Martin's Picks

Martin
MARTIN
FOLLOW
AGE:30
TASTE:All
HOBBIES:Sports, video games, food, good beer
STRENGTH:All
La Palina Classic Natural Toro 6 * 54
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The Palina Classic Toro sports a beautiful Honduran wrapper and binder with a combination of Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan Fillers. From the very beginning, this cigar fascinated me with how creamy it was. Notes of Caramel, nuts, and lovely chocolate were present from the start. The creaminess of the cigar was so smooth that I could not find myself wanting to put the cigar down. The notes stayed consistent with minimal changes throughout my smoking session. I did not have to relight the cigar, with only minor problems with the draw but nothing out of the ordinary. This cigar has made me want to try more La Palina Cigars, and if they are anything like this one, I cannot wait. This cigar is more of a mild to medium cigar, great in the morning with a cup of coffee. Picked on 01/11/2024
Aging Room Quattro Sonata Maestro 6 * 52
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Ever since the Aging Room Quattro Sumatra Sonata came out, it has been catching my attention with its bright colors. Cold Draw shows signs of coffee and lots of spices. At first light, this cigar tells you right away that it's going to be spicy. Earthiness and spice are the strongest notes on the retrohale, but an exquisite mix of nuttiness, cream, earthiness, and tons of spice are packed into this cigar. The second and final third showed a strong emergence of coffee notes, which paired wonderfully with the spice and creaminess. Draw is absolutely great, with only a couple retouches needed on the burn. Aroma was fantastic, which is what I expected from this fabulous line. The smoke output was absolutely fantastic, way better than I expected. This cigar is nice, medium bodied with full flavor, but you definitely need to like spicy cigars if you intend to pick this one up! I would pair this with a nice scotch to sit back and enjoy after a nice dinner! Picked on 11/21/2023
Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre Tuxtla 53/8 * 48
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If you're a fan of the Tatuaje 10th Anniversary Belle Encre, then the Belle Encre Tuxtla is absolutely a must for you. We start off with a nice oaky and chocolatey dry draw, very smooth with just a hint of coffee as well. The first few puffs of this beautifully rolled perfecto gives you bold chocolate notes with a nice spicy retro hale, nothing too strong, just a nice toasty sweetness coming off of its Mexican San Andres wrapper. 20 minutes into this stick and its flavors are still in full effect, the combination of sweet and spice, with a nice chewy smoke that makes you not want to put it down. After about a good 50 minutes, it was time to call it a day, knowing from the start that a cigar this size likely wouldn't make it to the hour mark. All in all, after smoking the original Belle Encre and loving it, the Tatuaje Belle Encre Tuxtla was everything I expected it to be and more. This cigar had a great draw, with complex flavors of chocolate, oak, pepper and its subtle sweetness did not get boring. Its medium body strength makes it an any time of the day type of smoke and I highly recommend it to smokers looking for a delicious cigar to either start or end the day with. Picked on 10/18/2023
Micallef Torcedores Torpedo 6 * 52
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I decided to choose something new I had never tried before: the Micallef Torcedores Torpedo. This cigar has a Mexican San Andres Sumatra wrapper with a Honduran binder and a filler consisting of DR, Nicaragua, and Peruvian tobacco. This cigar has a creamy milk chocolate look, and the aroma is very nice. The cold draw is full of leather and some earthiness. The first puff shows just what the cold draw did, as the cigar greets you with leather but is also very creamy. This cigar stayed consistent of leather, earthiness, and creaminess all the way to the nub. I would highly recommend this as an early morning cigar with a nice cup of coffee! Very good pricing as well definitely a cigar I would recommend for an everyday smoke! Picked on 08/06/2023
Nica Rustica El Brujito 6 * 52
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My slogan is, "Can never go wrong with Drew Estate cigars." Enter the Nica Rustica El Brujito. Sporting a USA Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper along with a Mexican San Andres binder, yeah, I know mouth watering already. The Filler leaves are from Esteli and Jalapa, which are two of the top growing regions of the area. The band itself already makes this cigar look like a winner. As soon as the cigar came out of the cellophane, I was greeted with a chocolatey and sweet smell almost caramel like. Cold draw was just that caramel chocolate, perfectly sweet. The First third of the cigar showed just what the cold draw had very sweet chocolate, coffee, and nuts as the dominant flavors. Second third transitioned a bit into more of Caramel, cocoa and bits of pepper started appearing. The final third combined them both, leaving me quite mesmerized by how sweet and flavorful this cigar was. My final verdict, for the price of this cigar, it is definitely up there as one of the best. Medium-Full in strength and super rich in flavor. I would pair it with a nice Peanut Butter Stout to go along after a good afternoon meal. Picked on 07/07/2023
Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Toro 6 * 52
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On my recent search for a wonderful Mild Cigar, I came across this beauty. The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Toro, sporting an elegant gold and pink band. This cigar is hand-rolled at the AJ Fernandez Factory in Nicaragua and named after brand Co-owner Sharon Holt. The cigar has Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero in the filler, a Nicaraguan binder, and an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. At first light, it absolutely blew me off my feet with how creamy it was from start to finish. Notes of cream, hay, nuts, vanilla and small amounts of pepper, but more than I am accustomed to in a Connecticut shade. The second third saw a small transition to a more woodsy/earthy note, but the final third saw that vanilla and cream come back, which was just superb. Draw was excellent and burn was nice. Aroma and taste were fantastic. This cigar wasn't just great, it is now going to be one that I always keep in my humidor at all times. This is my new favorite mild cigar and probably a cigar that I recommend to all new aficionados and experienced ones who still like a mild cigar with a morning coffee. Picked on 04/23/2023
Macanudo Cafe Prince Phillip 71/2 * 49 
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The Macanudo Cafe Prince Phillip is what I'll be reviewing today. I am not much of a mild cigar guy, but every now and then ill grab one for a morning smoke. This Cigar sports a USA Connecticut Shade Wrapper with a Mexican binder and Mexican Piloto Cubano Filler. The Cold draw gives hints of sweet hay and cedar. Upon lighting the cigar, I am greeted by instant notes of nuts and cedar and a small amount of spice but nothing too harsh. This cigar is absolutely smooth and very creamy with sweet spices that linger from beginning to end. The aroma is phenomenal, and this is definitely something that someone new to cigars would enjoy. The burn is fantastic although the draw gave me a bit of trouble of times. Overall, this cigar is very satisfying and definitely a great pairing with a morning coffee, an absolute gem for someone who loves mild cigars. Picked on 03/30/2023
Liga Privada Unico Serie Nasty Fritas 4 * 52
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The Liga Privada Unico Series Nasty Fritas, what can I say other then what a nasty name! Drew Estate is by far my favorite for cigars. Seeing as its getting cold now, I wanted a quick smoke and this looked perfect! Pre-light, this cigar has a cold draw of cocoa, coffee, and leather. Once lit however, the smoke party started, I have got to say this smoke produces an insane amount of smoke for its size. The first third had notes of leather, chocolate, and pepper, which is quite common with most Ligas. The pepper seems to smooth down going into the second third and notes of hickory BBQ appear. The final third was nothing but the absolute sweetness of chocolate, coffee, and pepper. This cigar is by far one of the best for smoke output I've ever seen and the taste is absolutely phenomenal for the price as well. I definitely will be adding these to my daily smokes as this cigar is about a 30-40 minute smoke and is just perfect for not being out in the cold to long. I recommend pairing it with a glass of bourbon on the rocks. Definitely a Medium to Full bodied cigar but one of my new favorites! Picked on 12/27/2022
La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Churchill 7 * 50
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La Aroma De Cuba Mi Amor Churchill is a rich, sweet smoke rolled in Don Pepin Garcia's Nicaragua factory. Boasting a dark, smooth Mexican San Andres wrapper, it had a touch of spice on light-up that was quickly washed away by a rich, chocolate and coffee sweetness that would remain throughout the duration of the cigar. This medium to full-bodied stick is filled with satisfying espresso notes, but the retro hale gives a satisfying kick of a spicy and nutty wood. As the second third begins, any brief notes of spice feel like a distant memory as the sweetness of the wrapper is brought to the foreground. Throughout the second third, that sweetness, which was so prominent as it commenced, would die back into that same rich, nutty wood. While the draw was a little bit too tight, the construction was great and it was regularly putting up long ash, which I would knock off to not have it spill. This fantastic cigar would pair lovely with a good stout beer! Picked on 12/02/2022
Oliva Serie G Churchill 7 * 50
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The Oliva Serie G Churchill isn't the first cigar that comes to mind when thinking about the prestigious Oliva Brand. Lately I've been in a Cameroon wrapper mood so I decided to give it a smoke. This Cigar contains an Authentic African Cameroon wrapper with Nicaraguan long fillers as well as a Cuban-seed Habano Nicaraguan binder. On pre-light I get notes of almonds and cocoa with a hint of pepper. After lighting the cigar, the first third contains notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and leather. Moving into the second third, the cigar transitions to more peppery, wood and cocoa, as the leather notes linger. As the cigar nears the last third it gets a lot sweeter with the notes of chocolate coming back strong along with espresso and leather. This is by far one of my favorite Cameroon-wrapped cigars, an absolute gem for the price. Definitely a mild cigar that would pair great with a morning coffee. Picked on 10/25/2022
Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro E656 6 * 56
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The Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro E656 is a full Nicaraguan Cigar from the renowned Perdomo Brand. This Cigar was made to commemorate Nick Perdomo's 20 years in the tobacco industry. The Cold Draw offers me notes of Cinnanom and Chocolate with strong bits of leather. This Cigar starts off strong with its blend of flavors with notes of cedar, hay, and cocoa, and the Nicaragua Maduro wrapper seems to be just perfect for it. Nearing the middle of the cigar gets a bit creamier and notes of coffee start emerging, but strong amounts of cedar are still there. As the cigar reaches the final third it stays consistent with notes of Espresso, Leather, and subtle hints of cocoa. There is just the right amount of pepper throughout the cigar that definitely keeps me satisfied. Definitely one of Perdomo's finest in my opinion, a strong cigar from the start. Without a doubt a full body cigar, which I would pair with a good scotch. Picked on 09/20/2022
Kristoff Vengeance 660 6 * 60
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Usually when a cigar comes off the market it is never seen again. Luckily for me, this one came back with a vengeance. The Kristoff Vengeance 660 now sports a beautiful USA Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper giving it a nice oily chocolatey appearance. The Cigar also has an Indonesian binder and to top it off, a pigtail cap! A mixture of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers were used in the making of this cigar, which I have to say is quite intriguing. The notes found in this cigar are an extreme amount of coffee/espresso along with chocolate and good amount of earthiness to it. You will get hints of cocoa and a bit of what seems like honey. If you like a good strong coffee/chocolate with very minimal amount of spice, look no further. Overall, an extremely smooth cigar for its appearance and amazing flavors. This is definitely more on the medium-full side and I recommend having a good scotch or bourbon with it to max out the coffee and chocolate flavors! Picked on 08/03/2022
Liga Undercrown Maduro Gran Toro 6 * 52
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The Liga Undercrown Maduro Gran Toro caught my attention just from its history, especially for the reason it was made. This blend was made by the rollers at Drew Estate to be similar to the Liga Privada line since they were not allowed to smoke the Liga Privada cigars, and then tweaked to perfect the blend. This beautiful looking cigar has an oily Mexican San Andreas Maduro Wrapper, which just happens to be my favorite wrapper making it a huge plus. A Habano Connecticut Binder and Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Habano filler make this the perfect trio. As soon as I lit this cigar I already knew it was just that, notes of chocolate and a good amount of pepper right off the start, with an amazing smoke output as well. The cigar transitions into a bit of earthiness in the middle, but the strong chocolate notes are still there with a hint of cocoa. As the cigar hits the end, a bit of what seems like vanilla and just the right amount of pepper stays lingering, but the chocolate notes are still dominant and the smoke output is beautiful. This cigar is medium to full body and would pair absolutely lovely with a good whiskey. Picked on 06/14/2022
Crowned Heads Le Careme Hermoso No.1  61/2 * 48
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For all the people who like me love a fantastic dessert after a meal, or a good cigar with their morning coffee. Have I got a surprise for you all. Enter the Crowned Heads Le Carême Hermoso No. 1, named after French Chef extraordinaire Marie Antoine Carême who perfected the souffle in the mid 1800’s. This Cigar sports a USA Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with an Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder and Nicaraguan Filler. The cold draw confirms my assumptions of this being a cigar just for my palette giving me hints of chocolate and leather and a bit of pepper, making me not want to wait any longer to spark this treat up. The first third is a blast of sweetness from notes of dried fruit, chocolate, and just a good amount of black pepper to my liking. The second third gives more of the same chocolatey goodness along with hints of cocoa and a small dash of vanilla from time to time, this part is the crème de la crème if you ask me, as it has the perfect combination of chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and leather. The last third continued with the same notes adding a bit more earth and pepper, tuning down the overload of sweetness a bit and adding more strength to the cigar. Construction was ideal, a couple touch-ups were needed, but nothing out of the ordinary. After smoking this cigar I now understand its name. This is a souffle of a cigar and a near perfect one too! I would categorize this cigar as a medium-bodied cigar. Perfect to pair with a morning coffee or a good afternoon scotch. Get them while they are hot! Picked on 04/05/2022
HVC Black Friday 2021 Short Toro 43/8 * 54
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Finding something new to break into my everyday cigars is always a fun hobby. For months I have been looking, but, I think today, after getting a recommendation from one of our wonderful Neptune Customers, I have come across a worthy contender. The HVC Black Friday 2021 edition, who doesn’t love Black Friday, right? HVC makes a Black Friday edition cigar every year with different blends and sizes, but this year's version is the cream of the crop in my opinion. This beautiful Nicaraguan cigar sports a USA Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and it just has the appearance of one of those cigars I tend to love. The cold draw gives me hints of chocolate, leather and pepper, making me already quite satisfied with my selection. The first couple of puffs show a good amount of pepper and spice but soon fade out as notes of chocolate and coffee soon follow. The retrohale is peppery, and I do think the draw is a bit tight but not anything that will cause a problem. The smoke output is great and the flavors stay consistent with pepper, chocolate, caramel, leather, and a good amount of creaminess near the end that just makes it flow perfectly. The cigar does get a bit hot near the end so I would recommend not smoking it too fast. This cigar is more of a medium-bodied full flavored cigar. Drinking a good Stout Beer would be the absolute perfect pairing for this stick. As my friend said MAMA MIA! Perfect flavor, great smoke output, and AMAZING price. I recommend getting some fast before they sell out since there is no guarantee they will stick around forever! Picked on 02/24/2022
Liga Undercrown 10 Corona Viva 5 * 43
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Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of Drew Estate, especially their Liga lines, so when I heard that the Liga Undercrown 10 was released I was more than ecstatic. The Undercrown 10 celebrates a decade of dedication; the Undercrown brand is known as the brand that was "Born on the Factory Floor" and celebrates its 10 years with this Cigar. This cigar just looks perfect, and it comes in the wonderful Corona Viva size that I love. The blue and gold emblem and my favorite wrapper, the beautiful and oily Mexican San Andreas Maduro Wrapper. Lighting this baby up and right off the bat hit with the peppery and spicy start that I have come to expect from the Undercrown line, albeit this one definitely shows a bit more power. But notes of leather and chocolate are right behind it making the flavor perfect. Near the second third I get hints of vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, leather, and a good amount of pepper as well. These stay consistent all the way to the end, making me want to smoke it all the way to the nub. This definitely is on the stronger side, a full body full flavor cigar that I would recommend having after a good meal, but an absolutely MUST try. A good scotch or whiskey with this is the best pairing, one of my new go-to cigars for its incredible price and taste. Picked on 02/11/2022
Flor de las Antillas Maduro Torpedo 61/8 * 52
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The only right way to start the new brand new year? Smoking an extraordinary cigar, and the Flor De Las Antillas Maduro Torpedo is just that. This Cigar shows its elegance with its Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that makes all dark chocolate lovers like myself mouths water. Removing it from the cellophane gives an instant aroma of fruitiness. The cold draw is a fantastic mixture of cocoa and earthiness, and after lighting it up the first few puffs are just the same with a taste of berries joining the mix and just the right amount of spice. The draw and burn are just perfect from the start with no issues occurring at all; the cigar also gives a wonderful hint of coffee right at the start of the second third and is then followed up by more cocoa and fruitiness which are perfectly balanced for my tasting. All the way from the Final Third to the nub the cigar was perfectly balanced with spice, fruitiness, and cocoa as well as some leather. I would say it was the perfect combination all throughout. This stick is a medium-full bodied cigar and I would definitely pair it with a nice Rum, but it is without a doubt one of the best cigars for its price! Picked on 01/06/2022
Liga Undercrown Maduro Flying Pig 4 * 60
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The Liga Undercrown Maduro Flying Pig draws attention just from its shape, who doesn’t love a flying pig! This blend was made by the rollers at Drew Estate to be similar to the Liga Privada line since they were not allowed to smoke the Liga Privada cigars, and then tweaked to perfect the blend. This beautiful looking cigar has an oily Mexican San Andreas Maduro Wrapper, which just happens to be my favorite wrapper making it a huge plus. The beautiful blue and gold Undercrown band just makes it seem like this cigar is going to be royalty just by the look of it. As soon as I lit this cigar I already knew it was just that, notes of dark chocolate and a bit of pepper right off the start, with an amazing amount of smoke output as well. The cigar transitions into a bit of earthiness in the middle, but the chocolate notes are still there with a hint of cocoa. As the cigar hits the end a bit of what seems like vanilla and the pepper comes back but nothing to harsh to my taste. This cigar I would say is medium to full body with AMAZING taste and smoke output definitely a must try. Drew Estate never disappoints, get it today before the pigs fly away! Picked on 12/10/2021
EP Carrillo Encore Valientes 61/8 * 52
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Walking through the aisles of Neptune to choose what to smoke is a challenge in and of itself with so many amazing options. However, the EP Carrillo Encore Valientes caught my eye. Its name and the illustrious EP Carrillo Brand made it a must try. Valientes means brave in Spanish and that alone made me want to pick it up and give it a smoke. This beautiful torpedo shaped cigar comes in a Nicaraguan wrapper, binder, and filler! After lighting it up, I got remnants of fruitiness and spice after the first couple of puffs. The first third was sweet with a small hint of vanilla and woodiness and small amounts of spice. As it transitioned into the second third, I started to feel some cinnamon and some baking spices, but the earthiness was still there, the smoke output was just right. The draw was perfect albeit I had a little trouble keeping the cigar lit. Going into the final third, I got some hints of vanilla again, but it had gone more towards baking spices along with some creaminess. This cigar was definitely a medium-bodied smoke with an amazing combination of flavors and aroma that just left me wanting more. I would keep a flame nearby as I caught myself having to relight it a couple times. A must have cigar, one of my new favorites from EP Carrillo. If you are feeling "Valiente" enough a nice glass of bourbon would be an excellent addition to enhance the already amazing flavors! Picked on 10/09/2021
Martin

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