Cigar Review

Cohiba Serie M

Cohiba Serie M

We, as cigar enthusiasts, will think of Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and so on when it comes to discovering where a particular cigar originates from but, what about the USA? Well, here we have a cigar “Serie M” by Cohiba Cigars that is made right here in the USA; constructed at the El Titan de Bronze Factory in Miami Florida to be exact. General Cigar announced the limited edition project earlier in the year 2021. 

Some of you may know the history of Cohiba others may not. The Cohiba brand has its origins in Cuba going back to 1968. The U.S. version of the brand is owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group and has been in the U.S. since 1981. For the most part, the U.S. version has come out of General Cigar’s Dominican factory, but for the past few years, the Cohiba band has been produced by other factories owned by General Cigars including Honduras (Cohiba Royale), Nicaragua (Cohiba Nicaragua), and now the United States (Cohiba serie M). 

The Cohiba Serie M is a Nicaraguan forward blend. Nicaraguan tobacco makes up the wrapper, binder, and filler. The wrapper is a Nicaraguan Corojo, which marks the fist time that leaf has been used on Cohiba cigar. There is a double binder with both leaves from Nicaragua. The fillers contain leaves from two regions of Nicaragua (Jalapa and Esteli) and also contain some Domincan Piloto Cubano tobacco. Learning about the origin of this cigar I’m ready to light up and get into my review! 

Having a few cold draws to start this process I’m picking up some natural tobacco notes with some cedar and citrus. Very earthy which kind of dried my mouth out a little. Had a couple sips of water to get my palate ready and here I go with the light up. 

The first third of the Cohiba Serie M kicked off with notes of cedar, earth, bread, honey-citrus, and baker’s spice. Early on, the cedar and citrus notes moved to the forefront. The cedar soon became the sole primary note. The citrus settled into the background, joining the earth and baker’s spice. There were times when the earth notes popped into the forefront. A slight red pepper note emerged late while I entered the second third. 

As I continue on to the second third of the Cohiba Serie M cedar notes maintained on my palate with an increase of red pepper and earth notes. The honey-citrus notes slowly receded during this phase. By the midway point, the earth notes took over as the primary flavor with some coffee joining the party, pushing the cedar into the background with the red pepper and baker’s spice. 

Smoking right into the final third the red pepper and earthy notes were joined by cocoa powder; almost a malty taste and leather right down to the end. 

I was certainly impressed with the overall burn despite the fact that I have heard that other individuals who have tried this cigar had construction (wrapper cracking) and burn issues. The Cohiba Serie M cigar is a medium to a light medium+. This cigar only comes in a 6×52 toro size with an msrp of $29.99 and/or box of 10 for $299.90. It is most certainly one to try despite the price; I will rate this cigar a 4.5 out of 5. Since this Cohiba Serie M was made in the US as mentioned in the beginning of this review it is a “Limited Cigar” so if you are able to find them certainly purchase at least one to smoke and see what YOU come up with for your own review! Enjoy!

Wrapper –  Nicaraguan

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Dominican & Nicaraguan

Website: www.cohiba.com

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 pints.

Liga Privada Dirty Rat

Liga Privada Dirty Rat

Good day, Distinguished Ruffian family. T Money back for another cigar review, just for your reading pleasure. This is a well-known cigar but has become kind of a unicorn due to availability and after-market pricing. I’m sure you all know the name and brand. As legend has it, Steve Saka created this cigar to have with his espresso while in Nicaragua. He has said to have over 50 boxes in his humidor and won’t smoke any that were made after his departure from Drew Estate. He even created the Sobremesa Short Churchill to replace this cigar so he could hoard his precious stash. I’m talking of course about the Liga Privada Unico Series Dirty Rat.

This has been a go-to early morning smoke for me, but they are hard to come by. This cigar has been aging since 2012. I have only a few left and wanted to get my notes down before I ran out. When I first started smoking cigars, finding the Unico Series on the shelves, was like finding the Holy Grail. The first one I had was the Feral Flying Pig. I’ve since stashed a couple of boxes of those away for a rainy day. The L40 was the next one I tried and being a hater of Lanceros, it didn’t do much for me. Then, this one came along. The corona size is also one that I had to grow to love and this is the one that sealed the deal for me. So without further ado, let’s get into it. It is a 5×44 Corona that comes with the same wrapper that is on the T-52. If you like the T-52, you’ll love this cigar. It has a Brazilian binder with Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. It comes in a box of 12 with an MSRP of $12, but as you know, there is a huge markup on these hard-to-find Ligas. I bought this box from Jerry’s Cigars in Tucson, back in 2012. I cut it with the trusty Palio and fired it up with the DuPont DeFi Xtreme.

Liga Privada Unico Series Dirty Rat

Starting off, the smoke output is absolutely crazy, as with all Liga Privada cigars. There is a TON of earth right off the bat. Slight amount of pepper on the retrohale, but nothing crazy. Getting further in, it has some semi-sweet chocolate coming to the forefront. The sweetness and the earth just meld really well together. The strength and body are at the lower end of medium as I reach the second third.

The second third starts to really show that semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Earth is now barely hanging on, but it is still noticeable. The retrohale is still about the same with some slight spice with a bit of cherry wood. I had a tunnel starting and had to let it go out. After letting it go out and a relight, it seemed to fix itself. It’s tough with these corona-sized cigars to fix a tunnel, but this didn’t have a problem. Strength and body are about medium for both.

Finishing up the last third, there isn’t a whole lot of change. A bit more bite on the retrohale, but that is to be expected with the smaller ring gauge. Semi-sweet chocolate,

dark earth, and a touch of leather round out the cigar. I nubbed it at about the hour and 20-minute mark.

Overall, I think the age really smoothed out this blend and melded the flavors together. I remember there being much more transitions when I first smoked the cigar. This one was crazy smooth and even the retrohale didn’t make me sneeze or eyes water as I remember the younger versions doing. I haven’t been able to find any lately, so I have no frame of comparison, other than my original notes. If you like a corona size cigar and want something with coffee in the morning, this is your go-to. Great burn, only a small issue with the tunnel and huge smoke output.

T Money score: 4/5 rebuy box. If you can find these at, or close to MSRP, grab them. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Wrapper –  Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder – Brazilian Mata Fina

Filler – Nicaraguan & Honduran

Website: www.drewestate.com

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 pints.

  • Travis Peterson AKA T Money is the Co-Captain of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapter of Distinguished Ruffians. He started his cigar journey in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. Outside of cigars he has a passion for brewing beer, playing guitar, bowling and golf. He is also a self proclaimed grilling and smoking expert. 

Kintsugi by Alec Bradley Cigars

Kintsugi Alec Bradley

Now here is a cigar that is super interesting; the name alone “Kintsugi” is pretty remarkable on its own when it comes to naming a cigar. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold – a metaphor for embracing your flaws and imperfections. Kintsugi teaches you that your broken pieces make you stronger and better than ever before. When you think you are broken you can pick up the pieces, put them back together, and lean to embrace the cracks. 

I can certainly express one thing, I embraced every puff and draw during this tasting of “Kintsugi”. Kintsugi is an elegant, multifaceted medium bodied cigar created by Alec and Bradley Rubin. They had created this cigar to pay homage to the ancient Japanese art form which in turn joins pieces of ceramics back together with gold lacquer-making them even more beautiful. Cigars, like the gold lacquer, are a bonding agent-bringing people from all walks of life together. With a Honduran Habano Wrapper and Honduran/Nicaraguan binders & fillers, being produced at the Raices Cubanas factory in Danli, Honduras, “Kintsugi” certainly was created to celebrate camaraderie! 

Being that the two brothers (Alec & Bradley) grew up in the cigar industry and under the guidance of their father (Alan Ruben), they have learned to appreciate the tradition of cigars (the history, the blending, the agriculture, the social significance) their very first release back in 2018 was the “Blind Faith”. Then in 2019 their second release was the “Gatekeeper” and of course their third release in 2020 was none other than the “Kintsugi”. That’s enough history let’s get into my review of this wonderful cigar. 

Before lighting up, I took a few moments with some dry pulls. My immediate sense of taste went to milk chocolate, cardamom, toasted cashew, and a very light essence of sweet cream. In my opinion, my palate was pleased and my glands started to salivate before lighting up. Let’s see what the next step has in store. 

Upon Lighting up, some floral notes hit me with a hint of white pepper, a swirl of milk chocolate and believe it or not, because I have not thought of this particular snack in quite some time but I’m sure you have heard of or at least tried, Asian snack mix? (You know that Asian version of our Chex mix except it has that sugary glaze on them on peas in that mix.) Well, if you’ve tried them then you know you get that toasted, grainy, sweetness that makes you want more. At least for me anyway, I always want more. Now if you have not tried that type of mix, as I described, it has a toasted grain with some sweetness. It’s such a unique taste that A: you should definitely try some and B: I’m wondering if having that snack mix to snack on while smoking this cigar would enhance. Hmm… maybe next time I’ll try that. Anyway, onward to the first third of this cigar. 

Carob Chips come to mind. Another flavor profile I have not thought of in awhile. What are Carob Chips you ask? Carob Chips are from a sweet pulp that is dried, roasted, and then ground into a powder. Carob is less bitter than chocolate AND is not made with added sugar but while I continue to smoke the first third there is some sweetness with a hint of cedar creeping through. 

Continuing on down to the second third of “Kintsugi” most of the profiles are remaining present. Although, some new flavor profiles joined the palate party; picking up some woodsy earthiness along with a subtle hint of saffron. Maybe it’s the floral note that remained present is why I tasted saffron. The toasted notes continued to please my palate but it certainly transits from cashew, to almonds, to that Asian snack mix. 

Reaching the last third of the cigar the richness of everything came through and then some; notes of coffee, salted dark chocolate, cedar and leather, all of which had that sweetness to keep the glands salivating. Overall, this is a very good cigar. In my opinion I’m giving it a 4.3 out of 5. Now, I’m partial and enjoy smoking Honduran tobacco so this rating maybe higher than what you would rate it as. With that said, “Kintsugi” comes in four different sizes for you to try: Corona Gorda (5-5/8 x 46), Robusto (5×50), Toro (6×52), and Gordo (6×60). 

If you enjoy Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco then there is a good chance you will enjoy this cigar. Most certainly this cigar is moderately priced ranging from $7.40-$10 (depending on what state you are in prices may vary) so only one last thing to do. Go and purchase one for yourself and give it a try!

Wrapper –  Honduran Habano

Binder – Honduran/Nicaraguan

Filler – Honduran/Nicaraguan

Website: www.alecbradley.com

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 pints.