Cigar Reviews: Spring 2016

by Steve Rowbottom


Alec Bradley Black Market Vandal Perfecto

Honduras     5.8”x60     Full


This 60-ring Perfecto is a dream to look at. Burly, heavy in the heavy, and glistening with oils oozing from the dark Honduran wrapper. Underneath, a unique fusion of long-fillers from Honduras and the Panama is met with a proprietary leaf that brings spice in spades. This stick is a flavor bomb, unloading deep spices and blasts of pepper from first light. More mellow hints of hickory, cashew and rich tobacco linger on the satisfying finish.


Ashton Magnum

Dominican Republic     5.0”x50     Mild


This flawless Robusto is silky and smooth in appearance, thanks to a beautiful, Grade A Connecticut wrapper. The flavor mimics its appearance, as every Ashton delivers a mellow bouquet that’s creamy to the core and mellow with every puff. Sit back and enjoy the smooth Dominican long-fillers as they coat every taste bud with delicate notes of cream, sweet cedar, sweet tobacco, and a dash of white pepper. Mild, yet soothing.


Cohiba Nicaragua N5.5×54 (Toro)

Nicaragua     5.5”x54     Medium-Full


Cloaked by a reddish-hued Sun Grown Oscuro wrapper, this Toro is jam-packed with rich long-fillers from Nicaragua’s top valleys, Esteli and Jalapa, secured inside a Jalapa-grown binder. Expect rich and creamy notes of cedar and leather throughout the medium to full-bodied bouquet. Tamer hints of pepper and coffee bean complement each puff, and completing an eventful yet balanced cigar that grows stronger towards the nub.


Oliva Serie ‘V’ Belicoso

Nicaragua     5.0”x54     Full


Leather, pepper, nuts, wood, and so much more. There’s a lot going on inside this milk chocolate brown Torpedo. A graceful display of power, made possible by oily Habana Sun Grown wrappers, which hug a powerful marriage of long-leaf ligeros from Nicaragua. Each silky draw produces clouds of thick smoke, smothering the palate with tasty nuances that linger long after the exhale. Deliciously complex from start to finish.


Relic Robusto

Nicaragua     5.25”x52     Medium-Full


The bold pre-light aroma emitted from the foot of Relic promises a flavorful smoke. The Nicaraguan long-leaf ligeros and shade grown Habano wrapper from Nicaragua delivers this promise. Earthy nuances mingle with leather and espresso, while subtle hints of oak and dark chocolate shine through underlying spices. The strength builds during the burn. Aromatic smoke wafts overhead. This Relic hits all the senses.

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