CroMagnon has taken a new shape and unlike the Mode 5 that’s in full production the box pressed Blockhead is an exclusive release to a select amount of cigar shops. The CroMagnon Blockhead contains a long-filler that’s a full-bodied blend of some of the world’s most sought after tobaccos. It features a beautiful US Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, a unique Cameroon binder and an amazing marriage of three Nicaraguan varietals in the filler. The filler leaf for this blend was acquired from three separate growing regions in Nicaragua; Esteli, Condega and a small farm north of Esteli on the Honduran border. The third leaf, a ligero, brings a strong smoky savory flavor to the blend. When combined with the mildly-sweet characteristics of the broadleaf maduro wrapper the exotic bite of the Cameroon binder and the clean finish of its viso and seco companions, the blend delivers the precise deep rich tobacco flavor that Skip wanted to present in the CroMagnon line. “CroMagnon transcends lifestyle. CroMagnon is our culture”
It’s no secret I love the CroMagnon line and the Blockhead moves right up into my top 2! Unfortunately, limited release means just that. I wasted no time getting on a mailing list from Tower Cigars and quickly purchased a box when I was emailed they had arrived. First look is the box pressed shape and a beautiful oily Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper with a slight seam and minimal tooth. This is the first Cro-Mag I’ve had sporting a cigar band, the design was perfect. Two labels, one black and one white . The primary white label is embossed with the familiar Cro-Mag skull while the black label sports CROMAGNON with the RomaCraft logo. Pre light draw had the perfect resistance with notes of earth and rich cedar. Upon first light you are treated to a subtle blast of pepper, coffee, deep rich earth and slight leather. After cruise control burn flavors of charred cedar, leather with the subtle notes of spice and sweet tea. Final third gained flavors of smokey cedar with leather, deep rich earth, coffee, subtle sweet notes and muted pepper balancing out into a medium to full bodied cigar. Construction and draw were perfect only requiring one re-light, so far I have smoked 4 Blockheads and every one has been consistent and an absolute enjoyment to smoke.
Blockheads smoked for review: 4
Size: 6 x 54 Box Pressed
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Kurt Kendall has found a cure for Arachnophobia and the bite of this spider is sure to put a smile on any cigar smokers face. Kendall’s headquarters are located in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is known for resurrecting a turn-of-the century brand called 7-20-4, a clear Havana produced by Roger G. Sullivan in Manchester from 1874 until the Cuban Embargo started in 1963. Kendall registered the dead 7-20-4 trademark and debuted the modern 7-20-4 line in April 2009, with Alec Bradley producing it in Honduras at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L. The Spider originated in the 1930s in Somersworth, New Hampshire, Kurt’s home state. To test the markets acceptance, it was released to a limited number of New England smoke shops in 2011. The Spider features a Honduran binder and filler tobaccos from the Jamastran Valley and Nicaraguan Jalapa, as well as Columbia. Spider, which Kendall says is medium to full in body, will be offered in 20-count boxes that feature a glass lid with an etched Spider logo, single vitolas will retail for about $11 and will come in one size only 6 X 52.
First look is a dark slightly rusty colored oily Nicaraguan wrapper with slight tooth. Pre-Light draw was wide open with woody notes and a strong smell of barnyard. Upon first light flavors of dark bitter chocolate and expresso with nuances of black pepper in the back of the throat. After cruise control burn the bite of the spider kicks up a notch and the dominant flavors are coffee and dark chocolate with hints of pepper. Final third the Arachnoid still delivering flavors of coffee, leather with the bitter dark chocolate notes mellowing into nuances of cocoa with a rich complex woody core balancing all flavors into a High-Medium to Full-Bodied cigar with a perfect finish. Construction was flawless with zero relights required and the burn was razor sharp.
5 pack purchased from: Smokeinn
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Size: 6 x 52
Filler: Honduran Jamastran, Nicaragua Jalapa, Columbian
Oktoberfest is one of the most famous festivals in the world. The yearly celebration attracts millions of people to Munich to partake in the festival, with millions more enjoying the famous beer produced for it. Traditionally, there is a cigar tent for Aficionados to enjoy a smoke with their brew. This year, the Quesada family has blended a cigar specifically to be paired with the flavorful Marzen-style beer produced for Oktoberfest. Blended with a variety of flavorful Dominican tobaccos, the Quesada Oktoberfest is available in very limited quantities. Quesada Oktoberfest, a small-batch seasonal cigar from Manuel Quesada – maker of Casa Magna and Fonseca. With production limited to a mere 500 boxes, Oktoberfest was specifically manufactured to pair with everyone’s favorite libation….beer! Blending a cigar to pair with beer is no easy feat, but who better to fill the tall order than the legendary Manuel Quesada. This hearty Dominican puro all begins with a Dominican Cibao wrapper that is thick, dark and oily. This beautiful leaf hugs an all-Dominican recipe of long-filler criollos, visos, and ligeros, producing a hearty medium to full-bodied cigar chock full of flavor and complexity. Beer, or no beer, the Oktoberfest is great any time of year.
First look is a hearty oily Dominican Cibao wrapper with a generous amount of tooth. Pre-Light draw with flavors of cocoa and slight sweet notes of dried fruit. Upon first light flavors of dark rich coffee, cedar, dark chocolate and earth. After cruise control burn the dark chocolate notes intensified with creamy rich coffee, leather and slight spice with nuances of cinnamon. Final third the coffee and chocolate notes were still prevalent as the spicy notes of cinnamon balanced out the underlying flavors of cedar, leather and rich earth. Construction was perfect with no re-lights needed and the ash held almost to the band. High Medium bodied with a wide open draw, the Oktoberfest was very enjoyable and would pair perfectly with your favorite Oktoberfest beer.
Cigar: The Uber
Size: 6 x 65
Wrapper: Dominican Cibao Valley
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: DR Cuban Seed Criollo & Olor Viso & Ligero
Just when you thought the guys at Studio Tobac couldn’t possibly improve the Nub line, they dangle the Nub Dub. Back for a short time in 16 Nub samplers and sure to vanish in a puff of smoke as fast as they appear! Offered originally in 2010, this full-flavored, medium to full-bodied Nubber features two premium maduro leaves for the ultimate, super rich maduro experience. Nub Dub hails from Nicaragua and utilizes premium Nicaraguan long leaves all masked by a powerful Brazilian maduro wrapper. Beneath this hearty, semi-sweet wrapper you’ll find a zesty Nicaraguan Habano maduro binder which creates a super complex taste and most definitely worthy of full production like the San Andreas Maduro that was offered in the 2011 Studio Tobac world tour sampler and even harder to find, however completely up to Oliva Cigars and Studio Tobac.
First look is a dark super oily Brazilian maduro wrapper with slight vein. Pre-light draw with nuances of coffee, cedar and earthy chocolate notes. Notable barn yard cedar and earth on the foot. Upon first light you are treated to massive dark chocolate and creamy cocoa notes with underlying flavors of of sweet cedar and earth. After cruise control burn there are flavors of expresso, dark earth and burnt cedar with a nuance of sweet tea between draws on the palate. Final third the strength picked up but with flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and creamy cocoa. Construction and draw was perfect and the darkish grey ash held long and tight and would have continued way past the label. This was a High-Medium to full bodied cigar that would have paired wonderfully with morning coffee or a favorite libation after a full meal.
Size: 4 x 60
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Maduro
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-filler
After a lengthy customer testing period, Kurt Kendall, owner of the 7-20-4 cigar brand, is set to debut his newest full-production cigar, the Hustler, is being rolled by Nestor Plasencia at his factory in Danli, Honduras, Tabacos de Oriente. Kendall says the cigar contains no ligero, the strongest variety of tobacco. Kendall, who owns and distributes his cigars under Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England, Inc., first debuted the Hustler on a limited basis in order to receive customer feedback. Hustler debuted at last year’s IPCPR and underwent a trial being released in selected cigar shops. The Hustler sports a barber-pole style wrapper that combines Brazilian Mata Fina with Connecticut Shade tobacco grown in Ecuador. The Hustler consists of a Costa Rican binder and filler tobacco from Honduras’s Jamastran Valley and Nicaragua’s Jalapa Valley. Kendall calls it a medium-bodied smoke, and it is being rolled in three sizes: 5 1/2 inches by 52 ring gauge, 6 1/2 by 58, and 6 by 54. The 27-count boxes for Hustler are broken up into three compartments, with nine cigars of each size filling the spaces. Additionally, Kendall is offering the Hustler in a five-pack in a 4 1/4 by 40 size he calls Dog Walker. Kendall, who is headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire, is known for resurrecting a turn-of-the century brand called 7-20-4, a clear Havana produced by Roger G. Sullivan in Manchester from 1874 until the Cuban Embargo started in 1963. Kendall registered the dead 7-20-4 trademark and debuted the modern 7-20-4 line in April 2009, with Alec Bradley producing it in Honduras at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L.
Barber poles, seems most cigar manufacturers have tried them, gimmick? Novelty? Most have construction issues, burn issues and the list go’s on. Enter the Hustler from Kurt Kendall and 7-20-4 cigars. Every stereotype about barber poles have now screeched to a halt and worthy of a top 5 rotation in anyone’s cigar arsenal. First look is the wrappers of Brazilian Mata Fina and Ecuadorian Connecticut shade grown that give us the beautiful 2 toned look of the Hustler, slight tooth is noted on both wrappers. Pre-light draw had slight resistance with flavors of hay, cedar and graham crackers. Upon first light flavors of coffee, leather and bitter chocolate are noted, the flavors of leather are somewhat muted when the Brazilian Mata Fina ignites. After cruise control burn the resistance on the draw opened up from pre-light and flavors of coffee, cocoa and roasted nuts are noted with the volley of muted chocolate and leather from the wrappers each taking a turn to balance out the Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. Final third was more of the same as cruise control with the wrappers balancing out flavors of coffee, earth and leather with the bitter chocolate notes mellowing into a nice dark chocolate flavor. Construction was amazing as by this time with previous BP’s one if not both of the wrappers have cracked or starting to unravel. The burn was razor sharp and the ash held to an inch or more before falling off. All flavors were extremely balanced in this Medium-Bodied masterpiece with the perfect consistency of flavors between the two wrappers that was an hour and a half of pure smoking pleasure.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrappers: Brazilian Mata Fina, Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade Grown
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa, Honduran Jamastran