Cigar Reviews: Winter 2018

by Steve Rowbottom

CAO Flathead V660 Carb

Nicaragua               6.0” x 60               Full


Big. Beefy. Box-Pressed. Also, the head is flat. The V660 Carb sits like a brick in my hand, and burned slower than a decision on Ezekiel’s suspension during this review. A chocolate brown Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper cloaks this beast, imparting a rich bouquet that’s sweet on the finish. Underneath, Nicaraguan and Dominican long-fillers combine to add leather, earth, and an almost sugary-sweetness I can only describe as molasses. Complex from the start, this CAO grows quite full throughout.

La Palina El Diario Torpedo

Honduras               6.1” x 52               Full


Leathery in appearance and oily to the touch, this powerful Honduran marries Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo tobaccos inside an impressive Honduran Rosado wrapper. Aging is evident in the flavor, as this Torpedo dishes out big, bold flavors in surprisingly refined fashion. I get cocoa and spice up front, while cedar and rich tobacco linger on the finish just before a dash of white pepper enters the fray. Eventful yet graceful, El Diario is a perfect complement to a healthy pour after a generous meal.

New World by AJ Fernandez Churchill

Nicaragua               7.0” x 52               Medium-Full


I’ll say it now. I love cigars with tobaccos cultivated from the volcanic soils of Ometepe. These leaves are robust and flavorful, offering a gritty earthiness you’ll notice instantly. AJ combined these tobaccos with rich, chocolatey leaves from Esteli and aromatic long-fillers from Condega, then topped them off with a dark Nicaraguan wrapper. Espresso notes mingle with spicy-sweet nuances with each cocoa-laced puff. Then there’s the luxurious aroma, which I find myself savoring each time I put this Churchill down.

Partagas Aniversario 170 Robusto

Dominican Republic               5.0” x 50               Medium


Complex, no doubt, the 170th anniversary of Partagas had me at the pre-light aroma. Part freshly-baked bread, part barnyard, this cigar has a lot going on even before it’s lit. Upon lighting, the promise continues to the tune of sweet cedar, cream, toast, pepper, and dark chocolate. Midway through, I pick up a nuttiness…almost like the roasted skin of a peanut. Four countries came together to make this beauty, including Cameroon for the wrapper, Connecticut, USA for the Habano binder, and a blend of long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican.

Quesada Reserva Privada Toro

Dominican Republic        5.6” x 54               Mild-Medium


Blonde in color, Quesada Reserva employs a seamless Connecticut wrapper from Ecuador. Rich and soothing, this leaf produces a creamy core that clings to the palate. Underneath, Dominican long-leaf tobaccos meet dark, Pennsylvania Broadleaf long-fillers to create a lovely rich and elegant array of flavor. A nuttiness is present, but doesn’t overshadow subtle hints of wood, rich tobacco, and citrus. Soothing yet satisfying, Quesada Reserva was an enjoyable cigar to review to say the least.

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