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Spring Review - Robustos

VEGAS ROBAINA 1845
Country: Cuba Wrapper: Cuba Binder: Cuba
Manufacturer: Habanos SA Filler: Cuba Price: $15+
Panelist #1This cigar delivered the mail. It's best suited for after dinner, with a drink: surf & turf, a splash of bourbon, and this guy. SCORE: 4.3
Panelist #2Big and proud cigar that I happily devoured, and will gladly make room in my humidor for. Rich and satisfying; not for wusses. SCORE: 4.2
Panelist #3Simply put, there's nothing special about this cigar. It did some things well, but failed to score points in the important categories. SCORE: 3.5
Panelist #4This looked like a real nice cigar, possibly a Cuban, but performed like a Cuban wanna-be. Certainly a decent smoke. SCORE: 3.9

LA GLORIA CUBANA Wavell
Country: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Nicaragua
Manufacturer: Swedish Match Filler: DR/Nic Price: $3.70
Panelist #1By far the best in the review, these are not for lightweights. They're one of the best non-Cubans I've ever smoked. SCORE: 4.4
Panelist #2This is a well-made cigar that's easy to smoke and easy to like. There are strong chocolate and coffee overtones. Just delightful. SCORE: 4.9
Panelist #3This is a very pretty cigar that just can't scrounge up much flavor. I tried to enjoy it, but was disappointed. Needs a heartier blend. SCORE: 3.1
Panelist #4This could become my new everyday smoke, with its creamy smoothness and eminent smoke-ability. Very complex. SCORE: 4.3

MILLENNIUM Robusto
Country: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Dominican Republic
Manufacturer: Private Label Filler: Dominican Republic Price: $4.50
Panelist #1This cigar goes really well with a book. It's very refined, and you do not have to think about it to enjoy it. Delightful. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #2A real head turner, as in, 'What the HELL are you smoking??' It really went sour on me after the first third or so. SCORE: 3.0
Panelist #3Sorry, I couldn't get past the second sample. You might as well smoke Brussels sprouts. Flat at best, offensive at worst. SCORE: 2.8
Panelist #4Despite the hellacious burn problems, this cigar shows definite promise in the flavor category. Give it some time. SCORE: 3.9

CAO GOLD Robusto
Country: Nicaragua Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Dominican Republic
Manufacturer: CAO International Filler: Nicaragua Price: $4.50
Panelist #1These were very satisfying cigars; not exceptional, but they will provide an enjoyable smoking experience. Slightly complex.SCORE: 3.9
Panelist #2Although perhaps not as strong as my usual fare, I found this to be a satisfying cigar that looks and tastes good. Very tasty. SCORE: 4.1
Panelist #3This was a satisfying cigar that I believe will get better in time. They've got a ton of promise. Good today, a knockout in 6 months. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #4A very strong cigar with dynamic spice and tobacco flavors. No coffee, tea, or cocoa here, just good, strong tobacco. SCORE: 4.5

PUNCH GRAND CRU Robusto
Country: Honduras Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Connecticut
Manufacturer: General Cigar Filler: Honduras/Nicaragua Price: $5.50
Panelist #1The large diameter of this cigar hinted at a big, full-bodied stick. But it was more on the tame side, and totally enjoyable. SCORE: 4.7
Panelist #2This is a beautiful cigar with all the makings of a real winner. It just did not have the knock-your-socks-off taste I like. SCORE: 3.8
Panelist #3This handsome cigar did not win me over. It's fairly lackluster, and never really kicked in with the flavor or the complexity. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #4Construction problems plagued this otherwise decent cigar. Enough flavor to grab you, but then it backs off. SCORE: 3.5

OLIVEROS Gran Reserva
Country: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Brazil Binder: Dominican Republic
Manufacturer: Oliveros Cigar Filler: DR/Braz Price: $5.00
Panelist #1This cigar seems like a 'regular guy' kinda smoke, like if Drew Carey were a cigar. (Similar shape, too!) A respectable smoke. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #2If priced reasonably, these would be a safe bet. Good, solid flavor, stellar construction, and a wonderful aroma. A solid B+. SCORE: 4.1
Panelist #3These cigars are on the brink of something good, but fall just short of making the mark. Still, a nice straightforward smoke. SCORE: 3.9
Panelist #4Two bits of advice: give these cigars more time to age, and put more tobacco in the roll. Tastes like a bundle stick. SCORE: 3.4

CARLOS III Parejos
Country: Honduras Wrapper: Connecticut Binder: Ecuador
Manufacturer: Carlos III Filler: Hon/Nic/Mex Price: $2.55
Panelist #1Cigars were all consistent, and I'd happily buy them for everyday consumption if they're inexpensive, and give 'em to friends. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #2A cigar that is quite potent in flavor and strength, but it could do with some aging. It could also stand to be filled more. SCORE: 4.1
Panelist #3For a decidedly ugly duckling cigar, this put on quite a show. The great taste and finish contradicted with the sloppy appearance. SCORE: 4.1
Panelist #4These cigars are yearning to be something, but aren't quite there yet. Maybe they'll flourish in time. Till then, they're OK.SCORE: 3.8

MPACTO Robusto
Country: Honduras Wrapper: Cam/Hon Binder: Honduras
Manufacturer: Caribe Filler: Honduras Price: $5.00
Panelist #1This is not a Moore & Bode, but it's reminiscent of those type of cigars. Stood up well to a big deli hero. A marvelous blend. SCORE: 4.3
Panelist #2This cigar starts out with much promise and develops some strong tobacco flavors. A strong, spicy, and most worthy smoke. SCORE: 3.8
Panelist #3I really liked this cigar. It had everything I look for in a cigar. Rolled well, burned well, looked great, and tasted super-great. SCORE: 4.7
Panelist #4The wrapper was fragile, but the blend was not. The blender went for strength more than balance, and it shows. SCORE: 3.5

LA TRADICION Robusto Rosado
Country: Nicaragua Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Ecuador
Manufacturer: Nick's Cigar Co. Filler: Nic/Hon/DR Price: $5.40
Panelist #1It's an overall good cigar that I enjoyed very much. It isn't overly strong or full-flavored, but I'd gladly buy a box for myself. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #2A very good, mild smoke that I will keep around for the earlier hours. It's a very good choice for novices, but vets will like it too.SCORE: 3.7
Panelist #3This is a decent everyday cigar. I wouldn't expect a high price tag. As such, I wouldn't hesitate to give it out to friends. SCORE: 3.6
Panelist #4The cigar is very mild; seasoned herfers might not be wowed. Folks who really dig cigars will appreciate its finer points. SCORE: 3.5

YUMURI 1492 Robusto
Country: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Indonesia Binder: Dominican Republic
Manufacturer: Brown Leaf Co. Filler: Dominican Republic Price: $6.00
Panelist #1This robusto looked good from the get-go, and did not disappoint me. Well-suited for having the boys over for poker and beer. SCORE: 3.8
Panelist #2Perhaps these were left in the sun, but the batch was dry. Still, they tasted fine. With some TLC, they could be excellent. SCORE: 3.5
Panelist #3I didn't expect much from the looks of this little tough-guy, but its smoothness won me over. Not great, but pretty darn good. SCORE: 4.0
Panelist #4To quote the Boss, You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're alright. A Well-made and enjoyable robusto that's good anytime.SCORE: 3.9

V CENTENNIAL Robusto
Country: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Dominican Republic
Manufacturer: Tropical Filler: DR/Nic/Hon Price: $4.00
Panelist #1Does this cigar break ground in the stogie world? No. Is it an enjoyable smoke? Yes. Is it reasonably priced, as it should be? Dunno.SCORE: 3.8
Panelist #2I liked this medium- to full-bodied cigar, and found it pretty enjoyable. It might be a bit much for the light- weights. Screw em. SCORE: 4.1
Panelist #3If this cigar were a beer, it would be a Budweiser. This is not to go with your best cognac, but it's a satisfying cigar you'll enjoy. SCORE: 3.7
Panelist #4Kind of a pig pen, with its flaky wrapper and messy ash, but the cigar smokes just fine, with a good amount of flavor. SCORE: 3.6

FITTIPALDI Robusto
Country: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Dominican Republic Binder: Dominican Republic
Manufacturer: Alliance Cigar Filler: Dominican Republic Price: $4.75
Panelist #1What a pleasant surprise. A tough-guy little smoke, one you can keep in your lunchbox and spark up when your time is short. SCORE: 4.1
Panelist #2This one warmed my heart and tickled my taste buds. I don't usually go for undersized robustos, but this one runs with the big dogs. SCORE: 4.2
Panelist #3I was a little disappointed after light- ing it up. The flavor hints at a rush-job. It's good tobacco; it's just a little bit on the young side. SCORE: 3.8
Panelist #4I'm enjoying the s*** out of this one. Not the size I go for usually, but man I'm converted. Lots of favorable flavor. SCORE: 4.3

EL ORIGINAL Robusto
Country: U.S. Wrapper: Ecuador Binder: Mexico
Manufacturer: Island Smoke Shop Filler: DR/Hon/Nic/Mex/Per Price: $3.95
Panelist #1Whatever this is, load me up. I'm fixin' to go herfin' safari, and this tasty little robusto is coming along. Sports great flavor. SCORE: 4.4
Panelist #2A powerhouse; the brick s***house of cigars. Picks up steam and really flourishes. The construction was flawless, as well. SCORE: 4.2
Panelist #3What I liked about this cigar was its consistency. Some might have more flash, but this one just keeps giving up good tobacco taste. SCORE: 4.2
Panelist #4A hearty and rich cigar, this stogie was the ideal accompaniment to a steak dinner, with a dark beer. Not for the "weakies." SCORE: 4.1





SMOKE - Spring 2000
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