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...