cherry Danish!

So, there is a quick attention grabbing start, which quickly faded into a very smooth and complex mix.

Second 3rd:

The middle section of the JSK lancero is an incredible experience. The body is a solid medium, and the feel of the smoke has become a touch drier. There is a solid base now of roasted black coffee bean, cedar, cream, and that fleeting cherry, which is now a dry cherry. Each draw, a different flavor seems to come to the forefront. One draw the coffee is heavy. The next, the dry cherry pops up. I’m finding the profile and mouth feel to be very similar to a Padron 1964 natural for comparison’s sake.

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

Final 3rd:

As I near the band, the Padron-like experience expands. Earthiness is making a big move. Roasted coffee, cedar, and black pepper are now the main players. A distinct vanilla note mixes with the earth to create a profile you might find in nice aged bourbon here. Right at the band, I’m catching a dry red licorice – there’s that cherry note returning!

The final bit was a continuation of the flavors described above, and the body remained a solid medium plus. I smoked it down to the nub, and I was disappointed that the cigar was over.

Value : 4.5 out of 5 stars
You can get a 5-pack of the lancero for $48. In my opinion this is a great value because I was getting flavors similar to the luxury brand Padron, for a fraction of the price. JSK has a cult-like following, and it’s easy to see why. The flavors are bold and easy to pick out, and several transitions happened.

Overall Rating : 4.75 out of 5 stars (4.75)
The JSK Red Knight Lancero was very close to a perfect cigar experience. Like I mentioned, the value for the flavors and performance that you get is incredible. The profile is very complex, the smoke was creamy and smooth, and there was plenty of body with some pepper to wake you up, but not enough to crush your palate or nose. While there was that nice cherry note, I wish I could have pulled a touch more sweetness from the profile, which would have made it a 5 star for me. However, I have tried the JSK toro, which I did find a tad sweeter. I think these Lanceros will also age very well and the spiciness will mellow slightly and be great for years to come.

JSK Red Knight Lancero

Pairing Recommendation:

The JSK Red Knight Lancero is a very versatile cigar to pair drinks with. It’s serious enough to stand with a neat bourbon or Scotch, however I also think it’d go great with a sweet cocktail like an Old Fashioned to balance the spiciness and woody notes. A cup of coffee with cream would work well. Again, I don’t think this is the best choice to smoke on an empty stomach because of the strength. On the beer side, I’d go with a nice hoppy IPA or maybe nice German Pilsner. If you’re a wine fan, go red and go big.

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lancero

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04
Dec

Guess the Best Cigar of the Year

Mike’s Cigars is currently running a contest with a chance to win a box of this year’s best cigars, as chosen by Cigar Aficionado. In order to win, you simply need to… guess that best cigar.

You can enter the contest by clicking here. Contest ends on December 11th.

Guess the Best Cigar of the Year and Win a Box

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03
Dec

Partagas Contest

We are a little late in announcing winners for the Cuban cigars contest we ran in November. We had almost 1,000 participants, a record! This definitely has something to do with the exceptional prizes we had, thanks to Tobias from VIPCigars. Here are the lucky readers who won:

Congrats! Please contact us to claim your prizes. And, as usual, stay tuned for more contests! :)

VIPCigars Contest Winners!

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28
Nov

Fidel Castro Dead at 90

An astounding number of famous people have died in 2016 … and now we can add none other than Cuba’s cigar-toting President, Fidel Castro, to the list. Fidel Castro’s health had been deteriorating for some time, and he passed away on Friday, November 25th.

Everyone will remember Fidel Castro for something different. To some he was a heroic revolutionary, to others a tyrannical despot. But for the cigar industry, he was a revolution. It was Fidel Castro who made Cuba’s cigar brands and factories state property, nationalizing the entire industry.

Cuban cigars are of course known the world over for their quality. If you live in the USA, you have struggled to get your hands on them for decades thanks to long-standing trade embargoes between the two countries. But ever since President Obama started normalizing affairs with Cuba, that has started to change. You can now travel to Cuba and bring home as many cigars as you want.

Looking to the future now, we have no idea what to expect for Cuban cigars, or for trade between the USA and Cuba. With Fidel Castro gone and Trump the president-elect in the USA, it is impossible to guess at what will happen next. I suggest snapping up as many cigars as you can now; who knows how long open trade will be in place. It is best to take advantage while we can.

In the meantime, at least the rest of this week’s news is decidedly positive. Not a lot is going on in the regulatory world, but we have a number of new and returning cigar releases to report.

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • The Oliva Serie V Maduro 2016 has made its way to retailers. It is basically identical to last year’s version. Measuring 6 x 60, it has a Mexican San Andrés wrapper and carries a price of around $10 per stick. The total number which will be produced is 60,000.
  • A new box-pressed Montecristo cigar is being manufactured by Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. in Nicaragua. This blend features Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers inside a Mexican San Andrés binder and an Ecuadorian Sumatra oscuro wrapper. It comes in five sizes: Churchill (7 x 50), Figurado (4 x 52), Gordo (6 x 58), Robusto (5 x 52) and Toro (6 x 50), and will cost between $9.95-$12.50.
  • Several of Tatuaje’s cigars are making a comeback, among them the highly sought-after Pork Tenderloin. The other two cigars which will once again be made available include the Porkchop and Le Vignoble. All three are being re-released as part of Pete Johnson’s Oh F*ck I’m Lost tour. During the tour, Johnson will visit seven different cities and participate in events at nine different retailers. This is the perfect time to restock on some of your favorite Tatujae cigars which you have been missing!
  • If you have been searching for the CAO Amazon Basin in the USA, good news—the sold-out brand is making a comeback in a single size, a 6 x 52 Toro. The Amazon Basin sold out very quickly in 2014, so act fast to grab a box of these before they are gone.
  • A new Cuban exclusive has just been released, the Saint Luis Rey Marquez. This cigar was first offered to participants attending the Partagás Festival in Havana a couple weeks ago. The cigar measures 5 7/8 inches with a 54 ring gauge, and comes in boxes of 10. Only 7,500 boxes are being produced. You can purchase a box of Saint Luis Rey Marquez cigars for 116 CUCs.
  • Drew Estate is bringing back Pappy Van Winkle cigars this year with a couple new sizes. In 2015, the only sizes available were Toro and Robusto. In 2016, the brand will add Churchill and Pappy Drew Limitada sizes. The latter is a distinctive figurado based on the Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig. The new cigars are currently being shipped to retailers, but are already available to order online.

Thanks for checking in with us for this week’s cigar news updates! Be sure to check back again soon!

You might be interested in these articles too:

Fidel Castro Dead at 90, New Oliva, Montecristo

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24
Nov

Black Friday cigar deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday cigar deals, carefully hand-picked for you. This post will be constantly updated, bookmark for future reference!

  • JR Cigars – a few available cigar deals, including 40% off Oliva & Nub boxes. New deals should progressively appear. Check them out here.
  • Famous Smoke offers a $40 discount on all orders over $150. Roughly amounts to a 25% discount. Click here and use code 40BFAFF.
  • Cigar Terminal – the already popular All-Stars Cuban Samplers are again discounted for Black Friday. A selection of 10, 20 or 30 Cuban sticks, starting at $69. Good value!
  • Summit Cigars – 50% off a selection of interesting cigars with code BLKFRI50.
  • CigarsFor.Me – free shipping on Black Friday with code “BLACKFRIDAY” (no minimum order, all deals on this page), and same conditions for Cyber Monday (the code is “CYBERMONDAY”, all deals can be found here).
  • Neptune Cigars – a very good 20% off your basket BF Special. Once clicked on the promotional page on their site, it is applied to your cart.

Spotted a nice cigar deal? Let us know in the comments area and we’ll add it to the list.

You might be interested in these articles too:

2016 Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals

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