Alvarez Lopez Corona

alvarez lopez corona cigar signature shot

By the book
5.5 inches by 43 ring size
medium brown (ems) wrapper in a parejo shape
$0.95/stick special deal from watching JR Daily Dutch Auctions

I haven’t had a time to review this cigar thoroughly, but can say it is similar to the Trinidad in several ways. The minty/basil aftertaste, the scent of the wetted wrapper, and the general smoke. It tastes different in the filler, the wrapper is a little finer, the taste a bit different.

alvarez lopez corona cigar with ruler

The size is right on as you can see in the shot with the ruler. 5.5 inches. I cannot say for certain anything about the ring, it feels right for a lonsdale/corona tube.

I also got my photos done and paid a little attention to the cap. More to come when I sit down to write notes as I go instead of just remembering observations.

alvarez lopez corona cigar cap

Pinar del Rio Sun Grown Habano Toro Cigar

My finger test of the ring, which came off but was on quite tight, puts it at a 49, although the book says it is a 50. Quite tight over my ring finger knuckle. I think I got these off CI, I know it was a bundle deal with 5 each of 4 kinds of toros with red, blue, yellow and one other color of ribbon I cannot recall – each being a different wrapper/filler line. CI has these by the box at just over $5 but I think I paid about $1.50 or $2, probably on cigarbid.com when I was buying something else.

red-pdr-toro

The cigar has good tidy up mojo, got me to rehang a wind chime whose rope had deteriorated in the sun and weather – it was a thin nylon decorative rope. My yard is tired and neglected especially my herb garden overgrown with mint.

The wrapper is quite tasty. I lit it dampen more than I have been able to much lately. I have been having cigar Thursdays with a co worker, John, who hadn’t smoked many cigars before. We rolls his on cigs tho and was willing to give it a try. I’ve been bringing in my regular bundle coronas and lonsdales but when he was gone for a week, I walked up to the cigar store not too far from my work. It is called the Humidour and is in a nice space. I tried a corona cigar from a line I have been hankering after for a while – a Tatuaje – #5 or #6 I think it was. Quite tasty with a tough, darkish wrapper. I think it was $9 by the stick. I should check out the box price. Quite tasty.

red-pdr-toro-ruler

Anyway, this toro has been in my humidor a while and seems to benefit from the rest, compared to the ones I had right when I got them. This one lights nicely and puffs along easy for the first 1.5 inches when its taste darkens slightly. Burn is not perfect but even enough, about a 15 degree angle. Wrapper gets that brown paper bag feel I like. Ash has a light brown interior – likely a burn flaw – surrounded by a medium gray, then a darker binder ash ring and finally a light gray to white wrapper ash. As a whole, the ash holds up well. I let it set kind of deep early on – deep in my mouth.

My son goes back to VCU for his 2nd year today. Mom is taking him down to Richmond. Two younger sons about to enter milestone years – the last elementary year for the younger and the high school senior year for the older. I loo at the slate of my patio deck and am reminded of my client – Exquisite Surfaces. They have photos of limestone pool decks that are really lovely. I also love their limestone cobblestone and garden pavers for outdoor use. I have seen a great many of their limestone flooring and fireplace installations in magazines and in photos they have shared with me and have visited their showroom in Beverly Hills, which is quite lovely. Paula knows limestone like nobody’s business.

The cigar’s pace slows, nice taste at a slow pace. Not a super tight stick but no pieces coming out in my mouth like overly mixed cigars. Spanish is coming along slowly. My attempt to make my long commute a little more productive.

The smell is nice – tends to a sweet sort of smell. With 2.5 inches left taste heats up and tickles the back of my throat. As it sortens further, bitter tastes coat my mouth and tongue pleasantly. I don’t hold it deep any more, too short. Very nice finish. I would give it a 79 so. With the ribbon and the mas printed ring it tries to look better than it is, but it isn’t bad.

La Gloria Cubana Wavel Robusto Maduro

I have been enjoying these – got 5 or 10 (I should check) in a special deal on CI. Said to be 5 inches by 50 but by my measures 4 and 3/4 by 46, certainly not the 48 that would go over my ring finger knuckle. The ring cam off intact but it was tight. Very dark color wrapper and inner both but mild in my experience. Pretty. Extremely firm. Wrapper yields almost no taste and feels heavy, like cardboard. When wetted, the wrapper has almost no scent. It has been in a 67% humidor for more than six months.

la gloria cubana wavel robusto maduro cigar

It has that kind of perfectly built up cap that makes th end look nice and round. Drawing the unlit cigars – it tastes tobacco spicy and make the spit flow more.

Lights well as they all have. Mild taste. Thin burn plane quickly spreads across the lit end. Since I’m not walking, which wiuld be usual lately, I am taking it slower and more consciously.

It doesn’t have the strength in body or taste I associate with such a dark cigar. If you read more of my posts, you will see I like small, dark robustos. This on is different. It does have a distinctive taste with some spice to it. But id doesn’t affect me the way other maduros do. I started to go for a toro, but thought I had better write up the La Glorias before they are all gone.

I got it as a special at CI (naturally), in a 5 or ten pack deal. I tried to look it up but couldn’t find what I paid, I feel certain it was around $2.50 or $3. Normally around $4.

la gloria cubana maduro robusto with ruler

The bumblebees like the blooming oregano in my garden. My vegetable patch is almost all herbs and flowers this year. Too many vines in the yard altogether. I started a full time job doing internet marketing work for a company that owns TV stations. They even own the Pensacola news station I grew up watching.

The ash holds tight, very white wrapper ash as typical of dark wrapper – pretty – with curcumferential lines where the burn pauses. This one, as all the others, burns quite evenly, if not perfectly so.

After an inch, I feel a spice burn at the back of my throat. The smoke floats away in front of me like I like it to. I can watch it move away. More than a smidge in my nose irritates it and this floats away, not bothering my eyes or my nose. The dissipating smoke of a cigar is one of the more pleasing aspects of enjoying one.

I flick the ash to look at the interior. filler gives the same white ash as the wrapper with a narrow dark grey to black binder ring. I hope I can figure out just what it is.

As it shortens to mid point an ash taste comes to the back of my mouth. The wind shifts and strengthens. It is qute a spitty cigar. I am glad I have a glass of water.

Taste advances in my mouth continued ashy as it moves closer to the front of my mouth and as it is hotter.

A sour sort of taste enters as it heats around 2-2.5 inches left and the nose sweetens. In the height of summer a white cabbage butterfly flits around the Becky daisies. There is a pleasant breeze in the backyard shade. I wonder if I will be able to read my notes.

I haven’t bought any new cigars for quite some times. I think I have still more than 100 sticks in the igloodor, but little time to enjoy them. Still I reflect on my fortune to have gotten a good job doing what I know best. The long commute rips away many of the activities I love, but I find new hikes, walks and a bit more social interaction.

With an inch and a half I think I am about done but I don’t want to leave it off. Still and all, nice – an 89 I think.

Nestor Miranda Doppelbok Robusto

nestor miranda doppelbok robusto cigar
5 inches by 50 ring size
Robusto shape with a Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan long-filler
$1.62/stick in deal for 20

Update, 11/13/12: I had to go to a business breakfast this morning that would involve a long commute in rush hour traffic coming home, so I packed a cigar in my pocket for the anticipated delays. It was the Doppelbok and boy was I glad I did. I took this cigar at the pace I really should take all of them, very slow and smooth. I spent just about 45 minutes on this robusto and probably could have spent another 15 but I got back to the office and needed to get to work. At that slow pace I really could appreciate some of the subtle tastes I’ve read people use for cigars that always seem to elude me, including chocolate in this case. I noticed the inner ash was very dark – unusual in my experience. If you find this cigar available, I recommend it.

The original review below.

The Doppelbok felt a little stiff/dry, I should check this small humidor for humidity level. The ring was almost too tight to come off, and then it is almost too wide to wear and write, uncomfortable as it is. But the upshot is that I put it at 50+ based on the ring. The stick seems very tight, draw is slow/hard.Has some high touches in the nose right from the start.

nestor miranda doppelbok robusto cigar with ruler

The stick takes up spit and slows down, I taste things in the smoke that remind me of wood and peat. The nose sweets stay right there, confusing my tongue a little.. When I push the stick to the back of my mouth, my nose tickles too much.

The ash is stiff/strong and white. Holds on for more than an inch. Burn is mostly even, not perfectly so but not bad at all.

Near the end, ashier tastes, peppery, and something high. Peppery oils in my mouth in the aftertaste.

I finally set down with plenty of clear time and a clear mind to write about the Doppelbok as I smoked it with a more throrough appraisal. I wondered who is Nestor Miranda. This cigar is loose-ish at the foot and the filler has a sort of dimple instead of a straight cut. The cap is buitl up and fills that dimple till bitten off. I rushed the light instead of enjoying the chew segment. It is loose and airy, at first has a bit of wood smoke smell. Lots of puffy smoke. I think despite my hygrometer telling me it is ok my humidor is a little on the dry side with the shift of seasons to colder weather and dryer air indoors. From first light the cherry spreads a little oddly, and it seems to smoke fast, but soon enough the cherry looks as it should.

Something of the sweet tobacco taste, either filler or wrapper seems to be comingh through in what I want to say is a non-smoky taste. It reminds me of the molasses sweetness of chewing tobacco but not nearly such strong true sugar sweetness as that, more in the way of an incense, a hint of that sensatin, and it is as much in the taste as the smell. For all the Nestor Miranda Dopplebok’s looseness it prceeds slowly, but then again, I’m sitting calmly and am able to be much more conscious of what I’m doing and in control of just how I’m smoking it.

My neighbor cam by and talked. The fall evening black birds are moving past in their waves. Big flocks of chattering starlings and crows in pairs. the (real) black birds usually make their way with the starlings.

The Nestor Miranda Doppelbok stick now has something like the pillowy feel I like, with the wrapper suggesting the feel of brown bag paper. Cedary overtones in the nose, the earlier molasses having disappeared as the smoke reaches me hotter, but still only an inch gone, and somethign that reminds me of the smell of plywood sawdust.

Something is happening on the sides of my tongue. As the cigar smoke comes in my mouth, it is warm and excites som sort of savory sensations. When I let my mouth clear to aftertastes, some ash on the sides of my tongue and something like anise or sassafras root. Tastes contune to deepen as it shortens, tars becoming more prominent in taste and scent. The cedar nose deepened, too, adding something else – a hint of spice. Plenty of nicotine kick.

Gurkha Cigars – comments on the brand

I have lately been doing a lot of my cigar smoking in the car and today was no exception. This makes it hard to come up with a decent review, since I need to write as I go to get anything coherent. It does not, however, reduce my enjoyment and may, in fact, increase it.

Anyway, today I had a Gurkha which came in a CI sampler. I don’t know exactly what stick it was. It had a gold band and was a dark colored toro and was thoroughly enjoyable. The taste was medium full and it had a piquant quality like good spicy food. The scent was very pleasant.

Gurkha has a reputation for being overpriced. I think this is often due to their over the top packaging. Since I buy mine mostly as bundles or parts of samplers, I don’t pay for the over the top packaging – pretty – but if I can’t smoke it and am going to throw it away I sometimes question the point. I have particularly enjoyed both the mild Gurkhas (I am a fan of the Beauty and the Symphony) and the more full bodied (the Vintage Shaggy is fun). The toro today brought them back to mind. When I can get them at a bargain price, I think they are entirely worthwhile – and as long as Cigars International keeps sampling and bundling them I think I will enjoy them.

I also wanted to give a shout out to one of my clients – Superior Seamless Gutters of Bergen County New Jersey and Rockland County New York. They not only clean and maintain gutters, but also are the local representatives for the Roof Shampoo roof cleaning service. A good roof cleaning can make your house look much more attractive – very important when you are selling – and of course, keeping your gutters clean can prevent water damage walls from clogged gutters causing water to cascade down the side of your house, and basement flooding by channeling water away from the base of your home.

Gran Habano Corojo #5 Robusto Cigar

This is a nice, 5 by 49 or 50 cigar. It is one of the ones Dezi sent me and I don’t know where it came from or how much he paid. I do know it would be a $3 cigar by the 5-pack if you bought it from CI. It has a tiny bit of a red hue, and is on the dark side.

The cap when I chewed it as usual, was very mildly flavored and mostly scentless when dampened. It had a mild and pleasant pre-light draw, but it sharpened right up when I lit it. All the sticks Dezi sent me have a very pleasant wrapper feel – this one supple and oily. The early flavor is full and tasty with some down low tastes entering. Not sweet but something leaning in that direction. Sort of a sugarless caramel. The stick is tight, the draw a tad constrained but not a very hard pull.

It burned mostly evenl with a slim finger of wrapper projecting at the 1.5 inches smoke mark. The taste is very pleasant, some cedar emerges as it progresses. I am letting it run to a little hot. It seems milder thna I would have thought at first. The ash is quite light grey with a very thin dark grey binder ring. In the last 2 inches, the taste darkens as you would expect. Very pleasant and in line with the quality I have come to expect from Gran Habano.

Bella Torres Robusto

This is my last stick from a box of 20, so I figure it’s time to review. I bought this box of Bella Torres Box Pressed Robusto Maduro from bestcigarprices.com back in June. I paid a sale price $34.95 or $1.74 per cigar. There appears to be a change in marketing or manufacturing because they’re now called Bella Torres by Habana Cuba and only offer these cigars in 5 packs going for $17.95. Bella Torres is list as an exclusive brand for Best Cigar Prices. I’ve gone back and checked periodically and they no longer put these on sale.


I very much like this cigar and I reluctantly gave one to Joe in our cigar exchange. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did.

The wrapper is slightly shiny with a barnyard and rich tobacco scent. The construction is firm but gives nicely when I hold it with my teeth. I cut my cigars instead of biting them so I’ll let Joe describe the flavor of the cap. The cigar lights easily and evenly, with an easy draw. First tastes are wood and tobacco, and remain so through the top third of the stick.

In the second third, the flavor deepens to sort of a sweet (like licorice maybe)leather and I get the nicotine kick and a nice tingle in my mouth. Lots of smoke but that could be because I tend to smoke fast.

The cigar finishes with a coffee and dark chocolate taste – very nice! Cool finish and smoked it down to a nub.  The ash throughout was gray and black mottled that fell after an inch and a half.
I really like this medium body cigar but I don’t see myself paying $3.59/stick. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they go on sale again.

Summer Round Conclusions – Cheap Cigars

Over the course of the summer, I focused on cheap cigars, especially those already in my humidor. This meant a lot of Raitas, Trinidads, Thompson Habano Explorers, Flor de Filipinas, Bocks and some others. My favorite – the Riata Nicaragua corona. This little cigar has been my staple and my favorite.

The Riata Nicaragua has a lot of the same taste characteristics as the Trinidad corona, but the wrapper is darker and the taste is a bit superior. Not that I don’t enjoy the Trinidad, but the Riata, consistent with its higher price, has better taste, better burn, and rose to the top. I paid a bit over $1/stick for this cigar in a J&R Dutch auction bundle. The Trinidad, purchased the same way was quite a bit lower priced (about 25%). Between the two Phillipine robustos, the Thompson was pretty consistently better. Hard to explain since from the binder in they are the same stick, but the Thompson seemed to taste fresher, the Flor de Filipina had a musty taste unlit on a pretty consistent basis. I still smoke all four. Worth mentioning are the Alvarez Lopez Dominican corona, the Menendez y Garcia cazador and the Mr. B green original. The Bock toro and the Fonseca 1907 toro have also been much smoked over this period. I enjoy the Fonseca but it too often gives me burn issues, degrading its taste. The burn problems usually sort themselves out, but for as much as 1/3 of the smoke I deal with burn tastes, which decrease my enjoyment of the cigars very much. The Bock is fuller bodied, largely avoids burn issues, but it pricier.

The big lesson is how much better the corona fits into my available time. There are bound to be a lot more coronas in my future purchases.

Rigoletto Black Baron Lonsdale

Six inches, darkish lonsdale, my guess is it is around a 44 ring size. Dominican. Fairly tasteless dark wrapper, gives off little scent when dampened in my mouth. The camp, when chewed, releases little flavor, but does color my spit. Very slight mustiness to the unlit draw, this is very favorable compared to the heavy mustiness of the Flor de Filipinas I have been smoking so many of recently. It has a sort of rough feel in my mouth and looks a little rough, too. Taste is nice at the start of smoking it. A pleasant, sweet thing in the nose, fairly conventional tastes. Draws well. Yesterday I had a Thompson Corojo Cubano robusto from the same gift/exchange package I did with Dezi. I had it on a walk so didn’t get to really review it. That stick softened up a lot in my mouth, it was alright but nothing special. This Rigoletto Black Baron cigar is quite firm in my mouth and has a bit of the flat sides of a box press, and also looks a bit squarish like a box press, although not super squared off like some. The burn stays even through the first inch and is pretty tasty.

I read the latest Thompson Catalog a bit. The smoke progresses to a still tasty and slightly darker, lower flavor. A slight roll imperfection leads to the burn getting a bit uneven but nothing like the troubles I have with the Flor and the Fonsecas that have been my regulars, and with little or none of the burnt tastes I get when they go crazy uneven. The taste is mostly mild with a little bite felt under the tongue and a little sweet bit in the nose continuing.

The wrapper ash is dappled light grey with a few darker grey spots and some brown spots. Interior ash is more dappled and a slightly darker binder ring. Like the Thompson yesterday this cigar gets a little steamier as it progresses. At halfway, I notice some ashy bitters in the aftertaste. I would call it mostly mild despite the dark wrapper which would usually clue me in to a fuller taste and body.

With one third left a minty/tarry taste enters and the body seems to get more full. The tarry taste sort of coats my tongue and the nose is more prominent so much closer to my nostrils. This is a quite pleasant cigar and despite how much i liked toros at first, I think my preference has moved to coronas and lonsdales, especially if I can site when they seem to go slower.

The taste darkens and deepens considerably at the finish as ash and tar enter the taste fully and the body reveals itself as more full.

All in all very pleasant. I call it an 85. I’ll ask Dezi to comment on where he got it and give his impressions.

Augusto Reyes Emperador

I received this stick in an exchange with Dezi. I think I may have had an Augusto Reyes of one sort or another before but it isn’t sticking out in my memory and I’m pretty certain this is the first one I have reviewed. It is quite long, 7 and 1/4 inches and narrow enough that the ring does not go over my ring finger but has room and to spare on my pinky – so I put it at 46 or 48 (when I look it up on CI they say 7.5 inches by 50). The wrapper is not flavored like a highly feermented one – think of Nicaraguan sticks – and it didn’t smell like the elephant house when first dampened. It tasted similar to a Connecticut when I chewed the built up cap. However, it is much darker, a medium color wrap.

The draw is a little difficult. To be honest, more than a little difficult. It does smoke though. At first, the taste is nondescript, mild medium cigar flavors. After smoking 2 inches the taste darkens some. I have to be conscious about not biting it too hard because that makes the draw even more difficult, but the difficult draw and the hard sucking required seems to make me bite it.

The ash is light gray with a very dark gray binder ring visible. There is something sweet in the nose, a good match for this season of jasmine blossom. The shiso and other late mint family annuals are also blooming and will soon wither, now is the time to feast on their leaves. I am rotating the stick and seating it deep to get a better draw. However, of burn issues, there are none, nice even burn. I sort of expect that in a narrower stick and it is gratifying to get it, lately I’ve had a lot of burn issues in robustos. All this hard sucking is sort of shredding the wrapper in my mouth.

Using my macro lens I am able to read the tiny print on the ring and I see it is a Dominican cigar. It lacks some of what I regard as typical traits of Dominican cigars, like the orange rind scent, but its mild taste seems right and its built up cap. At four inches, the draw improves a bit. The nose darkens and it quite pleasant, the taste not markedly different over the past two inches but something is coming in under my tongue, a tingle burn and a high minty oregano sort of taste in y throat when I rest it to check on the aftertaste. As the draw loosens, it burns a bit more quickly.

As it shortens further the dark taste settles all over my tongue growing tarrier and deeper. Draw continues to get easier and the stick heats up some.

A flock of crows moves in to the trees in back of my house and they fly about quorking to each other. Most social birds. Then they move on towards their evening roost.

Short, the taste is still mild and pleasant, though progressively darker with a nice nose. The sweet is gone and it is all cigar smoke nose now with perhaps something of hay in it. Just a little steamy. Minty in the tongue. Hats off to Dezi for a fine selection. 84 I put it, even burn down to the end. In CI the price is $2/stick.

By the way, I do have photos for this and the last post, but need to get them onto the computer to crop and resize.

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