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The Hole-In-One Cigar Holder!
El Original


C.GARS LTD


The Value Factor

What’s a cigar worth to you? All consumers tend to per­ceive quality through two factors: name recognition and merchandise cost, Whether it is true or not, the more something costs, the more quality we ascribe to it. A BMW that costs $75000 is often viewed as being ‘better than a car that costs $50,000 less. Kobe beef, which can cost hundreds of dollars for a single steak, is considered the penultimate cut of meat. The question is, how much of this is true and how much of this is a truth created by marketing? Does this same axiom exist in the cigar world?

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
Earlier in this issue. Richard Carelton Hacker investigated the trend of so-called Ultra Cigars (page 52). Cigars can cost upwards of $100 each, but what about the difference between a $3 cigar and a $15 cigar? Is there a vast difference in quality, or do we believe there is a difference in quality based on how much we are willing to pay for it? Would you know the difference between an expensive cigar and a less expensive one if you did not know how much it cost or who made it?

Quality versus price is always one of the more interesting under­tones to our blind cigar reviews, In the pages that follow, our 20 intrepid panelist smoked 32 different brands of cigars without the benefit (or crutch) of knowing what they were smoking or how much each cigar cost. The scores are even more interesting when you take price into consideration, or look at the price first, and see how it scored second.

Kobe beef and fancy cars may do great, but what if you’re OK with skirt steak and a Saturn? Whether you spend a little or a lot, the real question is, does the price match the quality?

- 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!

DAVIDOFF MILLENIUM BLEND Short Robusto
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Davidoff of Geneva
Size:
4 1/4 x 52
Filler:
DR
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
USA
Panelist #1 I tend to prefer a stronger cigar, probably fine for a newbie or to be eaten after a light meal.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 Good after-dinner smoke. Not strong enough to overpower the flavor of your meal. A very good smoke.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 Very well constructed and a nice unassuming flavor. Great combination for this cigar.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Great construction and roll with rich flavor and a good finish. An excellent cigar that I would smoke again.
9.1 EXCELLENT

HAVANA ROSE Presidente
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Bucanero Cigars
Size:
8 x 50
Filler:
Dr/Nic/Hon
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A little too light for me. For those who like mild, though, this would suit them very well.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 An excellent cigar that I happily paired with a nice cool beer. Takes a while to smoke though.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 It’s an excellent cigar in taste, but you have to set aside a good hour to smoke it all the way through.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 Very nice cigar. I don’t think I would buy it because it is a bit silly looking, but wouldn’t toss out a free one.
9.0 VERY GOOD

JOYA DE NICARAGUA ANTAÑO 1970 Perfecto
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Tabacos Puros de de Nicaragua
Size:
6 5/8 x 58
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 Rough start but an enjoyable evening smoke with a lager to bring out its full, earthy flavors.
9.5 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 It finished better than it started. I would smoke it again but only at the right price, but such is true of most.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Occasional draw problems that could be cured by more humidor time. I suggest this cigar for veterans.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Despite the uneven draw this is a fantastic cigar with lots of good flavors to savor and enjoy.
9.4 EXCELLENT

LUCKY 8 Belicoso
Country:
ECU
Manufacturer:
Puros de Armando Ramos
Size:
5 1/2 x 52
Filler:
Ecu
Binder:
Ecu
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 Not a bad after dinner smoke. I did have to re-light it a few times which was a turn off.
8.7 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A solid smoke to end the day with. It wakes you up and then puts you to sleep at the same time.
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 rich cigar but the tight draw and strong start are a little tough to get through. Once you do it mellows.
8.8 VERY GOOD

ROCKY PATEL OLDE WORLD RESERVE Torpedo
Country:
Hon
Manufacturer:
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars
Size:
5 x 54
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A bold cigar with a lot of flavor. Too strong for a beginner, but not overpowering for a veteran smoker.
9.1 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 Not my usual smoke, a little dark and bold for me, but the flavor and build overcame my bias.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 Despite its short size there is a great deal of rich, bold flavor. I highly recommend this cigar for anyone.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 I look forward to finding out what these cigars are. I would only suggest them to a “real smoker.”
9.0 VERY GOOD

CigarCyclopedia!

FITTIPALDI GOLD SERIES Churchill
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Corporacion Cigar Export
Size:
7 x 48
Filler:
DR
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Conn
Panelist #1 Consistent but not impressive. An even smoke that did not make too much of an impression, good or bad.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 My palate tends towards stronger, more assertive cigars, this is neither, but for what it was, it was good.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 Enjoyable cigar with decent intensity and strength. The longer you smoke the richer and more intense it got.
9.4 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 Slightly disappointed by how dry it was and the messy ash. The complex, peppery flavors made up for it.
9.2 EXCELLENT

SAVINELLI FUERTE Corona
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Savinelli USA
Size:
5 3/4 x 44
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 A very average cigar. Good for a quick “throw-away” but not something to suggest to friends.
8.5 GOOD
Panelist #2 This little cigar is a real gem. It would make a nice mid-afternoon smoke at work.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #3 It’s alright, certainly nothing I would spend a lot of money on, but a nice quick smoke.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 I like a good strong looking, strong tasting cigar. This is not it, but it is also not a bad smoke.
8.9 VERY GOOD

CHAMUCO PLATINUM Belicoso
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Chamuco Cigars
Size:
6 x 54
Filler:
Hon/Nic
Binder:
Mexico
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 Cigar started out a bit overwhelming but mellowed a few puffs in and became very nice.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 The flavor was smooth but the aroma was a little harsh and bitter for me. Poorly constructed.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 A reasonably good smoke, though the flavors were a little overshadowed by a poor scent.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 There was a nice overall flavor to this cigar, but due to its construction I would not spend much on it.
8.9 VERY GOOD

CUBAN CRAFTERS CABINET SELECTION Toro
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Cuban Crafters
Size:
6 x 52
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Ecu
Panelist #1 A strong cigar with superior character. I recommend to all who enjoy bold smoke that isn’t overbearing.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #2 A rich and bold cigar that is a little strong in my book. That said, if you like a strong stick, pick one up.
8.8 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 A full-bodied cigar that maintained an even flavor for the duration. I’d buy it if the price was right.
9.2 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 A flavorful cigar that had lots of creamy smoke and thick body. The construction was flawless.
9.3 EXCELLENT

MONTECRISTO EDICION LIMITADA 2006 MADURO Robusto
Country:
Cuba
Manufacturer:
Habanos S.A.
Size:
4 7/8 x 50
Filler:
Cuba
Binder:
Cuba
Wrapper:
Cuba
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 A good cigar that would certainly appeal to many smokers, I am not that smoker though.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 A dry, hot smoke that burned quick and strong. I would want to smoke it with something sweet to balance it.
9.3 EXCELLENT
Panelist #4 Don’t be fooled by its small stature, this is a little powerhouse stick that will knock a newbie on his butt.
9.2 EXCELLENT

CanadianCigars.Com

OLIVA SERIE O Robusto
Country:
Nic
Manufacturer:
Oliva Cigar Co.
Size:
5 x 50
Filler:
Nic
Binder:
Nic
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 Nothing great. If you know cigars this would be average smoke. A very good cigar for beginners though.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A clean-flavored smoke. The taste and construction are both very good and I wouldn’t mind buying them.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 A delicious cigar. I would buy a box for myself but would be nicer if someone bought them for me.
9.0 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 I enjoyed the flavors but had to take it outside because the smoke itself was a little funky smelling.
8.8 VERY GOOD

ADAN Y EVA Torpedo
Country:
DR
Manufacturer:
Eden's Gate
Size:
6 1/8 x 52
Filler:
DR
Binder:
DR
Wrapper:
Nic
Panelist #1 This was a great after-dinner cigar until the bitter finish. The finish and aftertaste were both overpowering.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #2 A real tough cigar to get through. It had sweet, rich flavors but got very hot. I would not buy one.
8.6 VERY GOOD
Panelist #3 I’m certain that someone would be a fan of this cigar, personally I prefer a more relaxed/subtle smoke.
8.9 VERY GOOD
Panelist #4 Not my favorite cigar, but I tend to like a mild smoke. Great for people who like strong smokes.
9.0 VERY GOOD


The El Original


Continued on next page...
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