11th Sep2012

Quickie: Carlos Torano Master Habano Maduro Toro Gordo

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Binder: Ecuadoran Habano
Filler:  Nicaraguan and Dominican
Shape: Toro Gordo
Size: 5.5 x 54
Country: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium
Production: Full Production
Price Range: MRSP $7.00

The Carlos Torano Master Habano Maduro Toro Gordo is something fairly new from the Torano family. This cigar complements the original Torano Master by introducing a Nicaraguan shade wrapper instead of the Habano leaf from Ecuador. The new take on the Torano Master doesn’t disappoint at all!  Just looking at this stick you can see the dark and oily Nicaraguan wrapper is just hinting at how sweet and spicy this smoke is going to be.  Also looking at this cigar I see that it is double capped and has a few large rough veins. The wrapper also seems it has a color scheme of a maduro and an oscuro mix that has the effect of looking two toned. Finally I felt the pack of the cigar which is firm without any give to it. The first third of the Master Habano Maduro has an excellent balance of sweet and spicy. It is complex but not overwhelming. The main base of flavor comes from oak followed by a nice and toasty warm cocoa. Along with this is a creamy caramel and one other flavor I can’t seem to pin point just yet.

Just before the second third I give the cigar a quick retro-haul picking up the flavor of barnyard hay. Going through the second third I was finally able to pin point the final flavor of a candy type hazelnut. Other flavors that kind of seemed present were a gingerbread and a mocha. The sweetness goes down ever so slightly with the warm cocoa going up with the oak flavor. The right amount of spice is still present too and when approaching the final third an almond comes into play. The final third for the most part consists of oak at center stage with the creamy caramel, cocoa, and spice mix still present.

The finish was chewy and oaky with the flavors from before staying almost perfect all the way to the end. The ash all throughout the smoke was slightly flaky and holding almost about an inch long and, was white with a tad bit of light grey mixed in. As for the draw it was near effortless with floods of smoke off each puff. Even when resting in the ash tray a lot of smoke was coming off it. Lastly the burn started off jagged then corrects itself before the second third but, after the halfway point it goes jagged again and need a correction. All in all the Carlos Torano Master Habano Maduro Toro Gordo was an extremely good stick that I would smoke again and recommend to anyone that likes something with a complex and warm profile but, yet stays steady all the way to the nub.


26th Feb2012

Pre-Release Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: San Andrés – Mexico

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Corona Gorda

Size: 6 x 48

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production: 99 boxes of 25; 2,475 cigars

Price Range: $8.50 per cigar or $212.50 for a box of 25


It has finally arrived! BURN Premium Cigar Specialists have received 99 boxes of its fifth anniversary limited edition cigar, the Viaje Samurai Maduro. This Viaje Plantino Samuari features a San Andrés maduro wrapper while the previous Viaje Plantino Samuari featured a Nicaraguan Corojo 99. Though like the previous one the maduro version is a limited edition Corona Gorda size of the Platino blend. The Viaje Plantino Samuari Maduro is also Viaje’s only cigar labeled a Maduro but the new version of the Satori blend features the same San Andrés wrapper.

If you want to take part in BURN’s fifth anniversary by buying a box of the Viaje Plantino Samuari Maduros know this… only 25 boxes will be sold by Burn and another 25 by Tobacco Grove.  That’s a total of 50 boxes that will be sold to customers residing outside the state of Minnesota. Pre-orders will start Monday February 27, 2012 and the boxes should ship the week of March 5, 2012.

CALL either BURN (952-808-9259) or Tobacco Grove (763-494-6688) AND MENTION Good Fellas Cigars when you place an order!

The Look: The Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro is Corona Gorda measuring 6 inches by a 48 ring gauge the same size as the Viaje Plantino. The wrapper is blotted with very dark brown spots on a slightly less dark brown back ground and has dark noticeable veins. The pack was firm only compressing slightly when squeezed between the index finger and thumb.

The Start: The wrapper of the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro gave off aromas of sweet tobacco and manure; while the foot of the cigar gave off aromas of salt and pepper, and spice. After observing the aromas of the unlit cigar I proceeded to perform pre-light draws. From this, flavors of light farm aroma, a tone of sweet tobacco, and a hint of spice. Then after cutting and lighting the cigar with a three inch match, the initial draw was sweet and produced a dark spiced chocolate flavor mixture that was quite robust and pack a bit of a punch.

The Beginning: Into the first third of the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro smooth flavors of cedar, spice, and sweetness from dark chocolate developed. On the finish there was a bit of kick with dark coffee bean roast. The draw was good and the burn was only slightly uneven. The ash produced was light gray with some darker gray areas randomly placed. During the first third a thought came to mind that this would pair very well with a coffee based dessert like tiramisu. The light and creaminess of the tiramisu would complement the sweetness the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro’s dark chocolate and the coffee of the desert would then pair well with the dark coffee roast of the cigar.

The Middle: In the second third of the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro, it was yet again quite delectable. The flavor profile was yet again defined by sweetness and how the flavors of the cigar played off it. Playing off the sweetness was a spice that could be described as allspice, and woodiness mixed with a smooth dark roast. The finish saw a woodiness come to the forefront, dark roast in the background, and a hint of chocolate sprinkled in. The draw was very nice and burn corrected becoming even. All the while this cigar was wafting aromas of spice, sweet earth, caramelized sugar coffee, and chocolate tones. At this point I have to say I was quite enjoying the balance of flavors this smoke had to offer, it like a desert that I could light and puff away at.

The End: When the final third arrived the flavor profile also shifted. Lots of warm woodiness came right to the forefront of the flavor profile. Very slight saltiness appeared complemented by a spiced chocolate. The finish comprised of sweet dark roast and after came warm pleasant spice. The draw was good and the burn was very even.

Final Thoughts: The Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro was one of the more enjoyable smokes I have had in a while. The balance and mixture of flavors centered around a dark roast coffee bean, dark chocolate and wood was exceptional. This cigar was like a 6 inch by 48 ring gauge smokable desert. That being said, this cigar would shine being paired with an Irish coffee with cream and, tiramisu on the side. This would be the optimal after dinner cigar. It is strong enough to cleanse the palate but also sweet enough to be the cigar lover’s desert to end a good meal.

01st Nov2011

Illusione mj12 Maduro

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper:  San Andreas Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan  Corojo/Criollo

Filler: Nicaragua Corojo

Shape: Toro

Size: 6″ x 54

Country: Honduras

Strength: Medium – Full

Price Range: $10

Dion Giolito, owner of Illusione Cigars unveiled a Maduro line of the Illusione at IPCPR 2011.  This line comes in four sizes cg:4, 888, 88, and mj12. Dion Giolito takes an interest in conspiracy theories and that is reflected in the names of most of his cigars. For instance  the mj12, The Majestic 12, is the supposed code name of a top secret committee form in 1947 by an executive order of President Harry Truman composing of military leaders, scientists, and government officials. This committee set out to investigate UFOs after the events of Roswell. Rumor has it that The Majestic 12 is still in operation.

In keeping with the alien theme, the original mj12 is stylistically wrapped in silver foil. The silver foil alludes to the silver foil found at Roswell in 1947. In contrast, the maduro version is wrapped in a black paper.

Illusione cigars made a splash with the Natural version of the mj12 and now adding a maduro version has yet again made a fantastic leap into the proverbial pool. The mj12 Maduro has changed the changed the game by adding a great twist on the maduro concept. What comes to mind to when thinking about a maduro cigar? Got it? Well I’m guessing home baked spiced gingerbread did not come to mind. This cigar oozes rustic home cooking and it works fantastically well. Enough of making everyone crave gingerbread snaps, lets get to the smoke.

At first look the Illusione mj12 has a very inviting coloring of gold tones mixed in with a  brown spectrum. It is quite firm to the touch and does not compress when slight pressure is applied. The aroma coming from the cigar before being the lit up consisted of a very pleasant and oddly comforting light barnyard and hay mix.

With Lake Superior just feet in away of me I lit the foot of the cigar and commenced on a very relaxing smoke filled journey that believe it or not did not involve aliens. The first thing that is noticeable is a warmth that is emitted form the cigar with underlying flavors that would need some coxing of a couple more draws. From this coxing one could pick out spices most notably allspice wrapped in wonderful warmth. The finish had much more flavor to it. Spiced gingerbread and tones of cinnamon was residing toward the back of the mouth. The draw though was decent and the burn was slightly wavy. This was a good start to the Illusione mj12 Maduro.

With the coming of the second third the flavor profile added smooth bitterness of black pepper, adding more of a bite to the cigar. The finish of gingerbread and tones of cinnamon seemed to tone down but, this may be due to the flavor of the draw coming closer to fruition. The draw which improved became a quite solid. The burn became less wavy evening out. Over all the second third was fairly consistent with the the first third. Which even though not changing incredibly a lot it was still very good considering the unique flavor profile coming together so well that it has to keep your interest.

Transitioning into the final third the flavors intensify. The Illusione mj12 Maduro is still quite smooth, keeping the flavors of the previous two thirds but with the addition of wood tones. Complementing this nicely the finish resurged with a welcomed vengeance of toasted allspice, cinnamon with the expected spiced bite that comes with those classic flavors. The draw opened up quite nicely, producing a good amount of smoke. The burn remained fairly even. One has to smoke the Illusione mj12 Maduro all the way through. It would be a shame not to experience the greatness of the final third of this cigar.

Over all the Illusione mj12 Maduro is a fantastic cigar. It oozes the essence of home baking that is very much welcome as the weather starts to cool and, for this reason The Illusione mj12 Maduro is fittingly November’s Cigar of the Month. Illusione really hit this one out of the park by adding such a unique and unexpected spin on the maduro concept. Hopefully this cigar starts a flavor revolution in the cigar industry, going for the unconventional and bring us cigars that we will never expect but never forget.

A special thanks to MansonPhoto from MansonPhoto.com for the pictures please rate and comment on the photos because he would love your feedback!


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First third

19th Oct2011

New Viaje Samurai Rumors are True

by GoodFellasCigars

I was in Burn Premium Cigar Specialists in Burnsville MN and happened to over hear some very exciting news about Viaje. A new batch of Viaje Samurais are in the making and will be coming to BURN!

The first time the Viaje Samurai was released was in 2010 specially made for BURN. In 2010 Viaje let two cigar retailers design their own cigar, BURN being one of them and the other being New Havana Cigars. Both were able to choose one of two of the main stays of Viaje, the Oro or Plantino, and were able to choose their own size among other factors that made those cigars unique.

READ our review of the  Viaje Plantino Samurai 2012

READ our review of the NEW Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro