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13
Feb

Origin : Dominican Rep & Nicaragua
Format : Cañonazo
Size : 52 x 6″
Hand-Made
Price : ~17€ (20$)

Bought at Mellgrens Fine Tobacco, in Sweden.
Aged in my humidor for 3 years, so this cigar have the old style bands.

Tasting

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

Wrapper: Milk chocolate, oily smooth with tiny veins.

Construction: Firm even feel.

Cold draw: Light dry hay note with a touch of citrus.

1st third:
Starts of with a light cedar note, a touch of medium roasted coffee and a finisher of milk chocolate of the creamy variety.
There is also a smooth creamy nougat taste.

2nd third:
Keeps the same creamy notes but with a citrus under tone which is quite subtle but perfect contribution to give an interesting twist.

The burn: Burns sharp, amazing white stable and firm ash.

Smoke: Smooth creamy voluminous smoke, white and cool.

3rd third:
The coffee notes emerge and are more promoted now than in the beginning. Still very enjoyable and smooth. Keeps the wonderful flavors from previous parts, all the way till the very end.

Conclusion:
Such a wonderful cigar, very rare to come across a cigar this well balanced between parts. Medium in bodied and power wise.

Result: In my book this is a 96 point cigar.

/Cigarmaster André

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Bespoke Cigars Basilica C No.1

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13
Feb

Origin : Dominican Rep & Nicaragua
Format : Cañonazo
Size : 52 x 6″
Hand-Made
Price : ~17€ (20$)

Bought at Mellgrens Fine Tobacco, in Sweden.
Aged in my humidor for 3 years, so this cigar have the old style bands.

Tasting

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

Wrapper: Milk chocolate, oily smooth with tiny veins.

Construction: Firm even feel.

Cold draw: Light dry hay note with a touch of citrus.

1st third:
Starts of with a light cedar note, a touch of medium roasted coffee and a finisher of milk chocolate of the creamy variety.
There is also a smooth creamy nougat taste.

2nd third:
Keeps the same creamy notes but with a citrus under tone which is quite subtle but perfect contribution to give an interesting twist.

The burn: Burns sharp, amazing white stable and firm ash.

Smoke: Smooth creamy voluminous smoke, white and cool.

3rd third:
The coffee notes emerge and are more promoted now than in the beginning. Still very enjoyable and smooth. Keeps the wonderful flavors from previous parts, all the way till the very end.

Conclusion:
Such a wonderful cigar, very rare to come across a cigar this well balanced between parts. Medium in bodied and power wise.

Result: In my book this is a 96 point cigar.

/Cigarmaster André

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Bespoke Cigars Basilica C No.1

Post from CigarInspector.com

CigarStash.com – the ultimate cigars shopping tool!

View full post on Cigar Reviews and Ratings at Cigar Inspector

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13
Feb

Origin : Dominican Rep & Nicaragua
Format : Cañonazo
Size : 52 x 6″
Hand-Made
Price : ~17€ (20$)

Bought at Mellgrens Fine Tobacco, in Sweden.
Aged in my humidor for 3 years, so this cigar have the old style bands.

Tasting

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

Wrapper: Milk chocolate, oily smooth with tiny veins.

Construction: Firm even feel.

Cold draw: Light dry hay note with a touch of citrus.

1st third:
Starts of with a light cedar note, a touch of medium roasted coffee and a finisher of milk chocolate of the creamy variety.
There is also a smooth creamy nougat taste.

2nd third:
Keeps the same creamy notes but with a citrus under tone which is quite subtle but perfect contribution to give an interesting twist.

The burn: Burns sharp, amazing white stable and firm ash.

Smoke: Smooth creamy voluminous smoke, white and cool.

3rd third:
The coffee notes emerge and are more promoted now than in the beginning. Still very enjoyable and smooth. Keeps the wonderful flavors from previous parts, all the way till the very end.

Conclusion:
Such a wonderful cigar, very rare to come across a cigar this well balanced between parts. Medium in bodied and power wise.

Result: In my book this is a 96 point cigar.

/Cigarmaster André

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Bespoke Cigars Basilica C No.1

Post from CigarInspector.com

CigarStash.com – the ultimate cigars shopping tool!

View full post on Cigar Reviews and Ratings at Cigar Inspector

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06
Nov

Origin : China

Gifted by William Kilander, President of the Swedish Cigar Federation.

Little info about the cigar before we begin, since this is only available in China at the moment it was very hard to find any info on it even the name of it. But what I can find this a collaboration between Anhui Tobacco and Scandinavian Tobacco Group that started back in 2011.
I can’t really find any info if all the tobacco is from China or if it’s a mix. I’m still searching and will update the review upon getting the info.
Anyhow the cigar was made to commemorate Chinese nation drama – Peking Opera. Qing Emperor Qianlong, “the four emblem classes into Beijing”, the integration of various artistic achievements of opera, the birth of Peking Opera.
The band on the cigar represents a classic mask used at the Chinese Opera.

Tasting

Location: This review was made outdoors, during an chilly afternoon, it was a little windy and it was 9°C.

Wrapper: Light orange brown, silky smooth with tiny veins.

Construction: Firm but still with some good feel to it.

Cold draw: Mainly it was a hay flavor.

1st third: Honey, lavender or a floral note overall and sandalwood. The flavors are very smooth and light to the touch of the tongue.
There is a very slight bitterness to the lips but nothing to dramatic.

2nd third: Very smooth, the floral notes dances on the tongue. It’s similar to an Japanese whisky with the sweetness from honey and flowers.

The burn: Burns well balanced, gray-ish in color and very impressive how stable it is.

Smoke: Light in texture and brings a medium heat.

3rd third: Slight hint of cacao appears, otherwise the flavors keeps the same.

Conclusion: This was an unexpected cigar, I really hope this hits the European market. Great flavors, right up my alley. But remember this is a lighter cigar.

Result: In my book this is an 92 point cigar.

/Cigarmaster André

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Cigar Review – Wong Kwong Guocui Cigars – Crown (The Quintessence) (王冠國粹) (National Essence)

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28
Oct

Origin : Ecuador, Panama and Peru
Format : Torpedo
Size : 125mm (5″) x 52 (20mm)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$85+ each

“The U.S. Virgin Islands used to belong to Denmark and from there came the first tobacco, later tobacco was grown in Denmark. In 1813 the King of Denmark gave authorization to the first cigars to be rolled officially in Copenhagen…… There are five cigars in the Royal Danish Cigar Collection; King of Denmark(TM), VIKINGO(TM), Prince of Denmark(TM), Fat Baron(TM) and Petit Royal(TM)…… King of Denmark(TM) is encrusted with Swarovski crystals and comes in a gold plated humidor tin…”

It’s a early morning (more like super late night 4 am) it’s 14°C outside, not to cold and not to warm just perfect.
The cigar is firm, has a great construction and tiny smooth veins.
The wrapper, well what you can see of it is lovely dark chocolate brown and covering it there is 24k gold leaf and there is alot of it, it’s not all! Like the cherry on top of the whipped cream there are 3 Swarovski Crystals just sitting there.
Now to what it’s all about. The taste: it starts of with a dark chocolate earthiness, it has its character but at the same time a sweetness, hope you are following.
It sure burns hasty I think it’s because of all the gold.
So the flavours keeps steady, it’s not peppery or spicy but it’s still a full bodied cigar with a lot of 80% dark chocolate notes, that familiar bitterness you get from chocolate and the earthiness that just fills out the background. In my opinion a very pleasant taste.
The most amazing part is that it doesn’t change the taste at the very end since it’s already been very warm all the way through.
If I had to put a rating on this I would say 95, it’s something else, not only because of the swag gold a crystals but the flavours. It’s so nice, definitely a favourite of mine.
/Cigarmaster André

Cigar Review – Royal Danish Cigars Queens N1 24 KT Gold & Swarovsky

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27
Oct

Origin : Dominican Rep & Nicaragua
Format : Pyramide
Size : 50 x 5,5″
Hand-Made
Price : ~Euro12+ each

Limited to 650 boxes, with 15 Cigars in each box.

Tasting

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

Wrapper: Milk chocolate in colour, smooth and oily but with a slight rough texture of the veins.

Construction: Firm even feel.

Cold draw: Hay and gingerbread.

1st third:
Milk chocolate, medium roasted coffee, pencil wood. It’s like a sweet mild piece of wood, just resting in the mouth. It’s so friendly, innocent and enjoyable.

2nd third:
A slight peppery sting in the middle of the tounge. The flavours keeps steady from previous part.
It’s like a wooden straw dipped in a cup of Wiener Melange. Very interesting, so creamy and smooth.

The burn: Burns steady, sharp and the ash is white and firm.

Smoke: Voluminous, light to the touch and cool.

3rd third:
A little sting of the pepper on the lips, but still very enjoyable as before.

Conclusion:
This is one of my absolute favourite smokes of all time. So suave, creamy and perfect. This is ranked highly in my book. Unique flavours, you don’t need a coffee to make it any better it’s perfect as it is.

Result: In my book this is a 97 point cigar. Because for me this is not found anywhere else. Unique.

/Cigarmaster André

Cigar Review – Bespoke Cigars Club Mareva Spalato Limited Edition 2017

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16
Oct

Visiting Cuba?  You Can Now Bring Back All the Cuban Cigars You Want

With elections just around the corner, the Obama administration has given one last gift to the cigar community domestically and abroad—and that is a complete lift of the ban on Cuban cigars and rum.

As of Monday, you will now be able to bring back as much Cuban rum and as many Cuban cigars as you want when you visit Cuba and return to the US. You also can purchase Cuban cigars in other countries and bring them back. So long as you are importing the cigars and rum for your own personal consumption (and not for retail purposes), you are good to go.

The only restriction still standing is on online sales. Sadly you do still need to travel in person to pick up your cigars. You cannot buy them through a website and have them shipped to you stateside.

This is the latest step in the normalization process announced by US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on December 17th, 2014.

On Friday, Obama also charted a path for the future which will hopefully cancel out the economic embargo on Cuba altogether. The goal is to build numerous ties between the US and Cuba so that the fates of the two countries are positively intertwined. This will make it difficult for any future administration to try and reinstate the embargoes and cut off relations.

As you may be aware, some action was already taken in January of 2015 to reduce restrictions on Cuban rum and cigar imports. But previously, you could only bring back $100 worth of cigars and rum in your carry-on. Now there are no restrictions, save for this: “normal limits on duty and tax exemptions will apply.”

Speaking on the change, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said, “These steps have the potential to accelerate constructive change and unlock greater economic opportunity for Cubans and Americans.”

There is no doubt that this will be a game-changing boon to the cigar industry. While the benefits will center on Cuba and the US, there will be a positive ripple effect which stimulates cigar sales throughout the world!

You might be interested in these articles too:

Visiting Cuba? You Can Now Bring Back Cigars & Rum

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CigarStash.com – the ultimate cigars shopping tool!

View full post on Cigar Reviews and Ratings at Cigar Inspector

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07
Jul

Don Bernardo El Caballero Three-Pack

Last Thursday we reviewed a line of cigars called Don Bernardo El Caballero. Thanks to Richard Galdieri from Don Bernardo, we had 10 three-packs to give away to our lucky readers, and here are the winners, chosen via randomizer.org:

  • Colin S Schaeffer
  • Jason Gross
  • Rich (rick6string)
  • Kevin W
  • dave (gingerich)
  • Weaver
  • Mark R
  • Jeff Brown
  • Alex (borsay)
  • Doug M (heycoachdoug)

Congrats! Please send us your shipping address via any of our contact methods.

Interested in pre-launch access to Don Bernardo cigars? Just leave your e-mail address at this page (please mention Cigar Inspector when you sign up) and you’ll have all the info and pre-launch access. Enjoy!

Don Bernardo Cigars Giveaway Results

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05
May

FDA Regulates Premium Cigars

You might already have heard the sad news. From Cigar Rights of America press-release, earlier today:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) Center for Tobacco Products released their 499 page final rule that would deem additional tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Under today’s release, premium cigars have been deemed and will be subjected to the “option 1″ regulatory framework, which in some respects treats premium cigars in harsher terms than that of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

What does it mean? The main takeaway is that all cigars released after Aug 6 2016 will have to be submitted for approval before they are allowed to the market. Costs and delays of this approval procedure remain unknown.

Charlie Minato from Halfwheel published a great article covering the consequences of this decision in more details. Let’s not forget that this is not necessarily the end for the cigar industry, as we can still fight and adapt.

You might be interested in these articles too:

FDA Subjects Premium Cigars to Regulation

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25
Feb

Where to Buy and Smoke Cigars in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh Ville

If you’ve ever found yourself in Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon, you know that this is a fascinating city with a lot to see and do. There is beautiful French colonial architecture and a great deal of history to explore. But you may find yourself feeling a little bit lost when it comes to cigars.

This is because (to my knowledge) there really is basically just one decent shop. Thankfully there are a few classy bars, most of them located on rooftops (you might be able to buy cigars in some of those bars, but at higher prices). Here is the rundown so that you know where to go if you are ever in Saigon!

The Humidor

The Humidor shop in Saigon

This is that one decent shop I mentioned, also sometimes called “Humidor Shop.” You’ll find it in District 1. It’s in the Sun Wah building—look for Citibank and you should find it right nearby. It’s on the right side of the building. The shop isn’t very big, but don’t let that fool you; it’s very well-stocked. A lot of that stock isn’t actually on display, so you will have to ask for it. This may take some doing if you are not fluent in Vietnamese.

Humidor Shop in Saigon - the selection

In terms of prices, these cigars are less expensive than those you’ll find at the Duty Free shop in Hong Kong, but still not cheap. Here are some prices that I observed in January 2016:

You can buy accessories at the store too if you need them. One word of warning—you may find the cigars are a bit moist. This is a problem country-wide so far as I can tell, so be prepared to air them out a bit when you get back to your room.

Address: Sunwah Tower, 115, Đường Nguyễn Huệ, Phường Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)

Rex Hotel: Rooftop Bar

This bar at the Rex Hotel is actually only five floors off the ground, so it is hardly the highest in town, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it offers an excellent view of the streets below. It’s also right nearby the People’s Committee Hall and Saigon Opera House, which both feature stunning French colonial architecture.

View of Saigon (the Rex Hotel is in the foreground) from the Sheraton rooftop bar

In terms of ambiance and nightlife, this place couldn’t be better. There is mood lighting and a big wood floor which includes a dance floor and a stage. There is music and dancing after 8:00 pm, and the drink list is huge. It’s an awesome place to relax with a cigar from The Humidor or party the night away.

Address: 141 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)

Shri Restaurant & Lounge

If you are looking to get away from the crowds, head for Shri in District D3. You’ll be away from the city center, which has a couple of benefits. First off, the atmosphere is a lot more tranquil and laid-back. Secondly, you arguably get a better view of the downtown area since you’re just outside of it.

You won’t find as much trendy mood lighting here and the feel isn’t quite so contemporary, but it’s a really lovely spot to smoke a cigar and watch the sun set over Saigon.

Address: 72 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, 6, 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)

Social Club / Rooftop Bar

The Social Club is the rooftop bar for the Hotel des Arts Saigon MGallery Collection. It’s actually located right across from the Shri Restaurant & Lounge in the neighboring Centec Tower, so if you stay here, you can check out both of them.

View from the MGallery rooftop bar

This place is pretty much unbeatable when it comes to atmosphere and design. The look is minimalist; you’ll find a rooftop pool surrounded by glass walls which offer an unobstructed view of the city. Sofas and lounge chairs offer a variety of options for comfortable seating. There is also a bar in the pool where you can sit on stools with your legs dangling in the water. As with Shri, you will feel like you have really gotten away from it all here.

Address: MGallery Saigon, 76-78 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, phường 6, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)

A&B Tower: Chill Skybar

You will find the Chill Skybar on the 27th floor of the A&B Tower. Since you are high up in the air, you get quite a few of the surrounding city. You are directly overlooking the financial district, and can watch the cars driving through the Ben Thanh roundabout. This is a very popular and trendy destination which can get to be pretty crowded, but you will feel like you are on top of the world while you are smoking here. Make sure that you wear close-toed shoes and long pants—the dress code forbids both sandals and shorts.

Address: AB Tower, 76 Lê Lai, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam (Google Maps >)

There are a ton of rooftop bars throughout Saigon, but those are the four that I am familiar with from my recent trip and which I’ve heard a lot of other smokers recommend as well. Head to the Humidor to shop, and then enjoy a smoke with a view!

You might be interested in these articles too:

Where to Buy and Smoke Cigars in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City

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CigarStash.com – the ultimate cigars shopping tool!

View full post on Cigar Reviews and Ratings at Cigar Inspector

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