Archives for : August2016




IPCPR 2016


There was a great CAO cigar that came in a red lacquered box. One day it was gone. Everyone assumed it was sleeping with the fishes.


A certain crew of guys who smoke CAO made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. They said bring back that wise guy cigar, or else. So we delivered the goods.


CAO Consigliere is a straight sequel — the five-country blend is the same as before, the one that made it to Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list in 2006.


Consigliere is handmade in Nicaragua, with a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, bound with a Honduran leaf and features a blend of Nicaraguan, Dominican and Colombian leaves. This is a bold cigar with flavors of espresso, wood and spice.


Consigliere will be pulled back in as a full-time member of the CAO family starting in October, with suggested retail prices that are less than the original. Three new sizes were created for the launch. They are:

Associate — 5 x 52; SRP per cigar is $6.99

Soldier — 6 x 54; SRP per cigar is $7.99


Boss — 7 x 56 Torpedo; SRP per cigar is $8.99


Rick Rodriguez, CAO’s blender/ambassador was mostly tight-lipped about the new Consigliere launch. “Right now, all I can say is leave the cannolis and take the cigars. Capisce?”


Rick will hit the road later this year, doing events across the U.S. to celebrate the return of this tough guy smoke.


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Cohiba Macassar

Cohiba Macassar



IPCPR 2016

Distant from even the most primitive modes of transportation, Indonesian Macassar is arguably the most difficult ebony in the world to procure and one of the world’s most beautiful exotic woods. In a fitting tribute to this extraordinary work of nature, the artisans of Cohiba have created Cohiba Macassar, a new collection that lends itself to extravagant smoking occasions as readily as it does to life’s most treasured moments.

Only the finest leaves were selected to meet the exacting standards of taste and aesthetics set forth for Macassar. As such, this super-premium expression is made solely of proprietary tobaccos, each aged for more than four years including a year of finishing in Dominican rum barrels.

The blend of Cohiba Macassar is centered on a supple Connecticut Havano wrapper grown in a micro climate that helps to achieve a richer, more flavorful tobacco, yet with far less yield than traditional plants. To deliver a refined wrapper with barely perceptible veins, only the finest seco leaves are chosen for Cohiba Macassar.

The blend is made with a proprietary Dominican seed cultivated by Cohiba’s agronomists in Mao, complemented by a Nicaraguan Jalapa leaf grown exclusively for Cohiba. The Connecticut Broadleaf binder is aged six years to impart a mellow flavor and optimal combustibility.


Cohiba Macassar brings forth nuanced notes of wood and spice. The flavor is distinctive and unmistakable, bearing subtle references to other blends in the Cohiba portfolio.


Handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, Cohiba Macassar will make its debut fine cigar shops nationwide beginning in August. This remarkable collection will be a full-time addition to the Cohiba portfolio and will be launched with three sizes, each protected in 10-count boxes.

Toro Grande — 6 x 52; SRP per cigar is $21.99

Gigante — 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $23.99

Double Corona — 7.25 x 54; SRP per cigar is $24.99

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La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli Maduro

IPCPR 2016

La Gloria_serie R_Black_Maduro_open right facing 

La Gloria Cubana is launching two new lines, one created solely for sale at brick and mortar cigar shops and the other developed for internet and catalog retailers.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli Maduro

Serie R Esteli made Cigar Aficionado’s list of the Top 25 Cigar of 2014. With a 91 rating, the magazine called the line “one of the best La Glorias in years.” This outstanding collection is now being extended to include a new Maduro offering created exclusively for brick and mortar retailers. Made with the same Nicaraguan-forward blend that won the brand critical acclaim, the new expression is wrapped in rich Connecticut Broadleaf to deliver a cigar that’s medium in strength, deep in sweetness and brimming with leather notes and spice.


La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli Maduro began shipping in July, and is available in three sizes. Each box contains 18 cigars.

No. 54 – 6 x 54; SRP per cigar is $6.99

No. 60 — 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $7.49

No. 64 – 6.25 x 64; SRP per cigar is $7.99


La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black Maduro

With large ring vitolas, deep, rich flavor and a bold Nicaraguan blend, La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black debuted as an unbeatable addition to the Serie R line. The trend continues with the addition of La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black Maduro. This deep and full-bodied smoke delivers a powerhouse of flavor, filled with pepper, earth and coffee notes and the slightly sweet, creamy taste that can only be found with an aged Maduro wrapper.  With an SRP of less than $8, Serie R Black Maduro has all the makings of a top-selling new smoke for cigar lovers who demand Nicaraguan flavor at an accessible price.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R Black began shipping in July and is available in three sizes through internet and catalog retailers only. Each box contains 18 cigars.

No. 58 – 6.875 x 58; SRP per cigar is $7.79

No. 60 — 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $7.49

No. 64 – 6.25 x 64; SRP per cigar is $7.99

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Bombay Tobak Gaaja

Bombay Tobak Gaaja


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Ecuadorian HVA Seco Mejorada

Filler: Peruvian Habano, Ecuadorian Criollo, Paraguay, Dominican

Size: 6×54 Toro

Price: $15.50

Acquired: Samples courtesy of MBombay

Samples Smoked: 3

Smoking Conditions: Outdoors approx. 80 degrees.

The latest release to come out of Bombay Tobak is the new Gaaja. A blend four years in the making, the Gaaja consists of a mix of Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Dominican tobaccos. Bombay Tobak is one of those companies that continue to shock and amaze me with their new offerings. I have yet to find a product from them that has not been to my liking. That being said, I was very interested to try the new Gaaja.

The new Gaaja is a 6×54 box pressed cigar that will be available in 24 count cedar boxes with a retail price of $15.50 + tax per stick.

Looks: The New Gaaja from Bombay Tobak is an excellently executed box pressed cigar with an exquisite almost suede like finish on the wrapper leaf. The cap is perfectly applied, and the box press creates a firm look and feel to the cigar. The overall look of the cigar itself is very attractive and inviting. The band is a blend of blue, green, gold, and red colors patterned together. The sides of the band read, “Bombay Tobak” and “Gaaja.”

Gaaja band

Gaaja band side

Pre-Light: Sweet aroma with notes of cocoa, cedar, and hay.

Taste: I have smoked three of these cigars so far, the first upon initial arrival, the second a few weeks later, and finally the third about a month and a half from the initial arrival. I can say that I enjoyed it when it first arrived and I am enjoying it even more today. The little bit of age that the cigar has received in my humidor has done wonders for an already great tasting stick.   Upon first lighting, my palate is greeted with sweet notes of cocoa and molasses along with warm cedar flavors. At about half of an inch in I start to notice a raisin like flavor note and some mild citrus flavors. As the first quarter begins to take shape, there is a very mild pepper note that I am picking up on the tip of my tongue. The most prominent flavors at the half are that of wood and cedar followed closely by a molasses sweetness. The ever-mild citrus and pepper notes remain present as well. Finishing out the Gaaja, the flavor profile has remained overall consistent and balanced with notes of wood, molasses, citrus, and pepper. The molasses taste throughout this cigar is not that of added flavor but rather a natural occurring sweetness that is present in the tobacco itself. This flavor helps to give this cigar an overall creaminess that has been present throughout the smoke.

Strength: Medium.

Burn: Smooth and even. Ash held nicely and only fell when tapped. Smoke was full and white.

Buy it? Yes. Though the price point of this cigar sits in the higher range, this cigar is well worth the money. The exotic blend of tobaccos added to the time involved to make this cigar definitely show the value. The flavor profile is simply amazing and on par with cigars double this price. The Gaaja is another hit out of the park from Bombay Tobak.

Gaaja vertical


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Black Works Studio Announces S&R, Boondocks Saints, and Sindustry


Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is announcing the addition of S&R, Boondock Saint, and Sindustry to its lineup, as well as additional vitolas for NBK and Killer Bee.


“As a cigar maker and artist, I am always working on new blends and expressions of art. These new blends have been in the works for a while, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to release them to the public. I will find ways to continue to be creative in my craft going forward and won’t be deterred by the FDA regulations,” said James Brown, creator of BLK WKS and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.


“Each of these new blends is very unique. S&R is an elegant smoke with refined flavors, highlighting the blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Boondock Saint’s complex rich flavor comes from the blend of three very diverse filler tobaccos and the Pennsylvania wrapper. Sindustry is the boldest of the bunch with full flavors and strength rounded out by the San Andres wrapper,” continued Brown.


  • S&R – features Nicaraguan & Dominican filler with a Sumatran wrapper and pigtail cap. Available in a 6.75×42 Lancero, MSRP $8.50 and a 5.5×46 Corona Gorda, MSRP $8.00.
  • Boondock Saint – features Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania & Connecticut filler with a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper and closed foot. Available in a 6.25×46 Corona Larga, MSRP $10.00 and a 5.25×50 Robusto, MSRP $10.00.
  • Sindustry – features Nicaraguan filler with a San Andrés wrapper and closed foot. Available in a 5×50 Robusto, MSRP $9.50, a 6.25×48 Toro, MSRP $9.50 and a 7×38 Lancero, MSRP $9.50.


NBK is now available in a 5×50 Box Press Robusto, MSRP $9.00. Killer Bee is available in a 6.5×42 Lonsdale, MSRP $8.50 and a 4.5×46 Petite Corona (Green Hornet “Kato”), featuring a Candela linear cap, MSRP $9.50.


As part of a soft launch, only the following retailers were selected to receive the initial shipment with full production dates to be announced:

Tobacco Junction, Temple TX; TJ’s Cigar Lounge, McGregor, TX; Crescent City, New Orleans, LA; and Harry’s Smoke Shop, Philadelphia, PA.


BLK WKS cigars are an expression of art showcasing the talent, technique, and tobacco behind boutique cigar factory, Fabrica Oveja Negra. Distributed by Boutiques Unified,

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Hoyo La Amistad

Hoyo La Amistad



IPCPR 2016


The legendary Hoyo de Monterrey brand continues its bold march into the future with an intriguing, limited edition collaboration called La Amistad. The blend was developed by AJ Fernandez, the Cuban expat cigar maker best known for producing highly-rated cigars in Nicaragua.

Hoyo La Amistad is bold and full-bodied, and showcases the artisanal cigar making techniques and modern packaging of the new Hoyo launched earlier this year. Named for the camaraderie forged when creating this exciting new release, La Amistad means friendship in Spanish.

Alan Willner, vice president of marketing for General Cigar said, “AJ Fernandez embodies the same ethos as the Hoyo brand. His passion for the craft of cigar making is what led us to collaborate with him on La Amistad. This collection combines AJ’s love of tobacco and blending with the knowledge of Hoyo’s cigar makers in Honduras and Nicaragua.”

AJ Fernandez noted, “I grew up very near to the Hoyo de Monterrey farm and I have always had a love for the brand. When it came time to develop this blend, I put my heart and soul into it. To me, this project represents how far my family and I have come since Cuba, and how our expertise in tobacco continues to be recognized. This cigar represents the best of me and my factory and I am proud to be a part of this collaboration.”

La Amistad is brawny and robust, with notes of leather and spice. The wrapper is a bold Ecuadoran Habano, bound with a Nicaraguan leaf cultivated by AJ Fernandez in Esteli. The blend features powerhouse Nicaraguan tobacco from Esteli, Ometepe, Condega and Jalapa.

La Amistad is handcrafted at the AJ Fernandez cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. It will be available in four sizes beginning in September. They are:




Rothschild – 4.5 x 50; SRP per cigar is $6.49

Robusto – 5 x 54; SRP per cigar is $7.59

Toro – 6 x 50; SRP per cigar is $7.79

Gigante — 6 x 60; SRP per cigar is $7.99


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