Category Archives: Cigar Reviews

Ashton VSG Robusto Especial Review

Ashton VSG copy

I don’t know about you, but for me, smoking a cigar is usually a pleasurable experience, a moment to kick back, relax and enjoy the company of like-minded people, whether a first time meeting or a long-time friend. But every once in a while, smoking a cigar can provide a complete spiritual awakening and cast a new light on all things around you. Don’t believe me? Then go smoke the Ashton VSG Robusto Especial, because this cigar is one of the best cigars I have smoked, EVER!

Before I get into the juicy goodness of this bad boy, let me give you a little background on the Ashton VSG (virgin sun grown). This 5.5×50 robusto is filled and binded with four to five-year old Dominican tobacco grown on the Fuente family’s plantation while the wrapper is grown on the Oliva family’s private estate in Ecuador exclusively for the Fuente family so they can make the VSG. What makes this cigar special is that it was blended for Ashton by cigar genius and master blender Carlos Fuente, Jr.

Now to the good stuff, the cigar. The goodness of the VSG begins immediately with strong sweet and sour flavors that are backed up with a hint of spice. The complexity of this cigar is truly amazing in that it is a strong cigar, but very smooth and the strength of the flavor changes with each puff. The draw and burn are perfect through the first third.

The second third of the cigar has the same complexity, with the hints of spice in the distant background while the sweet and sour flavor takes the wheel and becomes more pronounced. Thus far a medium – full bodied smoke with a flawless burn and effortless draw.

The sweet and sour flavor mellows out in the final third of the VSG, but never completely fades away. The VSG never got hot or harsh, even towards the end of the smoke and the burn and draw remained perfect. Overall a solid medium – full bodied smoke that I would recommend to anyone, even at the $11 price tag, a five flame cigar all the way.

Speaking of flames, the staff here at The Gar Shop have been working on some new projects with the guys from Gar Starz (see garstarz.com) and have come up with a rating system all our own – The Flame Rating. In essence it works like the everyday star rating system but incorporated our own little touch, with one flame being the worst and five flames being the best. So from now on, when I give a cigar a flame rating, everyone will know what I’m talking about.

Until next time, happy smoking!

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

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Tatuaje Capa Especial Review

Tatuaje Capa copy

Today I’m reviewing the Tatuaje Capa Especial. The more Tatuajes I smoke, the more I’m becoming a fan, and this 5 5/8 x 46 Corona Gorda only solidifies that fact.

The flavor of this cigar is difficult to pinpoint initially, but it is an excellent medium to full-bodied cigar. In the first third, the Capa Especial began with a very complex flavor, like I said, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact flavor, but I’d call it leathery. Nonetheless, the cigar is very enjoyable.

In the Second third of the Capa Especial, the complex leathery flavor remains, but a hint of sweetness, akin to milk chocolate, finds its way into the fold. The burn and the draw on the cigar are excellent and still a very enjoyable smoke.

In the last third of the cigar the same leather and sweetness that presented itself in the second third remains through the end of the smoke. I find that this Sumatra wrapped cigar is an excellent product by Pete Johnson and Tatuaje. The burn is perfect and the draw was effortless. At around $9 a stick, I would be sure to buy the Tatuaje Capa Especial.

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

Drew Estate Natural Big Jucy Review

Big Jucy 2 copy

“The Rebirth of Cigars” is the mantra of Drew Estate, purveyors of such cigars as Acid, Liga Privada and Undercrown. Well, one of their newest creations has me baffled and intrigued. If the Natural by Drew Estate is the rebirth of cigars, then the rebirth is in for an interesting ride. The Natural comes in 7 sizes ranging from a tiny 3×38 to a healthy 6.5×54, but the interesting thing about this smoke is the blend, in that it has a traditional Nicaraguan binder but the filler and wrappers vary from different countries as Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, U.S., Spain, Italy, and others.

The cigar I smoked from the Natural’s selection was Big Jucy, a 5×46 corona with a mouth full of taste. Though it doesn’t explicitly say on Drew Estate’s website that it’s infused or flavored with anything, the Big Jucy’s taste in the first third can best be described as smoking a fruit roll up. It’s not a bad flavor, just very powerful and you can even get a little bit of the flavor on the pre-light draw. The construction of the cigar is great in the first third, as there were no problems with the draw or the burn.

In the second third, the tobacco flavors are still overpowered by the fruity notes of the cigar; it is much more manageable now and not so overpowering. Being that it’s a smaller smoke, it does smoke quickly as it didn’t take me long to get through the first two-thirds. Burn and draw are still perfect on the Big Jucy.

Now the last third of the Big Jucy was the best part in that the fruit flavors mellowed out and became more of a tobacco sweet taste that was rather enjoyable. The burn and the draw were great and despite not being a fan of really sweet cigars, most of the Natural was enjoyable. Overall all I’d give 3 out of 5 flames and would definitely recommend to anyone that is into flavored or infused cigars.

Until next time, Happy Smoking!

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

Tatuaje El Triunfador “Old Man and the C” Review

El Triunfador copy

I admit it; I’m a sucker for unique packaging when it comes to cigars. I’m an even bigger sucker when I find out that the unique cigar inside the unique packaging is actually a phenomenal smoke. This was the case when I smoked the Tatuaje El Triunfador Old Man and the C. To explain the Old Man and the C, it’s basically a coffin in which you get a  2008 El Triunfador lancero (which is the original release year of the El Triunfador) and then you get three more lanceros wrapped in a culebra (basically three cigars wrapped together and tied at both ends so they stay together). Now with the Old Man and the C, you’re supposed to smoke the lancero and pass the culebra amongst three friends, so I was lucky enough to have three friends, Matt, Steel Curtain Joyce and JoePa to share my cigars with.

Now I reviewed the 2008 lancero, which has a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler and sits at 7 ½ x 38, so it’s a tall, skinny sucker. The El Triunfador has a ton of flavor and it seems like it alternates between spicy and sweet on every puff. This trend continues into the second third when the sweet and spicy flavors die down a little bit, but keeps the same pattern of alternating between spice and sweet while a bit of cocoa after taste remains. The burn and draw are perfect through the second third.

In the final third, the smoke transitioned to a very strong sweet flavor that is akin to a dark fruit of some type while the spicy notes mellow out. The draw and the burn remain perfect. Overall, the 2008 El Triunfador lancero is an absolutely fantastic medium to full bodied smoke that I’d have no problem paying $30 for, especially since you’re getting four cigars in the coffin. Overall, I’d give it 4 flames. That does it for the Old Man and the C, so let us know what you think and until next time – Happy Smoking.

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

Crowned Heads Four Kicks Corona Gorda Review

Crowned Heads Four Kicks copy

Let’s face it, everyone has a rebellious streak in them. Whether you’re 16 and “We’re not going to take it” is your anthem or you’re a cigar exec that’s tired of corporate America. Well, Jon Huber, formerly of CAO, recently found his rebellious streak and fortunately for cigar lovers worldwide, the result is the Crowned Heads Four Kicks. “Four Kicks is about turning your back on the corporate machine and making your own rules.” Is how Huber describes his new cigar, which is blended and rolled by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. The stats on this smoke are as follows: The corona gorda is sized at 5 5/8 x 46, has Nicaraguan binders and fillers wrapped in Ecuadorian Habano and retails for around$7.

Now for the good stuff, the cigar! In the first third, the Four Kicks gives a square kick in the mouth with a lot of spice and earthiness and stays that way up until the end of the first third, to which it mellows out. In the second third, the smoke stays mellow and smooth through the first half of the third, then the spicy flavors pick up again, but not quite as strong. To this point the draw is effortless and the burn is a little crooked, but good.

In the final third, the Four Kicks finished with a mild spiciness and earthiness. Overall, it’s a very smooth, medium bodied cigar with a good burn and effortless draw. A solid three flames on the Mayor’s scale.

Until next time, Happy Smoking!

The Mayor

Reposted with permission from thegarshop.com

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