Sunday 8 November 2009

Review - Brun del Re Premium Churchill - 88/100

The Brun del Re Premium Churchill has a smooth wrapper with a golden twist. Nicely rolled although construction can vary from cigar to cigar.

As its brother in the Colonial line, it has a distinct marker of Costa Rican style cigars, but is simultaniously a totally different story. Within its medium body, you can find spice and cedar wrapped in creamy and sweet tobacco. a Nicely balanced smoke with some complexity. The finish could be longer.

All in all, The Premium Churchill is an easy going cigar, which can easily be picked by a beginner and a veteran alike. Although the cigar does not offer any mind blowingly deep experience, it is a great cigar to enjoy at any time of day. Easy to approach, easy to enjoy and easy to like.

Origin: Costa Rica

Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nigaragua

POINTS: 88/100 points

Review - Brun del Re Colonial Churchill - 84/100

This Costa Rican Churchill has a nice oily wrapper with a mild red hue. It is pleasant to the nose but seems to be somewhat inconcistently rolled. You can find looser and tighter spots on the cigar just by feeling it with your fingers.

The flavor starts with a selection of earthy tones followed by some bitterness on the edges. After the uneven start, the cigar developes to represent toasty and roasted flavors and evens down from the heavy earthiness. From there on, the cigar does not develop much along the way, but keeps the nice powerful taste to the end.

Although the balance is little off, leaning towards powerful tobacco taste on expense of complexity, the cigar has a solid white ash, an even enough burn and a good draw. Over all a decent cigar with a Costa Rican signature. The blend would probably work better in a smaller size, as it could turn it into a nice occasional relaxation to be enjoyed instead of the monster chuchrill making it a little difficult to approach.

Origin: Costa Rica

Wrapper: Costa Rican Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nigaragua

POINTS: 84/100 points

Saturday 7 November 2009

Cigars Time Humidors - Milan's Finest

Cigars have a long and winding history - the traditions of cigar manufacturing go back for a few hundred years. During that time, cigars and tobacco have travelled all over the world and back again, and many countries and cities in Europe have developed into hot spots of cigar culture and life style.

The city of Milan, in Northern Italy, is no doubt to be concerned as one of the top cigar cities in Europe. There are several outstanding cigar stores as well as private lounges to treat even the most discriminating aficionado. This fall, I was privileged to spend a couple of days in sunny Milan, as a guest of Mr. Alberto de Munari, owner and manager of DeArt, a custom furniture and interiors company and its side branch Cigars Time humidors.

It is not very farfetched to describe cigar manufacturing and smoking as a form of art. The passion and dedication which goes into making and enjoying quality cigars is overwhelming. Nowhere else have I experienced such an atmosphere as amongst fellow aficionados and cigar enthusiasts. This passion and dedication is also present in everything Cigars Time humidors have to offer.

The Company, DeArt, was established in over 40 years ago by grandfather of Alberto, producing clocks and barometers. Even then, it was clear that everything the company was to produce, would have a clear mark of quality and prestige. From there on, the company has developed into a highly recognized manufacturer of i.e. custom furniture, interior designs, clocks and luxury yacht furnishing – as well as a producer of state of the art cigar humidors. Amongst the customers of DeArt, are for example royalty and statesmen from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Russia, USA and Kazakhstan. Not forgetting cigar collectors and retailers from all over the world.

What makes Cigars Time and their humidors extraordinary, is the skill and dedication, in which the traditional art and principals of storing cigars is intertwined with modern technology and uncompromised aim for perfection. The Cigars Time products range from medium capacity cigar cabinets to huge walk-in humidors and all the way to complete cigar shop solutions - All hand made in the company’s factory near Milan. One gain on the company’s long list of gains to the customer is also its impeccable and flexible servicing. “It is after all a matter of protecting our customers property”, said Alberto. Easy access to replacement parts and quick deliveries ensure that the cigars do not take the hit if a humidification system breaks down in customer’s walk-in. And we might are talking big money there.

As I said, on top of respecting traditions, Cigars Time is all about high tech and harnessing it to create additional value to customers. You can choose from a wide range of accessories and environmental controls to fit your cabinet. The offerings are static humidification, electronic humidity control and total thermo-electric environment system called “Total Clima”. “We always try to find new ways to implement new technology into our humidors”, Alberto answered, as I was admiring a limited edition Afrika cabinet with Total Clima, LED lights, and gorgeous design. In the future, there are plans to introduce i.e UV protected glass and mini-sized cooling systems, maybe based on magnetic energy. Despite all this hype on high tech it is a matter of honor to Alberto to keep his manufacturing on a hand-made boutique level, not aiming for large scale to ensure the quality of the products and to emphasize on the total service for the customer.

Cigars Time’s products can be found all over Italy and the World. As a part of my brief visit to Milan, I had the opportunity to see a few spots with their doings involved. On the first day I got to visit Lugano, Switzerland and one of their sites of total cigar shop design equipped with a walk-in with environment control. I also got to have a great lunch and a few great smokes at the La Casa de Habanos in Milan – also with Cigars Time’s walk in solution. Not forgetting the several cabinets in several tabaccherias scattered around Milan.

On a more leisurely side of the trip, I got to enjoy Alberto’s overwhelming hospitality and to witness the scenery and great food of Lombardia.

Cigars Time is really all about the customers and their love of cigars - Only the best will do. And with tradition, skill and fearless exploitation of modern technology, Cigars Time succeeds to offer only the best. No wonder Cigars Time is called the Ferrari of humidors in Italy.

Visit or for more information.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

E. P. Carrillo - Renowned, Re-organized, Renewed

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo's history and accomplishments in the world of cigars are known to many. But if you are not familiar with his creations, i suggest you dig up some information about the man himself, the la Gloria Cubana brand and Swedish Match Co.

Now, after a long and productive period with Swedish Match, Ernesto is on his own again - Well, sort of. Together with his son Ernie and daughter Lissette, he has established the EPC Cigar Co. A family business aimed to create something spectacular and to please even the most discriminating cigar aficionado.

Fortunately, i was able to get an interview with the busy man himself.

According to Ernesto, it is a huge joy to see the next generation so enthusiastic about the company and cigar industry. He obviously respects them for taking the leap of faith and jump aboard. He is even relieved to say, that the daily business runs smoothly within the family and personal aspects can easily be left outside the business, whenever necessary.

The new company will base its philosophy on old family traditions brought to the present time through innovations and creativity. This means that the production process and all included will be honouring the centuries old art of cigar making, as well as respecting the long Carrillo family history, but with blends and tastes which reflect the lifestyle of the present times and generations.

"There is no point in recreating the La Gloria Cubana blend or similar traditional brand, as that has been seen already, and new things await.",
he stated.

And i believe the cigar enthusiasts will agree. Together, as a family, they are working to build a new concept, not only through the cigars themselves, but also through active online marketing, social networks, packaging, sales etc. According Ernesto, they will not, however, aim to be a large scale cigar manufacturer, but try to remain boutique.

Their first release will be a limited edition of one size only called The E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009, sized 5 3/8" x 52 - Robusto. Only 2500 boxes of ten cigars will be made every month from December 2009 to April 2010. It will be available in December 2009 in the USA, and many retailers are already taking pre-orders on the cigars.

The E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009 will be an interesting mix of different kind of tobacco: minimum of 2 years aged Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos and an unique, very limited, 3-year-aged Ecuadorian wrapper found through some friends in the business. The cigar also has two binder leaves, a Nicaraguan and a Dominican, both aged for 5 years.

To my experience on a prototype sample, it is to be a cigar with a medium body and medium strength. Most importantly, the cigar is packed with an ever changing flavour profile and an absolutely perfect balance. changing from creamy to sweet, reaching for wood and leather, even with some fruity whispers on the background.

"It will suit the tastes of most cigar smokers," said Ernesto. "It is a medium bodied, smooth and creamy smoke, which has rich, vibrant flavors and an intoxicating aroma."

The core line of the EPC Cigar Co. will be coming out in April 2010 with a wider range of vitolas. And, obviously, with distinct signature flavours from Mr. Carrillo.

With all the passion which Ernesto and his family have for cigars, and with all the know-how and history behind them, i am certain, that we will see a lot of future classics coming out from their cigar factory.

Thursday 15 October 2009

Cohiba Gran Reserva Siglo VI - Cuban flamboyance


The Cohiba Gran Reserva Siglo VI is now available at LCDH Hamburg.

When this cigar was first launched during the 2009 Habanos Festival it caught highest attention - which is something that I did not see for many years. Some funny story about this very special cigar happened at a private dinner in Havana the night before the Festivals Farewell Gala. After the main course I took out the Gran Reserva I was given as sample to check it out. James Suckling, Cigar Aficionado’s man in Havana, looked at the cigar and could not resist to ask what is was. I could not even finish my answer when he grabbed MY cigar, smoked half way through it and was blown off his socks. That cigar is the one he rated 100 points Now, back to the cigar.

The Cohiba Gran Reserva Siglo VI is a unique cigar as no current Havana has this unique taste. The El Laguito (Cohiba) cigar factory made cigars are blended with a very special and nowadays hard to find Ligero. This rare and special Ligero leaf is hand picked one by one from the finest bunches of aged tobacco - the best of the best! That special Ligero leaf is THE secret behind the unique taste of the Cohiba Gran Reserva. The ones of you smoking Havanas since the late 1980’s might remember the heavy taste of wet soil blended into sweet tobacco flavour - that comes close to what I think makes this cigar to a great one.

If there is any Havana cigar you should try it is this one. You will never forget the fantastic flavour this Havana cigar produces….

Available as singles and in boxes of 15

Friday 25 September 2009

ASH 2009 - A Smoking Success ... (sort of)

The 3rd Annual charity and cigars event - ASH 2009 - was held at Tiger Night Club during th last week end of August. At the same time, the name was chaged from Autumn Smoke Herf to August Smoke Herf - still ASH ...

As a result of the vacation season and the flu season hitting us at the same time, participation was limited to a good few. 20 odd people were enjoying great cigars, good friends and delicious drinks for a few precious hours. All the sponsored cigars were smashing hits and a decent amount of money was raised for charity. Thank you everyone for your donations!

I will post reviews on every sponsored cigar as soon as i get some time to do the writing. Stay tuned.

ASH 2010 will probably be held at the same place, and hopefully with more people involved. Nevertheless, i had a good time, and i hope everyone else did. See you next year!

Sunday 30 August 2009

Warped Cigars - Combining the Past and the Present

In the States, especially in Miami, cigar industry seems to be in a constant turmoil. Some small factories and labels gain huge demand as others fade away quietly. It is lucky for us cigar enthusiasts, that there will always be new people trying it out with new concepts.

I had a great chance to talk with one of the interesting people trying to make it or break it in the highly competitive World of Cigars. Kyle Gellis, the founder and owner of Warped Cigars, is a 20-year-old college student, born in Brewster, New York. Despite his young age, he has already been a player in the business world for several years.

So, let's take a glimpse into the mind behind Warped Cigars:

World of Cigars: Tell me a little about your background.

Kyle Gellis: I Started my first company Warped Kustoms when I was 14, supplying headwear for the paintball industry. Then, I started Trend Clothing Co. when I was 17, and been dealing with internet retail since I was 14. I am a Full time college student, majoring in Marketing in Florida.

WoC: When did you get into cigars?

Kyle: My father smoked cigars when I was a kid, I was extremely interested in the whole concept, from the humidors to the smell of them. I couldn't wait till he got home, he would let me cut and light his cigar for him. I had my first cigar when I was 16 from a cruise to the bahamas, was a Monte No. 2 from the cigar shop in Atlantis. When I turned 18, the first cigar I bought was a Padilla Miami (the old ones by Pepin) and been history since then.

WoC: Tell me about the early days of Warped Cigars.

Kyle: I started Warped Cigars in August of 2008. I live 90 miles from Little Havana, so I went down one day to learn more about the art, ended up coming out with more knowledge and appreciation then I ever had before. Once you go through the blending process, rolling you really get a much better appreciation for the art. I found a small family run factory that was willing to give me a shot when a bunch of other factories turned me down.

WoC: What kind of different blends do you have?

Kyle: Currently we have 3 blends. Anubis, Osiris and Private Blend.

WoC: Is Warped carried in retail stores?

Kyle: Currently it is not. I started strictly with the support of the online community, remain solely selling my cigars online. While I hope to change this very soon, right now its just not in the cards. I am on alot of cigar forums, reading what people are looking for and personally interacting with the members to see what they want. When I first started Warped, I had the support of my good friends over at PBN, who saw Warped come up from idea to finished product and gave me their opinions all the way. I have to give a shout out to everyone over at PBN, you know I love you guys.

WoC: What do you look for in a cigar?

Kyle: Flavor and aroma just like everyone else. I am not one for if the burn is straight or not while I know its important to alot of people, I have a lighter I will fix it, if it needs correcting. I like my cigars with a lot of spice and earthy flavors, that fruity sweet you find in Cubans. I believe the Hoyo line is the best example of fruity sweet, while smoking a Hoyo EL 07 it was like a creamy blueberry flavor that I just cant get enough of. I really want to attempt to re create that creamy fruity flavors in my future lines.

WoC: What is your favorite size?

Kyle: Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46), hands down. Its a perfect fit for my hand, has the perfect ratio. Some people say I'm obsessed with the size, I am. Every line I do will have a Corona Gorda, because its a classic size that not a lot of people offer. I am not into large RG cigars, while that is the current trend, I don't follow it. The biggest RG you will see from me is a 52 for a Belicoso.

WoC: What cigars do you enjoy besides your own?

Kyle: When im not smoking my own, I usually only smoke Tatuaje and Pepin's brands and Cuban. I pretty much stick to what I know wont ever let me down. But I never turn down an opportunity to try something new. I will say I am smoking alot of the Epernay from Illusione, Dion created a beast with those.

WoC: What do you love about the cigar culture?

Kyle: The people! Never before have I met such people that are so welcoming, its like we are all old friends. Even the brand owners are the same. While I have not met a lot of brand owners, I have met Pete Johnson at an event in Orlando, I sat with Pete and we talked for 3 hours almost exclusively with my friend Ryan. We talked about his future ideas, my brand and everything else. That day was probably the most memorable cigar day I had yet. In my old industry, that would never happen you are brushed aside like you are nothing. I hope when I am done with college I can get out there and do events and meet alot more people.

WoC: So whats in the future for Warped?

Kyle: Alot, I hope. Currently I have 4 brand ideas I would like to release them in late 2009 and early 2010. I really want to work with Pepin and Jaime (Garcia Family) to create the 4 brands. I know they could help me take the ideas and create exactly what my crazy mind wants. They are coming out with amazing things. Working with them would be an honor to me. Hell just to be allowed to learn from them would be good for me! I am always wanting to learn more and more.

WoC: What comes after college?

Kyle: I want to continue with Warped, expand my clothing company Trend, produce my own Cognac (I am a huge cognac enthusiast). I dream big, want to make my dreams a reality. When I day dream, I dream about a blend I want to create or what I am looking for in a cognac, etc. My mind is constantly on work mode, has been since I was 14 when I started my first company.


Review - Warped Private Blend Petit Corona - 89/100

The Private Blend from Warped Cigars is another great cigar from a small company. It has a nice glowing dark brown wrapper and a beautiful triple cap. With a solid construction and an intoxicating chocolatey cold aroma, it captivates from the start.

The cigar offers a mixture of flavours, which evolve from one second to the other. First, dark roasted coffe with hints of black pepper plays the leading role, supported by tobacco flavour with sharp edges. In the Second act, the loose draw offers a variation with some fruitiness and a rounder view on the tobacco in the supporting role. The finale is earthy and offers a cedary finish.

This medium to full bodied small cigar offers a great value to the money, five pack being only under 30 USD. One of the cigars on my "return to these" list.

Origin: USA

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nigaragua

POINTS: 89/100 points

Review - Warped Anubis Maduro Corona Gorda - 87/100

This Corona Gorda, named after the Egyptian god of mummification and afterlife, has a beautiful, oily, dark brown wrapper. The cigar has a great feel to the hand, although a slight change in its firmness can be detected throughout the stick. The triple cap, well known from Cuban cigars, is also worth admiring.

The prelight aroma and flavor are mild and do not have any particular character taking over any others. What comes to the burn and draw, they could be better, but offer no reason for any bigger complaints. The draw was loose, but offered a generous amount of smoke with that and the burn was a bit off, but either corrected itself or was easily taken care of with a lighter.

First draw was woody and full of medium bodied tobacco flavour. Through the start, the character of the cigar became more clear with coffee and pepper with some woody notes. Reaching the half point marker the cigar really took off, and offered great variations in intensified coffee and pepper with creamy roundness and chocolatey whispers. Something about the cigar reminded me of a young Ramon Allones Specially Selected, but can't put my finger on it. The final third was a bit off with acids and bitter tones.

Well done for a small USA based company. Warped Cigars has created a very good cigar with an extremely affordable price of 5 USD per stick. Overall expression is, that this cigar is worth more than its price. I will be getting back to these for sure...

Origin: USA

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nigaragua

POINTS: 87/100 points

Friday 28 August 2009


As a byproduct of the ASH 2009 charity event, i have decided to make unique and customizable Charity Dog Tags available for all of you.

In genuine U.S. army design, the Dog Tags are available, either with default "ASH 2009/Children's Hospital" text OR with your "custom text/Children's Hospital text". So one tag is customizable with 5 lines of 15 characters (spaces are characters too). The rubber silencers are also available in multiple colours (camouflage also available).

Every cent from these buggers will be directly donated to the Lastenklinikka Children's Hospital in Helsinki, Finland.

Please allow a small delay in handling and shipping, as i have to bundle some orders before i can do anything...

Prices are as follows:

Default (ASH/Charity texts , any color rubber silencers, chains)
18 EUR / 25 USD

Custom (Custom/Charity texts, any color silencers, chains)
20 EUR / 28 USD


Always open for ideas...

To order yours, Please send your information with shipping address to and i will follow up with detailed payment and other info.

Available payment methods are bank transfer and paypal

Please, do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions at all...





In subjects related to cigars, you can now reach me at directly or via the "contact me" button in the navbar!

Please, use this e-mail instead of any you may have for reaching me from before...


Thursday 13 August 2009

ASH 2009 - Update


As the Dawn of ASH 2009 is closing in, i thought it would be a perfect time for an update. Nothing dramatically changed - One new sponsor. Now we have Puros Indios/Reyes Family, EO Brands/601, Maya Selva, Vintage Chic and Bucanero along for the ride!

As usual, Donations for charity 10 EUR or more will be greeted with quality cigars. I have also a collectors item Cigar CUtter for sale, as well as raffle tickets for a box of cigars to sell! all cool stuff... spread the word!

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Cuban Cigar Walk London - Smoke and the City

London is known for its long history and as the "cigar capital" of the World. Nowhere else can you find such a combination of historical sights, high quality shopping, arts, sports and other passtime, such as Cuban Cigars. The city's many cigar stores, open air bars and patios and gentlemens' clubs offer a cigar smoker refuge from the total annihilation of the freedom of choice. You just need to know where to look. And to help you get the best of the city, there is now a great tool out there.

The Audio Guide - Cuban Cigar Walk London - by Cities in Sound offers a simple and affordable solution to introduce you to some of the best cigar related spots London has to offer. All you have to do is simply download the audio guide in mp3 format and put it on your iPod (or what you prefer) and by following the map provided, just hop along the route as guided. Oh, and buy the flights and book a hotel too...

I was really lucky to have booked a trip to London already before i was introduced to the walk. Now, i got to experience the walk first hand and actually visit the places on the guide, rather than relying on my vague memories from my previous visits. Although the entire walk is very manageable for a full day's leisure, i had to improvise to some extent as i was strolling along with my wife and son (under 2 years old). So, I cut some corners, but i think that is the beauty of this audio guide too as it gives you the freedom to choose what you want to see and modify the walk according your needs and interests.

Not going too much to the detail of all the stops along the walk, as you should see them for yourself, i had a really great time. I started from the Churchill & Roosevelt statue, skipping Sautter of Mount Street, walked around the Berkeley Square and took a full stop at the Alfred Dunhill at Bourdon House (previously belonged to the Duke of Westminster).

Then, continued following the voice of the guide, later heading through the Burlington Arcade and finally ending up on St James's Street. There i visited two supreme cigar shops - Davidoff of London and Fox of St. James. At Davidoff I even got to watch a talented cuban cigar roller Armando Rissoto do his magic and to smoke a freshly rolled cigar. Needless to say that was nice...

All in all, a great walk with a superb audio guide, introducing London and its secrets with enthusiasm and overall expertise. Revealing details not all people know. Giving any cigar smoker visiting London a good view on the best the Capital of the World of Cigars has to offer.

Highly recommended!