Cigar Review: Fall 2020

by Steve Rowbottom

Ashton Aged Maduro No. 10
Dominican Republic               5.0” x 50                 Mellow-Medium                93-Rated

The Aged Maduro from Ashton has long been a favorite of mine. A favorite mellow cigar. A favorite maduro. Reason: it’s loaded with rich yet smooth flavors despite its tame and relaxing profile. To make this cigar, aged Dominican long-fillers and binder are hugged by a pitch-black and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The smoke is rich and toasty with a gentle natural sweetness from the wrapper and subtle traces of leather and sweet cedar. An ideal AM, cup-o-coffee cigar.

Graycliff Heritage Royale Duke (Fat Taco)
Nicaragua                      4.5” x 54                      Full             93-Rated

A graceful display of power. That’s Graycliff Heritage Royale in a nutshell. Vintage tobaccos from three countries – Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador – combine inside a thick Costa Rican wrapper, creating a smoke that’s both bold and complex. The 54-ring Duke begins with a bang, smacking the palate with hearty spices and preparing each taste bud for a full-bodied display of coffee, earth, rich tobacco and dark chocolate. The cigar burns quick, but never gets hot and definitely satisfies. A perfect post-steak cigar.

Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso
Nicaragua             6.0” x 52               Full                 95-Rated

I really just want to say, “find it now and try it immediately.” Since that won’t fly well with Network Magazine, I’ll elaborate. This cigar redefined Drew Estate as a company. The dark, Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers glisten with oil, and sit overtop a bold blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan long-fillers secured inside a Brazilian binder. These dark tobaccos work seamlessly to create a deliciously unique, full-bodied cigar loaded with flavor. You’ll find notes of charcoal, white pepper, black tobacco, toast, raisins and so much more. Find it now. Try it immediately.

Oliva Serie ‘V’ Melanio Maduro Churchill
Nicaragua                    7.0” x 50                       Medium-Full                         94-Rated

This beautifully box-pressed Churchill sits heavy in the hand, and is jam-packed with tobacco making it solid from head to toe. The pre-light aroma is that of sweet barnyard. The flavors are ultimately rich, and the thick gray smoke sits heavy on the palate. Big notes of toast and nuts mingle with espresso bean from start to finish. The Mexican wrapper offers a chewy, peppery element that lingers after each puff. The finish is long and soothing, adding a unique floral note to an already complex bouquet. A satisfying cigar that pairs beautifully with a dark sipping rum.

Room101 FARCE Gordo
Dominican Republic                       6.0” x 60                           Medium                      94-Rated

FARCE from Matt Booth’s Room101 brand is unique, to say the least, thanks to a complex bouquet of conflicting flavors that somehow work together – wonderfully. I pick up leather, vanilla and earth. I also pick up black pepper, cinnamon and sweet nougat. At certain times I noticed oak and baking spice. All these flavors are the product of a 5-country blend, starting with an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Indonesian binder, and ending with long-fillers from the Dominican, Nicaragua and the US-of-A. Enjoy this cigar with an open mind and you’ll appreciate the expertise needed for all these flavors happen.

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