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Gurkha Cellar Reserve Salomon Review
By Mr. Penny
8/8/2011 2:42:00 PM  

This well packed Salomon from Gurkha is part of their new cellar reserve line up which uses a 98 Criollo wrapper, a Dominican Olor binder, and a 15 year old Criollo, Nicaraguan filler.


(Sorry about the washed-out pic, did not know I had the flash on)

This large Salomon looks like one hell of a smoke right off the bat. It’s got a nice pigtail cap and a shiny cocoa colored wrapper, with some medium sized veins running through it. The cigar has a solid feel with a bit of give when squeezed. The wrapper gives of a pleasant smell of baking spices and a bit of hot chocolate. The prelit draw is very tight but has some earthy hints with a nice note of cinnamon.


The first third of the cigar starts off, like many other Salomons, with a very uneven burn and a tight draw. I am getting some decent smoke volume though so I’m not concerned. The flavors consist of toasted oats and earth with a tangy citric acidity on the finish. The smoke has been at about a medium body and has been relatively smooth from the first puff. The aroma is a very pleasant bittersweet chocolate and towards the very end of the first third some wood notes are coming into play.


The draw opens up nicely coming into the second third and provides ample amount of smoke. The burn still requires a lot of touch ups but with a lighter at hand it’s really not a problem. Notes of oak have joined the main profile in this third as well as some mild spices, including vanilla and cinnamon, which play nicely off of the oak notes. The finish is a bit drier in this third but is still very much a citrus acidity. Some elements of spice join the finish but it’s still a mostly smooth medium bodied smoke with a dark gray ash that only holds about an inch at a time.


In the last third the oak notes take the main stage as well as the notes of cinnamon and vanilla. This smoke has reached the lower end of full bodied and at this point I am getting tons smoke with each puff.

All in all this stick had a great flavor progression, a very slow burn, a mouth watering finish, and great aroma. While the burn may have been a bit ugly it was nothing that I couldn’t keep under control. Gurkha is definitely adding a strong new line, which is sure to please any cigar smoker.


Mr. Penny

Currently rated 4.5 by 2 people

Tags: Gurkha, Cellar Reserve, IPCPR review, Nicaraguan puro, salomon cigars, new Gurkha cigars
Categories: Product Reviews, What's New, IPCPR Watch
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Kristoff GC Signature Series Robusto Review
By Mr. Penny
7/26/2011 1:20:00 PM  

I’m assuming that the GC in the new Kristoff GC Series stands for Glen Case, President of the brand. After the experience I had with this cigar, you can attach my initials to it anytime. This new release from Kristoff is a flavor bomb and is sure to be a hit once it reaches store shelves.


Taking off the cello this dark, oily, behemoth of a robusto immediately intimidates me. Measuring in at 5 ½ x 54 this robusto is a hefty smoke, moving my fingers across the cigar I can feel this is very well packed. The wrapper has a very rustic look, which is dominated by two shades of dark brown and is practically oozing oils. The wrapper is very aromatic and has a classic barnyard aroma with a sugary hint of molasses and spice, which reminds me of a good barbeque sauce. This cigar is topped off with a pigtail and a closed foot.


The cigar lights very easy and the first few puffs reveal warm earthy notes with hints of french press coffee. The finish has strong notes of molasses; slightly malty, sweet, and savory. This cigar starts as a very smooth medium bodied smoke with a creamy mouth feel. The draw is tight for the entire first third, there is a lot of standing smoke but I'm still getting a decent amount of smoke volume. The draw problem does not effect the burn which is rock solid with a nice burn line. By the end of the first third, sweet hints of cocoa fleet in and out of the main flavor profile.



Coming into the second third the draw really opens up and the body starts its crescendo into the  medium-full range. This is when the Kristoff GC really starts to shine. A lot of complexity starts building, the main profile is still earthy and loaded with notes of coffee but the second third really brings a lot of new flavors to the table. Roasted nuts and wood with hints of cloves and some mild baking spices join the main profile creating a smoke with tons of flavor. The finish is long and rich and still consists of that mouthwatering molasses taste. The ash holds almost the entire way through the second third and is colored a light gray. Just look at that ash! The burn is perfectly slow and even.

The last third steps up to the full body range and the cigar opens up even more giving me loads of smoke with the lightest of puffs. The woody notes have evolved into what I would call sandalwood and is becoming more dominant in the finish. A bit of black pepper is coming into play adding a nice spice element to a smoke that has been silky smooth up until this point. The wrapper is really leaving a nice sweetness on the lips and really just rounds out this smoke making it extremely balanced with a very extensive flavor profile. The last couple of puffs really coat the mouth and coming to the end of the smoke I feel a healthy dose of vitamin N making its way through my body.

This smoke lasted for a wonderful 2 hours and 15 minutes and I really have to say it was like smoking a barbecue dinner. The Kristoff GC Signature Series Robusto is complex medium to full bodied smoke that really packs a plethora of flavors while keeping a very consistent and balanced profile of earthy notes, coffee, roasted nuts, wood, and mild baking spices with a rich and sweet molasses finish. Glen Case definitely has a winner with this one!

Pairing note: I paired this cigar with a Hung Shui Oolong from Feng Huang Taiwan. The floral sweetness of the tea blended well with the malty sweetness of the cigar and brought forth a more well rounded character of sweetness which was pleasantly smooth and refreshing on the palate.

-Mr. Penny

Currently rated 3.8 by 9 people

Tags: kristoff gc series, glen case, signature series, kristoff cigars, ipcpr pre-release reviews
Categories: Product Reviews
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Casa Miranda Chapter One Robusto Review
By Mr. Penny
7/22/2011 12:40:00 PM  

This Casa Miranda exclusive was blended by Titan de Bronze’s master blender Willy Herrera and is rolled exclusively by level 9 rollers. This cigar features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with binder and fillers from Nicaragua.   

Looking at the cigar my eyes are instantly attracted to the rich mocha brown wrapper which has a couple of thin veins coursing through it. The cigar has a decent weight in the hand and lacks any hard or soft spots. The wrapper smells distinctly of warm bakers cocoa and is very smooth and velvety to the touch. After clipping the well applied triple cap I take the pre-light draw which is very open and has nice mild baking spice notes with some black pepper on the tongue.

The cigar lights very well, the first few puffs have a nice spice but that dies down quickly into very smooth earthy flavors with sweet cocoa notes. The smoke starts off around the lower end of medium bodied. One of the best qualities of this cigar is its aroma, it’s a very sweet chocolaty aroma with some cinnamon mixed in. Absolutely great.

The first third consisted mostly of those earthy flavors with cocoa as previously mentioned. Occasionally a nice note of toast or wood would appear intertwined with vanilla. The smoke volume is great, this is a “one sip puff” type of cigars. The burn was okay all though a touch up was needed here and there. The finish is long and sweet with a dry tingling in the cheeks.

The second third was very much a replica of the first on taste with a bit of a build in body and mouth feel. The ash held about an inch and a half and fell coming into the second third. The only real difference in the second third was the finish, which was a very mouth watering caramel flavor.

The end of the cigar was a bit dryer than the rest but the flavors still held, the burn however got a bit wavy, needing touch ups here and there but this is understandable considering these cigars only came in recently and probably need to rest a bit more.

Overall this was a dessert of a cigar, sweet chocolate and earth with nice dry woodnotes coupled with an awesome draw make this medium bodied cigar a real treat. Miami Cigar has a tasty and flavor-packed cigar that medium body cigar smokers will very much enjoy.

-Mr. Penny

Currently rated 5 by 1 person

Tags: casa miranda, miami cigar, willy herrera, el titan de bronze, nestor miranda, IPCPR, pre-release, cigar review
Categories: Product Reviews
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