Cigar Reviews

Tallchief Cigars #3 Cigar of the Year 2022: Undercrown 10

The Undercrown 10 cigar by Drew Estate is a true gem of a smoke. As a seasoned cigar aficionado, I was excited to try this new offering from one of my favorite brands, and I was not disappointed. The Undercrown 10 is a limited edition cigar that was released in 2020 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Undercrown line. This cigar features a stunning Mexican San Andres wrapper, a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut Habano binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina fillers. The end result is a complex and flavorful smoke that is sure to impress even the most discerning cigar connoisseur.

The first thing I noticed about the Undercrown 10 is its impeccable construction. The cigar is perfectly rolled and has a nice weight to it. The wrapper is smooth and oily to the touch, with a deep brown color and a slight sheen. The band is understated and elegant, featuring the classic Undercrown logo with the number 10 underneath it. It’s clear that a lot of attention to detail went into the design and presentation of this cigar.

Upon lighting the Undercrown 10, I was immediately struck by its bold and complex flavors. The first third of the cigar features a rich mix of dark chocolate, espresso, and black pepper, with a subtle sweetness that lingers on the tongue. The smoke is thick and creamy, with a perfect draw that allows for ample smoke production without being too loose. The burn is even and consistent, producing a solid ash that holds on for a good inch or two before falling off.

As I progressed into the second third of the cigar, the flavors began to evolve and deepen. The chocolate notes became more pronounced, with a hint of nuttiness and a touch of leather. The pepper mellowed out a bit, but still provided a nice kick on the retrohale. The sweetness remained present, but shifted from a subtle hint to a more prominent note that balanced out the richness of the other flavors.

In the final third of the cigar, the flavors continued to build in intensity. The chocolate became almost fudgy, with a distinct note of caramel and a touch of spice. The leather and nuttiness remained, providing a nice earthy undertone to the smoke. The sweetness remained present but became more of a background note, providing a subtle contrast to the other flavors. The smoke remained thick and creamy, with a perfect draw that allowed for ample smoke production without being too loose. The burn remained even and consistent, producing a solid ash that held on until the end of the cigar.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the Undercrown 10 cigar by Drew Estate. This is a complex and flavorful smoke that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning cigar connoisseur. The construction is impeccable, the flavors are bold and complex, and the smoke production is ample and creamy. If you’re looking for a special cigar to celebrate a special occasion, or simply want to treat yourself to a top-quality smoke, I highly recommend the Undercrown 10. This limited edition cigar is sure to be a hit with cigar enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Cigar Reviews

Tallchief Cigars #2 Cigar of the Year 2022: Espinosa 601 Maduro

Our #2 Cigar of the Year for 2022 is the Espinosa 601 Maduro, a cigar we have been smoking for years now. While we continue to grow, learn and experience everything this hobby has to offer, this cigar has always offered a luxury experience every time you light it up.

The Espinosa 601 Blue label Maduro cigar is a true gem in the world of premium cigars. This full-bodied smoke boasts a dark and oily Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper that is visually impressive and hints at the bold flavors to come.

Upon lighting, the cigar delivers a rich and complex flavor profile that is sure to satisfy the most discerning smoker. The initial flavors are of dark chocolate, espresso, and black pepper, with a subtle sweetness that rounds out the overall experience. The smoke is thick and creamy, with a long finish that lingers pleasantly on the palate.

As the cigar progresses, the flavors deepen and become more complex, with notes of leather, cedar, and earthiness coming to the forefront. The burn is even and steady, and the ash is a beautiful light gray color that holds on well.

One of the standout features of the Espinosa 601 Blue label Maduro cigar is its impressive construction. The draw is easy and smooth, and the cigar holds its shape well, with no unraveling or flaking of the wrapper.

Overall, the Espinosa 601 Blue label Maduro cigar is a fantastic smoke that is sure to impress even the most discerning smoker. Its rich and complex flavor profile, impressive construction, and bold visual appearance make it a must-try for any serious cigar enthusiast. Whether enjoyed alone or with a glass of your favorite spirit, this cigar is an excellent choice for any occasion.

Cigar Reviews Uncategorized

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.

Keep Coming Back.


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Alec Bradley Project 40 Maduro

  • Strength: 4 /  5
  • Size: 5 x 52
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Price (local): $7.50
  • Wrapper: San Andres
  • Flavor Text:

Project 40 goes dark

Project 40 has probably impacted your life, without you even realizing it. Basically, Project 40 is based on the concept that 50% percent of your happiness comes from genetics, 10% is based on circumstance, and the remaining 40% all depends on your outlook and mindset. The goal being to find how a product can have a positive impact on your mind and body, and improve your happiness and comfort overall. We all know that cigars are a relaxing activity that brings people together and helps create a sense of comfort and mental well-being, so it was only natural that Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley would apply this concept to cigars. What is even more natural is that eventually Alan would expand the line to include a darker Maduro version. 

Enter Project 40 Maduro. For this version, a delicious Mexican San Andrés wrapper encases the same Brazilian Habano binder and Nicaraguan filler blend of the original Project 40 taking the flavor profile up a notch with smooth, peppery notes and a natural sweetness that Maduro cigars are known for. Dressed in a maroon and gold color scheme, this addition distinguishes itself from its predecessor in looks. Sure to be a hit like the 93-rated Project 40, the Maduro extension is going to go fast. Go on, take a walk on the dark side and enhance your 40%, grab a box today. 

I have always pretty heavily endorsed the AB Project 40 to friends and family who were looking for a really nice budget smoke that won’t blow your head off, and once I got a look at the AB Project 40 Maduro, I figured that it could potentially be a candidate for everyday smoke based on it’s cheap price, it’s medium to full body, and the price point it is often sold at. Overall, I’d say this cigar is solid, but not spectacular, and it’s about what you’d expect for only spending anywhere between 6-8 dollars on a cigar.

It’s pretty rare to pay an average of 7 dollars for a Maduro cigar; if that’s what you’re spending, then you’re probably getting a very small smoke, perhaps something like a small Perfecto or Corona, max. This cigar has some sixe to it for the prize, and as usual from AB, it’s got signature branding and construction. The draw was passable, not too tight or too loose, but a little bit more smoke would have been nice. The San Andres wrapper was dark and toothy, and it added a distinguishable peppery bite to this smoke. Already boasting a stronger Nicaraguan blend of tobacco than the usual Project 40, the Maduro version brings together a lot of elements traditionally found in a “strong” cigar to put a fresh, new spin on an old favorite.

The most excellent thing about this cigar is the wrapper. As most Maduro wrappers go, this one has a distinct sweetness to it that most Maduro smokers will identify and love. As for the tobacco, it was pretty non-descript actually. I had to go searching for the flavor of it, and mostly what I found was just pepper. Nothing really else to it, just the pepper you’d expect to taste in a strong cigar. The Maduro wrapper is always redeeming, and for 7 dollars, you really get a good bargain for a cigar like this, but at the end of the day, I didn’t really appreciate the blend much. It’s just a cigar with some punch due to the pepper. That’s really all. Nothing impressive, but not bad. I put it in my ‘Just a Smoke’ category and maybe pick up another when I’m looking to rip through something really fast.

Happy smoking! CB 

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AJ Fernandez Last Call Maduro

  • Strength: 4 /  5
  • Vitola: Geniales 4 x 52
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Price (local): $6.50
  • Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf

It’s Last Call… er, again? 

Much like the film ‘biz, we’re an industry obsessed with sequels. Unlike summer blockbusters, though, cigar manufacturers have a great track record of improving upon their original releases, crafting fitting tributes and mouthwatering line extensions that oftentimes outshine the first blend. Today, we welcome the Last Call Maduro by A.J. Fernandez to CI, and I’ve gotta say, this follow-up might just be the true masterpiece of the duo. 

Originally crafted as A.J.’s personal final cigar of the night, Last Call was released nationally just a few years back, and it went gangbusters. Today, we’re staring down the same blend, just donned in a Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro wrapper that’s silky-smooth in all the right ways. Lighting this one up, you’ll be greeted with a Molotov cocktail of dark chocolate, espresso, black pepper spice, and a thick, molasses-like sweetness in the background. 

I also reviewed one of my favorite Habano cigars of all time, the Last Call by AJ Fernandez. The Last Call comes in these two wrappers, and while the Maduro isn’t quite on the same level for me personally as the Habano, the Maduro has a lot of it’s own unique characteristics that make it an incredible choice for Maduro lovers and those who like a nice, quick smoke break as they please.

The Last Call Habano and the Last Call Maduro are largely the same, and they both feature masterpiece Nicaraguan blends from the Master of Tobacco, AJ Fernandez. Obviously to most, the difference is going to be in the wrapper on these. While a Habano wrapper gives a lot of spiciness and kick with each draw, the Maduro wrapper offers a somewhat natural sweetness, as is common among all Maduro wrappers, with some more distinguished silkiness and smoothness that the Habano just doesn’t possess. 

This cigar gives you exactly what you’d expect from a dark and inviting smoke like this one: lots of dark, dessert flavors with a bit of a kick to them. Cocoa and dark Brazilian coffee come to the forefront of this smoke, with pepper scattered throughout to stimulate your senses and some sweetness on the back end. Some might identify the back-end sweetness as it’s own flavor, but I just attribute that note to the wrapper. It’s got a very nice, milder sweetness to it that you won’t catch unless you look for it, but like most Maduro cigars, it’s a wonderful example of everything a Maduro cigar can offer with the proper blend and the attention it deserves.

Both Last Calls are amazing, quick smokes. They are a must-try for most smokers who smoke above the level of mild. I highly recommend them in any size, and I’d suggest them above all other mini-smokes if you like 20 minute cigars. Go get them.

Happy smoking! CB

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