Thursday 31 July 2008

Tested and Reviewed - Xikar Xi3 zebrawood cutter

The Xi3 double bladed guillotine cutter by Xikar is a great example of design and engineering. It looks great, especially the zebrawood on the shiny steel. The mechanism of the blades is ingenious, but combined with the sleak form, it can be a little tricky to handle. A tleast, it requires a little time to get used to.

I have heard a few cases, where the wooden parts have come of, when dropped on the floor, but otherwise, the Xi3 seems to be safe and sound to use even in a rough spot. It feels solid to your hand, and gives you the feeling you are using your whole hands to cut instead of just your fingers.

Partly from the solid structure, rises the singe downside to this cutter. The blades, although extremely sharp and extremely powerful, are somewhat too thick and can cause pressure on the cigar. The pressure causes the cigar to give in just enough to possibly crack the wrapper and ruin the cigar. I have seen this only on a very few occasions, and it can as well be a result of something entirely different reason.

I use it, i like it

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Tested and Reviewed - An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars

Author: Min Ron Nee
Honorary Consultant: Adriano Martínez Rius
Second Reprint 2005
492 pages

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars is often referred as the "cigar bible", and is very much true to this name. It's author, Min Ron Nee, is undoubtedly one of the few true Aficionados of Cuban cigars, and happens to own one of the most amazing collection of Habanos on this planet.

Thru his wide knowledge of probably every single Cuban cigar out there, Min Ron Nee has put together an extremely wide study on the post-revolution production of Habanos and related subjects. He has described the characteristics of every cigar, and even discussed the aging potential and profile, as difficult a task that can be with published information lacking beforehand.

What goes for the book itself, the printing is flawless, pictures are beautiful, and the materials premium. All in a coherent and a concise form to give you an next to perfect reference guide to the world of Habanos.

The one thing i most like about this book is, that although in addition to hard facts it gives you (among other things) detailed descriptions on flavor profiles of certain cigars, Min Ron Nee has done this with the notion that this all is through his own personal experience and subjective opinion. As he says:

"The beauty of this world is that everybody has different beliefs, opinions and preferences. It does not matter at all whether yours are the same or different to mine."

I was fortunate to have my dear friend David Haegens at La Casa de Puros provide me with the copy reviewed here.

My point being: Get your copy and enjoy!

Thursday 10 July 2008

IPCPR 76th Annual Convention and International Trade Show

July 13 - 17, 2008

Sands Expo Center

Las Vegas Nevada

The IPCPR Annual Convention and Trade Show is the most important event of the year for tobacconists! It's your best opportunity to select the high quality products your customers expect, and to discover the new and exciting merchandise that will keep your customers coming back!

Pipe Tobacco


It's four days of buying, socializing and schmoozing. Admission to the IPCPR Trade Show is free to members of the IPCPR and is not open to the public.
more on the event as soon as i have some news from the companies that attend...

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Review - Devil's Weed Nicot - 85/100

The Corona Gorda sized Devil's Weed Nicot is made by the Molina Cigars in the Dominican Republic. Devil's weed is a small boutique brand with 6 different sizes in cabinet boxes. The cigars are all individually wrapped in paper "reminiscent of old Cuban brands that employed the same tactics".

The Ecuadorian Conneticut wrapper is light and shiny with a golden glow on it. Nicely rolled cigar by any standards. And the band is quite wicked with the Devil sticking out between the two tobacco leaves.

The smell of the unlit cigar is peppery and that of mild tobacco.

The cigar is a mild bodied treat, with an almondy flavour to the start. Woody and grassy flavours remain the basis of the cigar throughout its lenght. Hints of cream and pepper can be found in it too. The finish is woody and extremely short. A flavourful but not that complex cigar.

The Nicot has a perfect burn and a perfect draw, so full points on that...

As per its mild blend and simpler profile, the Devil's Weed Nicot is a great passtime cigar. It is probably best enjoyed over a cup of coffee or a cool lager beer. It probably will not stand up to any hefty meals or strong beverages. An afternoon smoke, if you will...

And as that, it seems to be the profile Molina Cigars was aiming at with this cigar. As they state on their website, the Devil's Weed is "blended as an "anytime-of-the day smoke"".

Origin: Dominican Republic

Construction 18/20
Appearance 18/20
Smoke/Ash 8/10
Burn 18/20
Draw 16/20
Aroma 7/10 (7,8,6)


Review - Don Gabriel Lusitanos - 86/100

From their private line of blends and sizes comes the new Don Gabriel Lusitanos. It is a nice looking canonazo sized (same as Cohiba Siglo VI) cigar.

The juicy and oily wrapper combined with the sweet tobacco smell makes your mouth water without a doubt.

The first draws seem to be a little too loose with a huge volume of smoke. Burn is ok and the draw also settles down in a while. First flavours out of the smoke are leather and cedar with a medium blend of tobacco. Proceeding down the cigar, the profile builds around a rich tobacco flavour with earthy tones and a hint of vanilla and cocoa. The finish is cedary and earthy. The balance of the cigar is unfortunately broken by some bitter and sour flavours pushing through from half way through the cigar until the end.

This cigar has the potential to be a great one, but is held back by these bitter flavours. Either some age on these will correct this issue or Don Gabriel needs to go back to the blend and fix it. Time will tell, and i will be revisiting these in the future to find out.

Origin: Gran Canaria

Construction 18/20
Appearance 19/20
Smoke/Ash 8/10
Burn 18/20
Draw 16/20
Aroma 7/10 (7,8,6)