Header - Reviews

Cigar Reviews

Cain F Double Toro Cigar

Ligero is a word that is used very often in the cigar industry of both Cuban and non-Cuban cigars. But what is Ligero? Ligero is what truly gives a cigar its strength. Its leaves are the last to ripen and are located at the top of the tobacco plant—the part of the plant that has had the most exposure to the sun during growth. They are FULL of flavour, dark and thick, but also contain increased nicotine content, a maturing or aging process with a minimum of three years before it can be used in blending cigars (this is sometimes argued by “just over two years,” but to my knowledge three years was always the proper period.) Typically, Ligero tobacco is always placed in the middle of the cigar as a long filler (which is due to the fact that Ligero burns slowly.) If, however, the Ligero is placed too close to the wrapper, it will totally affect the overall burn. This is the heart and soul of the filler; the powerhouse portion of the cigar.

Just to give you a quick briefing on the types of tobaccos and their strengths: Seco is the mildest type, Viso is medium strength or “stronger” and Ligero is the strongest! Before the Cain, it was always said that you cannot manufacture a cigar with pure Ligero because it just wont work/smoke well/taste good and/or it won’t burn properly. Before Cain there were double Ligero cigars, but triple was just unheard of. Then again, before Nub there was never a cigar that was 4″ by 66 ring gauge, nor were there any cigars like the Nub. For months people said Nub is a dying fad. Well, sorry to tell you but Nub is still around and doing very well.

What better than a cigar that will last you about 45 minutes with a fat ring gauge, full of flavour? Sam Leccia, creator of Nub, recently released last summer that the Cain cigar made of straight Ligero was supporting either a Habano or Maduro wrapper. Talk about a full body experience! It comes in four sizes, Toro – 6″ x 50, Robusto – 5.7″ x 50, Torpedo – 6″ x 54, and a Double Toro – 6″ x 60. Once again, Sam is challenging the cigar industry to try something totally different and out of the ordinary. Olivia’s Serie V (which is a double Ligero), is an amazing cigar. So what’s stopping Sam’s cigar from being anything other than great? Habano seed Ligero is said to be the fullest flavoured Ligero produced. The Cain contains three different kinds of Ligero from three different areas in Nicaragua. Esteli Ligero is said to be the strongest Ligero contained in this cigar, therefore only 25% is placed into this blend. Condega Ligero is grown further north to Esteli. This leaf too is full bodied, but due to its tame strength it offers complex richness; 27% is placed into this blend. Jalapa Ligero comes from the most north region in Nicaragua and is grown in a valley, but less exposed to the sun. This still results in a full body leaf with a more noticeable range of flavours and is the smoothest of the three Ligeros; 30% is placed into this blend. Lets talk about where the other 18% of the cigar comes from: the wrapper of course. Cain cigars offer two types of beautiful wrappers: one being the Habano, which is a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper “strength uncovered,” and the other being the Maduro, which is a San Andres Maduro “prestige meets power.”

If you’ve read my other reviews, you know that San Andres valley houses some of the most beautiful soil comparable to that in Cuba, and this valley produces amazing wrapper tobacco. I’m sure you are all still sitting there asking: “how can this cigar be so full of Ligero and actually burn properly and taste good?” Well, when I met Sam Leccia last summer, we were talking about the Cain and let me tell you, he really thought this process through by triple fermentation of the Ligero and proper aging and maturing of the Ligero. He told me that Ligero is a very interesting leaf but it’s also hard to get the perfect blend. These percentages pertain to the Cain, Habano and Maduro. I found Sam to be a very interesting and creative individual (hence the Nub and Cain lines.) Sam used to sit in his garage and temper with tobacco at a very young age, taking wrappers, binders and fillers from all different types of cigars and mixing them together creating “wild smokes” He then created the Nub, which was a huge hit. He wanted to create a cigar that was full of flavour right from the get go and not having to wait until the cigar really reached its full potential. Cain was created in spite of having a cigar that was straight up stronger than ever.

Cain F is the newest line to the Cain series and “Force Refined” is what Sam is saying about this cigar. The F stands for fuerte, which is Spanish meaning strong. The percentages have changed slightly to 32% Esteli, 25% Condega, and 25% Jalapa. Remember what I just told you: Esteli is the most powerful, so you can expect more strength from the Cain F than the original Cain cigar, but once again, the Ligero is triple fermented to tame this powerhouse skyscraping leaf.

Lets get to the cigar…

CAIN F 660

  • WRAPPER: Nicaraguan Habano
  • FILLER: 32% Esteli Ligero, 25% Condega Ligero and 25% Jalapa Ligero
  • STRENGTH: FULL BODIED
  • SIZE: 6″ x 60 (Double Toro)

This cigar contains a beautiful Nicaraguan wrapper that is very smooth and oily with minimal veins, and had pre light aromas of spice (obviously) and cedar. The pre light draw seemed very easy but offered an immense amount of full-bodied characteristics, perhaps too much. However, like I always say, the proof is in the pudding! Upon lighting the foot with my torch, mounds upon mounds of black pepper flavours rushed to excite my palate. What was really nice was that beautiful smooth undertone of a sweet cream flavour passing through, followed by some cedary notes, which interestingly enough, calmed the spice down.

I’m nearing the second third of this cigar and it has changed… the black pepper has turned into more complex woodsy, earthy, and even nutty notes. Now these spices are not as persistent as the first third, which is really surprising but they are still present, and the draw at this point is effortless. The burn is remaining very good and the final third really kicks it back up a notch. This was the strongest portion of the cigar, very spicy woodsy, but a slight undertone of coffee (which gives you a reality check because by this point the blast of nicotine is sure to have kicked you in the face a few times!)

Summary

If you like full-bodied smokes full of peppery spice, the Cain F is right up your ally. A perfect burn, beautiful draw and great construction make this cigar truly a keeper. Undertones of coffee, woodsy, and nutty notes do their best to keep you relaxed, while the Ligero is kicking your ass. Be sure to have a very heavy meal before smoking this cigar or else you might just pass out. Well, whoever said a straight Ligero cigar would never work was just proved wrong!

Sincerely,
Eric D. Kukucka
Member of the Montecristo lounge, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Camacho Room 101

Born in the City of Angels, Handmade in Honduras

Matt Booth, the creator of luxury lifestyle brand Room 101, partnered with Camacho cigars to create the bold new Room 101 line of cigars.

Room 101 has been featured in top lifestyle, fashion and specialty magazines worldwide, and has made appearances on major network television shows, so you know that this brand really has a lot of class.

Room 101 is not only a cigar company, but it’s also a manufacturer of custom smoker accessories. Products offered are Made to Measure Suits, Custom Made Knives, and yes, the original Jewelry line.

Lets talk about how Matt actually got into the cigar business. At one time, Matt was working on a smoker’s accessories (cutters, lighters and even special humidors). One night at a Las Vegas after-party, Christian Eiroa presented the idea of creating a cigar to accompany these accessories or vice-versa. Sooner than later, Matt was touring the Camacho facility in Danli, Honduras and was given the “Cigar 101” by Christian, explaining the process from start to finish. Matt was blown away by what actually goes into making a handmade cigar and from there on, he changed his views on cigars forever. Matt’s Jewelry and other Room 101 products are all unique in their own way. For instance, the way he named the sizes of the cigars. He named each cigar after an area code (305 is Miami, 404 is Atlanta, 213 is Los Angeles, 702 is Las Vegas, 808 is Hawaii and 323 is Hollywood).

Now, these cigars are newcomers to the cigar business being released at the 2009 IPCPR in New Orleans, but let me tell you, I know they’ll be around for a while. Not only because they’re backed up by Camacho, but simply because they taste GOOD. Nothing better than a cigar that you enjoy, am I right? Like I’ve said before, every cigar has a story and this is Matt’s story. I met Matt in December of 2009 and this was when his cigar was still “fresh of the press.” We talked for a good 20 minutes about fashion and jewelry then we got into cigars and he explained to me how cigars is a lifestyle and so is Room 101. Matt puts his heart and soul into his business and I respect that. I think that someone that works hard at something to make sure it’s a unique experience deserves credit…and credit goes out to Matt Booth BIG TIME. The more credit I must give to Matt is for being a proud supporter of the wounded warrior project.

The Cigar

The band on this cigar is very interesting and has that edgy Los Angeles look to it. The wrapper is oily and slightly veiny, which also gives it that edgy look. What makes this cigar interesting as well is the 3 seam cap. What makes this cigar so special is the wrapper, which is a Semia 101 and the only cigar to contain this wrapper is the Room 101 cigars hybrid Nicaraguan/Honduran wrapper. This to me is a very unique feature. This cigar let out beautiful pre light aroma of coco chocolate with a beautiful tobacco scent, the first third had some very evident earthy notes with peppery undertones, followed by a few hints of some black cherry type flavours. The second third turned into a Cocco chocolate/espresso type flavours…just beautiful. The final third became more bodied but still stayed in the medium range. Some earthy, peppery coco notes were present.

Summary

All-in-all, really enjoyed this cigar. The ash was flaky but it remained strong. The draw was perfect, aside from the first third, the burn was also flawless. Lots of great coco, pepper, espresso and earthy flavours in a beautiful medium bodied cigar with great presentation and a cool story to follow. Why not try something different for change? That’s the 101 on Room 101 Cigars.

Sincerely,
Eric D. Kukucka
Member of the Montecristo lounge, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Camacho Corojo Monarch

Corojo is often pronounced improperly as CO-RO-JO; the true pronunciation is actually CO-RO-HO. Corojo wrappers offer beautiful amounts of flavour. Lets talk about some history for a moment. El Corojo is one of Cuba’s most nonchalant, non-presentable tobacco plantations, but “not all that glitters is gold.” This is where the world’s greatest wrapper tobacco is grown.

To prove my point, the wrapper on the Hoyo De Monterry Double Corona comes from El Corojo. Cigar Afficionado has rated this cigar and has earned a score of 99 points and 4 ratings above 94. I myself have smoked both the Cabinet Double Corona and the original Hoyo from 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2009 and believe you me, it is truly a cigar that you savour down to the millimeter.

Now another gem from El Corojo is the Cohiba Robusto, which received a mind-blowing 96 points in 1992/1993. Needless to say, the name Corojo carries a huge reputation. The country of Honduras is known for its production of bananas grown along the Caribbean Sea, but another gem from this country is the Jamastran Valley and its Corojo wrapper.

Time and time again, you unfortunately hear people tell the tales of how Corojo wrappers are flame retardant, or how blue mold is a constant reoccurring misfortune of the wrapper. Well, I can tell you that the Eiroa Family (Camacho Cigars), like many Cubans, really know what there doing when it comes to Corojo tobacco. I believe the saying was “the proof is in the pudding.”

The Jamastran Valley is where the Corojo is grown and has priceless possessions that lie deep beneath the soils of this Corojo infested Villa. What might that be, you ask? Well, the very seeds that allowed the Eiroa families dreams to come true. If the name Vuelta Abajo doesn’t ring a bell to you I’ll remind you that it is where some of Cuba’s best tobacco comes from. Santa Ines del Corojo, which was a Vega in Vuelta Abajo, is the very place where the Eiroa’s obtained these seeds. But how? The grandson of the farmer of this particular plantation. So keeping that in mind, there is a lot of history in Camacho cigars that should not only be recognized but also appreciated from the moment you cut the cigar to the time the cigar is left standing in the ashtray burning itself out after an enjoyable experience.

The Camacho brand dates back to the 1960’s and actually originated in Miami, run by a Gentleman named Simon Camacho. The Brand’s newly found home is now in Honduras: the Eiroa family took over the company in 1995 and at this time, only Indonesian and Connecticut shade wrappers produced. Let me tell you a little bit about the family’s past. Generoso Eiroa was growing tobacco in Cuba in the 1900’s due to the revolution and his widow and three sons were forced to leave the country. Julio joined the Bay of Pigs invasion attempt with the US army. Julio Eiroa brought the cigar business into his life in the 1960’s when he worked at Perfecto Garcia in Tampa Florida. After a few years, Julio Decided to go to Honduras due to the Embargo issues at that time on behalf of Angel Olivia to help assist with a government-sponsored cultivation project.

In 1977, Julio had an unfortunate plane crash and suffered a spinal cord injury and became semi-retired. Following the crash, business opportunities arose back in Tampa with the purchase of the Perfecto factory which he was once employed (talk about the dream of being a boss.) A few more years pass and another move back to Honduras. In 1989, he took over a company called Fumas and then entrepreneured Caribe Imported Cigars.

Christian Eiroa is the “young gun” of the Camacho brand being the President of Caribe cigars and all. In 1995 Christian received his Masters degree in international business and later that year he entered the family business. Christian spent lots of time searching the world for tobacco and getting into the swing of sales as time moved on. I met Christian about six months ago and we had a good 45-minute chat about cigars and about his relationship with his father and how they both have very dissimilar palates and are complete opposites when it comes to blends. He has admitted that he likes a few of his father’s blends but wont boast about it too much. He also told me himself that he makes blends that he enjoys himself.

There came a time when the Camacho Corojo cigar was being distributed in huge numbers, which led to a lot of imperfections and quality issues. Christian decided to halt production until an adequate limit of good product was available on a limited release. Corojo tobacco can be blended as a Puro and be mind blowing in its taste profiles if the quality is there. I think Christian realized this at the right time and took advantage of this opportunity.

Enough about the “blah blah blah” lets get to the sticks…

CAMACHO COROJO MONARCH

  • SIZE: Robusto 5 x 50
  • WRAPPER: “Authentic Corojo”
  • BINDER: “Authentic Corojo”
  • FILLER: “Authentic Corojo”

This cigar has a very enticing pre light aroma and appearance. What I really like about this cigar is not only does it resemble Cuban by having Corojo wrapper, binder and filler, but the label is very Cuban-like, that being because its simple like most Cubans. It reminds me of the Cuban Fonseca or Vegas Robaina. This wrapper is a nice brown with a slightly oily texture and a few small veins, the pre light draw was nearly effortless. After lighting the foot my palate was indulged with some spice and cedar wood type notes, producing a great smooth amount of flavours—I really enjoyed this cigar already. The second third of this cigar became leathery with an increase in spice, but still maintaining a slight creamy finish and the draw persisted to be great. The final third increased into a fuller body smoking experience, heightening in its spices, but still once again maintaining its “coolness” which I really enjoyed. I don’t take this cigar to be as light as I might make it seem, as it is still definitely a full bodied smoking experience (not for the beginner smoker.)

Summary

Overall, this cigar is a good full-bodied experience that provides a “relief” with the creamy coolness that it offers. Plus, being a Authentic Corojo Puro makes it that much more interesting. Is it a Cuban Corojo ? No. Is it the next best thing? It’s pretty damn close.

Sincerely,
Eric D. Kukucka
Member of the Montecristo lounge, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Camacho 10th Anniversary Torpedo

  • SIZE: Box Pressed Torpedo 6.12 x 54
  • WRAPPER: “Authentic Corojo”
  • BINDER: “Authentic Corojo”
  • FILLER: “Authentic Corojo”

The year was 2008 and it came time to celebrate something special: this was the year that commemorated the Eiora family for its ten years of growing the world’s only Authentic Corojo. What better way to celebrate and always remember something special than releasing a cigar specific to that date? Christian created this blend and it offers some amazing flavours along with a beautiful presentation. 2008 was also the tenth anniversary of when Christian became president of Caribe Cigar imports. There are 21 cigars in the beautiful looking box. The pre light aroma was very nice and looking at the cigar it has a few veins but what was interesting was that the wrapper was thinner than normal. This is giving me a little bit of a possible concern for burn issues, but the true test was yet to come. There was also an evident patch of Ligero directly in the center of the cigar, yum. The pre light draw was effortless. Upon lighting the foot, my palate said many thank-you’s to me for being so generous and providing nutty almond flavours with undertones of spice and leather. As I neared the second third the burn was great and the ash was slightly flaky. The flavour profiles for the most part maintained and very similar to the initial flavours, which is fine with me. The extra coffee notes were definitely a bonus. Personally, yes it’s great when a cigar changes flavours and is more complex throughout the cigar, but at the same time you can never really have too much of a good thing when it comes to cigars, can you? The body is on the heavier side of medium and the draw and burn are continuing to remain flawless. The final third of the cigar was just as good as the first two thirds with a slight peppery tingle in the back of my throat, which was a good kick giving a little bit of that full bodied experience.

Summary

This cigar is very nice to look at but its even better to smoke. Yes, it costs around 12 dollars, but its damn worth it. You’re smoking something that should be recognized. Think of New Years Eve when you splurge and spend some extra cash and get a bottle of expensive champagne (even Dom Perignon if you really had a great year.) Well, it’s the same thing—you will always remember a great cigar like you will always remember great champagne. Corojo tobacco is a beautiful thing and the Eioras did a great job farming the product. The nutty almond, coffee, cream and spice notes that add to this cigar make it that much more worthy, what else could make this cigar worth your while? Well, the fact that it has a great burn and an effortless draw.

Sincerely,
Eric D. Kukucka
Member of the Montecristo lounge, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Mi Dominicana Lancero

Power House of Flavor or B*tch Stick?

  • SIZE: 7 1/2 x 40
  • WRAPPER: Dominican Republic
  • BINDER: Dominican Republic
  • FILLER: Dominican Republic
  • STRENGTH: Medium-Full

Time and time and time again I constantly hear people on a regular basis shut down or bash the Lancero sized cigar calling it either a B*tich Stick or a wimpy cigar. Well Folks, let me tell you why I shake my head and laugh inside when this happens. The Lancero AKA Long Panatella is a very misunderstood/misinterpreted cigar. The Lancero is one of the most flavourful cigars manufactured. Why is this, you might ask? The plain and simple fact is that a Lancero contains 73%wrapper tobacco. Hmm, isn’t the wrapper tobacco what really gives the cigar its true taste profiles and character and flavours? The answer to that question is YES. When you smoke a Lancero, you will have an experience like no other. If you truly want to test a manufacture’s wrapper quality, the Lancero is the way to go. Yes, Coronas are also famous for tasting a lot of the true quality, but to me the Lancero has the edge having a larger percentage wrapper. Now, that’s not to say that Double Coronas, Presidentes, Churchills and Toros don’t offer great flavour profiles and characteristics—the Lancero is just more focused in that department. Some may argue that Lanceros don’t offer enough draw because of its miniscule sized ring gauge of 37-40. This is largely dependent on the manufacturer and the roller, but indeed, some Lanceros do not offer as seamless of a draw as a toro or Churchill. I can attest to this fact: I’ve smoked Cohiba Lanceros from 1990, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2009 the Cohiba Lancero is the gold standard of Lanceros, or what I like to call it: “The Godfather of Lanceros.” The draw from each of these years did not differ much at all. In my opinion, the draw being not as effortless in this size actually allows the flavours to become even more robustly concentrated to your palate (this is another bonus characteristic of Lanceros.) Trinidad Fudadores (Cuban) is another very well recognized Lancero that offers a smoking experience like no other.

So, I think I’ve stated my case of why the Lancero should not be over-looked, so lets get to the Mi Dominicana. This is the First time I’m smoking this blend and what a coincidence I’m smoking the Lancero. Now, we all know the Famous Fuente Opus X was the First Dominican Puro to hit the market and all the fame and fortune of that Cigar he has earned is very well deserved. The Mi Dominicana is also a Dominican Puro that offers a lot of great characteristics at a reasonable price. “Everything that is beautiful about the Dominican Republic has gone into this cigar”–Jose Seijas General Manager of Tabacelera de Garcia LTD) Thanks to Jose, we are able to sample all the beautiful blends of Montecristo H.Uppman, and Romeo Y Julieta . This cigar was released in 2008 at the Vegas IPCPR and is the first Dominican Puro Released by Altadis U.S.A . Jose created this blend to show that he is truly proud of his heratige. “Mi Dominicana is my personal tribute to our nation and our people… It truly captures the pride of my country.”–Jose Seijas.

The Cigar

This cigar was also rated No. 20 on Cigar Aficionado, Top 25 of 2009 scoring 92 points. The wrapper is a nice, oily, brown Dominican wrapper with a few evident nice veins. The cap is a Cuban traditional “pig tail”. The pre light aroma was an evident semi-sweet cedar aroma. The foot of the cigar is not as tightly rolled as I would like to see but the true test lies in the smoke of course; let’s get to that. After the first inch, the cigar is burning absolutely flawless and is giving off vast amounts of leather, coffee, nutty, cedar aromas, with in-and-outs of peppery spice. The middle third of this cigar the burn and has maintained its integrity and has more of a fuller body to it… increasing in spice but had a nice toasty flavour to it. The final third maintained its spice and some of the coffee flavours returned along with the nutty notes, with a charcoal-type undertone note on the finish and the burn was still excellent. I really enjoyed this cigar. Was it a Cohiba or Trinidad? No. Was it worth the $7-9 price range? Yes, indeed. Would I smoke it again? Yes, I would.

Summary

A great looking cigar with coffee, spice and cedar flavours, along with good draw and a great burn, all at a fair price. To try something different than usual and from the beautiful Dominican Republic this is a must-try. It made the top 25 for a reason! Thanks Jose for all of your amazing efforts that you put forth to the Cigar industry.

Sincerely,
Eric D. Kukucka
Member of the Montecristo lounge, Sterling Heights, Michigan