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25
Aug

Don Pepin Fiver Deals

Three cigar deals, carefully hand-picked for you.

  • Don Pepin Fivers at 30% off – CigarPage has a deal on 5-packs of Pepin’s blends such as Flor de Las Antillas or My Father Le Bijou 1922. See all available blends here.
  • Alec Bradley American Classic – this budget offering from Alec Bradley is a really good smoke (see our review here), especially if it can be found at less than $5 per stick. It’s currently on sale at Cigar & Pipes, check it out.
  • Cigars International Humidor Combo10 cigars and a desktop humidor for $19.99, it’s not that bad. Even considering the fact that half of the cigars included in this deal are trash, the deal is good if you’re looking to get your first humidor, and fill it a bit.

Spotted a nice cigar deal? Post it in the comments area below!

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This week’s cigar deals (Aug 25 2016)

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18
Aug

Toscano Classico

Toscano CigarsOrigin : Italy
Format : Cheroot
Size : 6 x 38 (at middle)
Wrapper : Italian Kentucky
Filler : Blend of Italian and American Kentucky
Hand-Made
Price : : 5-pack for £26.39 ($17.95 US on Italiansmokes.com)

Today we have another guest review by Chris, an aficionado from the UK who runs a YouTube channel called CigarHub Cigar Reviews. Enjoy!

I never have much time for writing reviews, I mainly stick to my video reviews and that’s it. But when it comes to something astonishing it’s definitely worth the effort to make this cigar more known to those who are lucky enough to get ahold of some. This isn’t your average Cuban, this isn’t your average Dominican, Nicaraguan, or even Honduran – this is something completely special from Italy and was a real pleasant surprise for me.

Appearance and construction : 5 out of 5 stars
Straight off the bat, it’s hardly something you’ll have seen before. A cigar of these long thin proportions tapering on both ends isn’t a common thing. Rough. If you’ve read my written review on the Jose L Piedra Conservas, you’ll think I only find the roughest rolled cigars to be the best – far from the case, but I have to say that without a doubt while a very rough leaf is used, it’s extremely premium. Rather than a wrapper, it’s more of a shell – extremely thick and tough. From experience you can chew these cigars ‘til eternity and they’ll still be holding up. No bad spots, heavy on the veins – but that’s all part of the rustic look. Squeezing this cigar throughout its fairly firm, and doesn’t yield.

Toscano Classico

It’s a unique smell. It’s quite potent of a cigarette hand rolling tobacco, not quite pipe tobacco but in that direction. Something along those lines with possibly even a little rubbery tint to it, it’s something unique. Dry taste testing confirms this quite strongly. This is an indication of what’s to come, something with the convenience of a cigar but the amazing long time relaxation and taste of smoking a pipe. I couldn’t rate this any less than perfection, but then again you may have a different opinion on rustic looking cigars.

Smoking experience : 4.5 out of 5 stars
Light up is simple, use a match – due to the tapered ends even small household matches will do – and pick any end to smoke from, and give it a few lit puffs.

It’s hard to get the question out my head “Is this just a light nutty flavour?” It’s extremely pleasant, but something else in there. Something much like a decent unflavoured pipe tobacco, something even like a cigarette rolling tobacco fresh out the packet – it’s definitely that smell that draws us to tobacco for enjoyment whenever we open a packet or tin or walk into a tobacconist.

Machine rolled, but the machines in this case are doing better than some of the best premium rollers I have seen, the tobacco selection in this is incredible. A little coffee tint on cigars as in this case always encourages me to retrohale, and yep there’s a strong coffee taste flowing through, very little burn on the nose compared to most cigars; it’s quite enjoyable to do so throughout smoking. Very creamy and tasting exactly as it smells.

I find the ash on these impressive, maybe one inch segments but it splits out, almost like pipe tobacco almost splaying out as you light it for the first time before tamping. I’ve never had the burn fail me on one of these cigars.

These burn very slowly, and as I said earlier you can chew on the plug for as long as you want, leaving it sitting in your mouth hanging like you would a pipe. If you do some relaxing activities such as a little bit of golf, some fishing maybe, then I’d more than strongly recommend these. Even fifteen minutes in, very little progress on the actual cigar itself – the flavours are still a nice and quite smooth nutty taste with some coffee in the back, the whole collection of flavours being on the sweeter side.

I’ve noticed this as a feature in all the Classicos I’ve had but as you get into the second third of the cigar, those middle two inches have a little bit of an extra woody taste. Probably some extra filler to bulk up the thicker mid section, and it actually works quite nicely; pleasant taste.

45 minutes in, and give or take some room for the plug we’ll have left, this is actually doing quite fast on time. Generally I’d expect this to be a two hour cigar, but maybe I’m smoking this one a little fast to get a bit more affirm on the flavours to report on them. I’m a busy guy, lots of work to do and even right now I’m working on setting up my own UK tobacconist while writing this review, and this is specifically the cigar I need to help relax while tense – and it can help with the relentless chewing too.

Finishing off an hour and 45 minutes in, smoking this quick as I’ve said, fantastic cigar to enjoy while concentrating on something else, really adds to your experience. Ending with some nutty and some subtle earthy flavours but this review isn’t about the flavours, it’s the experience.

Conclusion : 4.5 out of 5 stars
I can only put this as a 4.5 out of 5 instead of the full 5/5, because it isn’t for a lot of occasions – if you want a cigar to sit and enjoy for a vast array of flavours and something to focus on, this isn’t the cigar for you. But if you want to add some relaxation into an activity, this is without a doubt my perfect recommendation. Something I can strongly recommend doing is cutting one of these cigars in half with a guillotine cutter. Each is a very good hour long smoke, and doesn’t commit you very much. This is definitely getting at least a mention if not a high spot in my top cigars for reviewing this year. You don’t get better value for the experience.

Toscano Classico

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11
Aug

Punch Double Corona

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Double Corona
Size : 194 x 20 mm (7.6 x 49)
Box code : AOL OCT 13
Hand-Made
Price : ~$14-16 each
More info about purchasing Punch cigars…

Want a huge honkin’ stick for not a lot of money?? Buy a 50 Cab of Punch Double Coronas. Punch is a more well-known name in the market that I am in, but most of their non-Cuban offerings leave a bit to be desired.

Appearance : 3.5 out of 5 stars
Although these smokes came well packed in a 50-cigar cabinet, I do not think I found a single stick that was actually straight. All of them had varying degrees of “bowing” along the length. I give it high marks for consistency in density and color, as well as a nice earthy aroma the cabinet emits upon opening. From appearances, the cigar looked as if it was going to be a nice selection—minus the bowing.

Punch Double Corona

Construction : 3.75 out of 5 stars (3.75)
Stick was better than average with few construction issues. No blooming, with few if any spines. There was proper amount of oiling throughout, and despite the lack of straightness, the burn WAS technically better than most. I have not run across a single cigar in the box that needed corrections to the burn. No wrapper separation of any sort. Construction-wise – a nice assembled cigar.

Flavor : 3.75 out of 5 stars (3.75)
Last fall, I reviewed a Juan Lopez Petit Corona where I absolutely took it to the woodshed where taste was concerned. I mention this cigar, because Punch actually delivered what I THOUGHT I was going to get with that other dismal failure. With the light, you are greeted with hints of honey and chocolate, along with fruity notes such as cherry, and with the exhale you get a nice “pop” of peppery spice—all delivered with complex moderation, unlike the Lopez—which performed as if it were going to rip your lungs out on the exhale with an unbearably harsh pepper note that overpowered the entire smoking experience. Punch got it right with this cigar. The taste profile held throughout all thirds of the smoke, providing a delightfully complex flavor profile and a truly enjoyable smoking experience.

Value : 4.25 out of 5 stars (4.25)
Punch gives you a huge cigar for your money with this selection, with the price equating to about $14US/cigar for a 194MM long Cuban stick. The taste profile is what makes this stick a winner in my book. Great complex flavor notes, paired with a technical performance that is above average makes this cigar a nice change of pace from what I normally consume.

Overall Rating : 3.75 out of 5 stars (3.75)
Do I think this is a top-tier cigar?? No. Does it earn my respect and admiration as a better than average Cuban stick?? Absolutely. Though not a cigar I would gravitate to as a normal occupant of my humidor, I must give credit to Punch for delivering a well-made stick that outperforms many of its competitors within the genre. They succeeded where others have utterly failed, so I do tip my cap to Punch. Well done!!

Enjoy!!!

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Punch Double Corona

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03
Aug

Nub Cameroon 358

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : 358Nub Cigars
Size : 3 3/4 x 58
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Nub Cameroon cigars…

If you ask a random cigar smoker about the Nub Cameroon 358, you may get any of a wide variety of responses. This is a cigar which seems to inspire love or hate reactions. They were quite popular when they were originally released, but since then, interest in them seems to have ebbed a bit.

Nub Cameroon 358 cigars are manufactured by Oliva Cigar Co. and marketed under the Studio Tobac name. The motto for the cigars is, “Just the sweet spot.” Nub Cameroon 358 is designed to be a relatively quick smoke with ideal flavors from start to finish. Does it measure up? I decided to find out.

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
There is certainly nothing to complain about with the appearance of this cigar. Nub cigars are short and fat and very distinctive-looking, so much so that many smokers refer to cigars of that shape manufactured by any brand as “nubs.” The wrapper is medium brown and has an oily sheen and a smooth surface with just a few noticeable seams. The band is very classy and modern looking.

Construction : 5 out of 5 stars
I don’t have any complaints about construction either. The burn line was sharp from start to finish, only needing the occasional minor correction. The draw was also just about perfect, tight enough to offer minimal resistance.

Flavor : 3 out of 5 stars
Here is where I wasn’t all that impressed with the Nub Cameroon 358. The flavors weren’t bad, but it’s such a quick smoke that they don’t have much of a chance to evolve. In fact, I can’t even really describe much of a progression from start to finish. Flavors are bold at the start, mostly natural tobacco and coffee with a creamy backdrop. There is some spiciness which fades toward the middle. You then get toasted nuts and a bit of earth. The spices come back stronger toward the end. You can actually smoke it down to the nub, which is nice. It never gets too hot or harsh.

So why only 3/5 stars? There is nothing here which is particularly unique or original. I enjoyed the first part of the smoke the most. After that, the flavors seemed like they toned down a bit to me, and again, they had no room to evolve or change, so it got a bit dull.

Value : 3 out of 5 stars
In general, it is hard to complain about a cigar that costs around $6 a stick. So why did I dock two stars on value? Well, for one thing, this is a very short cigar, and as a result, you smoke it very fast. For that reason the price seems a little high. For another thing, the Nub Cameroon 358 used to cost around $5. A lot of people balked when the price went up, which is why I suspect the Nub Cameroon 358 has fallen somewhat out of favor. There are just too many other choices at the $6 price point which are more enticing.

Overall Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars
Despite the love or hate reactions I see to this cigar everywhere else, I neither loved nor hated the Nub Cameroon 358. I actually found it reasonably enjoyable, and I think in many ways it would be a perfect stogie for winter when you want to smoke something outside quickly before you get too cold. But the flavors could be a little more interesting, and the price could be about $1 lower. I think if the cost came back down, the Nub Cameroon 358 would be a more popular cigar again.

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Nub Cameroon 358

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02
Aug

As you probably know, this years IPCPR Convention just wrapped up a few days ago, running from July 24th-July 28th at Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Hopefully you already read our first update where we shared news on new releases from Drew Estate, General Cigar, Nat Sherman, Joya De Nicaragua and others. Now I would like to share some additional updates!

Davidoff of Geneva USA: Yamasá

Davidoff of Geneva USA is always a big booth, and this year it seemed larger than ever. There were numerous Davidoff products on display as well as products from a number of other big cigar brands: Room101, AVO, Camacho and Ditka.

Davidoff-yamasa

The big deal however was definitely the Davidoff Yamasá, which is a brand new addition to the Davidoff catalog. This was its official unveiling and the first time that members of the public got a chance to smoke it.

The Yamasá includes a Dominican wrapper and binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler leaves. Flavors are bold and include notes of coffee, cedar, nuts and spices. It will be launching in August, and will be available in four sizes:
- Davidoff Yamasá Petit Churchill (4 x 48) $12.90 (Box of 14, $180.60)
- Davidoff Yamasá Robusto (5 x 50) $19.70 (Box of 12, $236.40)
- Davidoff Yamasá Pirámides (6 1/8 x 52) $23 (Box of 12, $276)
- Davidoff Yamasá Toro (6 x 52) $22.70 (Box of 12, $272.40)

The Yamasá is actually a somewhat fascinating story. It was pioneered by blender Henke Kelner, who has literally been working on it for 20 years. The name of the cigar pays tribute to the swampland of Yamasá. Unbelievably and against the odds (and the doubts of others), Kelner managed to convert the swamp into a tobacco-producing region. How and why? That part I am not sure about, but it is a spectacularly impressive feat resulting in a charismatic new cigar.

Oliva: Rebranding and Virtual Reality

The Oliva booth is another biggie. Overall it looked much like it did in previous years, but you could sense the change in ownership (J. Cortès now owns it). Perhaps this accounts for some of the re-branding of Oliva products, for example the Nub Café, which is now known as the Nub Nuance. Additionally, two new blends are available. The first is called the Nub Nuance Fall Harvest, which includes additional notes of pumpkin spice. The wrapper is Indonesian while the binder is Nicaraguan. The filler leaves are Nicaraguan and Dominican.

- Nub Nuance Fall Harvest 354 (3 3/4 x 54) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)
- Nub Nuance Fall Harvest 460 (4 x 60) $7.18 (Boxes of 20, $143.50)
- Nub Nuance Fall Harvest 542 (5 x 42) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)

The second new blend is the Winter Blend, which contains an added note of mint:

- Nub Nuance Winter Blend 354 (3 3/4 x 54) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)
- Nub Nuance Winter Blend 460 (4 x 60) $7.18 (Boxes of 20, $143.50)
- Nub Nuance Winter Blend 542 (5 x 42) $6.15 (Boxes of 20, $123)

All of the new Nub Nuance cigars will be available in September.

New Nub Nuance blends were not the only means by which Oliva impressed booth visitors at IPCPR 2016. Oliva is a brand that is on top of the latest technology. If you happen to be a gamer, you probably are familiar with virtual reality headsets. VR headsets are cutting edge, but should soon be available for your PlayStation or Xbox console. As it turns out, their applications go far beyond gaming.

Oliva had the very cool idea of allowing trade show attendees to visit their company plantation and factories through a virtual reality tour. This is really quite an amazing concept and a mind-blowing and unique experience for everyone who dropped by the Oliva booth. As a bonus, Oliva demonstrated their generosity and appreciation to all of their dedicated buyers by giving away a complimentary cigar at the end of their virtual tour.

Quick Updates:

Avo’s new blend this year is Classic Covers Volume 4. This cigar is based on the Avo Domaine, and includes Yamasá filler leaves, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper. The Avo Syncro Nicaragua is also getting an expansion with the new Fogata.

Boutique Blends has four new cigars on the way. Two are Oliveros and two are Aging Room.

Recluse Cigar Company has announced the fourth expansion of their Draconian Blend with the Recluse Draconian Habano. This cigar includes a Sumatra binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around Dominican Ligero, Iconic Ligero, Braziago and Piloto Cubano fillers. It will be available in 14 formats.

Thanks for following along with this years IPCPR updates here on CigarInspector.com! Be sure to check back each week for ongoing industry news!

You might be interested in these articles too:

IPCPR 2016: Update 2

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This week’s cigar deals...
Toscano Classico
Punch Double Corona
Nub Cameroon 358
IPCPR 2016: Update 2

 
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