Cigar Review: Spring 2021

by Steve Rowbottom

AJ Fernandez San Lotano Requiem Toro
Nicaragua                6.0” x 54                 Full                95-Rated

Powerful, patiently aged long-fillers from three countries (Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican) are used to create this full-bodied cigar. I notice roasted coffee and richness from the Nicaraguan leaves. I notice dank earth and toasty tobacco nuances from the Honduran leaves. I notice cedar and sweetness from the Dominican leaves. The Brazilian Habano wrapper offers a sweet spice. I find all these flavors and I respect the cigar’s strength, while appreciating its incredible balance. Silky smooth yet powerful. This robust cigar is nothing short of well done.

Ave Maria Dark Knight Robusto
Nicaragua                5.25” x 54                 Medium-Full                94-Rated

Historically, Ave Maria is focused on mellow strength levels and graceful flavors. Dark Knight was blended to be a potent puro, so I was eager to try it. Since doing so, I’ve been burning them nonstop. I love the rich, chewy flavors this cigar puts out. Rich cocoa. Rich leather. Rich espresso bean. The finish is spicy-sweet. The room is filled with oily, charcoal aromas. The smoke is soothing, and I can feel its strength in my belly, like a homecooked meal. This is as close as a cigar can get to comfort food, and I enjoy it immensely.

Davidoff Winston Churchill Aristocrat (Churchill)
Dominican Republic                 6.6” x 47                 Medium               94-Rated

I’m British. I love cigars. I’m a big fan of Winston Churchill. That said, I was excited to try the cigar that dons his name. Made in the DR, this well-stuffed handmade is oily and toothy to the touch. The wrapper is Ecuador Habano. The long-fillers are Dominican and Nicaraguan. The binder is Mexican. The flavor is sophisticated, and I note earth, stone fruit, sweet cedar. The Mexican binder is present with a hint of black pepper. The flavor doesn’t stray, and this cigar can easily top off any evening with a single malt.

Rocky Patel Number 6 Toro
Honduras                  6.5” x 52                 Medium               95-Rated

RP Number 6 was recently named the #9 cigar of 2020, so I decided to give it a whirl. I’ll say now, I concur. Made with a Honduran Corojo wrapper, this Toro combines long-fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras inside a Honduran binder. The smoke is uniquely sweet from start to finish, offering a nimble marriage of pepper and cashew, with soft hints of vanilla bean and citrus. The finish has a touch of spice, completing a medium-bodied cigar that is full in satisfying flavor.

Zino Platinum Crown Series Chubby Especial Tubo
Nicaragua                   6.75” x 48                 Mellow-Medium               93-Rated

A golden, seamless Connecticut leaf from Ecuador hugs this 61-ring Double Perfecto. This leaf imparts a creamy, smooth element to the richer tobaccos beneath. Vintage Dominican long-fillers offer a toasty touch of cocoa, while long-leaf Peruvian tobaccos create a gentle spice that lingers long but elegantly after each puff. I enjoy its mature layers of balanced flavors…a sign of quality, aged tobaccos that have been carefully fermented. A tick or two above medium in strength, but elegant enough for the novice.

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