FLOR DE LAS ANTILLAS TORO
Length: 6” Ring Gauge: 52 Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Strength: Medium MSRP: $8.10
On one hand you can count the number of cigar makers who arrived on the scene and changed the game. At the top of that very short list is Jose “Pepin” Garcia and boy did he turn the industry on its ear. At the time, there was no one making cigars that captured the essence and flavor of Cuban cigars. His unique fermenting and blending style, coupled with his small batch production in Miami quickly catapulted his cigars to the top of aficionados hit lists. With his well-deserved success, expansion was the only way to keep up with demand. He quickly established the My Father factory in Nicaragua and began to transfer production and expand his portfolio. One of the first big hits his new factory produced was the Flor de las Antillas. It was a smash hit and was his first blend to earn Cigar Aficionado’s prestigious Cigar of the Year award.
The name Flor de las Antillas translates from Spanish to Flower of the Antilles. It is Pepin’s homage to Cuba (the largest of the Antilles Islands) where he was born and raised. At 11 years old he began his life’s work in tobacco. He learned everything he could and eventually rose to be one of Cuba’s most respected cigar makers. Using the skills he learned in Cuba, Pepin set out to make his Flor de las Antillas in the tradition of a classic Cuban cigar using all Nicaraguan tobaccos. This may sound a bit unusual, but the result speaks for itself. Pepin combined a special blend of well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos for the filler and binder. The wrapper is a Rosado Sun Grown leaf grown on a Garcia owned farm. Tasting notes include notes of coffee, nutmeg, and white pepper with hints of marzipan and cocoa. These cigars are delicious!
HERRERA ESTELI HABANO TORO ESPECIAL
Length: 6” Ring Gauge: 52 Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Strength: Medium MSRP: $9.75
Willy Herrera, Drew Estate’s master blender, seemingly appeared on the cigar scene out of know where. While few people had heard of him (or his family’s Miami cigar factory El Titan de Bronze), there was a buzz on Calle Ocho about his talents and the cigars being blended and crafted at the small, storefront factory. When Drew Estate made the announcement that Willy had joined the team, many people were shocked. Who was this guy from Miami that was taking over the creation of new products for Drew? Could he do it? Would the cigars be any good? Lots of questions swirled about the company’s future prospects. While it took Herrera some time to get his bearings, his Herrera Esteli blend quickly put any doubts to rest.
When Herrera joined the team, he spent the better part of a year at Drew Estate’s Esteli factory playing with a wide variety of tobaccos that he had never worked with before. He spent the time experimenting with different ratios and types of tobaccos, creating over 100 different blends for Drew’s tasting panel to evaluate. It was one of the 1st blends he created that became Herrera Esteli. Using choice Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, a Honduran-grown binder leaf, and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Willy’s Herrera Esteli is a tribute to classic Cuban cigars. It is a smooth but complex blend that balances sweet and spice. Tasting notes include cream, cedar, and toasted nuts with hints of pepper and vanilla that mingle to create a wonderfully enjoyable experience.
MONTECRISTO CLASSIC SERIES CHURCHILL
Length: 7” Ring Gauge: 54 Wrapper: USA Connecticut Strength: Mild-Medium MSRP: $14.75
Montecristo is one of the most hallowed and recognized names in the world of premium cigars. With that kind of reputation and name recognition, introducing a new Montecristo requires not only careful planning, but a blend that continues to elevate the Montecristo brand to new heights. It’s this philosophy that drove Montecristo’s blenders to create a new cigar that honors the brand’s past triumphs and glory. How do they do this you may ask? It’s no easy feet. In this case, they began searching their vast tobacco stores for leaves that are worthy to be included in the Montecristo Classic Series of cigars.
The Montecristo Classic Series is a surprisingly flavorful blend that delivers more than one would expect from this blend on paper. It begins with a blend of well-aged Dominican filler and binder tobaccos. Topping this unassuming blend is a top quality, USA-grown Connecticut Shade wrapper that is golden brown in color and simply beautiful. This special blend features tasting notes of cedar, earth and pepper with hints of nuts and cinnamon. This Montecristo blend is captivating and will leave you wondering what other Montecristo blends deserve your attention.
H. UPMANN CONNECUT TORO BY GRUPO DE MAESTROS
Length: 6” Ring Gauge: 50 Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Strength: Mild-Medium MSRP: $9.25
In 1843, a German banker named Hermann Upmann moved to Havana, Cuba to open an import/export business for a German firm that bought and sold tobaccos. In 1844, he purchased a small local cigar factory and soon after the 1st H. Upmann cigar was born. Hermann could never have imagined that his little endeavor would become one of the world’s best known cigar brands. He was known for his innovation in the tobacco business and is credited with being the 1st cigar maker to package his cigars in cedar boxes. Honoring that commitment to innovation is what Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros is all about. Their guiding principle is to push the boundaries of a brand, while honoring the traditions and heritage of the brand’s past. The H. Upmann Connecticut is just such a cigar.
Take one look at the H. Upmann Connecticut by Grupo de Maestros and you’ll immediately notice this is something unusual for the brand. To start, the cigar is wrapped with a light colored wrapper but the cap uses a dark tobacco. Next you’ll notice the bright colored band that uses hues of cream, yellow and gold. The overall look grabs your attention to remind you this is something a bit different. Grupo de Maestros selected Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, a Dominican binder leaf, and a Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper for this special blend. Let’s not forget about that dollop of Maduro leaf for the cap. Tasting notes include coffee, cream, and woods along with hints of pepper and citrus on the finish. It’s a delightful mild-medium strength blend.
PERDOMO 20TH ANNIVERSARY CONNECTICUT ROBUSTO
Length: 5” Ring Gauge: 56 Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut Strength: Mild-Medium MSRP: $9.25
Cigar makers love to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events with limited edition cigars. Nick Perdomo of Perdomo cigars has a bit of a different philosophy. He doesn’t want to create blends that people will only be able to enjoy in a short period of time. He wants to to create cigars that you can enjoy over and over again. With that idea in mind, Perdomo created the Perdomo 20th Anniversary line as a regular production brand that celebrated his 20th year in the premium cigar industry. He meticulously plans for these celebratory cigars by growing and harvesting tobaccos of the utmost quality while ensuring there is enough supply in the pipeline to create a blend that is both captivating and can endure long haul production. While he has created limited products before, he prefers to make cigars that you can keep coming back to.
Perdomo’s philosophy of creating outstanding quality cigars at fair price points has served him well over the years, and his Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut is an instant classic. He uses a blend of specially grown tobaccos from his farms featuring Nicaraguan Filler and binder leaves along with a gorgeous, golden-colored Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that is oily and smooth. Tasting notes include cedar, cream and coffee with hints of honey, pepper and white chocolate. The Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut is a rich and flavorful blend worthy of any celebration!