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Cigar Reviews

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne

I have always had a proclivity for contrarian thinking, but some cigars are just so good that, try as I might to find a reason for a dissenting opinion, I find myself flowing right along with the torrent of positive reviews. Sometimes the masses all agree for a reason…because they’re right.

The Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne Epicure (6×54) is one of the most popular premium cigars in our shop, and I mean inside the top 5, outsold only by Romeo Y Julieta Reserva Real Toro and Magnum, Montecristo White Series Toro, and the CAO Flathead 660. The brands on that list are all Behemoths in the cigar industry, with massive sales and marketing budgets and big-time name recognition. Perdomo is a family owned company that earned it’s place in the industry in only one way…making incredible premium cigars at reasonable prices. The 10th Anniversary Champagne is a perfect example. You can snag this smoke in Robusto (5×54), Epicure (6×54), or Super Toro (6×60) for about $10 or less per stick.

So let’s take a look inside:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan

Seems common enough, until you get one in your hand and remove the tell-tale tinted yellow cellophane. This beautiful butterscotch Shade wrapper feels like velvet. Like the thinnest strip of perfectly supple leather you’ve ever felt. The pre-lit cigar has all of the traditional aromas of Nicaraguan and Connecticut Shade tobaccos, but there is an extra hint of sweetness that enters the nose as well. A dry pull yields earthy notes, and some wood, with a hint sweet cream near the front of the palette.

Cream, honey, and oaky, woody undertones are the prominent flavors of the first third-to-half of this smoke once lit. But it is the very specific combination of these flavors in their specific variants and amplitudes that give this cigar its undeniably Perdomo essence. Perdomo fans will know what I mean when I say that every Perdomo cigar has a shared essence, which I was able to taste immediately and which remained throughout the experience.

The cigar does begin to heat up some after crossing the halfway point, but if extra care is taken not to pull too hard or too frequently, the smoke remained cool enough for pure flavors to be drawn out.

This is a mild cigar, but as complex as any Connecticut Shade I am familiar with. I have to put it up very close to the Oliva Connecticut Reserve in terms of quality and flavor. Connecticut Shade is something I typically will only reach for in the morning, but this cigar has been, and will remain in my breakfast cigar rotation.

If you’ve never had the pleasure, see for yourself why so many serious cigar enthusiasts are buying this cigar by the fist full. You can find it in our web store, and as a thank you for reading, use the code CHAMP for 10% off your Perdomo Champagne purchase online!

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-DP

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La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been introducing a number of new smokes and new sizes from LGC into our “World Famous” humidor. The response from you all has been incredible as always. The cigar I want to talk about today is one that has recently only been available in a huge Presidente-type size called the No. 7 (7.0×56), which is an amazing smoke but can prohibit one from reaching for it if one doesn’t have 2 full hours available. I am very excited to report that we now have another great size of this cigar on the shelf, the No. 5 (5.5×54).

So let’s look at the blend.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

This is a combination that we see quite often, but La Gloria Cubana in general, and this cigar in particular, have a taste and a personality all their own.

The wrapper has a beautiful marble of dark browns, and has that feel of soft cedar. Its got just a touch of sheen, but appears mostly matte and dry, though you can feel that the natural oils are present. The cigar is firm and feels evenly uneven, sort of lumpy and not perfectly cylindrical, but in a charming way. It has the aesthetic of a well-made, hand-made, artisan product.

Pre-light aromas are of a dark orange chocolate and black cherry. I straight-cut the cap, and take a couple dry pulls. The flavors are light and airy, and there is still some chocolate, dry cherry, and also plenty of leather. Time to light.

The first third has a medium body and a full, complex flavor with notes of sweet leather, earth, and dark chocolate. A long, firm ash developed, allowing the cigar to stay cool, and burn evenly. Entering the middle third, things took an interesting turn, with a very sudden flavor transition, as a strong cedar note took over, and the leather and earth took the back seat for the rest of the ride, and a very pleasant ride it was.

You can buy this cigar, and many, many others, on this website. Check out the Brands section to find your favorite brand and see the spread of options within. Or just stop into the shop, introduce yourself, and ask for the LGC Serie R Maduro. If you are down with full-flavored cigars, this is a must-try.

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-DP

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Undercrown 10 Robusto

To illustrate just how good I believe this cigar is, I’m going to tell a quick story…

So I’m in Las Vegas with Carl at the Tobacco Plus Expo, an enormous gathering of basically every cigar manufacturer in the industry. Three days of sampling the latest and greatest smokes that each company has to offer. We tried them all. From major blockbuster releases like the H Upmann AJ Fernandez Heritage to little known boutiques like the ADVentura Queens Pearls. It was awesome.

At the end of this three-day cigar bender, we sat down for one final smoke before heading for the airport. Drew Estate had the largest, most extravagant booth in the entire convention center, complete with a cigar lounge, the perfect spot to rest our legs before the journey home. Out came the new Undercrown 10 in Robusto, and wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be the best cigar I’d smoked all week. With the entire industry there showing off their stuff, old favorites and new unheard-of’s, and the best cigar in the building was this cigar.

So let’s break down the blend.

Like its predecessor the Undercrown Maduro, here we have a blend of Nicaraguan fillers and a thick, dark, Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper. The difference with the UC10 comes in the form of a Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf binder, and those classic Broadleaf flavor traits are clearly noticeable once lit. But more on that in a minute.

Upon removing the cellophane, I brought the cigar to my nose as was overcome with the clearest chocolate note I’ve even smelled on a pre-lit cigar. Somewhere between Milk and Dark, but unmistakeable. Make sure don’t skip this step with yours. Then it was straight-cut, and the dry pull yielded more chocolate notes, but different as they blended with earth and leather.

Once lit, it was much the same, with a note that feels like thick molasses holding the flavors together. Even at 5×50, this stick feels solid and heavy, and burns very slowly even while producing puff after giant puff of smoke with the density of star-forming nebulae. The Robusto is the right choice for this blend. The Toro has more girth, which means a lower wrapper/binder-to-filler ratio and therefore doesn’t show off those flavors quite as prominently. But typically, longer sizes will smoke cooler, and that tradeoff can be worth it. I’ve found that choosing a Robusto over a Toro or Churchill can often mean a hotter smoke, and the heat can overcook the flavors and detract from the experience, but not in this case. The resistance in the draw and slow burn lead to a relatively cool smoke for its size. For UC10, the Robusto is where it’s at.

At Tallchief, we carry this smoke in both Toro and Robusto, so definitely try them both and let me know if you agree with me on the size. But I’m pretty confident that you will agree with me that this is one of the best cigars to come out in the last few years.

Buy this cigar online here, and use the code UC10 for 10% off at checkout.

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-DP

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