Thursday, November 29, 2012

COHIBA Maduro 5 - Counterfeit or faulty production?

A good friend of mine showed me a picture of him holding a Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios that he picked up from a person he knows. The cigar appeared to have something weird popping from it, that thing was a folded tiny piece of paper stuck right in the middle of the cigar below the cap!

Apparently, the person who owned that cigar used a puncher to discover the tiny paper tucked underneath and claims he bought Genios box from a reputable cigar shop and wanted to show my friend what he found.

After seeing that picture, I asked my friend to hold onto that cigar so I can pass by to personally examine it.

When I came face to face with the questionable Cohiba Genios, first thing was for sure, the tiny piece of paper was there as the cigar was being rolled (deep in with the Ligero long filler). About 40% of the paper was pulled out with a tweezers to see how deep was it in. My friend didn't want me to pull it all out because he wants to keep this as "proof", but I was really anxious to see what kind of paper is it and if it had anything on it!(might be a prize? j/k)

Now here is where things get complicated... is this a counter-fitted Cohiba or a faulty production output from Habanos? when examining the size, appearance, aroma and characteristics of this questionable cigar with a genuin Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios side by side, these isn't any micro-differences! They are 100% identical, but im not sure about how the other smoke! The only thing I didn't get to examine was the actual box, serial number and date of production, at least this would help in clearing some issues out.

Do I believe this is a counterfeit cigar? Im not sure its still a 50-50 chance to me, yet I sometimes say that Habanos have a very very strict quality control on cigar output, how would this be possible? Whats the margin of error for producing a defaulted cigar? What do you think?

My final thoughts... only deal with trusted and official habanos distibutors! That way you can eliminate all the possibilities of dealing with counterfiets... therefore, I bet you will never have to deal with these type of issues.


Monday, November 19, 2012

First Tasting of the HOYO DE MONTERREY - EPICURE DE LUXE (Exclusive La Casa Del Habano Release) - Review

Length: 11.5cm
Ring Gauge: 52
Factory Name: Epicure de Luxe
Vitola: Mágicos
Type: Petit Robusto
Presentation: Box of 10s
Release Date: October 2012

Habanos S.A introduces the new HOYO DE MONTERREY  EPICURE DE LUXE exclusively for La Casa Del Habano stores worldwide to complement the current Epicure range.

The Construction - A very smooth and elegant Colorado Claro wrapper with tiny yet unnoticeable veins. The Epicure De Luxe (or the Magicos)  packs a tight roll with a 52 gauge ring which is the largest of the previous Epicure range sizes. A well constructed cigar as with all of Hoyo De Monterrey recent releases.

The Draw - Using a wide puncher on the cap gave a very clean opening for the draw. The draw it self is smooth and unobstructed where you can pick up on the fresh tobacco taste and the earthy aroma.

The First Burn - Offers a woody scent that has been picked up from the cedar with hints of some citrus. A clear draw with silky smoke and a somewhat sweeter scent. The De Luxe has a very even burn while the ash is dark and intact.

The Middle Burn - offers a pretty complex characteristics after mellowing out the first cedar/woody notes. It brings in a much more robust nutty flavors with light roasted coffee and black pepper that lingers in the back of the throat. The smoke is smooth and creamer than the first part. It Continues to burn even leaveing a black & grey ash that still to hold on.

The better part of smoke comes in right before the final burn where the characteristics take on a different role of becoming sweet almost caramel like aroma that stays in your mouth. quiet satisfying!

The Final Burn - continues to be sweet and the smoke quiet smooth. This Magicos has many reminiscent flavors and characteristics of the other Epicure range. The aromas, flavors and smoothness of a medium boded cigar maks it all a very enjoyable smoke. 

The construction on the Epicure De Luxe is superb and that's fresh out of the box! You can only imagine what a little age can do to these beauties. 

The Pairing - My Nespresso pairing for the HOYO DE MONTERREY DE LUXE would have to be the Rosabaya de Colombia. At intensity level 6, the light acidity and fruity notes will complement the characteristics of the Epicure De Luxe.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nespresso Variations 2012 - "New Flavors Open Up to You!"

Nespresso has released three new flavors for this years variation; The Coconut, Hazelnut & the Macadamia Nut. 


These new variations are combined with the Livanto Grand Cru to reveal the delicious notes of the three different nuts. With Intensity level 6, the Livanto offers a subtle fruity and malty profile that comes for a medium roast of Central & South American Arabicas.



"A perfect harmoney between the coconut notes and the Livanto Grand Cru creates a gourmand expereince reminiscent of coconut macaroons." This variation is particularly best served as Lattes as milk really goes well this is blend.


"The combination of the slughtly roasted hazelnut notes with the Livanto Grand Cru reveals a praline flavors, giving it a fine balance in the mouth" This variation would go very well when served as Mocha as Chocolate and Hazelnut really go hand in hand.

Macadamia Nut

"This rich savors of the Macadamia nut combined with the roundness of the Livanto Grand Cru, develop a surprising freshness, revealing citrus notes." This variation is recommended to be served as Cappuccino as the smooth milk froth highlights the rich notes of the macadamia nut.

Visit Nespresso website for more information on the VARIATIONS 2012 & make sure you get yours before they run out! I will be experimenting with them on new recipes  if you have one you would like to share please do email me.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The New 20 Mini's Tin cases from COHIBA, MONTECRISTO & PARTAGAS Fall 2012

Habanos S.A recently released the new Tin Case collection of the 20 Mini size Cigarillos for COHIBA Collection 2, MONTECRISTO Limited Edition and Partagas! (Check out the previous post New Limited Edition COHIBA & MONTECRISTO Club & Mini Tin Cases)

The New COHIBA Collection 2 comes in a smooth matte yellow color tin with a black embossed  logo in the center. Counterbalancing Collection 1 that came in a smooth black matte finish with the logo being yellowish/Gold. (refer to older post for pictures).

The MONTECRISTO new limited edition Tins comes in its signature color of matte mustard yellow while the Logo is embossed with a glossy finish.

The Partagas new Tins are that of a highlight to the new special releases by Habanos. Previous tin release had the same paper box design that the cigarillos came in, but the new one come in completely different. smooth silver matte finish with a huge embossed logo with gold prints on the upper left corner.

The COHIBA tin inlay paper inside is black with a yellow logo. The MONTECRISTO paper inlay is similar to the outer design. As for the PARTAGAS, the inlay paper inside is a bright orange, which really standout with the silver tins!

These collector items have hit the shelves around LCDH shops and distributors early October. Better get yours before they all disappear!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

COHIBA Piramides Extra - First Tasting & Review

Length: 16 cm
Ring Gauge: 54
Factory Name: Pirámides Extra
Vitola: Pirámides Extra
Type: Figurado
Presentation: Box of 10
Release Date: September 2012

During the 14th Habanos Festival last February 2012, COHIBA announced the introduction of the Piramides Extra as a new addition to the current Línea Clásica (or the Classic Line - which has the six Vitolas Siglo series (I-VI)) of the brand. In the past, the Figurado shape COHIBA were only produced for limited edition and celebratory cigars, but now it will be a permanent collection available similar to the BEHIKE and MADURO 5 collections.

Another new element to the COHIBA Brand is the innovative cigar band for the Piramides Extra with holographic logo similar to the BEHIKE bands and additional security measures to stay above counterfeiters. So now lets take a closer look shall we...

The Construction - A beautiful smooth Colorado Claro wrapper with almost unnoticeable small veins. Firm tight roll and a flawless Pyramid head and cap. When bringing the cigar close to your nose you can pick up some of that earthy scent and a recognizable cedar smell. The COHIBA Piramides Extra showcases a extravagant 54 gauge ring which packs in the extra long fillers for full on flavor! 

The Draw - Using a stainless steal 2-blade cutter, I clipped about 1cm off, a little short of the cap line, to test the draw and it was perfect, smooth and no obscurity. In the pre-lighting draw you can pick up the cedar wood flavor clearly.

The First Burn - Flavorsome smoke full of cedar notes and black pepper. The spiciness of the draw are very reminiscent of the Siglo VI and a leathery after taste of the smoke. 

The Middle Burn - Here is where I savored most of the COHIBA Piramides Extra characteristics. The Spicy pepper we got from the first burn is gone and we are left with a smooth sweet creamy smoke which also picks up some nutty cereal notes with it. When blowing the smoke out from the nose you get that fresh cut grass scent that is just sublime. The Piramides Extra continued to burn even and well without going out and the grayish ash was in tacked.

Even though this cigar has a wide gauge size the ash held up pretty good as you can tell from the picture below. Almost 1/3 of the way:

The Final Burn - Some bitterness started to come through as I neared the final parts of the Piramides Extra along with the spicy notes from the beginning. Smoke continued to be abundant and full of character - the cedar, the pepper and nutty all continued to flow through as well.

Overall - The COHIBA Piramides Extra was a joyful smoke and had many characteristics of the Siglo Series. Its a medium to full bodied cigar with many reflective characteristics of the brand and is truly a cigar to complete the Línea Clásica portfolio. Anyone who smokes Siglo VI I think will love this cigar.

I appreciate being one of the first people to sample this cigar in the region prior to its market release in the Middle East. 

The Pairing - As with all my reviews, I try to find the perfect espresso roast to accompany and complement these wonderful journeys I take with my cigars. My Nespresso pairing for the COHIBA Piramides Extra would have to be the Cosi. At Intensity level 3, it is light, sweet and has a fresh citrus notes to it that would complement the full bodied characteristics of this cigar. Have a try!

P.S. Since I have gotten a few email with regards to increase and put more photos in my post... Hope this sufficed! Awaiting feedback :)