Cigar Review

by Steve Rowbottom

 E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic
Dominican Republic               5.6” x 52                 Medium-Full                96-Rated

Spoiler Alert: this is among the finest cigars I’ve ever burned. I describe this cigar as luxurious. I also call it unique, because every leaf that comprises this cigar is grown in the black soils of Nicaragua and has been aged ‘en tercio’ for a minimum of 2 years, resulting in a refined yet interesting bouquet. Big notes of rich tobacco and sweet cedar boom with each puff. Sweet, savory notes linger after each exhale. From time to time I pick up some caramel and some tea. The entire time I’m soothed by the cigar’s deceivingly bold profile. Make time for this cigar, and make sure your palate is clean prior to lighting.

John Bull The Dark Hour Churchill
Dominican Republic                      7” x 50                      Medium             92-Rated

I typically review expensive, top-shelf cigars. But the value hound in me never overlooks a cigar, or wine, or scotch, or whatever, due to price. John Bull The Dark hour is my latest reason why. This inexpensive cigar is jam-packed with the rich, bold flavors I prefer: dark tobacco, espresso, earth, cocoa. It’s made with aged long-fillers from the Dominican and an oily Maduro wrapper that lends a natural sweetness to the mix. The cigar is legitimately complex and savory, and something I can burn daily after a big lunch or early dinner. I highly suggest this cigar for the full-flavored fan.

Macanudo Heritage Nuevo Toro
Dominican Republic              6.0” x 52               Mellow-Medium                 94-Rated

While my taste has evolved beyond the classic Macanudo Café, I still crave a mellow cigar from time to time and Macanudo Heritage Nuevo hits the spot. I consider the cigar sophisticated, with subtle notes of cedar, cashew, toast, and sweet tobacco present throughout the burn. There’s an underlying creaminess from the Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, and a sweet pepper influence from the Mexican long-fillers. For a mellow cigar, there’s a lot going on here, and enough to interest those typically reaching for stronger cigars.

My Father La Promesa Corona Gordo
Nicaragua                    5.5” x 48                       Medium-Full                         92-Rated

The product of Jose ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia, My Father La Promesa employs a bold blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers, creating a rich core of oak, leather and nuts with each puff. The Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper is thick and leathery, adding a hickory-like element to the smoke, along with a dash of pepper on the finish. The cigar pumps out heavy clouds of gray smoke, emitting an oily, almost charcoal-esque aroma that fills the room. I love the bold complexity of this cigar and find it to be a nice nightcap alongside a tawny port.

Southern Draw Cedrus Belicoso Fino
Nicaragua                     5.5” x 52                           Medium-Full                      93-Rated

Please know, I highly recommend this cigar. Please also know, this cigar can be hard to find at times. Four vintage long-filler varieties marry inside a Nicaraguan Habano 2000 binder, before a milk chocolate brown Sumatra wrapper from Indonesia completes the cigar. The result is a delicious, medium to full array of deep, complex flavors including cedar, baked bread, cream, coffee and white pepper. Low production may lead to touchy availability, but I promise the experience is worth the potential search.

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