Shelly's Picks

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Davidoff Winston Churchill LE 2019 Robusto 5 * 50
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In honor of Winston Churchill, this special Limited Edition “The Traveler” was created. Made with a Dominican wrapper, San Andres binder, and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican. The packaging is exquisite—boxes of 10 which act as a travel humidor. This cigar does not disappoint in presentation nor performance—simply stunning! The cigar has a nice dark wrapper, smooth and oily. Upon first light, woody and earthy notes are upfront along with spice. Starts off with nice complexity. Into the second third, the notes turn into cream, coffee and nuttiness. I am so loving the changes and complexity. The cigar is a medium to full at this point and totally keeping me interested! Into the final third, woody notes reappear along with leather and also a salty sweetness. The consistency in construction throughout was spot on as is expected from a Davidoff cigar. I enjoyed the experience very much—rich and complex. It is a bit pricey but a very nice treat. Enjoy! Picked on 08/18/2019
Eiroa Jamastran 11/18 61/4 * 52
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This latest creation by Christian Eiroa--a Honduran Puro--the Jamastran--was named after an area in Honduras that is very special to him and his family. I could not wait to delve into this newest masterpiece as I have always been a huge fan!! Besides being packaged in a beautiful, unique pyramid style box, the cigar lived up to the expectation! Upon first light, cedar and earth notes reach out. Towards the end of the first third, a nice sweetness comes into play with subtle hints of red pepper and nuttiness. Into the second third, the sweetness increases, Cedar is still upfront along with some cinnamon for a unique combo and balance. Into the final third, the sweetness fades and the notes become pepper, espresso and nutty. This cigar had great construction throughout--consistent and of course complex. It is rich and robust but any level cigar smoker can enjoy this newest Eiroa creation--I certainly have been! Picked on 07/27/2019
Psyko Seven Maduro Toro 61/4 * 48
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One cannot resist smoking this cigar with such a unique and cool label—it definitely drew me right in! I chose the maduro to try first as I love a Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper. This cigar has a unique mix of tobaccos made up of Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Dominican, Honduran and Pennsylvanian. Upon first light, the sweet maduro is very apparent—very rich. The sweetness is combined with notes of pepper, chocolate, espresso and nuttiness. This smoke starts right off being a delicious, medium smoke. Into the second third, construction is spot on. Sweet and tangy notes are joining together for a perfect, unique taste. I am experiencing notes of citrus, pepper, espresso and leather—all along with the sweetness from the maduro wrapper. The last third finishes with pretty much the same notes. I did not want this journey to end—very, very enjoyable. This cigar is also a great price point! It was definitely the complete package of flavor, balance and construction. A must try! It will definitely become a staple in my humidor! Enjoy. Picked on 07/01/2019
Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas El General 7 * 50
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I have been waiting to smoke this limited edition Joya's Cinco Decades for months!! As I said, it is a limited edition produced to commemorate Joya De Nicaragua's 50 years in the business. This cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro--the company is not really talking much about the blend but says it is made with the best of its Nicaraguan tobaccos-- "their oldest and most prime tobaccos". The wrapper is a very dark brown with a rugged feel to it. Most blends made by JDN start off with a blast of pepper --this cigar is different-- it starts off with a nice rich creaminess. Coffee and red pepper notes follow as well. Into the second third, cedar notes along with a licorice taste are creeping in. Along with those notes is a cherry/fruity sweetness along with cinnamon -- great balance and complexity. Construction at this point is superb--long strong ash, draw a bit tight but not a problem. The cigar stays to a pretty perfect medium body and medium strength. The final third ends in a charrines flavor which I really happen to enjoy! I really enjoyed this smoking experience and I believe you will as well. Cheers! Picked on 06/02/2019
Aladino Corojo Reserva LE Robusto 5 * 50
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This new Aladino Corojo Reserva is a beautiful Honduran puro made with 100% corojo tobaccos –the binder, filler and wrapper. The appearance of the cigar caught my attention immediately and drew me right in. The wrapper is a beautiful brown and has a very smooth, rich look. Upon first light, notes of cedar, coffee, earth and some spice are upfront. I also tasted a nice fruit sweetness. The smoke output is intense and the draw and burn are perfect at this point. Into the second third, I am still experiencing creamy cedar notes and coffee notes but also a nice cinnamon note pops in which makes for a very interesting and delicious balance. Chocolate notes and almost a licorice note are spiraling around as well. The spiciness has calmed down – the burn and draw are still spot on. The final third continues with the same notes along with a slight citrus note jumping in. The overall strength definitely goes from a medium to a full body by the end but very smooth and creamy! I was very impressed with this Aladino Corojo Reserva as I have already smoked three!! This smoke will definitely make its way as a staple in my humidor. Definitely a must try. Enjoy. Picked on 05/06/2019
Kentucky Fire Cured Just a Friend 6 * 52
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The packaging of this cigar is spot on--a very beautiful rustic looking smoke! This cigar uses fire-cured tobacco from Kentucky with Nicaraguan and Brazilian fillers and a Mexican San Andres wrapper--a perfect combination for a unique and great balance. One can only sit back and enjoy the experience! The strength of the fire-cured leaf overwhelms any other aromas of any tobacco. The predominant flavors on the prelight draw are smokey, burnt wood -- in a good way -- like hickory! Upon first light, the KFC tastes like a camp fire or a fireplace--smokey, woody, and a little spicy. It is not really worth breaking this cigar down in thirds because it really doesn't change much in flavor--there is smokey and woody notes and then again smokey and woody notes along with earthiness and a bit of sweetness for balance. As I said, this is not a very complex cigar but a very unique and unforgettable cigar. Construction was great--amazing draw, strong long ash, and a lot of smoke output typical of a Drew Estate cigar. The price is very reasonable for this unique smoke. Everyone should experience this cigar at least once! Enjoy. Picked on 04/06/2019
Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Sun Grown Epicure 6 * 56
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Since I recently had the privilege of visiting the Perdomo factory and farm in Nicaragua, I was honored to do a review on this Perdomo 12 year Double Aged Vintage Sungrown cigar! After experiencing everything from seeding to box making first hand, I have such a greater understanding and appreciation for the cigar manufacturers. The Perdomo Double Aged 12 year Vintage made its first appearance in 2014. There are three different blends -- Connecticut, Sungrown and Maduro. The binders and fillers have been bale aged for 10 years, then another 2 years in charred bourban barrels.Definitely makes for a very well balanced, full flavored smoke! The cigar appears flawless--hidden seams, few veins, and a gorgeous light colored wrapper. Upon first light, a very nice sweetness is upfront along with nutty and fruity notes, combined with the perfect amount of spice. A good amount of smoke output--perfect draw(I saw their big huge draw test machines in the factory that every single cigar is put through many times). Into the second third, the creaminess is amped up along with sweet and fruity notes. Very smooth even though the spiciness is still maintained which combines for a beautiful balance. At this point, construction is still spot on--great draw and razor sharp burn. Into the final third, the flavors are creamy, sweet, spicy, nutty, vanilla, and I taste a little coffee. Strength is medium-full but very, very smooth. This cigar starts off with a bang and ends in the same manner. Even when I am smoking this cigar in public(where people are usually offended) I get compliments on the aroma!!! Definitely worth the price and is a must try! It's everything you want in a premium cigar -- great construction, complexity and a perfect finish. Enjoy! Picked on 03/16/2019
Davidoff Winston Churchill Toro 6 * 54
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I was very interested in this cigar as it has totally been revamped since it’s original in 2014. The original Winston Churchill used a sungrown wrapper with binder and filler from Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. This new blend features an Ecuadorian Rojiza wrapper, a Mexican San Andres binder, and five different filller tobaccos from Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The cigar upon sight is elegant from the new banding to the exquisite reddish brown oily wrapper. Upon first light, a toasty almond favor is upfront along with earthy and coffee notes— right up my alley! Construction from the beginning is impeccable— razor sharp burn, perfect draw. Strepgth is mild to medium at this point. Into the second third, the same almond note that was very strong in the first third is still present but a very smooth creaminess takes over along with coffee, cocoa, leather and earth— delicious combo. A bit of white pepper is also lingering in the background. Burn and draw are still perfect along with a large amount of smoke output. Definitely a solid medium smoke at this point. Into the final third, the flavors change again— creamy peanuts are upfront along with espresso and leather notes. I almost taste some citrus notes as welll. Sweetness has also increased to a nice fruitiness. Strength never goes over a solid medium. Overall this cigar was a very smooth, complex, impressive smoke! Had amazing balance throughout and as I said earlier, construction was as good as you would expect from a Davidoff. I highly recommend this cigar for all types of smoking levels. Enjoy— I certainly did!! Picked on 02/27/2019
Zino Platinum Scepter Series Stout 7 * 52
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While this is not my normal taste palate, I could not resist the temptation to smoke this gorgeous Zino Platinum Scepter Stout. I am always afraid of bitterness with a Connecticut wrapper--no such thing with this Zino! The cigar has a Connecticut shade wrapper, Dominican binder, and fillers from Peru and Dominican Republic. The wrapper has an exquisite color and the cigar also has a great feel. It is a medium packed cigar with a good amount of give to it. When I first unwrapped the cigar, a very very sweet aroma appears. I could not wait to enjoy this special smoke. Upon first light, a sweet cream is upfront along with a slight white pepper on the retrohale--nice combo. Coffee notes and nutiness come into play as well. I had a beautiful long, solid ash after the first third. Into the second third, the flavor profile becomes more interesting. Cedar notes are upfront along with coffee and nutty notes mixed with a smooth creaminess. At this point the only negative thing I can say is that it seems to be smoking a little too quickly. The strength moves from mild to medium--fluctuates. Into the final third, the cigar begins to slow down and notes of cedar, leather, cocoa and an earthiness come into action. It is still a med strength cigar and construction is still spot on. I really enjoyed this experience from start to finish even though as I mentioned earlier this is far from my usual smoking profile--it was a nice change!! It is a bit pricey but well worth the experience. Flavor was great, burn outstanding as well as the draw--a flavorful mild-med smoke. Zino and Davidoff stand up to their name. Highly recommended. Enjoy. Picked on 02/15/2019
Acid One 5 * 54
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ACID ONE is the only non-aromatic ACID blend--so of course I was intrigued about it. I was also in the mood for something sweet! This cigar was cured with 5 different red wines from 5 different countries and then wrapped with a very dark cameroon wrapper and then aged another 90 days! The head of this cigar has a very long, sharp torpedo with a long pigtail and the end of the cigar has a footed bottom. Upon first light, the wrapper is very sweet with flavors of earth, leather and of course red wine popping throughout. Into the second third, fruity notes are definitely upfront with a dot of pepper in the background. Into the final third, the cigar finished as smooth as it began! It ended with tastes of wine, along with hints of fruit. The cigar gives off a smokey aroma along with a little bit of a floral aroma. Construction was flawless-- no relights, sharp burn, long strong ash. I have no complaints! A beginner can enjoy the ACID ONE as well as an aficianado. Cheers. Picked on 02/03/2019