Cigar Reviews

CAO Arcana Series Mortal Coil

CAO Cigars might hold the record for the largest portfolio of unique blends with Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers. There is the MX2, the Bones, the Session, the Flathead…I could go on. Another cigar on this list, and perhaps the most unique of them all, is the Arcana Series Mortal Coil.

During a year-long hiatus from our shelves, this blend was one of the most frequently requested, and has definitely developed a cult following among leaf lovers locally and across the country. The Mortal Coil has returned, and just in time for our largest, most aggressive CAO promotion yet. More on that in a minute.

First, about the cigar. The Mortal Coil makes use of an ancient fermentation technique where the rare Dominican fillers are bundled together and then rolled into palm tree leaf pods, and left there to age and ferment. This process teases out otherwise hidden flavors, resulting in a strong, naturally sweet tobacco.

Then CAO adds the earthy, salty sweetness of a marble-brown USA Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. It has tooth and character, both visibly and to the touch. The pre-light aroma is especially sweet, with a definitely chocolate note, as well as something like nougat.  A Three Musketeers bar, but better because I get to smoke it instead of pulling a muscle in my tongue trying to scrape this from the roof of my mouth.

I found it very difficult to put my finger on the central flavor note that makes this cigar so unique. It was familiar, and I was racking my brain trying to place it. So I asked my man Carl, and being the bottomless pit of smoking experience that he is, he immediately recalled the note I was struggling with…raisins. Dark, sweet, sour raisins. Nailed it.

Try one for yourself, it is incredibly unique, and not always available, so make sure you try one while we have them on the shelves. Can’t make it to the shop? No problem, just click this link to buy online! 

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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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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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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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CAO Bones

  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Connecticut Shade
  • Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Dominican
  • Vitola: Chicken Foot (Robusto) 5×54
  • Tasting Notes: Dark Sweetness, Nuts, Coffee, hints of Vanilla


As you may have heard me say before, I am a huge fan of Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers. The combination of savory and sweet darkness, the toothy, rustic appearance, the beautiful near-black color…I could go on.

Every palette is different, but my palette is build for Broadleaf. That said, I also find much to appreciate in other types of leaf, including Connecticut Shade. Mild, velvety to the touch, producing creamy smooth smoke. So when I read the blend breakdown of the CAO Bones and saw that it held a Connecticut Shade binder (a somewhat rare use of this type of leaf) beneath a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, I was obviously intrigued.

I swear, one can actually taste both leafs at once. Vanilla from the Connecticut Shade, and the tell-tale dark sweetness of the Connecticut Broadleaf. While CAO calls this a full-bodied smoke, I found the Robusto, or Chicken Foot as they have titled this vitola, to be full in complex flavor, but medium in body at most. This combination of full dark flavor in a milder to medium body can be very hard to find, but is exactly what I have been after.

As ones palette develops, one finds one goes through phases lasting many weeks or months at a time, where the specific smoking experience the palette craves will change. After a 50-ring-rocket phase, I have found myself gravitating toward milder cigars and larger ring gauges, and I have found that in the CAO Bones Chicken Foot. While very dark in appearance and in flavor, the large ring gauges (the Toro, Robusto, and Churchill are all 54 ring) mellow out the blend to a perfect medium.

May is CAO Month at the World Famous Tallchief Cigars Humidor and Lounge, and we would like to extend that promotion to our online customers as well. So use the coupon code BONES to save an additional 10% on any box of CAO Bones. This offer will only be good until the end of May, so get yours today.

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Drew Estate JAVA

Rocky Patel’s infused line, made in partnership with Drew Estate.

Every now and then I do get the urge to try something that is flavored, because (not to toot my own horn) I smoke so many good cigars that I need something just for the palate cleanse before getting back into the money sticks. I am a guy who loves his coffee, so if I am going to try something infused, there are a number of coffee flavored cigars on the market that use premium tobaccos. Tabak by Drew Estate comes to mind. But in my experience working in cigars shops in Western New York for a decade now, Java has consistently been the most popular in the coffee category.

I am a maduro guy, so I tried the Java Maduro first. This cigar is very sweet and has strong notes of mocha with a bit of coffee to it. in a blind tasting, I might call this a chocolate cigar before I would call it a coffee cigar. Great as a dessert smoke. I know that the Mint variety also has many fans, though I couldn’t bring myself to try it…yet.

The ‘Latte’ was next, which is the variation with the Connecticut Shade wrapper, and I loved every bit of it. It was mellow, smooth, buttery and creamy and it really helped you not only taste the natural coffee flavor of the cigar, but it also helped add to it a little bit. I loved the Java Latte for a gimmicky break from my usual smokes. It’s nothing I’d have every day, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a great dessert cigar like it’s cousin, the Java Mint. I’d try it if flavored smokes are your thing, or if you’re bored with your current selection.

Don’t forget that all Rocky Patel cigars, and that includes Java, which was made by Rocky Patel in partnership with the infused cigar giant Drew Estate, are still available to you at an additional 10% off of our already low prices. Just make sure you use the coupon code ROCKY10 at checkout!

Keep coming back! -DP & CB

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Rocky Patel LB1 Toro

Cigar Name: Rocky Patel LB1

Company Website:
Strength: 3/5
Vitola: Toro (6.25 x 52)
Origin: Honduras
MSRP: $11.00 Our Price: $9.25
Wrapper: Nicaragua

The LB1 has a wonderful wrapper. The shade of this cigar wrapper just screams “classic.” Sometimes I think Maduro wrappers look really intimidating or just comically dark, but this is a cigar you could hand to anyone and instantly, they would think that this is how a cigar should look. And the Toro vitola is the obvious choice to complete that feeling.

The smoke and flavor from this cigar can be best described as toasty. This cigar profiles as a perfect medium-body cigar; not too heavy, and certainly not light, with just enough kick to give mild cigar smokers the notice that this one is a step up from what they are typically used to. On top of the toast, there are notes of coffee laced throughout this cigar, with some slight earthiness, but not too much. The toasty smoke is one of my favorite types of smoke; the nice, moderate strength combined with the aromatic smoke that you can taste on the inhale creates a really nice flavor that is enjoyable when it comes in a medium body. Nothing about this cigar was overpowering at any point in the experience, and a great draw provided lots of flavorful and billowing smoke. I really have grown to like this one.

The burn from this cigar was even and measured throughout and it did not require touching up or maintenance after the initial light. This cigar was well-built and did not give any hint of poor construction at any point; there was no threat of unraveling or uneven burning or anything of that sort. All in all, the LB1 is a wonderful cigar that is offered in so many different sizes that it is suitable for anyone of any experience level. It’s a perfect medium body with no excessive spice or kick to it, making it an enjoyable smoke for anyone who comes across this one. I’d recommend giving it a try.

This Cigar is an in-store-only exclusive, so hurry in while we’ve still got ’em. And don’t forget that our entire selection of Rocky Patel cigars now listed online is available to you at an additional 10% off if you use the coupon code ROCKY10 at checkout!

Happy smoking!


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Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero

  • Strength: 4 / 5
  • Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • MSRP: $194.00/box of 20
  • Our Price: $154.88/box of 20
  • Wrapper: San Andres

It is hard to find a cigar brand with a portfolio as vast and wide-ranging as Rocky Patel Cigars. Since their beginning in 1996 as Indian Tabac Cigar Co., Rocky has put an emphasis on fresh ideas, new fuller blends, and bold packaging. These ideas carried through to 2003 when the decision was made to change the name of the company to Rocky Patel Cigars, centering the brand on Rocky himself.

Then, in 2015 a match made in the stars came to fruition. Hamlet Paredes, widely considered one of if not the greatest master roller Cuba had ever seen, left Cuba in 2015 when the embargo was eased. Rocky immediately brought Hamlet into his cigar family. This cigar, the Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero is a result of that relationship.

This cigar has everything I look for in an after-dinner smoke. It’s full, rich smoke leaves nothing to be desired. It has strength and spice, and I find notes of earth, dark cocoa, and coffee. The San Andres wrapper is a staple of many of Rocky’s darker blends, and it is used to full effect in this cigar.

Stop by the shop to try one, or click here to buy a box! And as a special gift for checking out this blog, use the coupon code ROCKY10 at checkout for an additional 10 percent off any Rocky Patel products.

Keep coming back! -DP

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Rocky Patel Sun Grown

Strength: 4 / 5
Size:  Toro 6.5 x 52
Origin: Honduras
MSRP: $200
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra

Ecuadorian Sumatra covers this Honduran blend, and journey begins with a punch of spice and wood. Cigars like this one, devoid of any flavors from the sweet side of the tasting wheel are generally not going to make it into my personal rotation. But let’s smoke on and see where this goes.

As the flavors begin to mesh, I can begin to appreciate the blend and the craftsmanship as well. This cigar is perfectly constructed, has a tiny bit of sheen to the light-to-medium-brown wrapper, and burns very well. Nothing less should be expected from Rocky Patel and his army of expert craftsmen. We are told that as a global company practice, Rocky Patel draw-tests 100% of their cigars, a practice that is unheard of in the rest of the industry.

This cigar is one of the higher-rated Rocky Patel sticks out there, and though this cigar may not be for me, it is definitely for many of you. If you like those earth and wood notes to be the prominent base of your smoking experience, then you should have a handful of these cigars, if not more than a handful, in your humidor. And you will not find them at a better price than here at Tallchief.

We have several friends and customers who have made this their go-to smoke, so we tend to stock the Toro on the regular. CLICK HERE to pick up a box today, or any other Rocky Patel cigars (including samplers) and use the coupon code ROCKY10 at checkout for an additional 10% off as a ‘thank you’ for checking out this blog.

Keep coming back! DP

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Baccarat – The Game

  • Strength: 1 /  5
  • Size: 6 x 52
  • Origin: Honduras
  • Price (local): $4.50
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Now, a Baccarat is not something I’d ever smoke. But that is not because it’s a bad cigar. It’s important to identify that the Baccarat is not a traditional cigar: it has what is referred to as a sweet tip. Not overbearingly sweet like a Fat Bottom Betty, but there is some sugar you can taste. It’s also made with a very mild tobacco, so you get next to no harshness from the Honduran tobacco blend these are made with. I don’t have much time today, but if you are looking for a “starter” cigar as a newbie, this is 100% the place to start. It makes an excellent gift for someone looking to get into the hobby, and if you want something very unaggressive and harmless, then this is the cigar for you. It’s the most mild blend on the market, and it tastes sweet, so it’s good for after a heavy meal or after a few drinks. You will love this cigar if you have minimal experience smoking and don’t want to go straight for something that is just pure tobacco. Try this if you’re looking to get into the hobby, or buying some cigars for a night out and have a few non-smokers in tow. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy smoking! CB