Archive for the ‘habano’ Category

Alec Bradley Harvest Selection 1997 Habano

Monday, March 21st, 2011

We originally planned on posting a video review today, but this asshole made us change our plans slightly. Stay tuned, within a couple weeks Mike, Ed, and I will have a review up. Anyhow…

A couple samples of the Harvest Selection were included in a cigar bomb Mike from sent me awhile back. It looks like this cigar is only available online, and more information can be found at Cigars International and a couple other online stores. What I care about is how it performs, and for such a great price point, I was eager to get smoking. I paired this cigar with water.


Wrapper: Habano

Binder: ???

Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Mexican

Size: Robusto 5 x 50

Price: $3.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The dark wrapper was shiny with invisible seams and some medium sized veins. The wrapper and foot had a slight odor of earthiness. The cigar was pretty packed, and had a minor soft spot or two. The pre-light draw had slight resistance, and had a mild earthy tobacco flavor.

The burn required one touch up, and the ash held for 1.5 inches.



The first third opened up with an earthy and almost floral note. Through the nose, there was a nice peppery spice. I had a hard time telling if there was a tinge of sweetness way back inside of the spice. After the first inch, I picked up a very nice coffee flavor. It also had a sweetness to it, similar to having sugar in your coffee. Not over the top sweetness, but it was there.


The second third kept the same flavors. The earthy and floral notes were still there. At times the coffee was black, and at times it was like coffee and sugar. Basically, the sweetness was detached from the coffee, and at other times it was mixed in with it. The spice became less peppery and more sweet. The smoke volume seemed to increase as well.


The last third saw a slight decrease in the floral and earthy notes. The sweetness picked up in strength. Like before, sometimes the coffee was separate from the sweetness, and other times it was mixed in with it. Passing smoke through the nose, it pretty much stayed the same as before.



This was a good medium bodied cigar. For $3.00, it easily delivers to it’s price point. Like most cheaper cigars, there obviously was no wow factor. You could even call it one dimensional. On the other hand, there were no bad flavors either. Everything fit together nicely. Thanks to Mike from for sending these to me. I may have found a new morning budget cigar. I think these are worth a try.

Xikar HC Series Habano Colorado Grande

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Matt and I reviewed this cigar awhile back, but in a different size. Xikar recently expanded the size of the cigar to the new Grande 6 x 60. Before you ask… Yes size sometimes does matter. You can take the same cigar blend, and the Churchill will be different from the Lancero or Robusto.

That is why I was happy when Jerry, Bob and David from Xikar offered to send me some samples of the new Grande size. I was curious to see if the size would effect the flavors of this line. I still have to review the HC Series Criollo and Connecticut in the new size, so stay tuned for that.

For more info on Xikar, and their HC Series cigars, check out their informative website. As always, I paired this cigar with water.


Wrapper: Habano Colorado

Binder: Esteli

Filler: Costa Rica, Jalapa Honduras

Size: Grande 6 x 60

Price: $9.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The dark wrapper looked nice, with an oily sheen and minimal veins. The smell coming off of the wrapper was sweet with mild spice. The foot had a mild barnyard-ish odor, which isn’t a bad thing. Overall the cigar was very firm and evenly packed. The draw was ever so slightly snug, but fell within my tolerances of being good. The pre-light draw was a sweet natural tobacco.

The ash held for about 1.5 inches, and the burn requires a few minor touch-up’s.



The first third had an easy woody flavor that diminished in strength as time went on. Through the nose, I was detecting a pepper that wasn’t too strong, but it did have a nice zing to it. The aftertaste was a smooth earthy natural tobacco.


During the second third, the overall flavor profile really seemed to come together and smooth out. The smoke volume increased quite a bit. A nice sweetness entered the flavor profile and at times it resembled mocha. Woodiness lingered in the background, and coffee notes would come and go. When passing through the nose, that easy pepper was still there. It had a nice kick to it that wasn’t over the top. Later it took on a sweet, almost cinnamony feel. The aftertaste became sweet and a bit creamy.


The last third had some differences when compared to the 2nd third. The overall flavor profile was dominated by mocha-ish flavors at times. On other draws there was a mixture of woody notes, coffee and pepper. Some draws had a creamy feel, others had a dry, crisp feel. The smoke coated the mouth and tongue with a sweet spice. Blowing smoke through the nose had that familiar sweet peppery spice as well.




Let’s get this out of the way first… You haters may think I’m pandering to Xikar because I got these cigars for free. While Xikar has been good to me for a long time, they know I only give honest opinions. After all, that’s all this site is, a place to give my opinion on cigars. I’m pretty sure they would want nothing to do with me if I were to lie.

Obviously the Grande was similar to the smaller size Matt and I reviewed last year. There were some subtle differences though (you’ll have to watch the other review to compare). The Grande seemed to have more of a ramp up period, if that makes sense.

What it boils down to is if you like cigars in this ring gauge. I thought it was a damn good upper medium to full bodied smoke. The flavors were good, and there was no harshness or anything bad. This slow burner is worth a try, and I give it a thumbs up. Thanks again to Jerry, David and everyone from Xikar for sending these cigars out to me!

Gran Habano Connecticut #1

Monday, July 26th, 2010

If I recall correctly, a local tobacconist named Jack gave me these to try. It looked like it had potential to be a morning cigar, so I graciously accepted the samples. As always, for the review I paired with water and offer you my thoughts…


Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Habano, Nicaragua

Filler: Habano, Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 52

Price: Around $4.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper looked smooth, with minor blemishes and some small veins. The wrapper smelled of sweet earth, while the foot had a slight woody spice. The pre-light draw was free, almost loose, and had a mild earthy woody taste. The cigar was a little soft but bounced back when pinched.

I did no burn corrections, and the ash held for an inch.




The first third was nice and mild. An ever so slight spice was detecting when passing smoke through the sinus. There were buttery and nutty notes with a wisp of wood.


The second third offered a little change, and I think for the better. The flavor profile developed into what the rest of the cigar would be. The smoke feel became a little thicker with a slight creaminess. The body increased slightly, and the spice had a mild peppery zing. The butteries picked up a little, and wood and nuts rounded things out.


The last third was identical to the second third. Really, there isn’t anything more to add.



This was a nice mild cigar. Sure, it was basically just another mild Connecticut wrapper cigar, but it was good. I’ll even go as far as saying it was typical, but I still liked it. If mild cigars are your thing, then give this one a try.

Xikar Contest Winners!

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Thanks to everyone who entered the Xikar contest! Let’s not forget to thank Xikar for donating the prizes. Hopefully the great turnout brings them back in the future.

The first prize winner is Rafe. You get a Xikar Xi MTX Multi-Tool and a 3 pack of HC Series cigars. You get to choose which color Multi-Tool you want from the choices below.


The second place winner is Agent 86 from The Cigar Spy. You will be getting a 4 pack of HC Series Habano Colorado cigars. This is the cigar Matt and I reviewed here.

I have already emailed both of you for your contact information so you can get your free stuff! Again I can’t thank Xikar enough for sponsoring this great raffle.

Stay tuned, because my November raffle will be posted very soon. This is another contest you won’t want to miss! Trust me, this one is big!

Xikar Contest-Time is running out!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

For those of you who already entered the Xikar contest, ignore this post. For the rest of you, WHY haven’t you entered the contest yet? It’s easy enough. Just go HERE and leave a comment. You may want to check out our review of the Xikar HC Series Habano Colorado while you are there. Soon the contest will be over and I’ll pick two random winners.

HC Logo

I don’t know how long these raffles will continue, so take advantage while you can! Speaking of raffles… I am already working on the next giveaway. I’ll reveal the details in the near future. Just trust me when I say, it will be a great prize. Stay tuned!

Cain F

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

1CainF It’s all the rage – The Cain. I’ve reviewed the Habano and Maduro version of this cigar. At the moment, what remains to be reviewed by me is the Cain “F.” Thanks to Barry at, I have some details. The F stands for Fuerte. The F series differs in the amount of Ligero the cigar contains. The maduro Cain has 77% ligero, while the F has 82 percent. They come in boxes of 5, and are distributed to resellers as 1) Giveaway’s to those who buy a box, or 2) to sell. I picked up my F’s at Tampa Humidor for $25.00. Although I thought the Cain was decent, I wouldn’t consider buying an entire box. Anyway… I paired up with water, and offer you my thoughts on the Cain Habano “F.”


Wrapper: Fuerte – Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Esteli)

Size: 5 x 50

Price: Around $25.00 for a box of 5


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had an overall nice appearance, with a couple medium to small sized veins and no construction flaws. The cigar was a little spongy when squeezed, but bounced back when released. The wrapper had a strong woody odor, and the foot smelled of cedar and pepper. The pre-light draw was free, and had earthy woody flavors.

The burn required two minor touch ups, and the ash held for at least an inch. Construction was great.


On to the part of the review that really matters… Flavor:

The first third opened up with pepper, pepper, and some spicy pepper. It wasn’t overwhelming, and despite packing a nicotine punch, there was no harshness. As the first third came to a close, woody notes entered the picture.


The second third picked up in strength a bit. There wasn’t a lot to speak of in the flavor department. The flavors were in this order: 1) Peppery spice 2) wood 3) Occasional sweetness. That’s it.


The pepper calmed down a bit in the last third, but certainly didn’t go away. I guess it just became a little mellower and smoother. The woody component remained, as did the occasional sweet spice. The smoke feel became thicker and coated the mouth. This third was the most enjoyable for me.



Obviously this is a full bodied, full strength cigar. Like my other reviews of the Cain, this was pretty much exactly like my review of the Cain Habano. Although the flavors were good, and the cigar tasted refined, I still think the focus is on strength over flavor. Personally, I prefer flavor over strength, whether it be a mild or full bodied cigar. If this sounds like something you’d like, by all means pick up a few Cain cigars now. Personally, I’d take a LaFlor Dominicana Double Ligero over any Cain. Oh – Incase you are wondering… Like the other Cain reviews, I did smoke this on an empty stomach and had no sickness at all. Just a pretty good nicotine buzz. Buyer beware!

Xikar HC Series Habano Colorado + CONTEST!

Monday, October 12th, 2009

You’ve seen me using the Xikar MTX Multi-Tool for well over a year now on every review I do. I also use it on every cigar I smoke. Although intimidating at first, I can’t imagine being without it now.

Awhile back I posted a quick video on how to use the MTX Multi-Tool. You can view it HERE. At the end of this cigar review, Matt shows his method, which differs from mine. You didn’t come here to read my ramblings… So let’s get to the part where you get free stuff.

This contest will run for a couple weeks, and have two winners. The first place winner will receive a Xikar MTX Multi-Tool, and a sampler of HC Series cigars. You will be able to pick whatever color Multi-tool you like, shown below.


The second place winner will receive a 4 pack of the cigar being reviewed, the HC Series Habano Colorado. One contest, two winners. You can thank Xikar for donating both prizes, and my pal Matt for helping me put it together.

Now for the important part… How do you enter? Well, the first rule is that you must be 18 or older. The second rule is that you can only enter once. Then you simply watch the 20 minute review below, where we explain how to enter. Easy! Click HERE and enter now!

Cain Habano

Monday, August 24th, 2009

cain WR 21Lately it seems all the rage is with Olivas latest release they call “Cain.” I believe this is the brain child of Sam Leccia, the inventor of Nub cigars. It is touted as being a triple ligero cigar. A Quick lesson – Ligero comes from the top of the tobacco plant. This means it is most exposed to the sun and elements. This causes a thicker, darker, and fuller bodied tobacco. I’m not one to re-hash all of the details, so for more info check out their website. As usual, I paired the cigar with water.


Oliva Cain Habano 550

Wrapper: Habano Nicaragua

Binder/Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 5 3/4 X 50

Price: Around $6.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

Overall the cigar looked nice. The wrapper had small to medium veins, and the cigar was a bit soft when squeezed. The wrapper smelled of dark, earthy tobacco. The foot had a similar odor with an added sweetness and pepper. The pre-light draw was free, and had a woody, chocolaty flavor. Basically this thing looked like it would be a powerhouse of flavor and nicotine.

The burn was perfect, requiring no touch-up’s. The ash was firm for a little over an inch.



The first third started with a full bodied, in your face pepper and wood. I could taste earthiness in there somewhere, along with some kind of sweetness. After about an inch or so, the pepper smoothed out a little. While it was still strong when passing through the sinus, it felt smoother.


By the time I hit the second third, I had a small nicotine buzz going. That sharp pepper smoothed out even more, but kept it’s bite. The smoothness took on a sweet characteristic with hints of mocha. Next was that woody flavor I spoke of before. Lastly, earthy notes lingered behind everything.


The last third had me in a full nicotine buzz. It wasn’t over the top but I could feel the tingling and lightheaded aftereffects. Most importantly, I had no sick stomach or even the slightest queasiness. The flavor profile didn’t change that much at all. The woody base flavor remained along with a smooth pepper. Again, the pepper kept its zing but retained smoothness. The sweet notes would come and go, as did the earthy undertones.



This was without question a FULL bodied cigar. Although the flavor profile wasn’t exactly complex, it wasn’t boring either. At times it felt like the focus was on strength over flavor, but in the end I enjoyed both. I smoked this on an empty stomach and did not feel sick at all. But what would you expect from someone who smokes a lot and reviews cigars all the time? For the regular or novice smoker, eat a good meal. This one will get you buzzed for sure. If a powerhouse of a cigar appeals to you, I have to recommend trying this for sure.

Xikar HC Series Habano Colorado

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Not too long ago, Andy and Jerry from Xikar contacted me about the new HC Series cigars. They simply wanted my opinion on Xikar’s new cigar blends. Next thing I knew, two sampler packs arrived and it was time for me start reviewing. To the people at Xikar – Thanks for letting me try these smokes! Hopefully I enjoy them like I do the Defiance line. Stay tuned, still have the Connecticut Shade and Criollo to review.

On to the cigar… Jesus Fuego was once again tasked to blend Xikar a new line of cigars known as the HC Series. I tend to enjoy his blends, so lets see if that trend continues. As always, I’m paired up with PUR filtered tap water.

HC Logo

Wrapper: Habano Colorado-Jalapa Valley

Binder: Esteli

Filler: Costa Rida Jalapa Honduras

Size: Robusto 5×50

Price: Around $8.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

Overall the cigar was well constructed. The shiny wrapper had no visible flaws, with medium sized veins. When sniffing the wrapper, I was reminded of a barn. The foot also smelled of a barn, with a touch of pepper. The entire cigar was firmly packed, yet offered a decent draw with a bit of resistance. The pre-light draw had a dark, earthy taste.

The burn was almost perfect and I never had to touch it up. The ash was strong, requiring a firm tap on the ashtray at around an inch.



Right out of the gate, the first third began with strength and said “PAY ATTENTION TO ME!” When retrohaling, I could easily detect pepper and sweet notes. A hint of earthiness hung around but it was very subtle. As I wrapped up the first third, mocha or chocolaty flavors reared it’s head. Very nice…


The second third began with the pepper mellowing out quite a bit. The sweetness remained, as did the mocha. Like the first third, earthy notes lingered but were subtle. The main change was mocha became the dominant flavor.


The last third was great. The flavors really came together and melded nicely. All of the flavors mentioned before were there, but none stood out over the other. It was like they were equal in strength and the recipe was complete. A touch of peppery spice, mocha, earthiness, and strength all in one. As my fingers started to burn, I realized it was time to reluctantly put this cigar down.



I’m sure you gathered that this is a full bodied cigar, no question. Although it wasn’t the most complex flavor profile I’ve had, I can’t penalize it for that. Overall it was a full, rich tasting cigar that I really enjoyed. Even on an empty stomach, I had barely a nicotine buzz and no queasiness. My only complaint is the price. $8.00 for a robusto is a little steep for me. I will admit you get a good bang for your buck. This is a cigar I think most full bodied smokers will enjoy. Even some of you light to medium guys could probably enjoy this. Jerry over at The Stogie Review loved it. See what he had to say HERE.

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