Archive for the ‘review’ Category

Oscar Valladares Super Fly

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
Super Fly is being billed as the strongest Oscar cigar yet. While that might be true, don’t let it scare you. This is an exceptionally smooth and complex cigar.

Slaughterhouse Bundles Cigars – A Great Everyday Value!

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Realizing that smoking premium cigars can become an expensive hobby, here at JR, we like to review the everyday affordable cigars as much as higher end offerings to appeal to every segment of the consumer market. That said, today we look at a line of value-priced smokes that may just hold the distinction of having the worst name in all cigar-land…. the abattoir inspired Slaughterhouse Bundles.

Slaughterhouse is offered by the Ventura Company, a boutique cigar brand originating from Southern California that is home to such top-selling brands as Archetype, PSyko Seven, Cuban Rounds, and more.

Slaughterhouse cigars are currently available in three sizes that feature a dark, oily, and rare Dominican Habano wrapper, dual Mexican and Sumatra binders, and undisclosed “multi-country” blend of mixed filler tobaccos. In keeping with its somewhat grizzly theme, Slaughterhouse cigars are packaged in butcher paper-wrapped bundles of 10, with a blood red and black brand logo prominently displayed on each pack.

Now that we’ve critiqued the odd name and packaging, it’s on to the good stuff, simply put Slaughterhouse is a heckuva’ tasty cigar!  Expect a solid medium body smoke with a rich earthy sweetness, accented with nuances of coffee, cedar, and spice, delivered with a such a slow and even burn, you’ll swear you are smoking a long-filler cigar! Hats off to the skilled artisans at Ventura who did a fantastic job of tightly rolling theses cigars to assure that you are not spitting out pieces of tobacco after every puff!

Don’t expect Slaughterhouse Bundles to garner many top-ratings or be named one of CA’s coveted cigars of the year, but at this price point they absolutely slay the competition!

Zocalo — A Mexican Wrapped Beauty from CAO

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

CAO is a company known for always thinking outside of the box when it comes to blending and rolling, that’s why in recent years, this brand has become one of the most sought-after names in premium handmade cigars. This massive portfolio of 90+ rated cigars, consists of a wide array of binder and filler leaves from various countries throughout Central America rolled inside a compelling assortment of wrappers in various shades.  Now, for the first time in its history, CAO is using a Mexican wrapper on one of its cigars, and it’s called the CAO Zocalo, a beefy 6 x 60 vitola. Fittingly, this limited-edition selection of only 3,500 cigars were released just in time to coincide with the Famous Cinco de Mayo holiday.

CAO master blender Rick Rodriguez employs a special Morrón wrapper grown in the San Andrés Valley by the “First Family of Mexican Cigars, the Turrents of Te Amo fame. He chose this prized leaf for its deep earthy flavor and aroma.  Resting below this oily wrapper, is a toasty Cameroon binder and a core of aged long fillers from Nicaragua.

Zocalo refers to the name of the main square in Mexico City which was the inspiration for this feisty smoke. In addition, to pay tribute to this legendary Mexican landmark, the boxes and bands are adorned with colorful Zocalo artwork in a striking red, white, and black design. 20 of these stunning cigars come seated in each box.

As intended, this limited edition south of the border indulgence is bold, full flavored, and earthy at its core, with nuances of white pepper, chocolate, and hickory wood, adding layers of complexity. Thick billowy clouds of musky, sweet- smelling smoke reminds you that you are smoking a classic Mexican-style cigar, and, in true CAO fashion, the construction is top-notch, the burn is razor-sharp, and the draw is effortless.

Zocalo is an exceptional example of how the artisans at CAO have applied their generations of cigar knowledge and expert blending skills to create an iconic cigar that truly displays the spirit of Mexico.

EP Carrillo Encore – A Fantastic New Smoke from Ernesto!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Originally slated for release in 2016, but postponed until 2018, the Encore cigar line of premium cigars from industry legend Ernesto Carrillo has finally arrived, and you can get them now, right here at JR Cigar!  This much anticipated release is the first and only blend in the popular Family Series that is made with 100% aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. The filler tobaccos are from the country’s three primary growing regions—Estelí, Condega, and Jalapa—while the binder is from Estelí, where the dark volcanic soils are known for producing Nicaragua’s most powerful tobaccos. The wrapper is a deep-brown, slightly mottled Jalapa varietal, that adds a spicy sweetness to the flavor profile.

Distinguishing Encore from other brands that use standard fermentation procedures, is its unique Cuban“Tercios” method of curing and aging. In making these ultra-premium cigars, palm tree bark is wrapped around the tobacco to create tight bales. This process allows a natural two-way humidification system that brings out the utmost in flavors and aromas from the leaves. After 1-year bound in these bails, this normally strong blend of all Nicaraguan tobaccos takes on a smoother medium body character.

After toasting and lighting these gems, the cigar aficionado will experience a slow burning smoke that provides copious amounts of sweet smelling smoke and a mouthwatering combo of rich earth and a distinct tobacco sweetness, accented with hints of cocoa powder and spice. The EP Carrillo Encore is suitably named, because this is a smoke you’ll come back to time and time again!

Presented in five popular vitolas, only the finest trained Cuban torcedors in this famous Dominican factory get to roll every Encore cigar, including the great Ernesto Carrillo himself!

The EP Carrillo Encore is suitably named, because this is a luxury smoke you’ll come back to time and time again!

La Hoja Cigar Co. 1962 Cigars – The Rebirth of a Cuban-Style Classic

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

La Hoja Cigar Co. 1962 is a beautifully rolled line of premium handmade cigars made in small-batch fashion. This s a contemporary rebirth of an old Cuban brand produced by a three-generation tobacco growing family that escaped Castro’s persecution to become one of the best-selling boutique cigars on the market today.  Founded by brothers Willie Flores and Carlos Gomez, the brand was first introduced in 1990 when the two men set up shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. Flor de Florez cigars became so popular with the locals that word of mouth had New Jersey smokers gravitating to their shop in droves. In 1992, when Cigar Aficionado came out, these cigars acquired national fame and remained a hot commodity until 1998 when a lawsuit over naming rights brought the brand to a sudden halt, with production ceasing to exist

This lawsuit was finally settled in 2011, and fast forwarding to 2018, the La Hoja Cigar Co.1962 cigars are bigger and better than ever with three popular lines currently available in the company portfolio: La Hoja Edición Clásica 1962, La Hoja Edición Maduro 1962 and La Hoja Reserva Limitada.

All medium to full body in strength, the three-blend line starts with the Reserva Limitada 1962 that boasts a refined recipe of six- years aged Dominican and Nicaraguan binders and fillers covered with an oily, medium brown colored Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. By using vintage tobaccos, this complex blend of coffee, earth, cinnamon, and nuts, are delivered with a buttery smoothness on the palate.

To appeal to the smoker’s dark side, La Hoja’s sophomore release, Edicion Maduro 1962 presents aged Dominican Piloto Cubano, and Nicaraguan long-fillers rolled inside a tantalizing licorice black San Andres wrapper from Mexico. Savory flavors of nuts, spice, dark chocolate, maple, and sweet caramel make this offering a real Maduro lover’s dream!

The latest installment to the highly rated La Hoja portfolio is the Edicion Clasica 1962.  This luxury – selection of two big ring vitolas are rolled in a classic box-pressed format with a core of aged Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos capped with an oily Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper. These beauties truly capture the taste of the original Cuban namesake with a zesty peppery base that harmoniously intermingles with more subtle notes of coffee, sweet spices, wood, and cedar.

Revamped, revitalized, and still growing, La Hoja Cigar Co. 1962 promises more exciting premium blends in the future, and if these three selections are any indication of what lies ahead, this company will be a force to be reckoned with for generations to come!

The Majestic Davidoff Winston Churchill Cigars

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, the late Prime Minister Winston Churchill took charge of a nation on the verge of destruction by the Nazi war machine and through sheer determination, led England through its darkest time in history to emerge victorious. He did this while smoking up to 10 cigars a day and enjoying his favorite libations, namely whiskey and brandy.

Davidoff, one of the most respected names in the cigar industry, in conjunction with the Churchill family, pays tribute to this legendary man with the gorgeous line of Davidoff Winston Churchill premium handmade cigars.  Although a fairly new release, this line of luxury smokes is already considered one of the finest cigars on the market.

The Davidoff team designed these top-notch vitolas to appeal to many styles of smokers. The four original sizes have a blend of 5 unique, hand selected Dominican Cuban-seed filler tobaccos, co-mingled with Nicaraguan leaf, plus a Negro San Andres binder, carefully rolled inside of a beautiful shiny and oily Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper. two other sizes, the Belicoso, (sold in tins of 4) and the Petit Panetela, (sold in tins of 5) feature a beautiful Ecuador Habano wrapper, a Pelo De Oro Visus Peruvian binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos. There’s even a more affordable 5-pack selection available for your sampling pleasure.

Davidoff Winston Churchill Cigars boast core flavors of almonds, wood, sweet cream, and caramel, with the different wrapper variations adding a host of mouthwatering nuances that include peppery spice, chocolate, and fruit. One thing they all have in common is a medium to full body strength profile— just the way old Winston preferred his cigars!

Whether you are a Davidoff fan or just a true cigar aficionado, when the sun sets, and your work day is done, this is the cigar you should settle down and relax with.

Order your Davidoff Winston Churchill cigars right here at JR Cigars.

Revisiting La Finca Cigars – A genuine JR Classic!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Premium handmade La Finca cigars have been a top-choice with our customers since they made their inaugural debut way back in 1972. Think about it, When these cigars first lined our shelves, Nixon was the president, the Internet was still 20-years away, and your phone was still attached to a wall! And yet, this brand still delights cigar smokers who prefer even their everyday smokes to have outstanding construction and luxury flavors. The cigars get their name from La Finca Vigía in the San Francisco de Paula Ward in Havana, Cuba, this little slice of tropical heaven was one of Fidel Castro’s favorite getaway retreats, as well as being the summer home of Ernest Hemingway. First produced in an era long before “niche” brands and boutique style cigar came to fruition, the fact that La Finca still remains a top-seller is a true testament to its unwavering consistency. This brand also holds the distinction of being one of the least expensive cigars to receive excellent ratings in both “Smoke” and “Cigar Aficionado” magazine. And, speaking of CA, the 5.5 x 44 La Finca Corona was rated a 91 in Cigar Aficionado’s 4th edition buyers guide, making it one of the most highly sought-after smokes in the industry, even surpassing most of the big name high end brands, for a good part of the mid-90s!

La Finca cigars are expertly rolled in Nicaragua with the original recipe that includes both a deep brown and a darker Maduro shade Ecuadorian wrapper over the finest aged Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos. Medium to full in body, the cigars display thick clouds of sweet-smelling smoke and hearty notes of peppery spice, leather, cedar, cocoa, and a healthy dose of roasted nut flavors. The Maduro wrapped variety bring some chocolate, and sweet fruity components to the flavor profile.

The famous La Finca Corona is still alive and kicking along with all the other popular sizes, but the cedar lined boxes have been replaced with 25-count bundles to keep production costs down. Highlighting the lineup is the La Finca Ammo Box that made its debut in 2000 to more than just rave reviews—they sold out in just one day! This ingenious packaging, a first of its kind, features 91 (6.12 x 50) Toro cigars packed in a super-airtight, cedar lined genuine military Ammo box. 18-years later, this one-of-a -kind-offering remains in very high demand.

Today, the industry is thriving with a seemingly endless selection of exciting new brands, but the classic La Finca remains one of the best cigar deals out there. Why not go retro and give these nostalgic smokes a try— we think that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much quality you get for such a budget-friendly price.


Cigarillos: Get To Know Them, Get To Love Them

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

I remember the first time I ever lit a cigarillo. I was sitting outdoors for lunch on a hot summer weekday, roasting away at some swanky New York City restaurant that’s probably turned over twice by now. I knew that being in the company of my superiors meant I’d be able to fully enjoy the meal without the burden of watching the clock. I was certainly in good company—these guys signed my checks, were fans of the same sports teams, and shared my love for anything wrapped in a tobacco leaf. Time may not have been a factor that afternoon, but once the plates were cleared and the ice had melted in our glasses, break time was clearly over.


“We’ll have another round,” my supervisor said to our server. I gazed at him half bewildered and half blatantly enthused. “Cigar?” he casually asked.


Right then? Really? I probably even looked at my watch! He grabbed his blazer from the back of his chair and pulled out a little silver tin. I immediately recognized the Davidoff logo, as any seasoned cigar buff would…but what was this miniscule packaging? He opened it and handed me the tiniest cigar I’ve ever seen. Was this legitimate? Did Davidoff really make something this small or did this guy shop on Canal Street for his smokes?


I probably lost all credibility in my supposed cigar knowledge as I stared at and examined this thing. I gave it a little squeeze and it sure felt like a cigar. I gently slid my finger up and down its wrapper; it was definitely rolled like a cigar. I held it up to my nose to give it a whiff, and it certainly smelled like a cigar. I put it to my lips, grabbed his torch, and lit up—and dammit, it actually tasted like a cigar!


Because, despite its size, it was a cigar.


Put simply, cigarillos are a shorter, narrower variation of the standard cigars you know and love. Larger than cigarettes (their greatly inferior cousins), cigarillos are wrapped in tobacco leaves or brown tobacco-based paper and, like cigars, are typically made without filters. They smoke exactly like their big brothers (so don’t inhale!) to provide the same satisfaction and bold flavor…but in a quick 10-minute window.


I’ve always had a borderline obsession with compact things. Less is more; portability and convenience are two constant necessities in my current lifestyle. Realizing that I could essentially keep a pint-sized version of my cigar humidor in my pocket or briefcase, I quickly embraced this change. I began to study and sample these distinct offerings. And now I welcome you to this greatly underrated and underappreciated fold.


The first rule of cigarillo culture is—actually, there are no across-the-board rules other than they’re small. But the options never end! There are such unique blends and offerings out there that you couldn’t possibly fathom their existence without opening up to them. There’s something for everyone and, I assure you, I’m not overcompensating with that statement. I’m so adamant about the top-notch quality and convenience of this superior cigar style that I’m going to break down all the pros one by one.


Luxury: There are big, premium offerings in the cigarillo world. The aforementioned Davidoff brand become an icon in Europe back in the ’70s and it’s still going strong. But Davidoff isn’t alone; there are plenty of brands that offer high-quality handmade cigarillos or premium-tasting machine-made ones. Industry giants like Montecristo, Cohiba, Ashton, Romeo y Julieta, and H. Upmann, to name a few, all manufacture exceptional tasting and well-crafted cigarillos that exude high-end class and luxury. Other brands that have conquered this market are just as familiar: Panter, Nat Sherman, Garcia y Vega—all names you’ll recognize, but absolutely must try in order to understand the elegance and robust flavor meticulously crafted into these compact marvels.


Quality: With such notable names producing cigarillos, you can expect the same top-quality construction and flavor complexities as you would from their full-size offerings. These sticks have a pretty decent shelf life due to being almost universally sold in stay-fresh tins or pouches. It’s another plus for those forgetful smokers who let their cigar humidors dry out, or even forget to throw their newest selections in. Mostly precut and ready to go, these top-quality cigarillos almost always provide a smooth burn and great pull.


Taste: Don’t be fooled by their shortened stature! These little sticks pack as much bold and savory flavor as the big boys. These premium-tasting smokes can be as pleasantly mellow as a sun-aged Cuban, or as robust and decadent as some of the finest full-sized maduros. In fact, due to their size and the improved logistics of machine-manufacturing, there are some exceptional blends and distinct flavors that are only available in this smaller size. Which brings me to…


Variety: Whether they’re handmade or machine-made, there are myriad cigarillo options available. In fact, I’d even go beyond that to say that this class of cigars may have the widest selection of them all—the world of cigarillos isn’t limited to miniature versions of the classics. The lower cost of producing and increased technology have allowed for some of the most innovative types of tobacco products out there. Vast flavor selections from popular machine-made brands like Phillies, White Owl, and Zig-Zag range from exotic fruit infusions, to rich and aromatic decadence, and even boozy varieties like wine- and cognac-infused delights. Old-school brands like Toscani and Backwoods offer straggly-looking sticks that pay homage to the old west. Prominent manufacturers like Black & Mild even switch up the tips for an extra bang for your buck. Seriously, this paragraph could go on and on; there’s flavor for every palate, and a top-notch pairing for any meal or cocktail.


Affordability: Perhaps the best thing about cigarillos is that there’s something for everyone; there’s a smoke for your premium aficionado, a basic offering for your rookie smoker, and even a fruity blend for when you force the Mrs. to head to the cigar lounge with you. But most importantly, there’s a type that fits any budget. Cigarillos are typically less expensive than standard full-sized cigars; even big names like Davidoff and Montecristo craft cigarillo-sized offerings that are cost-effective without compromising taste or quality. And makers of already affordable full-sized stogies, like Dutch Masters and Toscani, offer cigarillo-sized assortments for an even more economical smoking option. (Just be on the lookout, especially when shopping online, as some of the more inexpensive names only market their products under its brand name; despite technically being a cigarillo, the term may not be used on its packaging or online listing.)


So I think I’ve kept you here long enough. If you made it this far, you’re definitely as intrigued by these tiny treasures as I first was. Check out some of the names I’ve mentioned and browse our first-rate assortment of top-quality, premium-tasting cigarillos in all our available varieties. Knowing is half the battle, and now you’re right there. Give cigarillos a shot by taking advantage of our superior selection and unmatched prices. See for yourself what all this fuss was about! You’ll be glad you did.

Alec Bradley Family Blend

Monday, September 28th, 2009

While Jerry is on a short leave from The Stogie Review tending to the new arrival in his family, Matt and I are attempting to fill in for him. I’m only posting the review here at for archive reasons.

See what we thought of the Alec Bradley Family blend. This review is featured at The Stogie Review, don’t forget to visit by clicking HERE.

MP3 Audio Only

Alec Bradley SCR

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The Alec Bradley Cigar Company was nice enough to give Ed and I a sneak peek at their latest cigar, the SCR, or Select Cabinet Reserve. This review is featured at our other home, The Stogie Review, as well as St. Pete Pipe and Cigars. Make sure you pay them a visit! In the mean time, see what Ed and I thought of the SCR.

Sorry about the audio hum in the first section. Sounds like we had a small ground loop going for a little while, or I had the microphones too hot. Luckily it wasnt too bad.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!