Today I’ll be giving you all my Montecristo White Series cigar review. To start off with a little history behind the band, Montecristo White Series cigars were created to complement the original Cuban Montecristos. They did a pretty good job, too. Though it’s difficult to compare the two note-for-note, the White series certainly has many of the same characteristics found in the Havana-blend. The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper is cured to a light, buttery blonde color similar to Cuban Corojo. If I were to put the brown Cuban Montecristo band on this cigar, you’d probably think it was the original. Using a Nicaraguan binder and a core blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers, the White offers a rich, creamy and naturally sweet taste found in many Cuban cigars. Since the Montecristo White Series has its own distinctive character, I’d rather not digress any further on comparisons to its contraband cousin. Continue reading
One of the subjects I’m often asked about is, how to spot fake Cuban cigars. That’s a good question, too, because despite the fact that Cuban cigars are still illegal for American cigar smokers to purchase, some choose to do it anyway. Is it because they’re still considered “forbidden fruit,” or is it that most cigar smokers believe Cuban cigars are still the world’s best? It’s more like a combination of the two; cigars made in Cuba are so great you just have to get your hands on some, even if it means risking losing them to U.S. Customs. And they’re not cheap, either. That is unless you’ve been bamboozled by a hustler who will sell you a box of so-called “Havana’s” at a great price while you’re vacationing somewhere in the Caribbean. Chances are, they’re fakes. What’s that old saying? “A fool and his money…” More on that later.
Yes, at one time Cuban cigars actually were the best and had virtually no competition. Zino Davidoff realized this in the early part of the 20th century, and was one the first European retailers to introduce Cuban cigars to the world. Later, when he began producing cigars under his own name, they were made in Cuba. Additionally, when you see someone smoking a cigar in old movies from the 1920′s to the 1960′s (and very likely even after the 1962 embargo), you can bet they were smoking Cuban-made cigars. Continue reading
Introduced in 2008, My Father Cigars are blended and handcrafted by Jaime Garcia, son of the now-legendary Don José “Pepin” Garcia. Made at the My Father factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, the tobaccos used for these cigars are grown on their own farms and rolled in the finest Habano-Rosado Criollo-seed wrappers. Cigars made at the My Father factory in Estelí tend to have a reputation that precedes them, so you expect an excellent cigar, and the My Father edition is no exception. I was pleased to have the opportunity to write up this My Father cigar review, and take a real analytical look at this terrific cigars. It’s no wonder these smokes have exploded in popularity since coming onto the market, winning over all different types of smokers. The My Father Cigar Factory even took home the #1 Cigar of the Year award for 2012 for their outstanding Flor de last Antillas cigar. Alright, enough about the factory and the reputation, let’s get to the review! Continue reading
Arturo Fuente cigars are one of the most iconic and well-known brands around. Even non-cigar smokers known that when you say “Arturo Fuente”, you’re talking about a top-notch premium cigar. Today I’ll be providing my Arturo Fuente cigar review, and for the task I’ve selected the Chateau Fuente Natural vitola from the line as it is a personal favorite of mine. Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente cigars in the natural wrappers are identified by gold, red and green bands (as found on the Grand Reserva selections), and Spanish cedar sleeves with a green silk ribbon at the base. The cigars are rolled in Connecticut wrappers with a core blend of vintage Dominican long-filler from the company’s private reserve, and as you would expect from Fuente, the construction is first-rate. Offered in the following shapes, Chateau Fuente (4½” x 50), Pyramid (6″ x 52 with a red silk band), Double Chateau (6¾” x 50), and Royal Salute (7 5/8″ x 54), for this review I smoked the Rothschild-size Chateau Fuente. Continue reading
Introduction and Initial Impressions
Davidoff Nicaragua cigars are the first all-Nicaraguan leaf blend from the world’s most distinguished luxury-class cigar manufacturer. 10 years in the making, Davidoff’s blending sensei, Hendrik Kelner, has done it again. Offered in only three shapes, Toro (5½” x 54), Robusto (5″ x 50), and Short Robusto (3¾” x 46), the core blend consists of longfiller tobaccos from Estelí, Condega, Jalapa, and the rich volcanic soil of Ometepe, aged a minimum of eight years. On initial inspection, these puros boast shimmering, 10-year-aged Habano-seed wrappers cured to a uniform Rosado hue and impeccable construction. For example, not only is the rolling seamless, but feeling my way along the length of the cigars I noticed there were virtually no soft spots. Now it’s time for me to light this beautiful cigar up and provide all of you with my Davidoff Nicaragua cigar review! Continue reading
Over the years, I’ve received many emails asking me about freezing cigars and whether it’s OK to store cigars in the freezer or the refrigerator. Let’s start with the latter. NO WAY JOSÉ! True, refrigerators are made to keep foods fresh, but even though cigars are somewhat related to veggies by their nature, the humidity in the fridge is much too low to keep the leaves moist, and your cigars will eventually dry out.
Not too long ago, I wrote an article for CigarAdvisor.com about how I used an ordinary household condiment to repair a wrapper that was unfurling on my cigar. The way it happened was, I had mistakenly clipped the cap of my cigar a bit too low. I’ve seen some guys chop their cigars below the shoulders and the wrappers have remained intact. However, more often than not, over-cutting the cap will result in unraveling of the wrapper leaf, which is what happened in my case. Even more annoying is when this happens to a really fine (and not to mention, pricey), cigar. Continue reading
Cigar tunneling, a circumstance in which a cigar’s wrapper leaf doesn’t burn, causing a cave-like formation in the foot of the cigar, can be caused by several factors: The purpose of the binder leaf is to help all of the tobaccos burn at approximately the same rate. Therefore, if the wrapper is too moist, too thick, or too oily, it may not burn at the same rate as the filler and binder. (Maduro and Oscuro wrappers tend to be much oilier than most shade grown and other “natural” wrapper leaves.)
There are many different tricks and theories on how to light a cigar. I wanted to share one of my favorite tips that will help you get the most from your smoke. When toasting your cigars, etiquette dictates that you’re not supposed to let the flame touch the tobacco at the foot. Rather, the flame should be held close enough to the tobacco to get the foot glowing without it catching fire. Once you see red (so to speak), gently blow on the foot until the entire surface is glowing all the way out to the last ring.
Have you ever noticed how many things are seasonal? Fruits and veggies, sports, ice fishing – even beers are seasonal. You might opt for an IPA or a refreshing pale ale during the summer, and a Porter or Stout during the winter. Could the same be said for premium cigars? Why not?
Using the beer example above, bolder cigars would be smoked during the late fall and winter months, while lighter-bodied cigars would be smoked during the late spring and summer. As always, it’s a matter of personal preference. So what cigars are best for smoking during different times of the year? To tell the truth, I’ve never thought about it all that much; I just smoke whatever I feel like regardless of the season. Moreover, I would guess most cigar smokers have a similar routine. Then again, there are cigar smokers who like to change things up every now and then; if not seasonally, then perhaps for a couple of weeks to a month. I tend to move back and forth from full-bodied to milder cigars. Yet, this is something I do year-round, so it’s not “seasonal” in my case.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that most cigar smokers do smoke milder cigars in the Spring/Summer months and robust cigars in the Fall/Winter months. Here’s the logic: again, going back to the seasonal beer example, during the summer, you tend to smoke more cigars. Therefore, one might prefer to smoke more mild cigars than full-bodied smokes, whereas during the winter months, one might prefer a stronger cigar. Why? It all comes down to the amount of nicotine one can handle, or for that matter, prefer. Generally speaking, smoking one or two full-bodied cigars in a sitting during the winter, would be equivalent to smoking four to five mild-to-medium-bodied cigars in the summer.
Then what about those who live in states like Florida, Arizona, or southern California? It would be unfair to assume that cigar smokers in those parts of the country are smoking mild and medium-bodied cigars year-round, because it’s not true. I think this “seasonal cigar” theory may apply more to occasional cigar smokers like those who smoke a few cigars a week. True-blue cigar smokers smoke cigars of every strength, and I think it’s fair to assume in their case, that they smoke whatever they like depending on their mood. After all, you’re always going to have cigar smokers who prefer mild and medium-bodied cigars year-round, while the same can be said for those who prefer the hard-core, headier cigars, regardless of their locale.
If you think there is any validity to this theory (or not),
or this is something that you practice, please be sure to leave a comment. In the meantime, I think I’ll do a survey about this on CigarAdvisor.com and find out what the real deal is.