Jason Zahner's Blog (124)

Covering Your Ash: Warped Corto X50

As I sat on my porch this past weekend, I wasn’t expecting too much from the little Robusto in my hand. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard great things about Warped Cigars and head honcho Kyle Gellis, but the diminutive stature and understated band on the Corto X50 belied a mouth-watering flavor bomb with a punch! The Corto (Spanish for short) is Warped Cigars first full-bodied…

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Added by Jason Zahner on March 18, 2016 at 7:48pm — 2 Comments

Covering Your Ash: Camacho American Barrel-Aged

The venerable Camacho brand underwent a reboot a couple of years back. While the makeover has been largely cosmetic, Camacho has added new production lines to its portfolio. The American Barrel-Aged line, launched last summer, is one of them. A blend of American leaves, for the most part, it is also part of a growing trend that seeks to incorporate elements of liquor…

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Added by Jason Zahner on February 27, 2016 at 9:26am — No Comments

Covering Your Ash: Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon

Ten years ago a former Los Angeles entertainment lawyer-turned-cigar mogul introduced the Rocky Patel Decade, one of the highest rated and most popular cigars in the company’s history. Last year the company’s owner and namesake had a new crop of Cameroon wrapper that he wanted to try but he needed to test it with a known quantity, so he repalced the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper…

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Added by Jason Zahner on December 30, 2015 at 6:12pm — 2 Comments

Covering Your Ash: Undercrown Shade

Drew Estate, makers of the uber popular (and uber dark) Liga Privada No. 9, Nica Rustica, and Undercrown, decided that it was finally time to lighten things up a bit, so-to-speak. That’s when Master Blender Willy Herrera, famous for his Herrera Esteli and Norteno lines, started working with the original blenders of the Undercrown (the rollers at the Drew Estate factory) to…

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Added by Jason Zahner on December 23, 2015 at 6:12pm — No Comments

Covering Your Ash: MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka

Mel Shah’s Bombay Tabak introduced the Mbombay KeSara blend a couple of years back, and it has enhanced the line with the release of the KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka. This stick features a tweak of the original tobacco blend and is offered in one size. The aim is to offer a rich and intense flavor profile, always a worthwhile endeavor. Who wouldn’t want to take such a smoke…

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Added by Jason Zahner on December 17, 2015 at 7:24pm — No Comments

Covering Your Ash: Herrera Esteli Norteño

The Herrera Esteli Norteño is the sophomore release by Drew Estate’s Willy Herrera, and the first since being named Master Blender. Willy’s original blend, the Herrera Esteli, is hands-down my favorite all-time smoke, so I was very eager to see how the latest offering stacked up.



CIGAR STATS: The Norteño (which refers to people in the northern…

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Added by Jason Zahner on July 31, 2015 at 8:12pm — 5 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: EZRA ZION TANTRUM P.A.

The Tantrum P.A. by the Ezra Zion Cigar Company, makers of the popular Jamais Vu and FHK, is the follow-up release to the limited edition, original Tantrum (my #1 cigar of 2013). The P.A. in the name stands for “Passive Aggressive” which the company says is in reference to the “strength-mild-strength dynamic when smoking the cigar.”

CIGAR…

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Added by Jason Zahner on January 30, 2015 at 8:15pm — 2 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: Miró Momentos

Cigar smokers tend to think the industry is entirely the province of the Americas, but upon closer inspection we come to realize that’s really not the case. There is plenty of high-quality leaf grown in Africa and Asia, and there is, of course, no shortage of smokers around the world, along with cigar makers who cater to them. Kuuts is one such European company that has…

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Added by Jason Zahner on January 9, 2015 at 10:22pm — 1 Comment

COVERING YOUR ASH: SINDICATO MADURO

Back in June we reviewed the Sindicato, the flagship release from Sindicato Cigars, a company formed by a group of retailers with the sole intention of putting retailers and consumers first. Today we take a look at the Sindicato Maduro, released back in October of this year. The Maduro joins its Natural counterpart in bolstering the company’s portfolio that already includes…

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Added by Jason Zahner on December 15, 2014 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: EZRA ZION FHK

The Ezra Zion FHK, released in January of this year, is part of the company’s Honor Series. The initials stand for “Fathers of Hoover and Kelly,” after the owners, Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly. This is our fourth review of an Ezra Zion cigar. The first one, Jamais Vu (then called Inception) was our #1 cigar of 2012 and the second one, Tantrum, was our #1 cigar of 2013.…

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Added by Jason Zahner on November 28, 2014 at 9:54pm — 3 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: BLACK ABYSS

Jochy Blanco has cranked out a few in recent years with the likes of Boutique Blends sticks such as Aging Room and Swag, and he has teamed up with retailer JR Cigars to produce Black Abyss. With a track record like his, who wouldn’t want to take a crack at this Dominican Republic-made product? Count me in.

CIGAR STATS: Black Abyss features a…

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Added by Jason Zahner on November 7, 2014 at 8:39pm — No Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: ARANDOZA WHITE LABEL

Not a lot of information is available on Arandoza Cigars, maker of today’s CYA subject, the White Label, but what I do know about this relatively new brand is that they are made at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, home to the very popular Espinosa Cigars.

CIGAR STATS: The Arandoza White Label, released last year, is the second blend in a line…

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Added by Jason Zahner on October 23, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: 1875 ROMEO Y JULIETA BULLY

What’s in a name? In the case of this particular stick, plenty. The 1875 Romeo y Julieta is one of Altadis USA’s newest releases – intended for brick-and-mortars only – but you may be scratching your head, thinking you’ve seen (or smoked) a cigar that goes by that name. You would be wrong, but only by a little. The Romeo y Julieta 1875 has been around for a while, but…

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Added by Jason Zahner on October 22, 2014 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: NOMAD S-307

The Nomad Cigar Company has been in existence for just two years, but it has made its mark on the industry with some quality products. One such blend is the S-307, released late last year. The box-pressed stick is Nomad’s first produced in Nicaragua, via the Tabacalera AJ Fernandez.

CIGAR STATS: The S-307 features an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper enclosing…

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Added by Jason Zahner on September 12, 2014 at 8:52pm — No Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: MONTECRISTO ESPADA

One of the iconic brands from the Altadis family of brands – Montecristo – has introduced a new line featuring Nicaraguan tobaccos. The Espada is Montecristo’s first Nicaragua puro, and it’s a collaborative effort, blended by the Grupo de Maestros and produced by the Plascencia family. That’s an impeccable bloodline. The aim is a medium-to full-bodied smoke with a complex…

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Added by Jason Zahner on August 15, 2014 at 8:32pm — 2 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: DAVIDOFF NICARAGUA TORO

One of the most highly anticipated cigars of 2013 was the Davidoff Nicaragua and being named the #3 Cigar of 2013 by Cigar Aficionado only increased the hype. Released last July, the Nicaragua is the first-ever Nicaraguan Puro from Davidoff and represents quite a departure from the mild-to-medium premium Dominicans that have anchored their lineup.

CIGAR…

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Added by Jason Zahner on August 7, 2014 at 10:37pm — 7 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: THE BANKER BY H. UPMANN

The backstory with H. Upmann’s “The Banker” may be a bit more elaborate than most that accompany new releases, but who isn’t entertained by a good yarn every once in a while? The cigar references the Upmann family’s business heritage, recalling German banker Herman Upmann’s 1844 trip to Cuba, where he created a special blend from Cuban-seed tobaccos for his closest friends…

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Added by Jason Zahner on August 1, 2014 at 8:33pm — 3 Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: NICA RUSTICA EL BRUJITO

Today’s offering, purchased at the amazing cigar lounge Mickey Blake's Cigars & Golf in Southington, CT (www.mickeyblakes.com), comes from Drew Estate, one of the world’s largest makers of hand-made cigars and creators of one of my favorite smokes, Herrera Esteli, as well as Liga Privada,…

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Added by Jason Zahner on July 18, 2014 at 9:18pm — No Comments

COVERING YOUR ASH: DUNHILL 1907

The Dunhill company has been around for more than a century, conjuring images of old London, Churchill, and plenty of pipe smoke. This spring Dunhill added to its cigar portfolio with the release of the 1907, its first new full-time brand since 2001. The 1907, distributed by General Cigar, is named for the year the company was founded, when Alfred Dunhill opened his shop in…

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Added by Jason Zahner on July 11, 2014 at 7:51pm — 1 Comment

COVERING YOUR ASH: BLESSED LEAF KAIROS

Kairos is a micro-batch cigar created by Blessed Leaf, a cigar-based Christian ministry. Blended by Ezra Zion Cigar Company, creator of one of my all-time favorite smokes, the Tantrum, Kairos is made by the Casa Fernandez factory in Miami.

CIGAR STATS: Kairos is a Nicaraguan puro with a Corojo ‘99 Rosado wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and filler that…

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Added by Jason Zahner on July 3, 2014 at 9:49pm — No Comments

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