Page 56 - Network Magazine Fall 2018
P. 56

 93-Rated
 93-Rated
 95-Rated
 93-Rated
 92-Rated
          STEVE ROWBOTTOM CIGAR AFICIONADO, CIGARS INTERNATIONAL
 Guardian of the Farm | JJ
At first glance, this Nicaraguan puro looks almost too simple. Fortunately, the blend is anything but. Aged Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 long-fillers marry inside a Jalapa-grown Corojo wrapper. This feisty combination of rich tobaccos produces a medium-bodied bouquet layered with wood, nuts, and pepper. The smoke is heavy, offering a creamy mouthfeel which clings to each taste bud, leaving behind a pleasing, allspice-esque fin- ish. A solid handmade.
I often overlook this cigar, despite loving it. Recently, I found a handful of them hidden deep in my humidor. Even after significant time in the humidor, the bold array of flavors I love about this cigar still shine. Deep, chewy notes of cocoa and espresso smack the palate, as a damp, wood-like nuance complements each puff. The San Andres wrapper lends a nice sweetness, while a touch of leather enters at the midway point, intensify- ing a bit towards the nub. Sweet, sweet nostalgia.
Ruination is akin to tasting the best of both Cuba and Nicaragua. A dark, ligero wrapper from Habano seeds in Ecuador sits atop a robust, long-leaf union of Nica- raguan and Honduran ligeros. Hefty and hearty spices open the bouquet, preparing my taste buds for a com- plex series of flavors. I get oak, leather, earth, toasted cedar, and sweet pepper. This cigar is full-bodied and full-flavored from start to finish, grows bigger during the burn, yet never overwhelms. Simply put: a bold experi- ence I now crave.
Spoiler alert. Punch Diablo is made in Nicaragua, by AJ Fernandez, and it’s damn tasty. Cuban-seed, long-leaf ligeros from Nicaragua and Honduras are aged four years prior to meeting inside a 6-year-old Broadleaf binder. A 4-year old Ecuador Oscuro wrapper com- pletes the blend, producing a powerful Punch worthy of trial. I get a balanced dose of oak, leather and to- bacco throughout, while earth lingers long on the finish and a spicy sweetness clings to the front of my palate. Complex and satisfying.
No. Nonsense. NONE. That’s my take on this elegant handmade. Smooth, buttery flavors are complement by cream and sweet cedar. The finish is short but ample, with a satisfying, rich tobacco influence. A soothing ex- perience, spawned by extensively aged long-fillers from Colombia, Nicaragua, and the Dominican, inside a silky Ecuador Connecticut wrapper. I find this cigar pairs perfectly with the bitterness of a bold, black coffee.
Nicaragua
5.3” x 50
Medium
 La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor | Belicoso
Nicaragua
5.5” x 54
Medium-Full
 Man O’ War Ruination | Robusto No. 2
Nicaragua
6.0” x 60 Full
 Punch Diablo | Scamp
Nicaragua
6.1” x 50 Full
 Romeo y Julieta Perlado | Toro
Dominican Republic 6.0” x 50
Mellow-Medium
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