09th Oct2012

Quickie: San Miguel Churchill

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Churchill

Size: 7 x 48

Country/Factory: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium

Price Range: $6.50

For this review I decided to go with something I got out of a sample pack for a change. The cigar I chose was the San Miguel Churchill. The brand San Miguel first came into the cigar scene during the 2010 IPCPR trade show. It is Nicaraguan based and claims to offer a complex, satisfying, and smooth taste. The band is what really stood out to me. It is a depiction of an angel stomping/standing on the devil. As for the build of this stick it is a box-pressed Churchill with small veins that run the length of a cigar and overall feels great while holding in the hand. The pack has a little bit of give that slowly snaps back after pressing into it which is gives the impression this will be a smokey cigar. It’s also double capped and has a very clean wrap. The first third was of a mild black pepper that had a little bit of a salt flavor to counter balance it along with a creamy roasted peanut. The other notes I picked up on that were not as prevalent were a light amount of leather and milk chocolate. I also gave a quick retro-haul that revealed a mild spice.

Going into the second third I noticed a transition into the more earthy flavors. Along with a light hay flavor of a barn and some nutmeg. The spice begins to build up more noticeably, but the creamy sweetness of the mild chocolate is still prevalent making for a really good balance to the flavor profile. It is very smooth in the second section of this stick and I’m really enjoying it. The last third revolves around the earth and hay mixture with leather being the second most prominent. A sweet and spice mix lingering in the background. So, overall very different from the first third.

The finish was earthy hay and leather, so pretty dark. San Miguel’s ash was a white and black mix that stayed firm to an inch with no flakes. As for the draw it was smooth right off that bat and remained that way throughout the remainder of the cigar. Lastly the burn started off with a jagged edge that needed a correction in the beginning, but after that correction it stayed straight all the way to the end. My final thoughts on the San Miguel Churchill are that it’s good for being decently new in the cigar world with a decently complex flavor profile and great flavor and so I would recommend for people to give it a try.

01st Mar2012

Viaje Satori Zen 2011

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: San Andrés – Mexico

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Box-Pressed Double Torpedo

Size: 6 3/4 x 52

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production150 Boxes of 25 Cigars; 3,750 Total Cigars

Price Range: $11.75

“Satori is the Japanese word for enlightenment, used to refer to a deep or lasting realization of the nature of existence. Experience has shown there are many paths to enlightenment. Cigars have often been the catalyst for achieving heightened awareness and a greater understanding of our complex world. I have had the good fortune to meet many interesting people with whom I have spent countless hours deep in conversation with a fine cigar in hand. This cigar is a tribute to the enlightenment one can achieve while indulging in one of life’s great luxuries.”

Those are some very bold words to describe a cigar. It is true that relaxing and enjoying a cigar can put one in a meditative state. Maybe this cigar is better getting a cigar aficionado to enlightenment but, I’ll leave that to you to find out for yourself. The 2011 line of Satori cigars has changed slightly from 2010 as seen the the Viaje Satori Zen. The Zen retained its striking 6 3/4 x 52 Box-Pressed Double Torpedo shape but dropped the oscuro wrapper in favor for a lighter Mexican San Andrés wrapper. This change was due in part to complaints of how strong the original Satori blend was. Now many people did not particularly like the old blend but I for one really enjoyed it. So, I was somewhat sad to see the oscuro wrapper discontinued for the Satori line of cigars. But, switching to a San Andrés wrapper will broaden the appeal and I for one even though miss the original Satori line I love what the new wrapper has added this cigar and that is why the Viaje Satori Zen 2011 is our March Cigar of the month.

The Look: The Viaje Satori Zen is a Box-Pressed 6 3/4 x 52 Double Torpedo with a dark brown wrapper dotted with darker brown spots with dark veins to match. Compared with the original Viaje Satori Zen it is still quite sticking in appearance but the nearly perfect black oscuro wrapper from before made it even more striking. The pack was of the box-press was firm with a little bit of give. But, appearances are not that all important as compared to the flavor and how the cigar smokes. So, let’s get to it.

The Start: The foot of the Viaje Satori Zen had aromas of spice, and light black liquorish. The wrapper gave off none of these aromas and instead gave off scents of leather, caramel, and a nuttiness of almond. The pre-light displayed a more pronounced essence of black liquorish then its aroma coming from the wrapper. Once lighting the Viaje Satori Zen with the soft flame of a match I took some initial draws and found it comprised of spiciness, leather, and walnut.

The Beginning: Into the first third of the Viaje Satori Zen the flavors comprised of cinnamon, hazelnut, and a hint of ginger. The finish was simply a pleasant toasted hazelnut. The draw was fabulous producing an abundant amount of smoke. Being a double torpedo both ends must be cut the foot does not have to be as far cut as the head. Due to the shape it would not be uncommon that during the first minute or two the cigar could have a somewhat difficult draw. This should rapidly improve as the foot of the cigar burns and opens a wider area for air flow. The burn was slightly uneven and the ash was shaded light gray to darker gray and held well.

The Middle: In the second third the Viaje Satori Zen mellowed. The flavor profile featured a creamy dark chocolate. On the retrohale a nice spice that could be described as cinnamon came into play along with nice nuttiness. The finish switched from a roasted hazelnut to a light hazelnut favor. The draw remained excellent and produced a good amount of smoke. The burn improved over the first third but was still slightly uneven. The smoke wafting from the cigar carried with it a great aroma of hazelnut. Over all the second third was slightly simple yet had a good balance of flavors. The smooth taste of 12 year Canadian Club Whiskey would complement the Viaje Satori Zen nicely. Perhaps the next time I smoke this cigar with a snifter of 12 Year Canadian Club Whiskey warmed to 55 degrees by soapstone whiskey stones. And perhaps this combination with help me achieve enlightenment… maybe. If not at least it will be tasty.

The End: The final third was surprisingly more complex than the previous third. Here the flavor profile consisted of a nice toastiness, hazelnut, and dark chocolate. The finish really shined with the wonderful taste of a whiskey barrel that of charred white oak, also complementing the whiskey barrel flavor was dark chocolate, and a very slight hint of the fruitiness of dark cheery. The Draw like both of the previous thirds was still excellent and the burn by now was pretty even.

Final Thoughts: Over all the Viaje Satori Zen was a pretty constant smoke with a pleasing flavor profile. The highlights of this cigar came in the forms of a constant excellent draw and a  flavorful dominate nutty-hazelnut taste. Pairing the Viaje Satori Zen with a good smooth whiskey such as 12 Year Canadian Club Whiskey would make smoking this cigar a great pleasure. As compared with with the original Satori line which I enjoyed very much this updated Satori Zen did not go wrong. Frankly, I would love to smoke these quite a bit more often when I have the chance. If your local brick and mortar store has these in stock give them try along with a smooth spirit may bring you some enlightenment.

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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31st Jul2011

San Cristobal

by GoodFellasCigars

San Cristobal are boutique handcrafted cigars made by the Garcia family in Nicaragua and also made in part with Ashton. They were based off their Cuban counterpart San Cristobal de la Habana which were launched in Havana on November 20, 1999. The name is derived from the original name of Havana which which dates back to the 16th century. There was however a brand of San Cristobol before the revolution but, this one has nothing to do with the newer brands. The Nicaraguan blend is comprised of aged Nicaraguan tobaccos that are full-bodied, traditional Cuban triple-cap, and are available in 8 sizes currently. They are also packed in cedar chests of 21 and 22.


List of San Cristobal cigars