Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays and New Year 2008 to you all!

I am enjoying this time of year tremendously! It is all about Family and Friends... And that you all are indeed. Thank you all for reading my humble opinions during the past year! I really appreciate it! I hope you'll keep reading my blog and take part into the conversation.

I truly hope you got great cigars for Chistmas presents and that you had the opportunity to smoke some in between the festivities. I myself am going to enjoy some of these beauties in the picture as soon as i get to the Ahjo Club.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Review - Cohiba Siglo VI - 95/100

The Cohiba Siglo VI is a True Cuban Cigar.

It has many times been ranked as one of the best cigars in the world by multiple publications. It has scored high on the Cigar Aficionado as well as the European Cigar Cult Journal. On the other hand, the Siglo VI has also been criticized for its changing quality in rolling. The wide range of opinions is a result of the huge demand on Cohiba cigars and through that a large scale of production in a few different factories in Cuba. The more there are people rolling these cigars, the more their quality changes from one cigar to another. That is probably a fact, that cannot be erased with the present day resources.

Anyway, whatever the conditions of production, cigars should be reviewed and scored as finished goods. There should not be any additional variables in the somewhat difficult task of scoring a cigar as fair and objectilely as possible.

To the point:

The Canonazo sized Siglo VI is a perfect cigar. It represents the Cohiba brand to the fullest in all aspects. My experience of the rolling and construction have not been anything else than great. It has a beautiful oily wrapper and its aroma is something stunning. The cigar lights up perfectly and produces beautiful firm white ash and smoke. The burn is even and cool enough to support all the flavors from the three times fermented tobacco.

The overall flavor is creamy and smooth from the beginning all the way to the end. Wrapped inside the creamy frame is a whole bunch of different flavors. First, when you light up the cigar, you notice a balanced taste of tobacco from the Vuelta Abajo district. It soon gives room to a spicy and somewhat coffee-like flavor, that seems to suite my palate perfectly.

The next thing that you'll notice as you smoke the Siglo VI further, are the fragile hints of cedar and vanilla, that rise occasionally from behind the spicy body. When closing down the end, the flavors grow stronger and give away a woody finish.

I would consider the Cohiba Siglo VI to be a full bodied Cuban Classic, that defines the Cohiba la Línea 1492 family and pretty much underlines what smoking quality cigars is all about.

Origin: Cuba

Construction 19/20
Appearance 19/20
Smoke/Ash 9/10
Burn 19/20
Draw 20/20
Aroma 9/10 (9,10,9)


Sunday, 9 December 2007

Future for Cigar Aficionados and the Cigar Business?

This is a time for some serious words.

As Finland along with the other European countries, has played a card of wide smoking bans in restaurants and other public places, private clubs and smoking lounges are the only possible way to ensure positive future prospects for the cigar business and the pleasures of quality cigars.

This has been aso addressed by the Cigar Cult Journal magazine (editorial 1/2008) and the Editors-in-Chief & Aficionados, Dr. Helmut Romé and Reinhold C. Widmayer. This is in brief, what they have said:

"In some cases ther will be an absolute smoking prohibiton in the restaurant business and in other cases the desired separation into smokers and non-smokers areas will become a reality.

However, there is no reason to fall into resignation. Nothing is achieved through moaning and complaining. What is now at stake is the use of available area of personal freedom for the fine smoke. Since pleasure smokers of cigars, unlike cigarette freaks, will not have the desire or even be able to smoke a petit corona outdoors in freezing temperatures, as this contradicts the very idea of pleasure provided by the cigar, smoking for pleasure in cigar lounges and private clubs will have to be further encouraged.

Those thinking ahead in the gastronomy and hotel trade are already readjusting step-by-step to the new smoking conditions. However, the matter cannot ramain merely with individual adjustments. The tobacconists are also being called on this respect to become involved in the developement of new legal possibilities for pleasure smoking.

Cigar smoking in the future will almost exclusively take place in these spheres. The more lounges and clubs which are existing, the more important it will become for the tobacconists to target these areas of smoking freedom with their marketing efforts.

Along these lines, the demand for cigars and pipe tobacco can again be normalized or quite possibly increased. The creating of areas of freedom forthe fine smoke is the key to the future of the specialized trade, since the people will certainly continue smoking cigars or pipes. The problem is the restriction of the possibilities which have existed up until this point to enjoy them. Only a progressive strategy can step-by-step overcome the current restriction of smoking possibilities. And this within a legal framework.

Fine smoking will also survive these times, as has already been successfully demonstrated repeatedly during the varied history of smoking."

For that, I call for tobacconists, hotels, clubs and aficionados to take action together towards enabling the future of the cigar business and pleasures of fine smoke. I am all available and ready to create genuine cooperation between products, places and customers to establish opportunities for doing business and enjoying quality cigars. Just give me the sign!

I am asking the help from all of my affiliates and friends, advertisers and readers, strangers and acquintances. Please, help me in this quest for establishing places where supply and demand can cross ways and where the individual right for the fine smoke is cherished.

Contact me, e-mail me, call me or grab me by my sleeve wen you see me and tell me what you think we can do together for our future.


Mikko Eriksson
a Concerned Aficionado
admin of http://www.worldofcigars.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Review - Illusione Cigars F9 - 91/100

The Illusione Cigars f9 is an extremely beautiful cigar. Its dark and oily wrapper is as smooth as they come and once you lay your eyes on one of these, you won't be able to leave it alone. Well, that's ok really since this cigar is ment to be smoked!

The f9 is also as close to a Cuban cigar as a non-Cuban can be. It has a similar range of full flavors and a medium to full body. From the very beginning, once you light the f9 up, you are faced by a strong tobacco flavor. The heavenly tobacco flavor is the very soul of this cigar. It turns your tongue and rattles your brain as you let the smoke play in your mouth and nose.

As the flavors develope, distinct features of spices and leather can be found . Towards the end, all these flavors revolve closely around the core tobacco flavor creating slight hints of sweetness and licorice even. The finish is a lingering taste of sweet tobacco.

After all this hype about the flavors, I think it is quite meaningless to mention, that the draw and burn were close to perfect and that the f9 created a beautiful light grey ash and white smoke.

By all these features the f9 earns a spot in my top ten as the highest ranked non-Cuban cigar to date.

Origin: Nigaragua

Construction 18/20
Appearance 19/20
Smoke/Ash 8/10
Burn 19/20
Draw 18/20
Aroma 9/10 (8,9,9)


Review - Arganese Maduro Chairman Churchill - 90/100

The Churchill sized Maduro Chairman is a great cigar. It offers all the same joys of smoking that its corona sized little brother does, but succeeds to be even better. Obviously the larger ring gauge and lenght offer more mellow and round flavors and aroma, as it burns cooler than the corona.

What comes to the flavors hidden in the smoke, this cigar starts with some burnt sugar and chocolate underlined with a woody aspect - subtle but distinct. As the cigar burns perfectly towards the second third, the flavors just jump out of it. chocolate and sugar stay onboard, but there are also hints of coffe and vanilla.

Towards the end of the cigar, the woody underlining rises up to become the leading part of the third act. All the previous aspects are there, but they now bundle up with a strong woody and earthy aftertaste. This cigar also has a great and lingering finish.

Arganese Maduro Chariman Churchill is a great mix of sweet and creamy flavors on a medium bodied package. Highly enjoyable smoke, which requires a good deal of time to be enjoyed fully.

Origin: Dominican Republic

Construction 18/20
Appearance 19/20
Smoke/Ash 8/10
Burn 19/20
Draw 18/20
Aroma 8/10 (8,9,8)


Review - Montecristo Robusto Edición Limitada 2006 - 90/100

To be honest, i have never been in such a confusion over a cuban cigar, that the Monte Robusto EL 2006 is causing me. Do not get me wrong here, it is a good cigar, but it is still so very young to be a great cigar.

The Montecristo Robusto EL 2006 is a beautiful Robusto, with a dark and oily veinless wrapper. The cap is that of a cuban top class and the construction is nothing short of perfect. I have been hearing some negative comments on the burn of this cigar, but i found no hints of any flaws either in the burn of the draw. Everything was in place as far as i see it.

The flavor starts up like a Montecristo should, strong and powerful. But the start is the only similarity to a "typical" Montecristo that you can find in this cigar. Going on to the end of the 1/3 and to the 2/3 totally changes the nature of the cigar. Charred wood, burned bread, pepper, spices and some earthy notes garther up to a strong flavor, that can scare some smokers. The finish is very rich and woody.

Now there, keep in mind that this is a very young cigar, and it tastes like one too. That explains some of the most powerfull flavors bunched up in there, and that is what makes this cigar so confusing. It does not taste like a great cigar, but i am 100% sure it will be one in a couple of years.

The Montecristo Robusto EL 2006 is deninitely worth trying when young. If not for the flavor, then at least to educate you on what a young cigar tastes like. And when you smoke one of them with a couple of years on it, you will definitely see what time does to a cigar, and why i am giving this cigar such a high score.

So, some of the points are given on the pontential with aging. Let's see in a few years if i have to give it a higher score (i truly believe lower is not an option)... You can shoot me if you disagree...

Origin: Cuba

Construction 18/20
Appearance 18/20
Smoke/Ash 9/10
Burn 18/20
Draw 19/20
Aroma 8/10 (7,8,8)


Cigars of ASH 2007 - Arganese and Illusione

As i have described in some of my previous posts about the ASH 2007 , the cigars were provided by Arganese Cigars and Illusione Cigars. Thank you once again guys...

These cigars got some good reviews from the quests and some great insights too. I will post my own evaluations as separate reviews, but here are some comments about the cigars from our guests...

The Arganese Conneticut Ambassador Torpedo was considered to be a mild cigar. Even so mild, that some of the more weathered guests thought they were too mild. But then, that is what the cigar really is. The Ambassador blend makes the cigar light in body and creamy in flavor. This cigar was thought to be at its best with cigar beginners and maybe as a lunch smoke, when strong full bodied cigars might be too much. Nevertheless, some of our guest, who were a little less familiar with the world of cigars, thought they were great. (65 to 75 points /100)

The Arganese Maduro Churchill Chairman received some great reviews from the guests. Most of them liked everything about it. But then, what is there not to like: great in appeareance, aroma and flavor... As a medium-bodied cigar, this was pleasant for everyone. Its chocolaty tones with coffee-like hints got many thumbs up and some wide smiles. (70 to 85 points /100)

Both of these above mentioned cigars are a steady Arganese quality. Nice looking smokes which find their fans easily and with a wide range of cigar smokers.

The Illusione Cigars F9 was a success amongst all the more experienced cigar smokers. It was considered to be a flavourful and balanced smoke with some characteristics of Cuban cigars. As a full bodied smoke it suited the aficionados better thatn the beginners, who considered it too strong for their taste. What everyone agreed on these smokes was the beutiful, oily and dark wrapper which gave no room for anything less than full points on appearance. (80 to 90 points /100)

Please stand by for my own opinions on the smokes...

The Mediterranean Cruise - Part 3 - Civitavecchia-Genoa

Long time no see...

I am terribly sorry about the fact, that i have not been able to update this blog as often as i would have wanted to. It is just that all the big things in life seem to come in groups rather than one at a time. I will however try to find the time to write posts as often as i can. I intent not to let this blog wither away...

Anyway, now to the point.

On our lovely Mediterranean cruise, we strated our way from Civitavecchia towards the beautiful city of Genoa in Italy.

Genoa is, as i said, a beautiful city full of history and bustling with life. It is an interesting mix of historical beauty and modern day Italy. The city offers something for everyone, no matter if you should be looking for tours in old churches, long walks by the bautiful Mediterranenan seaside or some quality shopping. It is all there.

After spending the day in Genoa, we heade back for our ship, had a little afternoons rest and prepared for the entertainment in the evening.

Onboard, we enjoyed a full 5 courses dinner and some fine beverages while watching the ship leave the port of Genoa. As the evening grew darker outside, we finished our dinner and headed to the theater onboard to listen to some classical music in honor of the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

Afterwards, it was time for the last drinks of the evening and, ofcourse, the cigar of the day. I headed to the Ambassador Cigar Lounge and lit up an Ashton VSG Corona Gorda. A good cigar which could be a bit more complex thou. Half bodied, somewhat sweet in aroma, a little too easy to turn sour on you. Anyways, I enjoyed it a lot, and after that, tried to catch some sleep before seeing yet another beautiful city along our journey...

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Some RASS and Siglo VI

Life is looking good. In addition to the fact, that i have my humidors full of beautiful and delicious cigars, I now have even more!

The thanks go to the extremely friendly people at the Paul-Bugge.com online cigarshop. For a seal of a starting cooperation, i got a box of Ramon Allones Specially Selected and 2 x 3 packs of Cohiba Siglo VI Tubos. Great cigars both of them! So, Thank you very very much...

Please stand by for some more stories from the mediterranean and the ASH2007...

PS. I am extremely sorry i have and probably will not be posting as much as in the past for a while, since i am very tied to some boring tasks at the office...

see you soon!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Been There, Done That - ASH 2007

Hello Hello,

On October 5th we finally got together and celebrated the excellent aromas and flavor of various cigars at the Ahjo NightClub. The place was great, drinks were excellent, people showed up with numbers exceeding my expectations and the cigars were awesome. What more can you want from your first ever organized cigar gettogether?

At the Ahjo, we had a part of the Black Lounge reserved just for us, so that we could enjoy our smoke in peace and so that other customers were not forced to participate through passive smoking (although the Black Lounge was reserved for smokers).

The Ahjo Club:

Finnish Veen Mineral Water:

French A. De Fussigny XO Cognac - 4cl in a Cigar Tube:

So I had my Arganese and Illusione cigars, flyers and World of Cigars review sheets with me and i quickly made the spotless desing lounge look like we had been there celebrating for years...

Arganese, Illusione and Bucanero (in the Partagas Box) Cigars:

The Mess:

What made me extremely happy was the fact, that some represents of the more beautiful gender showed up. Even if it is a generally known fact, that cigar aroma is not as appealing to most women as it is to men. It is always great to meet new Sisters of the Leaf! It adds more color to the dark and cloudy group of sturdy men.


The Men in the Dark:

More Men: Arno, Mikko, Veli-Matti, Martti and Lauri:

So, there we were, lighting up our cigars, drinking some great drinks and enjoying each others company, talking about everything under the sun.

Arno Lighting the Next One Up:

Some Beauty With the Beasts: Oona, Manni and Ilari (not a beauty though):

That is Me on the Right:

As I got some cigars from my sponsors Arganese and Illusione, i thought it might be a good idea to give people the same review templates I use for the blog and ask them kindly fill them up. It worked great! People reviewed every different kind of cigar during the night, and i intent to post some of their comments in the near future as i review the cigars myself. I promise, that their opinions will shine through in the reviews.

Martti Filling Up the Review Sheet, Piia Enjoying the Arganese Maduro Chairman Churchill:

Here is a couple of photos by Martti, who also had a camera on him. These photos prove, that smoking cigars is all about the experience: the taste, feel, fragrance and - as seen below -aesthetics.




All in all, we had a great time, and as such, decided to keep the good times rollin'. I am already counting down to the next Autumn Smoke Herf - ASH 2008.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

ASH 2007 countdown - the new poster

Here is the new poster for the ASH 2007 event.
Updated the sponsors and made minor adjustments to the appearance...

Sponsoring the event are now Arganese Cigars from the Dominican Republic and Illusione Cigars from Nigaragua. Also huge thanks go to the Ahjo Bar&NightClub...

A little more than a week to go!

Friday, 21 September 2007

The Mediterranean Cruise - Part 2 - Helsinki-Civitavecchia

Helsinki - Fiumicino

Rise and shine! Early flight commands an early wake up. 5 am is a bit too early in my books, but for as good a reason as this I am willing to stand on my head if it is what it takes. The flight from Helsinki to Fiumicino Airport in Italy takes around three hours, and everything went smoothly all the way. In the air we luckily had a change to catch some sleep and good reading. I personally enjoyed the August issue of the Cigar Aficionado I had grabbed from the airport.

Fiumicino - Civitavecchia

This time, we did not have the opportunity to visit Rome, since our boarding was due in the early afternoon. From the airport we got a ride to take us to the Port of Civitavecchia, north of Fiumicino and Rome. It was nice to watch the countryside of Italy to pass behind the windows of the air conditioned car. The trip to Civitavecchia took about an hour, and as such, it was a pleasant experience. Closing down the seaside and the port, a humid breeze rose from the warm waves of the Mediterranean Sea. On the horizon, you could see the deep blue of the clear sky taking turns with the golden glimmer of the sun applying gentle brush strokes on the canvas of the beautiful sea.

Boarding the MSC Sinfonia

When we got to the embarkation area, we noticed that we were there early and had to wait for about two hours to get onboard. Thank god there were refreshments and, even more so, thank god I had a good book with me. Finally our turn to board the ship came and we were welcomed very warmly and with a high standard of service. We headed up to our cabins and got all our stuff out of our luggage. Then we headed for a tour around the ship.

Nice indeed.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

The Mediterranean Cruise - Part 1

As you know, i have been cruising the Mediterranean last week. Above you can find the route we took onboard the MSC Sinfonia. The flights were from Helsinki, Finland to Rome, Italy and vice versa. From Rome we drove to Civitavecchia, Italy and there we boarded the beautiful MSC Sifonia, which would become our home for the week at sea.

From Civitavecchia we sailed to Genoa, Italy - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Valencia, Spain - Valletta, Malta - Tunis, Tunisia and finally back to Civitavecchia. We had one day at sea between Valencia and Valletta.

Along the next few posts of the cruise, i will tell you a little of every day onboard, every port visited and every cigar smoked on the cruise. Please bare with me through the journey and please also have some patience if my posts take a little time... I hope you get even a little hint of the good times we had onboard. I will also post some pictures along the way, so that you can also enjoy the beauty of the European and African cities along the Mediterranean sea...

Welcome aboard!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Full Sails

After a few hours i will be off to Rome, and from there i will start my luxurious week onboard the MSC Sinfonia on the mediterranean sea. Next time you'll here from me, i have smoked many great cigars more and hopefully cathed some sun.

if you have wuestions you might have about my trip, please do not hesitate to contact me.

peace out

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Cruising on the Mediterranean Sea

Greetings to you all!

There will be a minor pause to my writings here between 9th and 17th September. During that period i will be enjoying the rest of the European summer on a Mediterranean cruise.

After the trip i will, however, have loads and loads of things to write about. I hope that you will be here even after i return!

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, 3 September 2007

ASH 2007

As you might have noticed, i have been putting together this Autumn Smoke Herf for some of my friends and a few cigar lovers. Everything seems to be going ok for this project.

Arganese Cigars http://www.arganesecigars.com/ has promised to participate by offering some samplers and information packages. Also the luxurious Klaus K Hotel and its Bar&Nightclub Ahjo http://www.ahjoclub.fi/ have offered me their premises for this event.

I will be updating the poster on my page soon with some vital information. And you can count on the fact, that although i am pretty tied up the next two weeks, i will be trying to update information of this event as it comes together. And obviously i will write a full story after the happening. If you want more information about this, please do not hesitate to send me e-mail!

AND IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE! - send me e-mail!!!

peace out!

Monday, 27 August 2007

Review - Bucanero La Noche Robusto - 61/100

Well... There is not much to write about the Bucanero La Noche Robusto. It is a Bundled cigar, made by hand from cut tobacco. The blend is that of "their finest maduros".

And maduro this cigar truly is... The color is nearly that of an Oscuro. And the taste is far too sweet throughout the whole cigar. While this is a quite medium bodied cigar, the extremely sweet flavor makes it hard to finish the cigar with one sit.

I guess this goes well with people who like this type of cigars, but i personally prefer more straight forward aroma and taste...

What comes to the construction and appeareance of this Robusto, they are ok. The short filler can be detected through the wrapper, which in itself is quite beautiful.

The burn is somewhat uneven and the draw is fine.

All in all, i will not buy more of these cigars. Simply not anything near my own taste in cigars.

Origin: Nigaragua

Construction 10/20
Appearance 15/20
Smoke/Ash 5/10
Burn 12/20
Draw 15/20
Aroma 4/10 (4,5,3)


Review - Montecristo 2 - 95/100

There is nothing quite like the Montecristo 2. This cigar, called the Piramide by the actual rollers of the cigars, is a great example of Cuban cigars craftmanship. It really has CUBA written on it wíth capital letters.

I really really love this cigar. The full flavor starts right from the first puff and really follows you through to the moment you lay it down to die out. This cigar offers perfect draw and excellent flavor every time - Never letting you down. That i can promise.

The Flavor start up with a rich and round tobacco flavor mixed with some cedary notes. The easy draw allows you to take big mouthfulls and let the smoke play on your tongue, but the large ring gauge keeps the burn cool enough not to make the cigar taste harsh at any point.

The second third offers you spicy, rich and generous flavor that intensifies with every draw. some hints of almond can be detected along the way. The last third gathers up all the flavors and ties it up in some woody notes and coffee-like aroma. The great aftertaste follows you for a long time and adds value to the experience even more.

Accompanied with even burn, beautiful looks (perfect wrapper and cap), firm ash and elegant smoke, the unique flavor make this one of the most desired cuban cigars of our time. And in my humble opinion, one of the very best.

Origin: Cuba

Construction 19/20
Appearance 18/20
Smoke/Ash 9/10
Burn 19/20
Draw 20/20
Aroma 10/10 (9,10,10)


Saturday, 25 August 2007

Top Brand Cigars introducing

As you might know, i have some online retailers supporting my journey through the world of cigars. I thank them dearly and gladly post interesting stories about them here. This is a short introduction from Linda at the TopBrandCigars.com:

The idea of creating TopBrandCigars.Com was to help people experience the real taste of a cigar. It is not just about a fine smoke, it is about the smell of Cuba that we bring to your homes and clubs. Our aim is to make the Havana cigar renowned and enjoyed in every community, small or huge.

When we say that we have a rich selection and affordable prices we mean it. Visit us, put all hesitation aside and choose what YOU like or try something new. When it’s about cigars, there is always something you have to explore.

Our newest acquisition – the long-waited Cohiba Maduro 5 line. Genios, Magicos and Secretos. Wrapper leaves were aged for 5 years to create a smooth and complex aroma…

Linda Gregar,
We’re here to make a smoker’s dream come true.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Montecristo Robusto EL 06

This is my latest.

The picture is NOT taken by me but you get the point. I will contribute with my own pic as soon as I get my camera working again.

The thanks go to TopCubans.com and to Richard and Rick there...Cheers.

I smoked one of these beauties fresh from the box, and it tasted great. I wonder what rest and age will do with these cigars.

PS. I will try to post some reviews soon on different smokes Cuban and Not Cuban alike....

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Review - Don Gabriel Robusto - 83/100

The Don Gabriel Robusto is a good looking cigar. Its color is that of a roasted honey. The resemblence to the PSD4 is obvious, but it could not be mistaken for one though, not by looks nor by taste. Don Gabriel Robusto is a whole different story.

The wrapper and cap look ok, but are a little "loose". Could be a single case, but seems like the cigar has not been rolled as carefully as it could have been. Not Major issues but annoying ones nevertheless. The construction was great though.

The cigar has a great sweet, a little musky fragrance. It lights up nicely and the draw is good. The burn is quite uneven but the ash is firm and together with the smoke create a decent experience.

The flavor started sweet and light. It has very sugary body with some honey and faint leathery notes in it. There was even something fruity in the flavor.

Towards the second third of the cigar it became even more sweeter and reminded me of some maduro cigars, as though this is not one... At one point, i kind of thought of Cohiba Robusto, but it quickly faded away. When turning from the second third to the third, the taste announced itself as sugar roasted peanuts, excellent in my books.

The Don Gabriel Robusto is an affordable passtime smoke with great price value. It does not stand up against a hefty steak meal or any strong beverages, but goes great with light flavors or by itself as an afternoon smoke. Despite the minor flaws, i will definitely return to these cigars in the future.

Origin: Canary Islands

Construction 16/20
Appearance 18/20
Smoke/Ash 9/10
Burn 16/20
Draw 17/20
Aroma 8/10 (7,8,8)