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Graycliff_2

Size: 6×52, Torpedo (Pirate)

Wrapper: Jalpetec Maduro

Filler: Peruvian, Columbian, Mexican, and Brazilian Long Fillers

Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: $12.00

This is Agent 24 from The Cigar Spy! I am back doing some “off-the books, contract work” for the gentlemen here at Cigar Reviews! My target for Matt and Jed was The Graycliff 1666 Pirate. Graycliff is known for their high-end cigars to match their famous resort in the Bahamas. The 1666 Pirate is a special edition cigar released to commemorate the church that was built in 1666 where the resort now stands. The area has a rich history and this cigar is meant to honor that history. We shall see if it can stand up to the high standards set by Graycliff and in turn by Matt, Jed and I!

Appearance:
The 1666 has a beautiful blue with gold outline band. This is the first thing to catch your eye and it is very appealing. The wrapper is dark, almost black,  and is oily and very toothy. It gives the appearance that it’s gonna bite! Construction is firm all the way from head to foot with very few veins and I see no defects in the roll. The foot gives off an aroma of dark chocolate and fresh cut hay. After the cut, the pre-light draw is a little tight, but I am still able to get a solid pull.

Burn:
From the light, the 1666 has an excellent draw, putting to rest any worry I may have had. I am getting thick clouds of white smoke that smell of roasted nuts and cocoa. The burn was even until about half way through, when it started to burn unevenly. I gave it a few minutes to try and even out on its own, but ended up having to do a minor touch-up with the torch. That being said, while it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the smoke, I expected better. The ash was a solid white with flecks of brown with little to no flakes and held about an inch to an inch and half before I felt it needed to be ashed.

Flavor:
The flavor profile on the Graycliff 1666 Pirate did not disappoint. Right from the start, I had hints of roasted nut and dark cocoa. These flavors stayed consistent throughout. I also got the occasional hit of a sweet spice. It had a little bite to it, but with an undercurrent of sweetness. Also from about one third of the way through until the final third, I tasted some wood and earth undertones. I retrohaled throughout the entire cigar and was never left with an overpowering feeling of spice. It was quite smooth. The overall flavor profile was complex and I would rate it as high-end medium to low-end full in strength.

Overall:
Graycliff is known as a high-end smoke and is not something I would normally smoke, if only due to the price point. I enjoyed the cigar from start to finish and would smoke it again, if gifted. I have had other lines from Graycliff and always found them to be high quality and enjoyable. The 1666 falls right in line with the rest. The flavor was complex and enjoyable. At no point was I overwhelmed with nicotine and it went well with both the Stella Artois and spring water that I paired it with. I could see this being an everyday smoke if you can afford $360.00 a box, but that’s not for me. If you enjoy a medium to full- bodied smoke that keeps you on your toes with the flavor profile, then I recommend trying at least one. I do not believe you will be disappointed! Thanks to Matt and Jed for bringing me back for another “perilous” (ha, ha) mission!

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Size: 5¼x54, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian ‘Desflorado’ Connecticut-seed

Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: $8.99

Score: 9.6

Today we review the newest cigar from Berger & Argenti, the Entubar. The release of this cigar was recently announced at the 77th Annual IPCPR Convention and Trade Show in New Orleans, LA. Shipment of this cigar was set to commence the middle of October to 150 tobacconists across the United States. According to a recent press release, Berger & Argenti Premium Cigars is a privately-held company headquartered in Miami, Florida with agricultural and production facilities in Esteli, Nicaragua. The press release also described the process utilized to create the Entubar:

Each deeply aged Nicaraguan filler leaf is carefully rolled into itself creating delicate ‘scrolls’ of rich, flavorful tobacco. This age-old method ensures open chambers of air flow from the foot to the head of the cigar, creating a superior draw…The ligero tobacco leaves that lend the cigar its unique full body is bunched independently from the rest of the blend before it’s re-bunched directly into the center of the remaining entubar rolled filler blend. This ligero channel ranges the full length of the cigar and extends ¼ beyond the finished trimmed foot, creating a startlingly unique fuse like appearance that virtually assures a perfect, conical burn with a long white ash.

To be honest, I was very intrigued when we received this cigar from B&A. Though I was familiar with the Entubar rolling method, I was not sure I knew the ins and outs of this time honored Cuban tradition. This process is different than the more common booking method, where the filler leaves are laid atop of one another and then rolled up.

So, with quite a lengthy introduction to a very unique cigar, let’s get to the review!

Appearance, 1.9:

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Of course the first thing you notice about this smoke is the ¼ inch of filler protruding from the foot of the 54 ring gauge Robusto. It really gives the cigar a unique appearance. The wrapper is smooth to the touch and the cigar is firm with good weight. Though a band does not make a cigar, Berger & Argenti really did a great job with it. The label at the head of the smoke is double sided with a very classy sticker holding it in place. The inside of the label is an explanation of the entubar rolling method. The band at the foot adds a nice touch and the advice should be followed on this smoke. The pre-light aroma is of earthy tobacco with a hint of spice. The cigar cut cleanly and the cold draw is heavy on spice, leaning towards pepper with some sweetness.

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Burn, 2.0:
After a healthy toasting per instruction, the cigar lights right up with a nice even burn ring. The draw is perfect, really one of the best I have ever had. We have posted additional pictures to show the burn progression of this smoke because of the unique rolling method. As you can see, the ash held for three plus inches and is medium gray in color. Burn temperature was excellent throughout and I smoked it to the nub. Not much to say here, as this smoke burned like a champ from foot to nub.

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Flavor, 2.8:
The first puff on this smoke produced a nutty flavor and surprisingly no spice at all. As I moved into the first third, I picked up notes of cedar, some spice through the nose, and some herbal notes on the finish. The second third seemed to become fuller in flavor with earthy tobacco being the main character. This third of the cigar also had continued herbal notes with some spice and a tiny bit of caramel on the finish. As we rounded the corner and headed for home, the cigar picked up the green pepper spice a bit with the earthy tobacco flavor becoming increasingly fuller and more satisfying. The smoke was creamy throughout and this resulted in a very satisfying coating of the palate. Huge finish on the last third of the smoke, with the caramel still present on the exhale.

Overall, 2.9:
What a great smoke; the tradition of the construction really got my interest when I first started the review but at the end of the day, the draw, burn, and flavor is what really made the difference. The cigar was easy to smoke and the transitions and complexity were very satisfying. If you are lucky enough to see these, grab some or grab a box—they are well worth the price of admission and you will not be disappointed.

(Total: 9.6)

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IMG_1936

Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí Ligero (32%), Jalapa Ligero (25%), Condega Ligero (25%)

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 5, $25.00

This is Agent 24 from The Cigar Spy! I am doing some “off-the books, contract work” for the gentlemen here at Cigar Reviews! My target  was The Cain F. The Cain is the latest offering from Nub architect Sam Leccia and the Oliva family of cigars. It is billed as a full ligero cigar. This means that the filler is almost 100% ligero. The ligero is the top of the tobacco plant and is billed as the most flavorful and powerful part of the plant. Sam uses 3 different ligeros from Habano Seed Estelí, Jalapa and Condega plants. Each plant name represents the region of Nicaragua that it was grown.  The F, which stands for Fuerte, is 82% ligero as compared to 77% ligero in the regular lines.

Appearance:
This is a cigar that is meant to speak for its self and it comes unbanded. It does come in a nice cedar package with the 5 cigars inside wrapped in a red Cain ribbon. It is very nicely constructed. It is firm from head to foot, with very few veins and no loose spots. The wrapper is an oily, dark brown and smells of cedar and fresh cut grass. After the cut, the cold draw was outstanding and I have a lingering sweetness on the tip of my tongue. This surprised me; I do not expect this cigar to be sweet!

Burn, 2.0:
From the light, the Cain F has a great draw and thick, billowy smoke that gives off the aroma of cedar and dark cocoa. The burn is consistent all the way through and needs no re-lights or touch-ups. The ash is bright white and holds almost through the entire 1st half of the cigar. I only ashed this cigar four times during an hour and a half of smoke time.

Flavor:
As expected due to the strength of the ligero, I was immediately hit with a blast of spice. This left a lingering hot pepper taste and was a little spicy on the retrohale. While it did give a hot pepper burn on the retrohale, it was not overwhelming at all and actually was kind of pleasant. If you enjoy spicy food, you know what I am talking about; it was spicy, but enjoyable. The real treat was the other flavors that made up the profile of this powerhouse. During the 1st third, I had a woodsy, roasted nut flavor that balanced out the spice. This continued throughout the cigar with the occasional hit of dark cocoa to make for a consistent and balanced flavor profile.

Overall:
Oliva and Sam Leccia have another winner in the Cain F. I enjoyed this full-bodied smoke from pre-light all the way through to the nub. I was expecting a powerhouse of spice and while it was spicy, it had a nice even flavor profile throughout that balanced out the power of the spice. Also, while I had heard that this was a nicotine powerhouse as well, I found it to be very even on the nicotine as well. I did get that full stomach feeling, but at no time was I overwhelmed. I will definitely be adding the entire Cain line to my regular rotation and at the price, it is an affordable and enjoyable full-bodied smoke for anyone who likes a little kick in the ass from time to time!

Thanks Agent 24 for the Guest Review!

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Size: Robusto, 5.5×55 (Apotheosis, Box Pressed)

Wrapper: Costa Rican, Maduro

Filler: Mixed long filler of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran (Aged 4 years)

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 10, $45.00

Grade: 8.7

Being a fan of the 5 Vegas Classic and Gold Double Nickel, I was really looking forward to trying out the full bodied offering from 5 Vegas (You may see my review on the Gold here). The Series A comes in an amazing 9 different shapes; ring gauges range from 44 to 58 and the length from 4.5 to 7. I grabbed these sticks from cigarbid.com at a great price and they’ve been resting for a few months; so let’s get to it!

Appearance 1.8:
The box press on this smoke is very nice and, coupled with the dark oily wrapper, it really is appealing to the eye. The cigar was firm to the touch and besides a little filler extending past the wrapper, it was perfect in construction. The black and gold label is a wonderful combo with the dark maduro wrapper. The pre-light aroma was of mocha and leather with some barnyard notes toward the foot. The cold draw produced notes of sweet tobacco with a cinnamon spice on the end.  By now my mouth was watering and I was ready to fire this stick up!

Burn, 1.7:
The Series A cut, toasted, and lit well, with the first draw producing a nice amount of fragrant smoke. The smoke burned evenly throughout with no touch ups or re-lights required. The deduction in this category is a result of the ash not holding longer than about ½ inch. This corrected itself towards the end of the smoke but for the first half it was constantly falling off and this resulted in a somewhat warmer smoke than I expected.

Flavor, 2.5:
Roasted nuts and coffee really hit me on the first draw of this smoke. I expected a shot of spice because of the pre-light draw, but it never showed up. The first third was very tasteful with notes of roasted nuts and cocoa; there was a hint of spice on the end but not cinnamon—it was more of a roasted pepper spice.  The second third produced more notes of the mentioned spice, but the cigar soured a little bit in this part which was disappointing. The last third of the smoke opened back up into notes resembling the first third, but with some fruitiness showing up on the finish. I should also mention this is a full bodied smoke.

Overall, 2.7:
At a price of $4.50 a stick, this is a good buy for the money.  Though not the most complex stogie on the market, it would be a great everyday smoke for those that seek out full bodied offerings. The flavor profile was interesting and, if not for the second third, it would have been excellent. All in all I’ve liked every 5 Vegas smoke I have ever had; this is a good smoke for a good price, which is what we are all looking for, right?

(Total: 8.7)

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