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14
Jan

Origin : Cuba
Format : RobustoCohiba
Size : 5″ x 50 ring gauge (124mm)Hand-Made
Price : ~ € 100 / $ 120
More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars…

Draw : 6 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 5.5 out of 6 stars

16 years ago, Habanos SA introduced to the world the very first Reserva in 2003. It was the cohiba selection reserva. The reserva (and the grand reserva) series allow aficionados to enjoy cigars made entirely from a single year crop.
In the case of the Cohiba Robusto Reserva (reviewed here below), all leafs come from 2014. The cigar comes in 5000 numbered boxes of 20 cigars.

Tasting

First Part

I was very excited to crack the Cohiba robusto reserva. However the price in France of 100euros per cigar increased the expectation very much.

As I lit the Cohiba the first feeling of strength is very strong. After few puffs of a very well constructed cigar you can experience a long finish high acidity on the back of the palate. The very Easy draw creates a great density of smoke. Very rich and developing a nice aroma.

The regular production cohiba robust are always medium to full but this one it to me much stronger, very powerful smoke.

On the palate there are loads of dark cocoa notes and bitter coffee.

AMAZING aroma building slowly. The strength is not too overwhelming, strongly enough it is so round and balanced that you just enjoy it, a true cigar.

The first development brings a lovely sweetness and nuttiness soft finish compared to the beginning. You have the feeling you can get on an aged siglo 5.

As the ash is building it feels a bit loose and not strong.

Definitely a strong smoke but the craziness of the beginning soften slowly and brings more nutty and vanilla notes than dark rich flavours.

Very surprised by the strength keeps on being stronger and stronger. Slight bitterness toward the end of the flavours. Some parts brings up a harsh finish. You feel the blend still didn’t fully settle.

Great Cohiba flavours. Woody nutty. Slight sweetness.

Second Part

Construction is great. But the blend really need to settle and will settle amazingly as it is like a young powerful horse right now. Going all the directions and hard to control.

Second part is slightly softer. The dark cocoa beans come back with very little sweetness but the flavours are dominated by the wooddiness. The aromas is very nice. The structure on the palate is off dry and not as round as you would expect from a Reserva series.

Amazing nuttiness toward the end of the second third. Strength keeps on increasing !!!

Third Part

Slowly the strength decrease and it allows the flavours to really show up.

The cigar went off and I took 2-3 minutes to re light it. The last third would have been maybe too strong. The fact that I let the cigar off so a little while cool it down and was very enjoyable after.

The end feels a bit underfilled and the flavours dry.

Clearly this cigar is a beast to become, the aroma is incredible. So rich.

The flavours stay in the palate for a long time and turns out to be extremely nutty and sweet. Surprising feeling for the strong strength of the smoke.

The feeling of inderfilled was very short the Cohiba Robusto Reserva Turns out to be absolutely fine. The heat and strength really increase toward the very end as from the beginning I really enjoy the aroma of this cigar. True Cuban fine cigar.

Cigar Review – Cohiba Robusto Reserva (Cosecha 2014)

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21
Dec

Origin : CubaSancho Panza
Format : Romeo
Size : 162 mm x 52
Ring : 5
Hand-Made
Price : USD 20-
More info about purchasing Sancho Panza cigars…

Sancho Panza appeared on a cigar in 1848. The brand takes it name from the novel of Miguel Cervantes: Don Quixote.

The marca develops intense medium strength cigars with a high ageing potential. If you have the chance to enjoy a Sancho Panza Sancho from the late 90s they are pure pleasure and they are still around on the market.

I was very pleased to receive an early Christmas gift from La Casa Del Tabaco Knokke to review this cigar.

Draw : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4 out of 6 stars
Strength : 4.5 out of 6 stars

Tasting

I always enjoy the big double figurados shape. They require patience and love. The pointy part car be a pain for some people as not much flavours and smoke comes out of this part. Indeed, you are first enjoying the binder mainly until you reach the widest part of the cigar where finally the cigar express itself and already warm.

The first part was light in strength but tasty. Quick start in the woody and sweet notes.

Very quickly the cigar increases slowly in intensity and shows it has a lot to bring us in the next few years. However this increase of strength did not bring harshness nor bitterness as you would normally expect from young cigar. It is surprisingly smooth and elegant with medium power.

The second part shows an amazing burn and draw. The construction is perfect and allows us to enjoy the ash shape of a double figurados.

Some very nice toasty and roasted coffee notes appear, great woodiness. It is always nice to have a new cigar developing very quickly this velvety texture of great aged ones.

On the palate sometimes it can be slightly dry but great density of smoke always comes out.

Some coconut notes are leading the last third and a high heat takes over the cigar.
I really enjoyed the combination of strength and salty finish. Happily surprised with the round linger flavours of the blend so far.

The very last part turns out to be very oaky, this sweet vanilla woody notes.
All throughout the cigar the blend was changing very quickly. shows it needs sometimes to all be one. But so far it was not too fresh not aggressive like other new releases.

Maybe one of the best fresh cigar I had for a long time

Funny burn at the end but great strong flavour. Real smoke. Well done !!

Cigar Review – Sancho Panza Gran Quixote Exclusivo BELUX

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02
Dec

Origin : CubaRafael Gonzalez
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 4 (102mm) x 50
Hand-Made
Price : $14 each
More info about purchasing Rafael Gonzalez cigars…

Cigar Rating

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

Our dear friend from Sweden who runs another interesting blog (click here), just shared with us his review of the new Regional Edition cigar from Habanos Nordic.

Tasting

Location: This review was made indoors in a cigar lounge.

Wrapper: Milk chocolate, oily and silky smooth wrapper with tiny veins.

Construction: Firm even feel.

Cold draw: Light wood notes and nuttiness.

1st third: Starts with a oak wood heavy note, followed by salty peanuts and freshly ground coffee.

2nd third: Keeps the oak wood notes, but the other notes now turn to a toasted bread and lightly roasted hazelnuts. There is also a faint hint of sweetness that lingers in the aftertaste.

The burn: Burns steady and fairly sharp with a white-ish ash.

Smoke: Medium voluminous smoke with a medium to cool feeling on the tounge. The draw is a classic Cuban draw, a little tighter but still perfect.

3rd third: Keeps previous flavors and also I’m getting a peppery feeling on the lips.

Conclusion: Medium bodied cigar with a medium strength profile. Perfect for an late afternoon or evening smoke. It reminds me of an Montecristo but without the chocolate and earthy notes. Think this would match perfectly with a dark rum, I’m thinking a Havana Club 15 year old, or a cup of coffee.

Result: In my book this is an 90 point cigar.

/Cigarmaster André

Cigar Review – Rafael Gonzalez Báltico North Star 2017 Nordico

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27
Nov

Format : Imperiales
Size : 168 x 49 ring gauge
Brand strength : Medium
Hand-Made
Cuba
Price : ~ € 19.00 / $ 22.00
More info about purchasing Romeo y Julieta cigars…

Cigar Rating

Draw : 5.5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 2.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 2.5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 2.5 out of 6 stars

Part of Habanos SA 2018 Limited Edition Series, the Romeo Y Julieta Tacos is the only one coming in box of 25 cigars.
The Cohiba Talisman and Bolivar Soberanos come in SLD Box of 10 cigars.

Tasting

The cigar is visually very elegant, great wrapper, nice size. A very pleasing cigar to look at.

I did not get very inspired while sharing this experience but thought even in few words I could describe it. I look forward to hearing you point of view on this cigar.

Strong ash developing straight away which is most o the time a great sign of good construction.

The flavours are slightly woody but very shy to start, a bit of saltiness tickles the edge of the palate.

Medium strength at the beginning, but tends to become stronger as it warms up quickly.

The Romeo Y Julieta Tacos burnt evenly during the first third and nothin really to mention regarding its construction.

Feeling of green pepper and dry tea leaves appearing half way in the cigar development. These two are a bit clashing and not making the blend very enjoyable.

After 35 minutes you feel a lack of development, flavours are quite similar all along the smoke.

The smoke density increases and gets milky around the second third.

The cigar is well rolled as the draw and burn are almost perfect. However the blend of tobacco lack of complexity and harmony.

I will give it another chance in 6 months then a year to see if any changes have occurred.

Cigar Review – Romeo Y Julieta Tacos EL 2018

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26
Nov

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Robusto
Size : 124mm (5″) x 50
Hand-Made
Cosecha : 2012
Price : £55 / $ 65 each
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey cigars…

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5 out of 6 stars
Flavours : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4.5 out of 6 stars
strength : 4 out of 6 stars

The wrapper shade is Colorado and surprisingly light for a Reserva cigar where all leaves have undergone an extra ageing of three years.
When smelling the outer leaf it offers an aromatic bouquet of chocolate, roasted hazelnut and frangipane.
When holding the cigar, the texture is very smooth, almost lacquered. And when pressing the stick between the fingers, it feels firm and well packed in tobacco leaves.

Tasting

There is a slight and pleasant resistance in the draw which provides a thin yet delicate smoke.
The mouth feeling is very buttery and savoury. It drops lots of sweetness onto the lips, witness of the ageing process that really improve the wrapper characteristics.
It mainly develops sweets and gourmets flavours with hints of caramel and coffee beans.
There is an absolute absence of bitterness as if the blend already reach a partial harmony, not long after being rolled.
The burn is regular and the ash consistent over the 1st third.

While going through the second part of the module, the draw is getting really loose and the smoke’s density increases considerably.
In the same time the herbaceous panel of flavour proper to Hoyo starts revealing itself and hit the top of the palate. A very nuanced saltiness appears as an aftertaste.

The finish provides an explosion of all the flavours previously felt in each and every single puff. It blends the sweet side with the vegetal one, bringing balance and complexity.
It is always a great surprise when witnessing such development and evolution from the foot toward the head of a cigar.
The aftertaste last quite long and remains smooth,without the usual dryness you’d find in some other modules.

The richness and lightness of the tobacco allows you to smoke this vitola at anytime of the day.
Finally a Reserva edition that doesn’t disappoint and worth to be smoked soon after being released. Time will tell if the ageing benefits the blend, but it seems to evolve toward the right direction.

Cigar Review – Hoyo Epicure No.2 Reserva

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12
Oct

Origin : CubaPor Larranaga
Format : Coronas
Size : 142MM x 42 (1200 cabinets of 50 made)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$12
More info about purchasing Por Larranaga cigars…

It took me some times to post this review as the first one I smoked was plugged. The second one was tight, the third one as well and the fourth plugged…
We all know how much Cuba is rushing their production since few years, but this is getting ridiculous. I would rather wait longer than having plugged and tight cigars all the time. Smaller sizes are most likely to be tight or plugged as the error margin is smaller.
Therefore this review has been done on the least tight of all of them.

Draw : 3 out of 6 stars
Burn : 3 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 3.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4 out of 6 stars
Strength : 3 out of 6 stars

Appearance

The Por Larranaga Coronas comes in a cabinet of 50 cigars. Opening the box and pulling out the bundle of cigars is so rewarding. What a beauty! I always love nosing a big bundle of cigars. All the Coronas are claro color. Very elegant and beautifully boxed. I just cannot wait to crack one when visually it brings you so much pleasure.
Unfortunately the consumption of cigars has changed over the last ten years and we see Cuba reducing the production of cabinet of 50 cigars. We now prefer to buy boxes of 10 sticks as it is at better cost and easier to store.
This is why let’s all enjoy the rare 50 cabinets on the market.

Tasting

As soon as I light the cigar my first impression is a tight draw, thin cigars are more likely to have slight issues as just a slight twist while hand-rolling the cigar will have more effect than on bigger ring gauges.

The first flavour impression is very fresh, due to the hard draw the Por Larranaga Coronas develops a low density of smoke.

Its strength is very light, not much flavours on the first part so far.

Slowly the draw becomes better after enjoying like 2cm of the cigar. half way of the first part there are is a slightly dry feeling on the palate.

The first ash is great and the blend express a gentle creaminess.

Until the second part there are no bitterness nor acidity however the cigar is not the most exciting I have enjoyed lately.

I smoked last week a 2015 por larranaga petit corona and it was absolutely amazing. Always fascinated to see how good it taste after few years. Por Larranaga blends tend to develop really well over the time.

The draw and density of smoke increase half way.

The Por Larranaga slowly picks up the flavour profile you expect from the marcas. The creamy texture and sweet notes of almonds come up for our pleasure.

However the freshness and slightly dry feeling on the back of the palate comes back. The positive part is the absence of bitterness all the way

Oh yes the second half the cigar builds up on flavours with a nice sweetness. The draw is not completely tight but not very easy either. A medium density of smoke comes out of the cigar.

Entering the last third, we can enjoy round flavours.

The Acidity level increases and the flavours stay longer on the palate with a nice nuttiness lingering.

Towards the very end we feel the freshness but it’s a good cigar easy to enjoy. Not complex. Give it some times to settle and I am sure it will be a great smoke. My only issue is the construction and hope I am just not lucky in picking my cigars.

Before leaving the cigar to die in the ashtray the last notes we slightly citrusy and strength increases to medium. A vegetal bitter in the back of the palate.

Good finish. Slightly more complex and flavourful

Cigar Review – Por Larranaga Coronas (Regional Edition Alemania)

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19
Sep

DavidoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Diademas Finas
Size : 6 3/14″ x 50 ring gauge
Wrapper : Cuban seed from Ecuador
Binder : Olor Seco from Dominican Republic
Filler : Piloto Seco, San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Ligero, Hybrid Corojo/Olor Ligero and San Vicente Visus tobaccos from Dominican Republic

Price :P rice : ~ € 30 / $ 35.5
More info about purchasing Davidoff Nicaragua cigars…

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 5 out of 6 stars
strength : 4.5 out of 6 stars

When I bumped into Davidoff Of London I was very excited to direct myself to the new Davidoff 50th anniversary. I almost never smoke new world cigars but when you talk about Davidoff 50th anniversary you tell yourself about what was happening 50 years go. When in 1968 the genius Zino Davidoff started his journey with an amazing Cuban Chapter.

Cigar Tasting

What a beautiful jar Davidoff has produced. Just for the history of such a wonderful brand and the design of it I would buy it for my collection.

But the most important is the taste of it.

I am already very please with the Diademas Finas shape that we already enjoyed in special releases from Davidoff.
This medium long and elegant shaped double figurados wears the classic Davidoff of Geneva band and a stunning golden one indicating the 50th anniversary release.

The aspect and the visual of the Davidoff Diademas Finas is extremely appealing. The excitement builds up so much.

First Part

The first few puffs are to me the typical Davidoff Dominican Republic taste, very soft, very light, not much flavours to the blend. Slight dry feeling and saltiness. Few hints a sweet chocolate but this back bitterness that really strikes me and remind me this is a new world cigar.

The whole first part was to me below my expectation, I loved the Davidoff Art Edition 2017 so I know how great Davidoff can be. But so far this is a good Dominican cigar without much development and complexity.

Second Part

This was almost unexpected, the Davidoff Diademas Finas changed completely from the first part and all of a sudden a whole new flavour profile comes up. Reach, sweet, chewy with a great long finish. This great roasted nuts reminding you of aged Cuban Bolivar.
It is clearly another dimension than the first part, great velvety texture, medium to full strength and great long and sweet finish.

As I was mentioning above, we know the very special release of Davidoff can be very special, we all remember the review of Andre from Sweden to the Davidoff Royal Release Salamones . However the Royal Release price point is extremely high and even though the Diademas Finas still is expensive, can be enjoyed for 35USD for a special occasion

Third Part

For the very first time I was very impressed and confused on the complexity this cigar develops. We tend to get used to cigars that are pretty linear in the new world range. This blend really brings you three different parts and the last one builds up in intensity and flavours with great nuttiness and amazing texture on the palate. The vegetal feeling you can have in the back of the tongue in the new world cigars is not present at all.

I can’t wait to see more of this kind of cigars. It requires you to be patient and go through the first less interesting part to open a door to a great complex smoke.

Cigar Review – Davidoff Diademas Finas 50th Anniversary

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01
Sep

Juan LopezOrigin : Cuba
Format : Montesco
Size : 130mm X 55
Ring : 55
Released in : 2018
Hand-Made
Price : ~18 EUR each
More info about purchasing Juan Lopez cigars…

Cigar Rating

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 3 out of 6 stars
strength : 3 out of 6 stars

Juan López is an old cigar brand in Cuba, dating back to somewhere around 1870, but it is not a very well-known brand. There are three regular production sizes: the Petit Corona, the Selección No. 1, and the Selección No. 2. Until 2006, Juan López also manufactured the Panatelas Superba and a Corona. In the recent years, Juan Lopez was mostly known for its regional editions, and we’ve reviewed quite a few of them on the blog: the Don Juan (Benelux, 2014), the Seleccion No. 3 (Benelux, 2010), the Maximo (Switzerland, 2008), the Short Torpedo (Caribbean, 2008), the Ideales (Austria 2011)…

Today I am excited to share with you the latest of all, the Juan Lopez Punto 55 Exclusivo Francia. This 2018 release is a montesco format and best known as the Romeo Y Julieta Wide Churchill size.

Cigar Tasting

As I just lit the Juan Lopez Punto 55, the density of smoke was very big. A great thick smoke would come out and made it nice straight away.
It is always exciting to try new cigars but also always scary that it would not meet the personal expectation you have.

The first part was very fresh (too fresh?), flavours were green with a very dry feeling on the palate and a very high acidity level giving you this feeling of citrus notes.
You can feel the aromatic blend however this latter is hidden by a canopy of ammonia and a bitter touch to the overall feeling.

The burn started funny but went well very quickly. The cigar develops the right resistance needed to the draw and the strength is very strong.

So far the Juan Lopez Punto 55 is like a young racing horse, going crazy all around but lack balance and wisdom. I’d rather have this kind of first feeling than having a flat cigar. A flat cigar just being released is never very exciting when it comes to the question: Should I buy boxes to wait for the cigar to get better ?
In our case right now, even though it is not the greatest cigar of all time it is clearly a smoke that can only get rounder and smoother.

The second and last part of the Juan Lopez Punto 55 were the exact opposite of the first part. I am not sure if I would have smoked the whole cigar if the flavour profile would not have changed because of the acidity the bitterness and the strength experienced previously.
However all of a sudden I was enjoying a light strength cigar reminding me of Hoyo de Monterrey .

Very soft, silky texture, gentle herbal notes and very high density of smoke. It made it just so smooth and delicate up to the end. Nothing complex just an easy cigar with discreet flavours. Not your most flavours some light Habanos. The complete opposite of the first part. Very surprising.

I now look forward to reading your reviews on this new release and will taste one more in the coming weeks to see if that particular one was like this or not.

Cigar Review – Juan Lopez Punto 55 (Regional Edition Francia)

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29
Aug

Origin : CubaSan Cristobal de la Habana
Format : Torpedo
Size : 140 x 20.64 mm (5.5 x 52)
Ring : 52
Hand-Made
Price : ~$12 each
More info about purchasing San Cristobal de la Habana cigars…

Cigar Rating

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4 out of 6 stars
strength : 5 out of 6 stars

Introduction From the Inspector
When we received the email from Ago with his cigar review, we were pleased to have a “beginner smoker” contacting us. Ago informed us he just started smoking cigar few months ago but had the desire to share his cigar experiences.
It is always great to see new people joining our community and we do not need to be expert to have an opinion on our favourite smokes.

Draw
Just like with the few torpedo shapes I have enjoyed, the draw is a bit tighter than a classic shape.
The San Cristobal La Punta draws well with a nice residence all the way until the end. Not too easy not too hard. I enjoyed the smoke coming out without having to pull hard.

Burn
As soon as I lit the cigar I really felt lots of flavours. The cigar burn and developed really well all the way nothing there was to mention.
I could leave the cigar on the ashtray for few minutes and did not have to light it again.

Flavours
The San Cristobal La Punta, develops a great structure on the palate. It is very rich and creamy with a light peppery note. A creamy musk develops half way through the smoke.
Finishing with some woody and Mildly leather notes.

Aroma
I was very surprised when appreciating the aroma developed by the cigar. Ginger bread type of notes and great burns leather hints.

Strength
I really enjoyed this cigar. As a beginner smoker it is not a brand I would have gone for but the shop recommended it to me. Definitely worth a try. It took me 60-80 to smoke it.
The strength was not too strong but the cigar was well present on the palate. I would say medium to full.

Cigar Review – San Cristobal La Punta

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27
Aug

Origin : CubaPartagas
Format : Tacos
Size : 158mm X 47
Hand-Made
Price : USD 15
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars…

Cigar Rating

Draw : 4 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 5.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4.5 out of 6 stars
strength : 6 out of 6 stars

Appearance

The Partagas Presidentes is a double figurado shape (double pointed), a very particular shape which immediately catches the attention. It is dressed with a mild brown silky and high quality wrapper, not very oily and modestly veined, and obviously proudly shows the traditional red Partagas band.

Construction

This shape is very enjoyable and definitely a good fun smoke, just because of the shape itself the stick will deliver complexity and variation. At first, once lit will be smocking just the wrapper and the binder which are all about spiciness, and then when the cigar will be fully burning will deliver a bomb of rich and intense flavour to the palate.

Easy to cut, with a good combustion makes it easy to smoke and pain free experience.
The ash will stay compact and on the stick for almost half way, with some flaky bits but nothing that will affect the smoke.

tasting

The Partagas presidente, as already mentioned, begins with a spicy bomb all over the palate, this is because the very first puffs are just burning the wrapper and the binder.
This change very much when the all head comes on fire, at this point is tangible for anyone that the cigar changes from tight draw fit a spicy sensation to a looser draw much higher density of smoke puffed and a very rich and intense flavour profile, in true Partagas style.

The strength is Full already as it starts and will be constant throughout the cigar with some very intense bits especially as we get closer to the end.

If well-lit the cigar will burn evenly for the entire length and won’t need any lighter work, thanks to the good structure of the cigar perfectly rolled.

The flavour profile is typical of the brand, from sweet spices at the beginning with some vegetal notes as green pepper and hay, to milk chocolate, roasted coffee beans, still vegetable with a hint of cedar wood and leather with a good balance between power, sweetness and a pleasant acidity tingling the tongue.

The second third is a linear consequence of the first keeping the strength level and flavours very similar just getting a bit stronger, but the best is yet to come.

As we get to the final third the cigar is at his peak, intense with very strong notes of dark chocolate, hay, pepper and cedar wood. The flavour profile goes to darker flavour but maintaining the same line.

Overall Experience

The Partagas Presidentes is a very serious smoke. Powerful, well balanced and complex delivers a big deal of flavours to a beautiful experience. It will take a seasoned smoker to be fully enjoyed as it is one of the most intense cigars I ever had.

It is recommended to have it after a good lunch or dinner, great with a digestive or a glass of red wine which share the same power and elegance.

Cigar Review – Partagas Presidentes

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