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The El Original


A Cornucopia of Cigars

Welcome to the Spring 2007 Cigar Review. It is an all-encompassing review, from A (Augusto Reyes Epicur) to Z (Bucanero Z Toro); from the very small (San Martin Piccolo) to the very large (Rome y Julieta Vintage V); from light, golden-hued wrappers (Chateau Real Gran Templar) to those as deep and rich as dark chocolate (Habanos Puros Fuerte). We have cigars from companies making their first appearance in SMOKE; returning favorites; and everything in between. Wherever your cigar tastes lay, there is sure to be a cigar in here for you.

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
But how are you supposed to decide? They all look so good! Well friend, our panel of enthusiasts - made up of both newcomers to the reviewing process and veteran stalwarts alike - are here to help. They have risked life and limb to dive headlong into the perilous realm of cigar reviewing with just one thing on their minds: help you find the best cigar of the bunch. There is only one problem; they cannot seem to agree. Was the best cigar C.A.O.'s Brazilia Samba with its 9.5 rating or Torańo's Exodus 1959 Silver Edition Grand Churchill, which received the same score? And what about Graycliff, with their Chateau Grand Cru President, which finished just a tenth of a point behind them? Do the scores really matter at all?

As you read these reviews, keep in mind that they reflect the individual tastes of each panelist who may or may not share your own taste in cigars. But our panelists also go to great lengths to describe the smoking experience, setting personal preferences aside as much as possible. In the end, the only way to know a cigar, though, is to try it yourself.

- 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!

HABANOS PUROS FUERTE Robusto
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Superior Cigars U.S.A.
Size:
4 3/4 x 52
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 This cigar was certainly making the most out of its small stature. A wonderful “closeout” smoke.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 I can’t imagine that I would buy this cigar again, but I’m more of a fan of mild- to medium-bodied smokes.
8.5 GOOD
Panelist #3 This was a strong cigar that was generally appealing. It left a slight aftertaste that I didn’t care for.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 The bitter aftertaste hurt what otherwise would have been an excellent cigar. I might buy this again.
8.9 VERY GOOD

SMOKIN’ TOAD Toad
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Flor de Jardin
Size:
6 x 50
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A little too light for me. For those who like mild, though, this would suit them very well.
8.0 GOOD
Panelist #2 A good cigar at best. The tobacco lacked body and depth of flavor. Perhaps some more aging is needed.
8.5 GOOD
Panelist #3 A forgettable cigar that did not make an impression. Fine for a nicotine fix, but lacking in taste.
8.1 GOOD
Panelist #4 Very nice cigar. I don’t think I would buy it because it is too mild, but wouldn’t toss out a free one.
8.4 GOOD

ROCKY PATEL OLDE WORLD RESERVE Robusto Corojo
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Size:
5 1/4 x 54
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Hon
Panelist #1 While this cigar might prove too strong for a beginner, it is an excellent cigar for a veteran smoker.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 I highly suggest this cigar for anyone. It brings a combination of rich flavors and sturdy construction.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 This cigar is loaded with rich, bold flavors that compliment each other very well. I highly recommend this.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 While I would only suggest them to a “real smoker,” I would not hesitate to buy them for myself.
9.1 EXCELLENT

CANIMAO LIMITED EDITION Corona
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Canimao
Size:
6 1/4 x 42
Filler:
DR, Nic
Binder:
Ecu
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 Not a bad mid-day smoke. Its mild flavors do not lend themselves to being paired well with food.
8.7 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A light smoke so you probably wouldn’t want to have it with a strong drink or rich foods.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 A bold, assertive cigar that is not for the newbies. I don’t know that I would pay for this but others would.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 A mild cigar that I would not pay more than a couple of dollars for. It would probably be good for a rookie.
8.8 VERY GOOD

PRYME LIMITED EDITION GOLD SERIES Corona
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Alec Bradley Cigar Co.
Size:
5 1/4 x 54
Filler:
Hon,Nic,DR, Mex
Binder:
Mex
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 A mild cigar that is perfect for smoking after a heavy, rich meal. Not too harsh or too mild for any palate.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 I prefer a more assertive bold smoke, but this is fantastic for those who like a milder flavor.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Very few complaints here. Strong but elegant, this one matches up nicely with a good Pinot Noir.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 A good smoke, solid and well-defined from start to finish. Takes time to work through it, but worth it.
9.1 EXCELLENT

C.GARS LTD

ARGANESE CONNECTICUT CHAIRMAN Torpedo
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Arganese Cigars
Size:
6 7/8 x 59
Filler:
DR
Binder:
Indo
Wrapper:
Conn
Panelist #1 An even smoke that did not make too much of an impression. Perfect for a neophyte smoker though.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A strong, aggressive cigar that provides a heck of a punch but doesn’t follow up with lasting flavors.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 Well constructed but way too aggressive with the strength. Perfect if you like that sort of thing.
8.5 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Slightly disappointed by how dry it was and the messy ash. The complex, peppery flavors made up for it.
9.0 VERY GOOD

JOYA DE NICARAGUA CELEBRACION Gordo
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Tabacaso Puros de Nicaragua S.A.
Size:
5 1/2 x 60
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A good smoke after work when you want a jolt to wake you back up. I would suggest them to a friend.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 I would smoke it again but only at the right price, but such is true of most cigars. Pair it with a pilsner.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 A wonderful cigar with lots of big rich flavors, a little too thick for my liking. I suggest this cigar for veterans.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 A rich, bold cigar with lots of savory flavors and a real cigar feel to it. Not for a first timer though.
9.5 EXCELLENT

BUCANERO Z Churchill
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Bucanero
Size:
5 1/2 x 60
Filler:
DR, Nic
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Indo
Panelist #1 One of the better lonsdales I’ve had. Versatile enough to enjoy over your coffee or scotch.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A beginner’s cigar due to its mildness. I would not buy it for myself, but for someone new to smoking.
8.3 GOOD
Panelist #3 A reasonably good smoke, though the flavors were a little mild. It would make a nice afternoon smoke.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 There was a nice overall flavor to this cigar. I especially enjoyed the way the flavors didn’t overpower.
9.0 VERY GOOD

AVO SIGNATURE Double Corona
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Davidoff of Geneva
Size:
7 x 50
Filler:
DR
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 The cigar was strong but at the same time relaxing. It would be a great way to unwind after work.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 I would smoke this again. I would also suggest it to friends so they will stop trying to steal mine.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 An enjoyable smoke that I would love to sample again. Lots of foods might overpower its flavor though.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 The flavor and construction equal a great smoke. What more could an educated cigar palate want?
9.1 EXCELLENT

DON KIKI WHITE LABEL VINTAGE Churchill
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Cuban Crafters
Size:
7 x 50
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 A well-constructed cigar that featured depth of flavors and body. It was neither too bold or too weak.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 A rich and savory cigar that combines the flavors of berries without being too sweet. Good for starters.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 An ordinary cigar. I would buy it if the price was right, but there are many I would opt to buy first.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 I prefer a stronger, more assertive cigar than this. That said, it is a stick that many will enjoy.
9.1 EXCELLENT

SMOKE Magazine's Cigar Reviewer's Contest!

SAVINELLI NICARAGUA SPECIAL SELECTION 2004 Torpedo
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Savinelli USA
Size:
6 1/2 x 54
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 A complicated cigar that presents a lot of tasty flavors. The fraying wrapper was the only drawback to it.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 A well presented cigar that has a sophisticated feel to it, both in the way it looks and how it tastes.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Awesome from start to finish. I would absolutely suggest this gem
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 I like a good strong-looking, strong tasting cigar; this fits like a glove. I would love a box or two.
9.5 EXCELLENT

DONA FLOR RESERVA ESPECIAL LTD Series Double Corona
Country:
Brazil
Manufacturer:
Brazil
Size:
7 1/2 x 50
Filler:
Brazil
Binder:
Brazil
Wrapper:
Brazil
Panelist #1 This cigar had an assertive start but tended to finish a little dry. It could benefit from some time to mature.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 The flavors were very unique but a touch too mild for my liking. I would smoke it again depending on cost.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 As a fan of subtle cigars this was perfect for me. Those who want to be overwhelmed would not agree.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 Not my favorite cigar, but I tend to not like a mild smoke. Great for people who like mild smokes.
9.0 VERY GOOD


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