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24
Jul

DavidoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador – Habano Marron Oscuro
Binder : Mexico – Negro San Andres
Filler : Dominican Republic – San Vicente Mejorado Visus / Piloto Seco / Olor Visus
Nicaragua – Esteli Visus / Condega Visus
Hand-Made
Price : ~$17.5 each
More info about purchasing Davidoff Nicaragua cigars…

Davidoff is one of the most famous cigar brands worldwide. The brand was first famous for its Cuba cigars until 1991-1992. Then for their Dominican cigars. But in the past few years we have seen them exploring the world with new complex blend such as this Winston Churchill Late Hour.

Draw : 6 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4 out of 6 stars
strength : 3.5 out of 6 stars

Appearance
One has to admit, Davidoff has done a fantastic marketing job when it comes to the visual aspect of its brand in general. The Winston Churchill line, just like the man itself, has so many different profiles and each well designed.
This new Late Hour band, highlights a deep gold embossing over a black lacquered type of finish band. This colour scheme really express the luxurious time you will spend with this cigar.
The wrapper is maduro from Ecuador. The cigar looks greatly rolled (typical for Davidoff), with a nice feeling to it.

Tasting

1st Part
As expected when is comes to a fine Davidoff cigar, the draw is great and the there are noting to say about it.
Te cigar starts medium, developing an intense caramel flavour profile with a slight spiciness at the beginning that slowly disappears.
As the cigar burns, the ash doesn’t stay long on the cigar and is rather loose. I would expect nice and ling ash to follow this great flavour profile but instead it falls like powder in the ashtray…

2nd Part
Not much development on the second third. You still have this great sweetness being very present. Hints of cocoa and dark coffee are present as well. The Late Hour Robusto doesn’t over heat and this second part gets lighter than the first. The density of smoke is high and the aroma very peasant.

3rd Part
If I had to describe this last third with one word it would be “SWEET”. The sweetness intensity high high however the flavours gets really complex and very enjoyable.
A woodiness appears melted with hints of nuts and roasted coffee. The finish is long and this sweetness lingers on the palate. The cigar is really well balanced in terms of strength and flavours.

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour Robusto

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03
Jul


Origin : Cuba

src="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/brand/romeo-julieta.gif" alt="Romeo y Julieta" width="140" height="97" />
Format : Julieta No.2
Size : 178 X 47
Brand strength : Medium
Hand-Made
Cuba
Price : £17
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars…

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 3 out of 6 stars

Tasting

The high score might be due to the sentimental value of this cigar. This is the very first cigar I ever tried & smoked when I started smoking cigars many years ago. I was very hesitant to try it again because i always hear people saying that it’s very mild. And personally i’m not one for mild cigars.
I revisited it a couple of days ago and I have to say it’s not as mild as expected. The nostalgic smooth & creamy smoke came back to me, I now remember why I really enjoyed this cigar.
I get dry cedar flavours as the main notes throughout this cigar. A rich nutty feeling gives this cigar a great character and makes it much interesting than I remembered to be. It may be mild, but boy oh boy it is a delicious stick.

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Romeo Y Julieta Churchill

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23
Feb

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Wide Churchill / Montesco (Robusto)
Size : 5.1 (130 mm) x 55
Release : 2010
Box code : RAE JUN15
Hand-Made
Price : $283 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars…

Recently I had the opportunity to finally sample a branded cigar that is readily available in my market, but typically supplied from different countries in Central America (editor’s note: non-Cuban Romeo y Julietas, some of them are reviewed here). Typically these smokes have been dry, grainy and more akin to puffing on a pile of sawdust than a true fine quality cigar. I am happy to say that the Cuban Romeo y Julieta rose to the occasion and has offered a stout cigar with plenty of taste that should satisfy most any avid Cubano lover and beginner alike. It is a nice smoke at an economical price for a Cuban.

Appearance : 3.5 out of 5 stars
Packed in a moderately brown wrapper, the Wide Churchill gives you the impression that you are about to enjoy a stout cigar, and the product does deliver on that promise. Were this cigar graded on appearances, it would be an upper tier cigar in my book. However, there are some issues with this smoke. Spines were sparse and small and no signs of oiling or blooming.

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills - Box

Construction : 3 out of 5 stars
I found a number of construction problems. The burn was not consistent and most of the cigars I smoked had major burn issues requiring corrections, some successful—some not. Draw was effortless, but the wrapper separated on just about every cigar at the point of clipping. Canoeing and gopher holing was almost a constant, with all cigars having some sort of an issue.

Flavor : 3.5 out of 5 stars
Taste is where this cigar redeems itself. Effortless lighting yields billowing columns of smoke with woody and oftentimes fruity and even melon-like notes. Taste was a very pleasant surprise, with these notes carrying themselves throughout all thirds of the cigar. Aging of this cigar could only amplify what is an already strong flavor package.

Value : 4 out of 5 stars
Simply put, this is a great cigar for the price paid. It gives something to just about everyone at EXTREMELY reasonable cost. A great value for what you pay for.

Overall Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars
Though not what I would consider a top-tier smoke, this Romeo y Julieta definitely piques my interest in looking to see just what other goodies this company has from Cuban origin. If their more restricted releases can pack the power and taste this cigar did, they might just have something to offer the aficionado in all of us.

Enjoy!!!

You might be interested in these articles too:

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill

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22
Sep

Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 102 x 19.84 mm (4 x 50)
Release : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars…

Since the release of the Hoyo Petit Robusto in 2004, the Petit Robusto size has proven a great success for Habanos. Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas (Serie D No. 5 and No. 6) and Trinidad also jumped on the wagon, with similar variations but same characteristics. A short, stout cigar that combines a short smoking time with the coolness and comfort of a larger ring gauge. The response was great, so it was only a matter of time before another brand came up with a petit robusto.

The Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill, released in 2012, is a classic petit robusto, measuring 4” in length with a 50 ring gauge. Initially available in dress boxes of 25, 3-packs of tubos were to follow in 2013. My Petit Churchill had some time to rest after the long trip from Cuba and I am really looking forward to see what it has to offer.

Appearance-wise the Petit Churchill is almost flawless. The wrapper is smooth and shiny, with a moderate amount of veins and almost no imperfections. The bunch is firm and consistent and the triple cap is rounded and perfectly applied. Strong scents of wild flowers and walnuts emerge from the foot and the wrapper of the cigar and the prelight draw is perfect. Time to light up…

The Petit Churchill kicks off with strong, rich creamy flavours of vanilla, honey and a touch of wood. The body is medium and the flavours are well balanced. Smoking in the first third, the cigar shows a great deal of complexity; flavours of coffee, fruits, leather and dark chocolate are sharp and dominant, with hints of cedar on the background and the slightest touch of ammonia. The burn is good and the cigar produces clouds of smoke. So far so good…

In the second third the cigar settles down. The hints of ammonia have now disappeared, and the Petit Churchill is now sweeter. Honey, vanilla and coffee are the main flavours, with some cedar and earth still in the background. The body is still medium and the cigar draws well. It burns slightly unevenly, which is not a problem so far.

In the last third the body changes to medium to full and the flavours are now sharper again. Bitter chocolate, earth, leather and cedar are now the main flavours, with the sweeter flavours now subsiding. It is not as sweet and complex as in the first two thirds, but still enjoyable nevertheless. The Petit Churchill smokes well until the end, without getting hot or harsh at any stage. With less than an inch left, it is time to put it to sleep.

Overall, a great progression for a cigar of its size. With a bit of age on its back, it will surely refine its flavours more and discard the tiny bit of harshness from the start and the finish. I am a fan already!

Overall Rating : 5 out of 5 stars

Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill

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19
Jul

Punch Churchill

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Churchill (Julieta No. 2)
Size : 148 x 19 mm (7 x 47)
Box code : OCT 2005
Discontinued : 2010
Hand-Made
Price : $12+ each
More info about purchasing Punch cigars…

Punch is one of the oldest brands comprising Habanos S.A., founded clear back in 1840 in Havana by Don Manuel Lopez. The brand was created with the European market of cigar buyers in mind, and named for the puppet Mr. Punch from Punch and Judy. This particular cigar, the Punch Churchill, was discontinued in 2010, so the only stogies you can find today have been aged several years. My particular box is from 2005 (4 cigars were smoked for this review). Despite the fact that this cigar has been discontinued, you can still find it for a reasonable price online.

Appearance : 4.5 out of 5 stars
The wrapper is medium brown in color with a nice sheen to it from the oil. There are a few fine veins, and it appears to be packed evenly (dense, but not hard). All in all, a near flawless looking cigar.

Construction : 4 out of 5 stars
There are a couple of minor issues with construction. The draw is slightly tight at times, but opens up as you smoke. The burn was sometimes a little off, but required few minor adjustments, and otherwise burned pretty straight. These issues barely registered; otherwise, construction was great.

Flavor : 4 out of 5 stars
I would classify this cigar as medium in strength. It produces plenty of rich aromatic smoke. The flavors themselves are smooth and mild for the most part, and the notes I detect are largely wood and something floral. I may also be picking up something like tea, and later on, a hint of vanilla. There are no major twists or turns; the experience is a consistent one. The cigar is never remotely harsh or bitter.

Value : 4.5 out of 5 stars
While I would normally expect to pay less for a cigar like this one (particularly with the construction issues, as minor as they ultimately were), I cannot complain about the cost at all in light of the fact that these are discontinued. They will become more and more of a rarity as time goes on, so the price may not stay as low as it is.

Punch Churchill

Overall Rating : 4.25 out of 5 stars (4.25)
Construction issues were minor in an otherwise very good cigar. While the Punch Churchill threw no surprises at me, sometimes I like something simple, consistent, and well executed. This cigar will be a real winner for those who enjoy mild, smooth flavors, the ones you’d expect in a classic old-style Cuban cigar (just remember that it is a medium-strength cigar). I recommend picking up a box of these while you can still get them. If you enjoy mild flavors, you will be very happy with your purchase.

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Punch Churchill

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20
Nov

Commercial

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14
Sep

Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Churchill
Size : 178 x 18.65 mm
Ring : 47
Hand-Made
Price : ~$19 each in Canada
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars…

The Romeo y Julietta Churchill is as classic as classic gets. It is quite popular amongst occasional and seasoned smokers. A pre-1960 release, it has been in vogue since then. As some of you know, I do not hold the Romeo y Julieta marca in my heart but I was advised by a real hardcore aficionado that the new batches were up to par with the Churchill heyday.

Appearance : 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is a smooth looking wrapper with little to no veins showing. The cigar is soft and the wrapper is very pungent. I can smell sweet and tangy tobacco.

Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Construction : 4 out of 5 stars
The Churchill has a firm touch and seems to be filled perfectly. The foot is nice and tight without looking over-packed. The triple cap is lying neatly and tightly on the head of this cigar.

It gives me a clean punch cut and a great draw with a slight resistance. In my opinion, this is the best draw one can get.

Flavor : 4 out of 5 stars
There are light aromas of tobacco and citrus at cold.

1st third
This is starting very lightly but it is a treat. The smoke seems to be thin in the mouth but it is very tasty. The smoke is also pungent and sweet smelling. There are a lot of sweet flavors. I can taste honey, caramel and some coffee. The after taste is very clean and short. There aren’t any flavors left in mouth. The caramel flavors are really well defined. I am really enjoying this.

2nd third
The second part is very similar to the first one. It changes slightly and adds some toasted bread flavors. The sweet honey/caramel aroma is turning into a strong defined sweet cherry flavor. That’s pretty unexpected but quite good. There is more smoke and still no aftertaste lingering in the mouth. Past the halfway point, I can feel the nicotine build up. The body is light-medium.

3rd third
The sweetness that I tasted on my lips is now leaving. The Churchill stepped up to medium body and you can feel the power building up. I can’t nub this one as it is giving me a lot of nicotine.

Value : 3.5 out of 5 stars
I think if these were constantly as good as these, they would be worth investing in a few boxes to keep a steady stock of. Their lack of consistency and price point make them of poor value in my eyes. I have limited humidor real estate and these won’t make the cut unless they start being consistent.

Romeo y Julieta Churchill

Overall Rating : 4 out of 5 stars
This particular cigar was great. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be looking for more new Romeo y Julietta Churchill because they have their place in a regular rotation if they keep this type of quality.

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Romeo y Julieta Churchill

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24
Jul

Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill

Origin : HondurasAlec Bradley
Format : Churchill
Size : 7 x 48
Wrapper : Honduran 2006 Corojo (Maduro)
Filler : Honduran/Nicaraguan blend
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$10-11 each
More info about purchasing Alec Bradley Prensado cigars…

Any cigar enthusiast knows that Cigar Aficionado magazine has become the cigar industry’s standard when it comes to cigars. Cigar smokers and manufacturers alike refer to it as the bible when it comes to the cigar lover’s lifestyle and culture. A high rating in this publication can make your sales soar, while at the same time negative feedback can often leave your cigars collecting dust on the back shelf of the walk-in humidor.

Perhaps no list is as eagerly awaited each year than their list of the year’s best cigars. One cigar gets to be crowned “Cigar of the Year” and, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been making it a point to ensure that I get my hands on the number one so that I can see for myself what the hype is about. On some occasions I had already smoked their top rated cigar while on others I hadn’t. The last cigar to be crowned Cigar Aficionado’s cigar of the year was the Alec Bradley Prensado. Many ‘aficionados’ found this selection surprising/controversial. In fact, I had never paid much attention to this cigar before, having tasted some of Alec Bradley’s other offerings and not being too pleased with them. However, because this cigar won 2011’s cigar of the year, I was compelled to give it a go. I often agree with the magazine’s overall impressions. While I may not think as highly or as lowly as they do in some of their ratings, usually, I can agree on a good smoke or a bad one only disagreeing with the rating itself. Can we really crown something “the best” given that taste is so subjective?

Needless to say, the winning cigar, especially if it is a non-Cuban, can pretty much be assured of selling out their supply in short order. Cuban cigars are different because they cannot be purchased in the United States, one of the biggest markets for the aforementioned publication.

Having set my eyes on the Prensado, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one during my frequent visits to the United States. Thankfully I live a short drive to the border and normally pick up a few non-Cuban cigars when I cross the bridge. Living in Canada, the demand for non-Cuban cigars is not that great but we also have to contend with some hefty tobacco taxes. I was uneasy about spending over $20.00 one of these cigars here in Canada so I waited until one of my trips to the U.S. to pick up a stick.

I picked one up in early February, paying $10.75 for it. Buying them by the box will save on the per-cigar price, a practise that is against the law here in Canada. That is, you cannot offer a discount if you buy the box but instead must pay the actual cigar price multiplied by the number of sticks.

With all that said and out of the way, the other night was a perfect mild evening with little to no humidity and no breeze. It was the perfect outdoor condition to enjoy a cigar, and a Churchill at best given that I would need some time to get through this 7 inch smoke. Therefore, enough rambling… time to dig into the review. Is the reigning champion worthy of the its title?

Appearance : 4.5 out of 5 stars
This box-pressed cigar measures 7 inches long with a 48 ring gauge. The cigar is manufactured in Honduras and is composed of both Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco. The main feature of this cigar is the lush and well aged (2006) Corojo wrapper grown in the Trojos region of the Honduran Jalapa Valley. The binder is Nicaraguan tobacco and the filler is composed of approximate equal parts of Nicaraguan and Honduran long leaf. The cigar looks rich. It has fabulous eye appeal sporting a beautiful band and a very oily looking Maduro wrapper. It sports a triple cap.

Construction : 3 out of 5 stars
As noted, the cigar is box-pressed and comes wrapped in cellophane. The Prensado was firm with a couple of spongy spots near the band. The cap on my sample was slightly crooked. The draw was effortless and, for the most part, every puff of the first half rewarded me with a very thick cloud of smoke. The smoke remained cool as was expected with a 7 inch cigar and the burn was less than impressive. I found myself fighting the burn and I needed to correct it on 3 occasions. The cigar needed to be re-lit twice. If you aren’t puffing this cigar often it will go out on you. The volume of smoke remained consistent for the first half of the cigar with the amount of smoke declining as I approached the band. The draw remained consistent but as I said, it had a tendency to want to go out on me if I did not take frequent draws. The first re-light was required approximately 2 cm above the band and the second one just beneath it. Deductions were given for the very uneven burn and the re-lights.

Flavor : 2 out of 5 stars
This is where I disagree with the aforementioned publication and with many of the reviews I have seen since the crowning.

The pre-light draw gave me a very typical maduro tobacco taste. It had no resistance and provided woodsy and earthy tones. The foot of the cigar had a deep earthy aroma as did the body of the cigar itself.

I toasted the foot and proceeded to light the cigar at which time I was immediately greeted with a very full-bodied spice with exceptional smoke volume. I tasted hints of wood and leather. The spice was strong with a very noticeable, almost distracting “heat”. It was not a typical peppery spice but was a longer lasting heat, best described as cayenne pepper or even a jalapeno spice. The draw had a long finish with the spice overshadowing the leathery, woodsy flavours. I noticed hints of thick cocoa, bitter chocolate and to be quite frank, I was reminded of burnt espresso like when it is simply served too hot causing the coffee to go very bitter. The best way to describe the flavour I got out of the first couple of centimetres was a burnt, unsweetened espresso with hints of wood and thick cocoa. There was certainly a lot going on. The spice remained constant and perhaps was a bit over the top. The burn started to go wavy at approximately 1cm.

The cigar remained very spicy for the first third. The finish remained long. It continued to offer hints of wood and leather especially noticeable in the finish. Hints of bitter espresso remained. The ash was typical of maduro cigars, dark and toasted grey. It remained firm and fell off on its own at approximately 1.5 inches into the cigar. It was at that point that the burn became very uneven. As the first third ended so did the overpowering spice. That is not to say that the spice disappeared but it became less of a distraction.

The cigar mellowed out a bit at the start of the second third at which point the burn needed a correction. Much of the overwhelming spice and bitterness subsided and gave way to milder hints of earth and wood. I started to feel some very faint hints of salt on my lips at this point. No longer was the spice lingering at the back of my throat.
At the halfway mark the volume of cigar smoke declined. The burn got away from me again and required its second correction. I was not getting the harsh bitterness anymore and the intensity of the spice subsided to a palatable level. Hints of musty wood with tobacco and roasted coffee emerged. The overall intensity of the flavour declined noticeably.

Past the halfway mark the flavours became much more muted and the burn again started to waver. I could start to feel the nicotine at this point and the spice became more like a cracked pepper heat. The smoke volume decreased and the bitterness was replaced with a more palatable sweetness. I picked up hints of cocoa and slight citrus with some coffee tones that were balanced by mild saltiness on the lips.

During the final third of the cigar there was much less spice/pepper. The cigar became much smoother and sweeter/creamier. The harsh bitterness disappeared and I was starting to taste hints of sweet chocolate and thick coffee. The cigar needed to be re-lit just before removing the band and again just past it. It wants to be smoked and long pauses will cause the cigar to go out. The volume of smoke noticeably dimished in the last 2 inches. The ash became flaky following the halfway mark falling off more frequently, perhaps every cm or two, perhaps because of the uneven burn.

The cigar started off as a very full-bodied cigar ending more medium-bodied. It was a medium/strong strength. The cigar flavours were very complex. However, complexity is only a good thing if the flavours accompanying that complexity are pleasing. Unfortunately, I found that for the most part they weren’t. The cigar did not become really enjoyable for me until long after the halfway mark of the cigar and that is just too long for me to wait for the cigar to balance out. I can’t imagine having to wait 5 inches into a 7 inch cigar to finally experience balanced flavours. If I was not intending to review it I would probably have put the cigar to rest much earlier. Most of the time I was fighting the burn and battling bitterness and harsh spice. The predominant flavour was that of a woodsy/earthy cigar. I do love peppery cigars but this spice was just overwhelming, like someone sprinkled cayenne pepper into the cigar. It offered short hints of lush cocoa at the start but these were very short lived. The lush cocoa and coffee sweetness that I normally get from maduro cigars re-emerged later on into the smoke but simply took too long to develop. The cigar lasted almost an hour and 45 minutes with the last 2 inches becoming difficult to draw and stay lit.

Value : 3.5 out of 5 stars
$10.70 for the cigar of the year (cheaper if bought by the box in the U.S.) and for a 7 inch smoke lasting 15 minutes shy of 2 hours is amazing value. If you enjoy the cigar then the cost of the cigar is not an issue. It offers exceptional value for such a long lasting smoke. However, I did not particularly enjoy the cigar and will not be buying another. I find it hard to rate value because much of what I deem to be of value must be accompanied by a reason or desire to spend the money to begin with. As I did not enjoy the cigar I cannot honestly say that it has any value for me. However, on a general level, I must admit that this 7 inch Churchill is priced right for those that enjoy it. It certainly won’t bust your wallet unless you are buying it in an unfriendly tobacco tax market like Canada.

Overall Rating : 3 out of 5 stars
I don’t agree with the Cigar Aficionado tasters/rating. I can think of many more cigars that I found exceptionally more appealing than this one. I think their tasters were being somewhat generous. Maybe they tasted something I didn’t or perhaps I had a bad sample. This is not the first time that the number one cigar caused controversy in the smoking world. I am not going to like this cigar simply because a publication thought it was the best of the year. Too many people simply follow the leader and play along in that regard, having their initial impressions swayed by the knowledge that they are smoking the cigar of the year.

I don’t think I recall seeing reviews of this cigar before the rating was released but since being crowned the best of 2011 I’ve seen many which is why I couldn’t wait to taste it for myself. I am often left wondering if people like the cigar because of its crown or if they actually find the smoke pleasing.

Much of my positive rating for this cigar was based on appearance. The cigar really looked sexy and I really wanted this cigar to be better. I absolutely loved its appearance. The photograph was taken by me and the cigar in the photograph is the actual cigar I smoked. I really wanted for its taste to match its looks. Unfortunately it failed miserably in the only area that counts: taste. This goes to show that beauty is truly only skin (wrapper) deep.

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Alec Bradley Prensado Churchill

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17
Jul

Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill

Origin : CubaRomeo y Julieta
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm
Ring : 50
Box code : April 2012
Hand-Made
Price : ~$9 each
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars…

Please welcome DrFever, our newest contributor. He starts with a review of the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill, a well-known Cuban robusto.

This Cuban cigar comes in at just under 5 inches in length (4.8” to be exact) with a ring gauge of 50. One of my preferred cigar sizes.

This particular sample came from one of my 25 count boxes with a box code of April 2012. It is a fairly young cigar but I have found that these cigars do smoke well fairly young. I have been smoking these cigars since 2007, a year after their official 2006 release. In the past I have picked up some single tubes of these but this box was brought back to me by a vacationing neighbour while travelling to Cuba.

Appearance : 3.5 out of 5 stars
I didn’t want to rate the appearance so low but given the fact that 25 count boxes are box pressed (or semi box pressed given the inconsistent appearance from cigar to cigar), I must be objective here. Had I been rating one of the tubos then Appearance would certainly be a 5 but I’m not. I am rating one of the smokes from the box of 25 and in all honesty appearance ranges from 3 to 4 depending on the cigar pulled from the box which is an indication of just how inconsistent the box pressed versions of these smokes are. I sure hope that Cuban quality isn’t fading again (I recently opened a box of Monte Petit Edmundos and found very inconsistent construction). I found some of these Short Churchills to be rectangular at the foot but perfectly round at the cap. Some others were semi pressed at the foot and fully pressed at the cap. The sample I smoked was round from the cap down to the centre of the cigar where it then morphed into a semi-box pressed cigar meaning that the top was round but the sides and bottom were pressed. I have found that just 3 months out of their box in my humidor they are ‘springing back to life’ with fewer odd shapes. The fact that they were young when I unboxed them perhaps helped them spring back a tad to less box pressed appearances.

Other than this, the cigar looks beautiful with a double band (golden Short Churchill Band below the RyJ company band) and a nice deep brown wrapper with visible but non distracting veins. The triple cap on my sample was nicely applied.

Construction : 4.5 out of 5 stars
The wrapper stayed intact during the entire smoke. I had no issues with cutting the cigar and had no problems with the draw. The cigar held a beautiful ash that reached a full inch at times. The draw of the cigar was fantastic up until the final inch or so of the cigar, just under the area of where the RyJ band would be before I removed it. Perhaps a bit too much vegetable gum on the band as it did offer resistance in taking it off.

The burn only wavered occasionally but this was minor and the cigar self-corrected itself. No need for any touch-ups. The only re-light needed was in the final inch. It did go out again after that re-light but by that time I had figured I had enjoyed this cigar enough and didn’t want to ruin my experience by re-lighting it so close to the nub.

Flavor : 4 out of 5 stars
The pre-light aroma was very woodsy with a very pleasant tobacco flavour. The unlit draw yielded some nice Cuban tobacco aroma typical of the Romeo & Julieta line. Hints of cedar, wood and spice.

The lighting of the cigar yielded a woodsy tone with a touch of salt on the lips and palate. By the time the first 3rd was complete, the smoke was velvety and thick giving off a peppery display of woodsy earthiness that was satisfying to the palate. Hints of pepper remained throughout the entire first 3rd of the cigar but not too much spice to detract from the flavour.

By the second third, the velvety smoke had given way to a nice thick white smoke. The cigar did not exhibit any more salty tones as it did in the first third but the cigar did settle into a medium bodied woodsy tasting cigar with hints of pepper and leather. The mild peppery finish was medium to long. At times, I picked up hints of earth and hay and a little bitter coffee flavour around the halfway point came into the picture however of note was that the bitterness didn’t last long but the mild undertone of coffee lingered until the final third.

I would not say that this cigar is overly complex but the mild changes in flavour throughout the smoke kept me interested for the entire duration of the smoke. The final third for me is where the cigar really opened up offering some hints of dark chocolate with a touch of spice with that familiar woodsy undertone. It was a nice mix.

I have smoked these on an empty stomach before and did not find the nicotine to be overwhelming. This is not a strong smoke in that respect. The lush, thick smoke that it exhumes is enjoyable and the experience was an enjoyable one with the uneven look of the cigar never becoming a factor once the first third burned off. Overall the smoke was consistent in that it was not harsh at all.

Value : 4 out of 5 stars
I have sampled better robustos for similar prices and worse ones in this price range. You can’t go wrong with one of these. Personally I have always wanted to keep a few of these in my humidor and if robustos are your thing, you won’t go wrong by having a few of these laying around when you want to change up your flavours a little bit.

Overall Rating : 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve smoked this cigar in the past out of the tubes and never had a bad one. The discrepancies of the appearance of the box pressed versions threw me off but thankfully did not hamper the taste of the cigar. If appearance is what you are after, grab a tubed sample or two. However, the cigar from the box burned flawlessly for me and had great construction. I have read in other reviews that many smokers of the Short Churchills prefer to smoke them young. I have never experienced an older Short Churchill so half my box of 25 will certainly go into the aging humidor to be reviewed again at 6 months and then again at a year at which point I will compare my notes.

If your preferred size is the Robusto (as is mine) then you will do yourself well by trying one of these. You won’t go wrong by having a few in your Humidor.

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Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill

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25
Jan

href="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/cigar/gurkha-cellar-reserve-b.jpg" rel="lightbox" title="Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill"> class="aligncenter" src="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/cigar/gurkha-cellar-reserve.jpg" alt="Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill" width="450" height="515">

Origin : Dominican Republic src="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/brand/gurkha.jpg" alt="Gurkha" class="alignright" width="200" height="103" /> /> Format : Churchill /> Size : 7 x 54 /> Wrapper : Nicaragua /> Filler : Dominican Republic, Nicaragua /> Binder : Dominican Republic /> Hand-Made /> Price : ~$11.00 each /> class="extravaganza" href="http://www.cigarinspector.com/buy-gurkha-cellar-reserve" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">More info about purchasing Gurkha Cellar Reserve cigars…

In 1989 Kaizad Hansotia purchased a small cigar company called Gurkha, named after Nepalese warriors whose bravery impressed the British soldiers, for a paltry sum of $143. He intended the cigars to be unique gifts given to customers of his family’s watch business. Twenty-three years later, this growing boutique brand produces over two dozen distinct blends and recently released a new line called the Cellar Reserve.

The name and packaging of the Cellar Reserve Churchill elicits vivid imagery of rolling green hillsides marked with crisp rows of grape vines bursting through the earth and perhaps even gracefully shimmering in a gentle summer breeze. Despite outward appearances the contents of this box did not originate from the gravelly soil of a renowned French chateau. In fact, it is an obscure pairing of tobacco from disparate farms isolated geographically by miles of ocean that gave birth to the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill. The oily Criollo wrapper is mottled with a few medium sized veins but rolled nicely with tight seams. A grandiose band holds an overwhelming amount of unnecessary text but is easy to remove.

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The cigar begins softly with a mild vegetal note accompanied by an underlying sweetness. As the cigar warms the texture becomes creamy with smooth medium bodied flavors of earth, nuts, and wood overtaking the initial mild flavors. The nutty finish gives a lingering effect but is moderate in length. A slightly firm draw toward the beginning relaxes a few inches in.

href="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/cigar/gurkha-cellar-reserve-1b.jpg" rel="lightbox" title="Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill"> class="aligncenter" src="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/cigar/gurkha-cellar-reserve-1.jpg" alt="Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill" width="450" height="289">

The Cellar Reserve is a relaxing cigar that won’t smother the palate in dense flavors but still leaves the smoker satisfied. Lasting for slightly over an hour and a half, the cigar retains balance throughout almost the entire duration and does not become warm until the last inch. I would like to thank Gurkha for supplying the cigar for review.

Appearance/Structure – 12/15 /> Smoking Characteristics – 23/25 /> Flavor – 21/25 /> Overall Impression – 32/35

Total – 88

href="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/cigar/gurkha-cellar-reserve-2b.jpg" rel="lightbox" title="Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill"> class="aligncenter" src="http://www.cigarinspector.com/images/cigar/gurkha-cellar-reserve-2.jpg" alt="Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill" width="450" height="313">

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href="http://www.cigarinspector.com/gurkha/gurkha-cellar-reserve-prisoner-churchill">Gurkha Cellar Reserve Prisoner Churchill

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