Boutique Cigars

Traficante – El Chapo

El ChapoThe original El Chapo blend is back form Traficante Cigar Company. This Belicoso is a well-blended combination of aged tobaccos including a maduro wrapper leaf and a blend of Dominican and Honduran long-fillers.

The cigar has a nice thin smooth maduro wrapper with some veining. It has a nice oily sheen to it and is a dark tan leather color. The construction seems well and the cigar feels full yet gives to bit of pressure between the fingers without damaging the wrapper. Pre-light draw is easy and clear.

The smell from the body is very floral with clear notes of nutmeg and spice, from the foot the same notes are present but with an added sweet chocolate smell as well. The cold draw gives flavors of the nutmeg noticed from the smell, light roasted coffee beans and a punch of rich tobacco.

The cap cuts with no problems and lights easily. Immediate flavors are loads of tobacco, saltiness and dark chocolate. The cigar flavor stays fairly consistent until reaching the midpoint. The burn stays even with no need to retouch at anytime, the ash hangs on tightly until knocked off and is dark grey in color. It produces plenty of dense smoke which has a medium weight on the tongue.

At the middle of the cigar the flavor mellows a bit and the bitter dark chocolate subsides and pepper and spices pull to the front. This flavor continues for the remainder of the cigar and is very enjoyable.

The El Chapo is definitely not for the faint of heart; it is a full-bodied powerhouse of a smoke that will give you plenty of flavor and smoke. Make sure you put some time aside to smoke this you’ll want to enjoy the flavors and not rush through it.

 

Size: Belicoso 6×54

Wrapper: Maduro

Binder/Filler: Dominican/Honduran

Price: $12.32

Website: Traficantecigar.com

Traficante El Paso – Cazadores

Traficante El Paso CazadoresAs the popularity of Traficante Cigar Company grows so does their line of available cigars. While they add new products to their catalog they also like to offer small batches of limited releases as well. The El Paso – Cazadores happens to be one of those pieces. Unlike most companies limited editions which are usually somewhere in the 10,000 range only 915 of these cigars will be produced.

The cigar is covered in a silky, oil rich wrapper that is the color of espresso and has medium veining but is smooth to the touch. The seams are nice and snug with a well-filled roll that felt consistent through the majority of the stick.

The odor from the foot is of heavy dark roasted coffee beans and from the body there are notes of wood and leather. The prelight draw is easy and offers a sweet fruitiness, which leaves me with high hopes for what the overall flavor of this cigar will be. The cap cuts with no problem and the cigar lights easily, the draw after being lit offers an appropriate amount of resistance.

The first flavors noticed are bitter dark chocolate and almonds with a long enjoyable finish that seems to last for days. As I continue through the stick the flavor intensifies offering some rich tobacco notes to the chocolate and almond. The burn is even, the smoke production is nice and full as well it produces a tight brownish grey ash that falls off easily when tapped.

As I approach the second half the flavor has really begun to intensify with the tobacco flavor becoming more noticeable and a dash of spice being added in. The finish is still long but now has an added sweetness to it helping to balance out the spice.

For a triple maduro this cigar isn’t for the casual smoker. It has a rich full-bodied flavor that is incredibly enjoyable. I would run out and grab some now while there’s still a few left, and don’t forget all DR members get 15% off on their website. Just contact us for the discount code.

 

Size: 6×52

Wrapper: Classified

Binder/Filler: Classified

Price: $10.08

Website: Traficantecigar.com

Rating: 4.4 pints out of 5

Tatuaje’s Skinny Frank

Tatuaje Skinny MonstersAs is the case with the S&M Smoke Shop (AKA DR Headquarters) Different things are always popping up. This time they managed to get their hands on the entire Skinny Monster series from Tatuaje so I figured why not try a few and see what I thought. For my first go around I decided to try the Frank, since I had had it in other vitolas, it seemed like the right place to start.

The cigar wrapper is a dark espresso color with some noticeable veining, however this doesn’t detract from the overall appearance but seems fitting for the cigar name. There are some oils present on the wrapper but it has mostly a matte finish to it. The seams look tight and flat and it has the usual dense feeling of a lancero with little give when pressure is applied.

The smell from the body is barnyard or hay with a sweet jasmine floral scent and hints of milk chocolate; from the foot it has more of an anise odor, with the jasmine floral scent as well. The cap cuts with no damage to the body, which with lanceros I prefer to cut a bit heavier to open a decent airway to prevent the draw from feeling too tight.

From the cold draw it has a (what I would consider typical) lancero hard draw but is not off putting, the flavor is rich tobacco and cinnamon. The cigar lights easy and burns evenly from the start. The first few draws have a deep smoked meaty flavor with a long red pepper finish that lingers until the next draw.

Through the first third the meatiness of the cigar stays and a bit of cedar comes in accompanied by the long pepper finish. The burn remains even and it produces a loose greyish ash that holds on for about an inch at a time before falling off on its own accord. Smoke production is good and is a medium weight on the tongue.

Entering into the second third the meatiness drops off leaving the cedar flavor and now leather enters the profile, the peppery finish is still there but has nearly disappeared. Reaching this point I was starting to classify the entire cigar in a mild in flavor category.

Reaching the final third the flavor becomes a bit fuller with the cedar still the forerunner yet roasted pine nuts and bitter dark chocolate are joining in. There is also the return of the long peppery finish, which was nice to have back.

In all I did enjoy the cigar. While the draw was tight I found that it was not as tight as most lanceros and there was no struggle in smoking it. The flavor profile changes kept me on my toes trying to find a good description for the flavors I was tasting. The ash held tight and the burn was even for the whole smoke showing that the construction was quality and their was the overall novelty of smoking a cigar named after one of my favorite classic horror movies. If your new to Tatuaje and are wondering where to start you can’t go wrong with the Skinny Frank.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Country of Origin: Nicaragua (My Father Cigars SA)

Website: Tatuajecigars.com

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 pints

Alpha Cigar Co. Absinthe Infused Connecticut

Alpha Cigar CoNow I’m not normally an infused cigar kind of guy but since a few of our members are ambassadors for the company and a few of our DR Friendly Shops offering discounts on these cigars I figured it was time to give them a try.

The Alpha Cigar Co. Absinthe Infused Connecticut is their debut blend. Made from Cuban seed Piloto Cubano leaves make up the filler of these mild-to-medium bodied cigars, with the native Olor Dominicano leaf making up the binder and upholding Cuban traditions, the cigars are rolled in pairs, and bunched in the Cuban entubado style for optimal draw. Prior to rolling, a single leaf in each cigar is lightly infused with a premium French Absinthe.

The wrapper is milk chocolate in color. It is smooth and silky with very little veining, the seams are tight and feels well rolled and solid. No apparent dead spots and lite yield to pressure. The cap was easily cut with no damage to the delicate wrapper.

The smell from the body was a mix of botanical with a hint of sweet citrus like an orange blossom. From the foot the smell was less sweet and gave off the scent of sage and other kitchen herbs along with a punch of tobacco. The cold draw had the flavors of savory spices like rosemary and sage that was noticed in the smell.

The flavors from the first half are citric and salty with a bit of warm bread and slightly tannic. Over all it’s fairly mild smoke that, thanks to the difficult entubado rolling style they employ, it has an even easy draw with little resistance and rich lightweight smoke production.

Reaching the half-way point the botanical flavors start to jump in a bit more and help pull the flavor up along with a bit of pine but it keeps a solid citric flavor through the entire stick. While it does get a bit of spice towards the final third it remains a nice mellow smoke.

For everyone that might be worried about smoking this because it’s an infused stick don’t sweet it. Its very lightly infused and just adds a hint of flavor to the cigar, which I really enjoyed. The 15 different herbs used in the production of this Absinthe lend diverse botanical subtleties to the cigar, especially on the retrohale. Now until you’ve tried it I would run out and buy a box of them but I would say it’s a solid investment as a five pack to start. Check out the DR Friendly shop London Tobacconist to order yours with our 20% off code. (Contact us for discount code.) As always if you’ve ever had these sticks we’d love to know what you thought by commenting below.

 

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Olor Dominicano

Filler: Piloto Cubano

Price: Around $36.00 for a 5 pack

Website: Alphacigar.com

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 pints

Cigars By Nicholas J: The Sea

Nicholas J CigarsWith all of the cigars out there being produced by what seems to be just a handful of companies it’s fun to change it up a bit and try something from more of a grassroots line. While rambling through various social media outlets I stumbled across Cigars by Nicholas J. After checking out their website I discovered that they are just that kind of company. They offer only two types of blends however they are available in a variety of vitolas and both blends have a story behind them. I chose to try The SEA, which is their Maduro wrapped medium-full cigar. This cigar was created to honor Nicholas J.’s father, Samy. The name, SEA, represents the initials for Samy’s first, middle, and last name.

The smell from the body is a mix of fresh cut pine and leather. From the foot there are much sweater notes, licorice and hay.

The overall appearance is a wrapper with a color of a dark roasted coffee bean and has a nice oily sheen to it, the seams are tight and well rolled. There is some veining but nothing that ruins the overall visual appeal of the cigar. The roll of the cigar feels full and even and it gives to pressure between the fingers without any damage to the structure of the cigar.

Cap cuts easily with no damage to the wrapper. Cold draw has a slightly sweet tobacco flavor, which always reminds me of fresh brewed tea.

It lights easily and my first impression is that it is a bit on the bitter side but within a couple of draws it quickly mellows to nice chocolate and citrus notes with a hint of leather.

Moving into the second third the flavor profile changes to a darker chocolate with a hint of pepper that starts to show up.

Reaching the final third the flavor deepens and becomes richer and the cedar notes become more apparent and more pepper starts to pick up on the back end.

During the course of the entire smoke the draw is easy and produces a fair amount of smoke that is light on the tongue. Ash holds tight until I knock it off and the burn is even without the need for a touch up.

Over all I enjoyed the experience. It was a good medium bodied cigar with some flavor profile changes that kept it interesting and easy to smoke. With the ability to buy sampler packs that contain 2 of each type of cigar ( The Sea and The Alma) for just a little over $30.00 its worth the investment to try a new smaller company that offers a more personal touch to their brand. In addition to reasonable prices customers can take advantage of the “Nicholas J Promise” where you can earn points with each purchase and once you’ve gained 70 points you get a free 25-count box! I recommend trying a couple and let me know what you think.

Filler and Binder: Dominican

Wrapper: Maduro

Price: $32.00 for a robusto sampler pack

Website: Cigarsbynicholasj.com

Rating 4.3 out of 5 pints.

 

90 Miles Unidos

90 Miles UnidosAs stated in my last review of a 90 Miles Cigar I was a late to the FDG party, so I wanted to get another review up quickly just incase anyone else has been missing out on these. The 90 Miles Unidos is a lovely looking barber pole style cigar with a story behind it. The name of the company 90 Miles is, of course, the distance from Florida to Cuba. Inspired by the changes taking place both in Cuba as well as in the relationship between Cuba and the United States, the two wrappers of the Unidos are symbolic of the two countries.

The overall look of the cigar shows great construction, the seams between the two wrappers are tight, visible veining but nothing off putting to the overall appearance and it is fairly smooth to the touch. There is an interesting paly between the different oils and texture of the two different wrappers, which adds to the entertainment value of the cigar. The body feels well rolled with no apparent dead spots and gives to even pressure when pressed between the fingers. The double cap is well applied and is removed easily with no structural damage to the cigar.

The smell from the body reminds me of standing in a wheat field. It’s airy, light and gives off a grassy aroma, from the foot the grass scent is more apparent but also muddled with dried apricot, chocolate and a hint of leather.

The first half of the cigar lands a bit on the mellow side with a dry citric and coffee flavor, reminiscent to an espresso with a twist of lime. In the background is a touch of bread. The draw is on the medium side but is not a struggle, the burn line remains even and it produces plenty of smoke that weights nicely on the tongue.

Normally I don’t notice much difference between thirds and tend to keep my reviews broken into halves but, with this stick in the second third an interesting grapefruit taste kicks in adding to the citric flavors. The ash remains consistent and is charcoal in color, has nice tight rings that fall off about every quarter inch.

Reaching the second half there is a generous increase in spice and pepper. As the flavor picks up the cigar takes on a new life for me. The light citric tones drop off with the addition of these spice and pepper. In the final third the leather and chocolate flavors that were first noticeable in the aroma come in. The cigar finishes with a medium-full flavor.

This was not only a fun cigar to smoke because of the design and thought behind it but was also great in the flavor profile. With the flavor changes it’s a cigar that will keep you on your toes. Cigar pairs well with coffee, a crisp lager or, for me, a nice bourbon that has just a touch of sweetness to it. I recommend going out and picking up a few sticks and trying them out, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade/Ecuadoran Habano

Binder: Dominican and Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Price: Around $10.00

Website: FDGCigars.com

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 pints

90 Miles Limited Edition RA Lancero

FDG RA LanceroBeing a little late to the game when it came to trying the FDG line I missed some opportunities to write about their products closer to the time they were released. After meeting Yadi at an event and trying a few of her cigars I decided to write about a few of them anyway just incase anyone else was behind like I was. I decided to start with the RA Lancero, even though this cigar has been out for nearly 3 years and was a limited production of 1,500 boxes of 20 you can still find some with relative ease if you know where to look.

The over all look of the wrapper is dark espresso in color with a slightly lighter color near the veins and has a slight oily sheen to it. Veins are clearly visible but are light, there is a small amount of toothiness but still mostly smooth to the touch. The roll looks solid and the seams are tight, the cigar feels nice and spongy through the entire stick with no apparent empty spots.

The smell from the body is sweet like smoky chocolate. The foot is covered but I remove the covering to get a better smell. From the foot the odor is very sweet and candy like with rich cedar notes, similar to a sweet unflavored pipe tobacco.

The cap has a small pigtail to it, which cuts easily and cleanly with no issues. The cigar lights with no trouble and immediately produces a good amount of smoke. The draw offers a fair amount of resistance but it isn’t a struggle.

Through the first third the flavors have a bit of spice with charred oak and fruit and a touch of pepper. These flavors slowly change to a bitter dark chocolate, leather and spice when approaching the halfway point and up to the final third.

In the final third those chocolate, leather and spice notes move to the back and all but disappear leaving a rich sweet tobacco flavor. It shoves its way to the front pulling a slight taste of graham cracker with it. Throughout the smoke the ash stays a medium to dark grey color falling off about every ¼ inch or so.

I’ve really been enjoying the catalog from FDG cigars and the lancero has been a lot of fun to smoke. It has great complex flavors that pair well with most drinks however I would recommend a nice bourbon, (I preferred mine when I had it with a Bookers over when I had Elmer T Lee) and the price point won’t break the bank. I recommend tracking these down and stocking up since once they are gone they are gone.

 

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Nicaragua

Vitola: 7” x 38 Lancero

Price: Around $7.50

Website: Fdgcigars.com