Archive for the ‘Robustos’ Category

Drew Estate Natural Root

10 May

Blender: Jonathan Drew
Maker: Drew Estate
Filler: Unk
Binder: Ukn
Wrapper: Ukn Maduro
Flavors:  Earthy, cocoa, herbs, coffee, subtle sweet maduro.
Draw/Volume/Strength: -1 / 0 / 3
Rating: 9.0

The Natural line from Drew Estate is an interesting concept, and possibly even more intriguing if you understand its place in the Drew Estate catalog. I selected the Root (5×55), one of 11 cigars in the line, each vitola being a blend unto itself (with the exception of the Root and Root Delux, which are presumably the same blend, as are the Jucy Lucy and Big Jucy[sic], and the Dirt and Dirt Torpedo).

Photo of Drew Estate Natural Root Cigar

Natural Root (5x55)

If this concept sounds familiar, you may be more right than you know. The Unico Serie (which includes one of my favorite cigars from last year, the Dirty Rat) is set up the same way, with each new incarnation being a unique vitola and blend. It may be going too far to say that the Natural line is the forerunner to the Unico Serie, but I will suggest that they are both born of a similar notion.

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Posted in Maduro, Robustos


La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial

03 Mar

Blender: Don José “Pepin” Garcia
Maker: My Father Cigars/ Ashton Distributors
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Flavors: Citrus, mature tobacco, spice → white pepper, minerals
Draw/Volume/Strength: +3 / +3 / 4
Rating: 8.9

It’s been said that Don Pepin is the best cigar roller in the world. I’ve appreciated his work previously in La Riqueza, the Tatuaje Cojonu 2003, and the 601 Habano (and by extension, the My Father line, which was technically blended by his son Jaime, though rolled at the same factory). The La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial is a line extension of the brand owned by Ashton.

The core of La Aroma de Cuba is a rich, spicy, complex flavor, and the Edicion Especial, or “EE” as it’s commonly known, is no exception. Replacing the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the original is a thick, oily Ecuadorian Habano leaf. The balance of the blend is Nicaraguan like the original, though whether any other differences exist, is unclear.

Photo of La Aroma de Cuba EE Edicion especial

La Aroma de Cuba EE #55 (5¾x55)

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Posted in Dark Natural, Robustos


JFR Maduro

25 Feb

Blender: Arsenio Ramos
Maker: Casa Fernandez/ Tabacalera Tropical
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Flavors: Tangy maduro, dried fruits, earthy spice → cocoa, citrus, coffee
Draw/Volume/Strength: 0 / +1 / 3
Rating: 9.0

Shop local. There are a thousand reasons to get the things you need every day close to home, and even more reasons to get the things you only need once in a while close to home, too. Now, by “close to home,” I don’t mean at the big-chain grocery store up the street, although for most of us, that’s often necessary. What I mean is, try to support your LOCALLY OWENED businesses as much as possible.

Photo of JFR Maduro Robusto (5½x50) showing details of head and foot

JFR Maduro Robusto (5½x50)

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Posted in Robustos


Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada

22 Feb

Blender: Manuel Quesada
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Sun-Grown
Flavors: Mocha, leather, spice, sweet → cocoa, herbs, nuts
Draw/Volume/Strength: 0 / 0 / 3
Rating: 9.2

Today is Ash Wednesday. So LIGHT UP!

In observance of Lent, the Cigar Sasquatch is giving up moderation.

I don’t mean to make light of religious traditions. To each his own, I say, and if you feel connected with God by rubbing ashes on your head and giving up the things you love, please feel free. I choose to commune with the Spirit by enjoying the fruits of the earth. And rarely were the fruits sweeter than in the Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada.

Photo of Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada Optimus

Casa Magna Domus Magnus Limitada Optimus (5¾x52)

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Posted in Dark Natural, Robustos


Diesel Unilimted d5

15 Jan

Blender: AJ Fernandez
Maker: Tabacalera Fernandez
Filler: Nicaraguan/ Mexican (San Andreas)
Binder: Honduran
Wrapper: Honduran Ligero
Flavors: Smoked meats, nuts, oak, spice, caramelized sweetness
Draw/Volume/Strength: 0 / -1 / 4
Rating: 9.3

This review of the Diesel Unlimited d5 is presented courtesy of the Stogie Boys, the fastest growing online cigar retailer in America.

The Cigar Sasquatch isn’t much for sports, either watching or doing. I try to stay active (certainly not as much as I should), but certain exceptions aside (the Olympics and championship tennis), I would rather read a book or converse with fellow BOTLs while smoking a cigar, without the distractions of meaningless athletic entanglements to detract from the experience. There is, however, one sport that I come back to time and again. It’s not much for spectators, nor does it offer something for everyone, but it still appeals to the competitor in me. It’s the sport of paintball.

Paintball is a so-called “action sport” in which players with air- or gas-operated “markers” attempt to tag each other with dye-filled capsules. Okay, that’s the official description. What really happens is, you and your buddies go out and shoot a bunch of other players (and sometimes each other) with these increasingly sophisticated paint guns. They’re capable of making dozens of shots per second, and when you’re on the receiving end, they leave nasty (and abundant) glowing red welts.

Photo of Diesel Unlimited d5 Cigar

Diesel Unlimited d5 (5½x54)

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Posted in Dark Natural, Robustos


Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Robusto Grande

20 Apr

Nicaraguan cigars are the best in the world.

There, I said it. Do I have your attention now?

I didn’t say “Nicaraguan cigars are among the best in the world.” I said they are the best. No, I haven’t smoked the Cuban Cohiba Behike, and at $40+ per stick, I probably won’t. Those of us who smoke cigars for pleasure (rather than for prestige) know that there’s no minimum dollar amount for a pleasurable cigar. But for many of us, there is a maximum.

Photo of Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Robusto Grande cigar

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Robusto Grande (5½x52)

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Posted in Dark Natural, Robustos


601 Habano Robusto

09 Apr

I have long lived by the Sasquatchism, “Never smoke a Robusto when you should be smoking a Churchill.” Of the classic cigar shapes, the Robusto is probably my least favorite. I recognize that there’s a time and place for a compact cigar, but more often than not, a Robusto only arouses my appetite, without bedding it back down again. So when I’m going small, it’s generally due to time constraints, and in such cases, I’m more likely to pull a Corona than a Robusto.

There are, however, those who argue that a Robusto is the purest expression of a cigar blend. The larger ring gauge (relative to a Corona) allows the blender the pack the full compliment of leaves into the cigar, while the 5-inch Robusto length allows the cigar to burn out before becoming saturated with tars, causing the flavor to turn. So you get all of the steak, with none of the gristle. And I can agree with that assessment, as well.

Photo of 601 Habano Robusto

601 Habano Robusto (5x50)

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Posted in Robustos


Tasty Tuesday: Dark and Mysterious

08 Feb

This edition of Tasty Tuesday features three dark and slightly mysterious cigars from various sources. Two are chocolaty Maduros, the third, a rich Habano, which was interestingly darker than the two Maduros. Two of them feature some component of hearty Mexican tobaccos, and they all have at least a portion of Nicaraguan longfillers. I do enjoy Nicaraguan longfillers. Read the rest of this entry »


Cigar Sasquatch Special Edition: Holiday Gift Guide

04 Dec

Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re anything like me, you get asked one question countless times every holiday season: “What do you want for Christmas?” I also hear a lot of, “I don’t know what to get you, you always get anything you want for yourself.” And while that may be true, I’m forced to ask myself, is it that hard? Sure, I understand. Men are difficult. We’re complex in our simplicity. We’re independent, but love to be a part of the team, we’re rugged, but relish in our creature comforts, we’re predictable in entirely unpredictable ways. But with a little guidance, holiday gift giving—and receiving—can be the joyful and stress-free experience it should be.

No one who has a cigar lover on his or her Christmas list should ever have to ask “What do you want for Christmas?” I can run down the list of guys in my herf and name their top three cigars at three different price tiers, and I can also probably tell you which retailer has the best prices for each of them. But unfortunately our wives and girlfriends, mothers and sisters probably don’t know anything about cigars, and wouldn’t have a clue where to buy them or how much to pay. So this guide is not so much for the cigar lovers out there reading this, but rather, for the ones who have to shop for us. Translation: Men, forward it to your ladies.

The best thing about cigars as gifts is, you can never have too much of a good thing. I never once opened a gift of Montecristos and thought, “This is great, but I’ve already got a box of these.” It’s the ultimate answer to the question, “What do you give to the man who has everything?” Answer: More of what he loves.

Stocking Stuffers

Single cigars are a great treat for the holidays. But if you’re going to buy a single, make sure it’s something special. Most of us have a brand or blend we’ve never bought for ourselves because of the ridiculous price tag. Padron Family Reserve #45 comes to mind. But if you’re not comfortable spending $30-$40 on a single cigar (if you can find it in a single), I suggest going with something big, like the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece.  At 9 inches long, it’s certainly an “impact gift,” but with singles readily available at B+M retailers for $18-$22, (and less on-line), it’s a great gift at an approachable price.

Accessories make great stocking stuffers too. The Xikar X8 Carbon Fiber Cigar Cutter is as stylish as it is functional, and with a lifetime guarantee, it’s a step up from the throw-away cutters on the cigar store counter. And most of us have a cigar torch (or two), but this holiday season, set the torch down and grab a handful of Davidoff Giant Cigar Matches. At under $4.00 for a box of 40, they’re probably the cheapest thing you’ll ever find with the name “Davidoff” on them, and are far more reliable than most cigar torches.


Everyone loves a 5-pack. They’re affordable, available, and we can usually get exactly the brands and blends we want. But for this holiday season, think variety, not just in blend, but in size and shape. If your cigar buddy always gets himself the same robustos time and time again, upgrade him to the torpedoes. The Romeo Y Julieta Belicoso is only a few dollars more for a 5-pack than the venerable Bully in the same blend, and makes a thoughtful and impressive gift. Or for an elegant option, the Oliva Serie V Lancero is a highly-rated cigar in the Cuban tradition, delivering loads of flavor in a slim package that most cigar lovers wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.

Boxes of Cigars

Box-quantities of cigars are the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. In one package, you can give hours of satisfying pleasure and enjoyment, and show yourself as a truly thoughtful gift giver. But a word or caution: Make sure it’s something he’s going to love. Now’s not the time to try him on a new blend or to throw something against the wall to see if it sticks. Every cigar lover has a favorite blend, and if you don’t know what it is, just ask! If he’s anything like my cigar buddies, he’ll be happy to tell you all about it. Chances are he even knows where to buy it at the best price.

If you find that the cigars you’re planning to give as a gift are a little out of your price range, shop around. Many retailers offer first-quality premiums in bundle packs that save money in packaging and shipping. I for one don’t care if my Excalibur #1 Maduros come in a box or a bundle pack, as long as I get them. Or for the Cohiba lovers in your herf, consider downsizing to a box of Cohiba Pequeños, small cigars that offer 20 or 30 minutes of great Cohiba flavor, at an affordable price.

And the best thing about giving boxes of cigars, if you’re lucky, your grateful recipient may just thank you with the first cigar from the box!

Holiday gift giving shouldn’t be stressful or difficult. With a little planning, and some advice from our resident Cryptozoological Cigar Lover, you’ll have more time to spend doing what you love, and celebrating the season with friends and family. And that’s about the best holiday gift I can think of.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”


Cigar Sasquatch- Villiger 1888 Robusto

14 Aug

There is no reality. There is only perception.

That statement is at the heart of the question, “If a tree fell in the woods and no one was there to hear it, would it make a sound?” The short answer is, of course, “Who cares.” From a physics standpoint, the answer is yes, the falling tree creates pressure waves in the air known as sound. But from a philosophical standpoint, the big answer is vaguely similar to the short answer: Who cares.

The world is what we imagine it to be. The very notion of “Self-Awareness” has the precondition of “Aware,” without which, there is no self Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Natural, Robustos


Cigar Sasquatch- Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto

07 Aug

Like any other cryptozoological cigar lover, the Cigar Sasquatch loves a pleasant surprise. But when it comes in the form of an incredible cigar, when I expected just an above-average smoke, well, then I get really excited.

We’ve talked about expectations before, and the dangers of having them unmet. But thankfully, sometimes the opposite is true. I once read that one of the greatest joys in life is doing a kindness in secret, and having it discovered by accident. A similar joy is when we experience some wonderful occurrence which was entirely unlooked for. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Maduro, Robustos


Tasty Tuesday Sampler Volume 1

27 Jul

With this edition of Cigar Sasquatch, I return to the original concept for Tasty Tuesday, which is short reviews of affordable cigar brands in the never-ending quest for a diamond in the rough. It’s a chance for me to work through some singles and miscellaneous cigars in the Sasquatch-a-dor, and to check out some mystery blends that might fly under the radar. Think of it as a herf-tastic grab bag of sorts.

The cigars under evaluation today are the Cuvee 151 Robusto (5×50), the Plasencia Reserva Organica Corona (6¼x44), and the Sancho Panza Caballero (6¼x45) Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Coronas, Lonsdales, Maduro, Natural, Robustos, Tasty Tuesday


Cigar Sasquatch- Oliva Serie V Double Robusto

17 Jul

One of the most highly acclaimed affordable cigar brands over the last year has been the Oliva Serie V, an all-ligero blend from the Oliva Cigar Company. This brand is the full-bodied brother to the lighter Serie G, and a spicier counterpart to the full-bodied Serie O. I chose the beefy Double Robusto (5×54).

This Nicaraguan puro features a hearty all-ligero blend of Jalapa longfillers, a Nicaraguan binder, and a beautiful sun grown Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. Roll is smooth and supple Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Natural, Robustos


Cigar Sasquatch Independence Day Special- CAO America Potomac

03 Jul

I have to imagine the founding fathers were cigar lovers. Picture it. It’s July, 1776. You’re in Philadelphia, close to the Conestoga Valley, birthplace of the “Stogie.” You’re locked in a room with 50 or so lawyers and farmers. It’s hotter than hell, and humid, and you’ve been drinking brandy and rum since breakfast. Someone’s going to light a cigar.

So now we celebrate The Grand Experiment of a government by the people, a shocking idea, to be sure. John Adams suggested that “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” I’d say he hit it pretty close to the mark, but he left out one key ingredient… great cigars.

The CAO America was blended to celebrate America, and to showcase the best of America’s contribution to cigar making. I selected the “Potomac,” a beefy robusto Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Full Reviews, Maduro, Natural, Robustos


Tasty Tuesday: Alec Bradley Family Blend VR1

22 Jun

The Alec Bradley Family Blend VR1 is a gorgeous Robusto (5.5×50) composed of rich Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers and a buttery Indonesian binder, finished in a nearly veinless rosy-hued Honduran Trojes wrapper. The roll is smooth and firm, and features a handsome triple-cap with a delightful little Cuban pigtail.

The bouquet is positively vibrant, with rich floral notes which evolve into highly aromatic herbal and fruit flavors on the palate. The blend also produces mild cinnamon and some earth, with a dry mouth feel and considerable depth. The draw from a cap cut was even and full, and produced an excellent smoke volume. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Dark Natural, Robustos, Tasty Tuesday


Cigar Sasquatch Father’s Day Special- My Father #1

19 Jun

There are good dads and not-so-good dads. This one’s for all the good dads.

Fathers are interesting animals. They’re a strange hybrid of dictators and protectors, providers and punishers. They can be at times surly and tender, guarded and eruptive, emotional and stoic, understanding and demanding. Hard-wired to provide, they often have trouble receiving, and rarely will they ask for anything more than a cold drink, a comfortable chair, and a little peace and quiet.

But their duplicitous nature is not so complicated when you look at things form their perspective. They want little more than to see their children grow into good people, and they’re willing to do just about anything to make that happen. If that means being tough one minute and gentle the next, then that’s what they’ll do. And who could blame them? We children are a pain in the ass. Hands out, mouths open, heads in the clouds, feet going every-which-way, we’re a lot to deal with.

My Father Cigars were blended in secret by Jaime Garcia as a tribute to his father, Don Jose “Pepin” Garcia, and hand-made in Miami from rare Nicaraguan fillers, and finished in a flawless Read the rest of this entry »


Cigar Sasquatch- Graycliff Professionale “Blue Label” PG

29 May

It’s a cool, blustery afternoon, one that would perfectly befit late autumn in Southern California, but is highly unseasonable so for late May. As I reflect upon the fall-like weather my mind wanders to an upcoming trip to Jamaica scheduled for fall this year. And in that state of mind, I reach for a Graycliff Professionale “Blue Label” PG (5.25×50). The Graycliff brand, hand-rolled in small batches in a tiny factory, is the only cigar brand from the Bahamas, a neighboring Caribbean island to the one that will be my destination, and is widely considered one of the worlds fine boutique brands.

The notion of anticipation comes to mind, both for the trip, and the cigar, which has rested Read the rest of this entry »


Tasty Tuesday: Rocky Patel American Market Selection Robusto

27 Apr

This large robusto (5.5×50) has a light, buttery Ecuadoran Connecticut Shade wrapper and Nicaraguan/ Honduran filler blend. It’s a smooth and toasty smoke, with mellow woody flavor, a large smoke volume and great aroma. The draw is open, and the burn is razor-straight with perfect 1-inch double-cone ashes. Overall, it’s a mild, easy-going smoke, bordering on boring at times, but all in all, it’s got enough texture and depth to keep it interesting to the nub. I give it a 8.4. The flavors are right in there, but sometimes you just want a little more, and it might be a little richer in a smaller ring or a longer length. At $6.50 for a single, it’s a decent bargain, and definitely nice as a light alternative.

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Posted in Natural, Robustos, Tasty Tuesday


Tasty Tuesday: Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Nova

20 Apr

This robusto (5×50) has a rich dark natural Honduran Criollo wrapper, and a Nicaraguan/Honduran viso and ligero blend for smoothness and complexity. The flavors are mellow, oaky and nutty, with great depth and richness. It’s a nicely balance cigar. The draw was wide-open with a single wedge cut (maybe a little too wide), and the burn was a little troublesome, eventually tunneling so badly I had to ditch it before the second half. I’ll reserve a score for now, based on the undesirable burn, but it’s a great tasting cigar, so I’ve got high hopes that the next one will burn better.

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Posted in Dark Natural, Robustos, Tasty Tuesday


Tasty Tuesday- La Riqueza #4

13 Apr

A nice-looking slim robusto (5×48) with an oily medium brown maduro wrapper, blended by Don Jose Pepin Garcia for Pete Johnson’s Tatuaje line. This Nicaraguan puro produces a huge volume of smoke, and the flavors are rich and slightly tangy, but not sweet, with roasted coffee, earthy flavors, a hint of anise and some spice. There is also some moderate strength, not overpowering, but definitely noticeable. The draw was perfect and even with a single wedge-cut, and the burn was flawless to the nub. It’s a very well made cigar, and I give it an 8.8. It’s a robust flavor profile, so if you like them rich and dark, you’ll love this. At $9 for a single robusto, it’s not exactly inexpensive, but definitely an interesting and generaly enjoyable smoke.

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Posted in Maduro, Robustos, Tasty Tuesday