Cigar Review

by Steve Rowbottom

Alec Bradley Kintsugi  Toro 

Honduras            6.0” x 52            Medium


I tend to dislike floral notes in cigars. The Kintsugi from Alec Bradley has a distinct floral note. But unlike most cigars I find this in, it’s complemented by a wealth of interesting flavors to create a pleasing bouquet that’s also satisfying. This Toro is medium in body but loaded with flavor. Sweet cedar and raisins are present, and a dash of unsweetened cocoa enters the fray about midway through. A toasty, nutty character finishes each puff throughout the burn, while sweet cedar returns for the long finish. A perfect ‘anytime’ cigar.

E.P. Carrillo Pledge  Prequel (Robusto)

Dominican Republic            5.0” x 50               Medium-Full


Ernesto Perez-Carrillo truly is a legend in his craft, and the Pledge is his second #1 Cigar of the Year from Cigar Aficionado magazine…in three years. Naturally, I have to buy them when they’re available, because the 5”x50 Prequel is amazing. Deep, complex spices highlight this medium to full profile, while sweet hints of oak and cherry coat each taste bud. The cigar grows bolder during the burn, developing notes of espresso and black pepper, with a soothing aroma reminiscent of freshly baked bread. A must-try for everyone.

Macanudo Inspirado Brazilian Shade  Churchill

Dominican Republic                                7.0” x 48                             Medium


To be blunt, I find the new, Inspirado side of Macanudo to be quite enjoyable. This colorful handmade is no different. Despite its medium-bodied profile, I am greeted with a healthy level of unique flavors from first light. The Brazilian-grown Connecticut wrapper offers a zesty yet smooth note with hints of citrus. The subtle earthiness is likely from the aged San Andres binder from Mexico. Then there’s the primary bouquet, highlighted by nuts, white pepper and natural sweetness from long-fillers within. This is not your dad’s Macanudo, people.

Man O’ War Abomination  Robusto

Nicaragua                            5.0” x 52                               Full


Man O’ War is a favorite of mine. The level of flavor, strength and balance these cigars provide never cease to impress me. Abomination offers a twist, thanks to an earthy San Andres wrapper from Mexico giving the bouquet a touch of Cuban-esque twang. The Nicaraguan long-fillers within are all aged ligeros, promoting superior body and complexity. I notice hints of oak, espresso, dank earth and a generous amount of sweet pepper. This full-flavored handmade can complete any steak dinner.

Undercrown 10 by Drew Estate  Toro 

Nicaragua                           6.0” x 52             Medium-Full


Friendly tip from your friendly enthusiast: find this cigar and try it. The Undercrown 10 is a phenomenal cigar, especially for those that enjoy Liga Privada or other full-flavored Nicaraguans. This Toro is rich to the core, boasting bold, dark flavors in a smooth and creamy fashion. Big notes of cocoa and espresso are met with earthy undertones and a touch of cherry. The finish is spicy-sweet and long, while the aroma is rich with a charcoal-like influence. Ultimately satisfying, this handmade is ‘well done.’

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