Dunhill - Aged Romanas
It’s a Dunhill
Medium strength, full body. Produce a great amount of creamy smoke. Very smooth nutty flavor. Great draw.
Montecristo - White Series Toro
Not very impressive. Glad I tried, but not worth taking a second shot.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Royal Salute Maduro
Unless I am smoking a fake one, this is definitely the worst one I have ever had so far. Definitely not worth the price - to me, this is more like a $2 worth of mass production cigar.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Pyramid
At a price of $7, you would expect it to be at least smokeable. But no, this cigar is so bad that I wouldn't even want to finish it. Bitterness - simple and pure bitterness - is the dominant flavor. The wrapping and construction are also very bad in quality.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Maduro
Not bad for the value.
This is a good one for an early morning smoke or before bedtime - mild and tasty on your palate. The flavor is largely average - cinnamon and tobacco is dominant from the beginning to the end. Not a bad value for the price.
Rocky Patel - Decade Toro
Good mild one
Beautifully packed with nice Colorado maduro wrapper the Rocky Patel is very attractive. The band is also nice attached to the cigar, making it a very decent one. No soft or hard spot, the overall construction is very good. The smoke is plentiful and smells with hint of Chinese herbal - all excellent! The flavor is very smooth. The first 1/3 is with mocha notes and a little bit spicy. I can also note some dry cherry from now and then. Then the nutty and coffee flavor took over in the middle 1/3, which is a pleasant change. The last 1/3 is bit harsh and no really distinctive flavor that I can taste. Overall, it is a nice mild cigar.
Liga Privada - #9 Toro
The Ligament Privada is very beautiful and the wrapping is flawless. I especially like the band, which is nothing flashy yet very elegant. The one I smoked burns, surprisingly, uneven. I guess this might be one single case and I will try another one to test again. The flavor is full of woody and earthy tones, and I can also pick up toasted nuts and espresso. Probably because the one I had burns uneven, the flavor is not quite smooth - it sometimes gets strong and sometimes it becomes mild. Overall, it is a very good one with a pleasant flavor profile. I hope the second one I take will correct the uneven burn.
CAO - Brazilia Gol!
Good cigar for the price!
I have read some good things about this cigar and decided to try one for myself. The Gol is well constructed and has a beautiful dark and oily appearance. However, despite the intimidating size of it, this turns out to be a pretty mild one. The first 1/3 is not very good - I barely picked up any distinct flavor. It steps up a little at the second 2/3 and the flavor becomes interesting and delicious - mostly chocolate and wood, with some nutty hint set behind. At this price, I say it is well worth it.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente King B
Medium and pleasant
King B is medium in body and generates thick white smoke clouds. The construction and wrapping are very good. The flavor is cedar and solid tobacco - very smooth yet want of changes from the beginning to the end. The first couple of puffs are spicy and bitter, but when it gets to the second 1/3, the bitterness tunes down and the flavor gets more enjoyable. My personal tastes, however, prefer stronger and more full flavored cigar though.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Cuban Belicoso
Flat, boring and harsh flavor.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Royal Salute SG
Nothing good about this cigar - bad wrapping (with cracks), poor construction (with soft spot), and most importantly, the flavor, if there is any, is so flat and so undectacble that I can’t even believe that I am actually smoking a cigar! Very disappointing!
Avo - Syncro Nicaragua Robusto
Smooth and medium in body. The first 1/3 features woody and spicy flavors, and then followed with cedar and earthy sweetness. In the final 1/3, the creamy coffee strengthens again until the very end. The flavor profile is very interesting and enjoyable. The construction and wrapping are also very good. Overall, this is a great cigar that worth trying and cellaring.
Dunhill - 1907 Toro (box pressed)
Refined, simple and consistent.
It’s cedar and black dark coffee from head to foot - consistent yet boring. As someone has rightfully claimed, this cigar is just like “the last cup of coffee from pot that has been on warm”. I am not saying this cigar is bad, it’s flavor is refined at all levels, and I really love the taste left on my lips afterwards. I might keep one or two in my humidor just in case I get tired of complexity and want to try something straightforward and consistent.
Arturo Fuente - Flor Fina 8-5-8 Maduro
You get what you paid for.
A medium strength cigar with straight tobacco flavor, with a hint if nuts from time to time. Overall, you get what you paid for, and this does taste like a $5ish cigar to me. Not a big fan.
Arturo Fuente - Hemingway Classic
Classic Cameroon flavor
It is a typical Fuente product - good construction and wrapping. Medium body and easy draw. The flavor is a bit simple though - I can taste tobacco, a little bit sweet spice and, from now and then, some nutty flavor. There is no change from the first draw to the last, which is a boring thing to me. Good smoke full of classic Cameroon flavor.
Hoyo de Monterrey - Excalibur Miniatures
Great for a quick smoke!
These are very good mini cigars - a bit spicy, chocolaty and coffee. Great for a 10-minute break from work.
H. Upmann - Vintage Cameroon Toro
This is a very light cigar, very mild smoke. The flavor is almost nondescript and the only way I can enjoy it is to take 2-3 small puffs and then a larger puff to notice some nutty and earthy flavor. The only consistent flavor, to me, is that sweet spice from a Cameroon, which is not bad, but I would like it to have more depth. Probably a good one for a starter, but it is just way too mild for me.
Montecristo - Monte Conde
Worth every dollar!
Construction and wrapping are perfect and the piggy tail is really a plus. The first two puffs are a bit spicy, mostly coming from the Dominican Orlo binder. The spicy and bitterness soon tune down and the earthiness and chocolate flavors take over and dominate the entire first 2/3 of the cigar. I can also sense some cinnamon. The flavor profile is very good. It gets abbot harsh towards the end and the bitter comes back and buries all the good flavors, but that is not strong enough to destroy the luscious lingering flavored in the mouth afterwards. Taking into consideration of the very reasonable price, this is definitely worth the dollar you paid for. Overall, this is a very good stick!
Padron - Serie 1926 Natural 80th
Not worth the price
It is not necessary to describe the appearance, wrapping and draw of this cigar - all live up to a good/great cigar standard. The flavor, however, is not $30 worth. The first two puffs hit me with spice, not very impressive. Then the spicy flavor dies down, and is replaced with earthy and nutty ones. It remains light body, very smooth. The flavor gradually grows to medium minus, and the tobacco flavor joins in. The second 1/3 becomes very good and complex - nuts, earthiness and a hint of cinnamon. Nevertheless, it doesn’t last long when it becomes flat again,and this is time the nicotine hit me very hard - as a matter of fact, I even became dizzy - note that I am a 15-year cigarette smoker and was not drunk form nicotine even with some strong cigars. Towards the end, it tastes like a very normal cigar. Overall, a good cigar but definitely not worth the price, which is very hefty for a daily smoke. The smoking time is about 75 minutes.
Ashton - Classic Corona
With great construction and wrapping, the Ashton Classic is very luscious just by its look. The draw is perfect. The flavor is dominantly and consistently that creamy and silky coffee, with a hint of vanilla. It is a mild one and very balanced. I would compare it with the “Early Morning Pipe” tobacco from Dunhill, which is great for morning enjoyment and also good for any time during the entire day. I couldn’t sense the nicotine hit, which is a good thing to me. The price is within my comfortable zone for a daily smoke, and I definitely will cellar it.
Montecristo - Monte Jacopo No. 2
Glad I tried, but...
Jacopo No.2 is very beautifully packaged with oily leathery wrapping, and looks very luscious. Although the wrapping has noticeable veins, it is nothing to complain about. Burn is unsurprisingly razor sharp, and construction is perfect. THe draw is bit tight but starting from the second 1/3, it opens up a little, but still hard to draw. Unfortunately, the flavor is not exciting - very flat. I can sense some wood and, occasionally and if you focus on it, berries. It is light (or, to me, very light) in the first 1/3, and steps up to medium minus in the second 1/3. The flavor gets stronger in the last 1/3, which could be good if the flavor stays the same. Again, unfortunately, the flavor dies down and even becomes harshy to the end. Overall, this is still a good cigar, but at a price of $10, there are many out there that is better than Jacopo No.2, some of which are actually created by Montecristo. I might not cellar it, but am happy to smoke another one from time to time.
Punch - Rare Corojo Pita
Good for the price.
Well constructed, great prelit aroma, beautiful wrapping - no surprise from Punch brand. The first 1/3 is light (or from my standard, very light) and not very impressive - as a matter of fact, I don’t even taste anything distinctive. It, however, steps up a lot in the second 1/3. To me, it almost tastes like two very different cigar. The second 1/3 is very rich and complex in flavor, with coffee, and chocolate intertwined with each other, and all together, consists of a very pleasant flavor. The sweetness is not milk chocolate kind of sweet, which I don’t quite dig, but a brownie kinda of sweet. Unfortunately, it does not last very long. The last 1/3 is very boring and disappointing - it gets back to light body, simple flavor, messy and a bit harsh. And that sour just appears from nowhere and totally ruined the leftover flavor in my mouth. Overall, considering the price is very attractive, this is still a good stick for daily smoking. Smoking time is about 50 minutes, but I am a quick smoker.
Ashton - Aged Maduro #20
Although not too many “wow” factors, but this cigar is still one of the best short smoke I have had so far. Solid construction, very good wrapping - no noticeable stems and seam, and razor sharp burn. The taste is light sweet, allegedly from the wrapping. The last 1/3 is a bit harsh though. Not too creamy, but that is good enough for me. Overall, the flavor combines chocolate and coffee, all good ones. Somebody reports catching spicy flavor in it, but I just can’t sense it. Not too strong, but a bit over medium. Love the lingering flavor on my lips afterwards. The price also fits in my comfortable zone, although considering the size of it, not too much tobacco you can get from what you paid for. Smoking time is about 50 minutes, although I tend to draw quickly than average. I am definitely cellar it.
Dunhill - Aged Altamiras
A very balanced one with dominant earthy and woody flavors. Appearance is very oily leather-like, and the wrapping and construction is, not surprisingly, very good. I am hesitating to call it light, and I guess medium is more appropriate. Considering the price, it is a little bit on the expensive end for a cigar that I will enjoy on a daily basis. Still trying to find a $7-8 cigar that can compete with Dunhill Aged in quality and taste.
Joya de Nicaragua - Antano 1970 Machito
Good for the price!
The first 1/3 is sour and messy. But after that it turns out to be a decent cigar - rich in flavor, smooth and medium body. Smoking time is about one hour.
Ashton - VSG Wizard
Very smooth. The first few draw is a little bit spicy, but then the taste is more like dark chocalate - not sweet but very deep and smooth. Full flavor and very balanced. Smoking time is about 45 minutes. On a range of 1-10, I will give it 7.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Natural
Mild to medium in body, and very balanced! Since this is a good cigar with a price on a cheaper end, I will use this as a benchmark to compare with other cigars that I have or will try. On a range of 10, I will give this a 5 for comparison purpose.
Lane Limited - Cohiba 1.75oz
Light and sweet.
Not a very impressive one - tried once and gave up.
Peterson - Sherlock Holmes 50g
Maybe it's just me,
But this blend tastes artificial. Not gonna try it again.
McClelland - Special: Anniversary 100g
Pretty standard virginia, light and sweet; the cut needs improvement though.
Dunhill - Early Morning Pipe 50g
Bought it for the tin - the blend just does not hit it.
Davidoff - English Mixture 50g
Does not live up to the name.
McClelland - Personal Reserve: Bombay Court 50g
Tried once but gave up - couldn't find the taste of Latakia in the mix, and a bit bitter to me.
Dunhill - Nightcap 50g
Hate the name, but love the tob
It should be called BFAD - best for all day! Love the flavor!
Dunhill - My Mixture 965 50g
Superb until I tried NC.
I guess it's just because I like it stronger. Still one of my must-have.
McClelland - Craftsbury: Frog Morton's Cellar 100g
Not a big fan of aromatic tobacco, but this one is really good, especially when the hidden flavor of Latakia touches your palate.