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A Complex World...

The first lesson most cooks are taught in chef school is “K.I.S.S.,” keep it simple stupid. The idea being that the quickest way to screw up a great dish is to try to get fancy with it and make a classic more complex than it needs to be. It has happened to all of us. We go out and order something that sounds familiar only to be confronted by the realization that some fool has gone and ruined our meal by trying to jazz up the flavors and put their own signature on the recipe. This is the absolute opposite in the cigar world where complex flavor profiles and multi-national fillers dominate.

SMOKE Cigar Ratings
RatingQuality
0-5.9Poor
6.0-6.9Fair
7.0-7.9Average
8.0-8.5Good
8.6-9.0Very Good
9.1-9.5Excellent
9.6-10.0Superior
Consider that out of the 32 cigars profiled in this latest Smoke Cigar Review, half featured multi-national filler blends with a third of those representing more than two countries. Of course there is more to making a good cigar than just filling it with tobaccos from around the globe. Our ever-intrepid team of 20 panelists blind-sampled all 32 brands in this issue’s review. Did cigars like Habana Cuba’s Oliveros XL For Men, featuring multi-national fillers rate better than single nation fillers or even puros - cigars rolled entirely from one nation’s tobaccos - such as the Savinelli Liga Especial? Did the single country fillers like those found in a Fittipaldi Anniversary Edition have a clearer and more straightforward flavor profile than those of a multi-national Rocky Patel Nording? There is only one way to find out.

So get a drink, sit back, and get ready to fill out your holiday wish list as Smoke’s Cigar Review tackles the international mystery.

- Charles Schrager


Want more? For the full details of each review, including all the panelists views on aesthetics, construction, flavor, and more, subscribe now - or pick up a copy of SMOKE Magazine at a Tobacconist near you!

LOS BLANCOS Criollo Torpedo
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Los Blancos Cigar Co.
Size:
5 7/8 x 61
Filler:
Hon
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Hon
Panelist #1 I found these cigars not to my taste. I prefer a stronger cigar, probably fine for a newbie.
8.4 GOOD
Panelist #2 Good after dinner smoke. Not strong enough to overpower the flavor of your meal.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 Not my favorite cigar in the world but could appeal to a different palate.
8.7 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Different samples produced different results. This might benefit from more humidor time.
9.0 VERY GOOD

GISPERT Belicoso Maduro
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Altadis USA
Size:
6 1/8 x 52
Filler:
Hon/Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Mex
Panelist #1 Perfect medium-bodied cigar to have while watching a game with friends. Enjoyable with any drink.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 An excellent cigar that I happily paired with my favorite port. I suggest you do the same.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Very fine cigar for the late afternoon. Plenty of punch to pick you right up in the middle of the day.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Very nice cigar. Depending on price I might buy it myself but wouldn't break the bank on it.
9.0 VERY GOOD

PUROS INDIOS Piramide No. 3
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Puros Indios Cigars
Size:
5 x 50
Filler:
Braz/DR/Nic
Binder:
Ecu
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 Great flavor, great aroma and a wonderful look. A perfect smoke to end a long day.
9.4 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 What this cigar might lack in beauty it makes up for in taste, and that's what counts.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Occasional draw problems that could be cured by more humidor time. I suggest this cigar.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 They say don't judge a book by its cover, very true in the case of this cigar.
9.4 EXCELLENT

CUBITA SPANISH MARKET SELECTION Robusto
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Matasa
Size:
5 1/4 x 52
Filler:
Nic/DR
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Hon
Panelist #1 A solid smoke that doesn't overpower. It would go well with an espresso or any other coffee.
8.7 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 Waited until my fingers burned before I was willing to put this one down.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 A good cigar with a single malt after dinner, just a very nice relaxing smoke.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 A nice cigar to have outside in autumn in the Northeast. It invokes certain thoughts with each draw.
9.0 VERY GOOD

RP OLDE WORLD RESERVE Toro Maduro
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Rocky Patel Cigars
Size:
6 1/2 x 52
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Hon
Panelist #1 An outstanding cigar with a lot of flavor. Mild enough for a beginner, but strong enough to be noticed.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 Not my usual smoke, so I was unsure going in, but the flavor and appearance overcame my bias.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Best of all the cigars I've sampled thus far. I would buy these in a heartbeat.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 A really good cigar. I hope I can afford to buy a box and if not I hope someone will buy them for me.
9.0 VERY GOOD

Rabbit Air Purifiers

FITTIPALDI ANNIVERSARY EDITION Robusto
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Corporacion Cigar Export
Size:
5 x 50
Filler:
DR
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Conn/Ecu
Panelist #1 Consistent but not outstanding. Smooth to the end where it tended to dry out.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 I like my cigars strong, with noticeable flavor and aroma. This had neither. A good smoke for a novice.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 A very well constructed cigar. Perhaps I was harsh in flavor review but I like my cigars with oomph.
9.1 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 There was nothing about this cigar to dislike. The flavors were not offensive, it was fine.
9.2 EXCELLENT

NORDING Torpedo
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Rocky Patel Cigar Co.
Size:
4 x 54
Filler:
Hon/Nic/DR
Binder:
Hon
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A very consistent cigar. This little bullet provided 45 minutes of pleasurable smoke.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 This little cigar is a real gem. It would make a great smoke with a strong cup of coffee.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 I will not only suggest these to a friend but will buy a box for myself. This was a very tasty cigar.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 This cigar is not for the faint of heart; it's a little powerhouse. Such great complex flavor and aroma.
9.8 SUPERIOR

CHAMUCO Maduro Robusto
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Chamuco Cigars Inc
Size:
5 x 50
Filler:
Hon/Nic
Binder:
CR
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A very nice cigar that would go well with a cocktail or two, or even just sitting by the fire.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 Just a delightful cigar. This is one to recommend to novice smokers ready to move up.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 I have not had a cigar this good in a long time. Shame I couldn't have it after dinner at Peter Lugers.
9.6 SUPERIOR
Panelist #4 As the draw loosened, this became a very flavorful smoke; very enjoyable, and one I would smoke again.
9.0 VERY GOOD

VEGAS de TABACALERA ESTELI Toro
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Cuban Crafters
Size:
6 x 52
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A smokable cigar for those not into "big boy" cigars. A cigar smoker would be put off by the construction.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A near perfect cigar if it were better constructed. If they correct the package issue let me know.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 Such a wonderful blend of tobacco and great taste it almost makes up for construction issues.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 A great taste but due to its poor construction I can't call it more than a very good overall cigar.
8.7 VERY GOOD

OLIVEROS XL FOR MEN DOUBLE MADURO Belicoso
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Habana Cuba
Size:
5 x 56
Filler:
DR/Hon/Nic
Binder:
Conn
Wrapper:
Brazil
Panelist #1 Could not put this cigar down after I lit and tasted it. Subtle but not too subtle and a treat to taste.
9.6 SUPERIOR
Panelist #2 I have never anticipated an issue coming out more than this one so I know what I was smoking.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Each sample performed well and offered a consistent quality. At the right price, I'd buy a box.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 This is a reliable, approachable cigar to enjoy either before dinner with a cocktail, or after it with a port.
9.2 EXCELLENT

The Island Smoke Shop

EGO TRIP Robusto
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
CSB Tobacos
Size:
6 3/4 x 54
Filler:
Nic/Hon
Binder:
Indo
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 Nothing great. To someone who knows cigars this stick is "so-so." A very good beginner cigar.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 I think some aging will help with the consistency, but an alright cigar, not for me right now.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 The cigar had some complexity for its size but it lacked a consistent flavor from start to finish.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 A good looking seductress. I wish the build and flavors had a tad more consistency.
8.9 VERY GOOD

ADAN Y EVA Robusto XO
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Eden's Gate
Size:
5 x 50
Filler:
DR/Nic
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
DR
Panelist #1 This is a very strong cigar that is best savored on its own so as to not overpower the flavor of your drink.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A real tough cigar to savor due to its strength. But if you like strong cigars it is for you.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 I think either this needs more time to mature or matured for too long. It was way too strong for me.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Not my favorite of the group, but I tend to like milder cigars. Great for people who like strong smokes.
9.0 VERY GOOD


C-Gars Ltd.


Continued on next page...
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