Diamond Crown Maximus Review

Patio Review: 10 years running and still strong, the Diamond Crown Maximus

It is getting proper cold outside and traffic is crazy with last minute holiday shoppers. So when I found the time today to I sit down and review a Diamond Crown in a warm and cozy spot of my choosing, I was pretty happy!

I don’t know how but I’ve never had this cigar before! It has been around for a while, previously capturing the #4 cigar of the Year Award. Even so somehow I had always assumed this cigar would be too strong for my tastes. I’m pleased to report that this is not the case. If there is an overabundance of any factor it is that the strength within the stick doesn’t diminish, but I’d consider that a positive.

First third:  I used a guillotine cut anon the dark natural wrapper sporting thin veins. The dry draw was interesting – I was reminded of a dark chocolate coffee drink. The construction seems solid and took to the flame of the cedar spill I used quite nicely.

Second third:  There is a wonderful consistency from first to second third. The notes of dark cocoa, roasted coffee bean and earthiness have carried through and seamlessly blended together.

Last third: I started to really appreciate how I was still experiencing the same strength (it didn’t taper off or overpower) as I was also enjoying the cedar notes the cigar offered. I was doing a bit of typing as I smoked this so it actually went out on my 3 times in this last third, but each time I lit it back up. Worth it – every time.

Overall: I don’t want to dwell on how silly I feel never having had this stick before and instead focus on how soon I can get a box of these Diamond Crown Maximus all to myself!T

My Father Le Bijou 1922

Cigar of the Year (2015): My Father Le Bijou 1922

The box pressed version of My Father Le Bijou 1922 won Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year award in 2015. This year, it is nominated for Tobacco Business‘ 2019 Cigar of the Year. A long time fan favorite for its full bodied strength and graceful flavor profile, this cigar continues to wow.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 box press cigar standing upright

First Third: The first thing you can’t help but notice is how visually striking the wrapper is with its double band. I might have also picked it up because of the subtle reds and greens in the label, during a sudden bout of Christmas enthusiasm (don’t worry – I’ve recovered). The smell of the cigar out of the cellophane is punchy and unique. The first third smokes beautifully with few touch ups needed.

 

Second Third: It is right about now that the cigar’s dark, veiny and toothy wrapper looks really cool next to the inch or so of pale grey ash at the end of the stick. After the first big ash, the next few puffs expose the strength that the stick is so well known for. More subtle notes of toasted cookies and naturally sweet tobacco begin to fade as the strength builds through the second third.

Final Third: Even in the last third, the smoke coming off this stick stays a beautiful pale grey blue color and doesn’t diminish in quantity. The creamy coffee I had paired as my drink to this smoke is saving my palette because the cigar is relentless in providing black pepper and natural tobacco notes.

Official Recommendation: You should always have some of these in your humidor to make sure you can add extra enjoyment to the end of a great week, or to ring in the Holidays with a smoky and strong start. Regardless of the reason, this will always be a perfect “me time” cigar.

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Boxpress cigar 

Drew Estate Dogma Undercrown

A perfect midweek smoke: Drew Estate Dogma Undercrown (2018)

Starting with an espresso and a smoke bright and early, the 2018 release of the Drew Estate Dogma Undercrown does not disappoint!

 

Drew Estate Dogma Undercrown cigar next to espresso coffee

 

This stick returned to the outside world after an almost 4 year hiatus. Originally sold out of only 1 store in Florida, this year Drew Estate has allowed for this collaboration to be sold to all by Drew Diplomat retailers, like ourselves!

First Third: Using a guillotine cutter, the dry draw gives up notes of subtle earthiness, cedar, muted coffee and a higher note (almost fruity?) rounded things out. One of my favorite things about this smoke is the subtle matte wrapper, with nearly no sheen and almost non existent veins. The soft box pressed shape (box pressed being one of my favorite regular production shapes) had my hyped to see what was beyond the first few puffs.  

Second Third:  Coming from the Undercrown line, you are right to expect tons of smoke. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t remember to take enough pictures! The ash holds together quite nice and even with my unstable hands, it is hanging on about an inch before I feel the need ash.

Drew Estate Dogma Undercrown cigar smoking

Final Third: In the last third of this stick, the strength kicked it up a notch. Thankfully, the loud coffee and cedar flavors backed down to leave plenty of room for the increased strength. This left room for the delicious, smooth natural tobacco flavors. The burn was mostly solid, though my insistence to use cedar matches the whole time made for some imperfect burn lines. The length and ring gauge really makes for a cooler smoke, enticing you to puff away without breaks.

Official Recommendation: This stick came back into being after the initial demand resulted in being sold at super premium prices in secondary markets. Drew Estate knew the demand was well placed, so they brought it back this year and I have to agree I’d have done the same.  Liga fans, Undercrown fans, Corona Viva fans, Drew Estate fans – all are well positioned and pick up a pack of this well received stick for their humidor.

Viaje Skull and Bones Mystery 2018

The Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery 2018 is now in!

So I had to smoke one of these Viaje Skull and Bones Mystery 2018 cigars right away.

And by right away, I do mean right away. I didn’t give these 4.75 X 52 dark and mysterious box pressed robusto Viaje cigars a chance to settle after shipping to the store before lighting up. I think that the lack of rest (and early rainy season we’ve been enjoying recently) may have contributed to less than ideal smoking circumstances, so keep that in mind as you read this review.

Taking these sticks out of the box the closed foot was the first thing to stand out to me. The single black band (just like the box) is difficult to make out, adding to this stick’s mystery. A guillotine cut on the single cap opened up some notes of slightly we earth and faint barnyard on the dry draw. The darker wrapper has attractive thin veins, and a slight sheen to this wrapper.

First Third: The overwhelming initial notes upon lighting this stick up are young hay, and some sweeter undertones, perhaps a passing honey aromatic. The draw is very easy, and construction seems excellent. The first few puffs, if burned too hot, will expose an unflattering unaged tobacco flavor. I learned this the hard way so my advice is to take your time with this stick. To accommodate for this slower smoking style, I took more time in between puffs allowing for the hay/yellowed grass notes to contribute to the otherwise natural tobacco flavors that dominate this stick at the beginning. I am also noting black pepper and a woody note taste on the lips.

Retrohale: I retrohale the Viaje Skull and Bones Mystery 2018 and can immediately confirm that, yes this is a Viaje! Pepper leads with natural tobacco and very minor grass notes following. I am pulled back to the memory of other Viaje’s that I have aged for a year or more before enjoying as the flavor profile seem very close and make a mental note that I will want to let a box of these sit as a present for my future self.

Viaje Mystery 2018 stick

Second Third: It required a bit of touch up and the ash was a bit flaky but I put that down to my enthusiasm to smoke these right out of the mailman’s hands. Since the tasting notes for these Mystery sticks are not made available by Viaje, I was prepared for whatever flavor profile roller coaster might come my way. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised when the consistent natural tobacco notes. This stick smokes more like a companion to whatever task you may be doing (like writing blog posts, perhaps) rather than a distraction.

Final Third: The last third of this Viaje Skull and Bones Mystery 2018 was really rewarding as the aromatic honey and grass notes dropped away entirely in favor of black pepper, leather, smoked meats/wood notes. These flavors married themselves brilliantly to that natural tobacco note that had been smartly carrying the stick through to this point. The complex flavors began almost exactly at the final third mark, indicating that this mix at this point was very much intentional.

 

Official Recommendation: Pick up a box of the Viaje Skull and Bones Mystery 2018, store them in your humidor and forget about them for at least 1 year. But you are going to have to move fast – as of writing this, we’ve already sold some of these boxes with zero promotion. Viaje is one of those boutique brands that attract a smart and savvy fan base because of the quality of sticks produced.

Davidoff Florida Selection 2018

Review of Davidoff’s Florida Selection 2018

The just-in Davidoff Florida Selection 2018 cigar is a hit for sure. It’s got everything anyone could want. Spiciness? You got it. Glorious rolling smoke? Yup. Flawless construction? Indeed. The opportunity to add a new stick to your humidor that works for both Nicaraguan AND Dominican fans? Yes, please.

I paired this stick with water, but if I wasn’t smoking and writing this cigar review at work, I’d have aimed for a dark stout beer as my beverage of choice. I decided to employ a generous guillotine cut on my belicoso, totally on purpose, of course.

Initial impressions: An oily, veiny wrapper visually promises good things. The shiny copper double band is a beautiful contrast to the darker brown of the stick. The dry draw are pleasant notes of licorice and sweet tobacco. The stick took to the triple flame’s heat without issue.

First third: The first puffs of this stick are not bashful. Spice and sweet and earthiness let you know that you’ve got something special in your hand. The ash hung out for about an inch or so then colluded with my notoriously shaky hands to disengage on its own accord. Towards the end of the first third, the spice that was center stage begins to mellow allowing for the earthy sweetness to step up and compliment it.

Second third: As I smoke and type, I notice that when I pick it back up the cooler burn seems to expose more sweet notes that you won’t get when puffing frequently. The burn itself keeps nearly perfect when I smoke consistently. I’ve purged this stick as I smoke not from necessity but habit and I think it makes for a smoother smoking experience.

Last third: The medium-full strength of this stick really makes itself  known toward the end and I’m suddenly very glad I had lunch first. A lot of the flavor have been on the tongue as I smoke but the licorice is not gone and the spicier notes are standing out.  A small bit of the natural tobacco sweetness occasionally comes out as a subtle backdrop to the spice.

Ultimately, there was a unique element between the second and last third that I couldn’t quite put my finger on that I assume is the synergy of the Floridian Clermont tobacco. I look forward getting a box so I can try more of this stick and others like it that make use of this US leaf so I can become even more familiar with it.

Davidoff Florida Selection 2018 cigar and box

2017 CRA Sampler

Do your part to Support the CRA with this 10 cigar sampler

When you purchase this CRA Sampler 10 Count Humidor Pack, you not only get 10 premium cigars, but you also receive a complimentary 1-year individual membership to help Cigar Rights of America fight for your right to enjoy your cigars!

Membership in CRA adds your voice to the fight against tax increases and smoking bans. Members receive real-time updates on pending cigar legislation and have access to tools that allow them to effectively advocate for their rights as premium cigar enthusiasts.

cigar sampler

Released in 2017, the CRA Sampler includes 1 of each of the following cigars made exclusively for raising funds for the CRA:

  • Diamond Crown Natural
  • AJ Fernandez Bellas Artes
  • Rocky Patel Twentieth Natural
  • Tatuaje Black
  • EP Carrillo Cabinet
  • BG Meyer Standard Issue
  • Alec Bradley Tempus Nicaragua
  • Oliva Serie O
  • La Aroma de Cuba
  • Fuente Fuente Opus X

All cigars together total over a $175 value.They come packaged in a humidor bag with a small Boveda pack for 2-way humidity control up to six months after opening. Available in limited supply.

Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Petit Corona

Patio Review: The unimposing Liga Privada No. 9 Petit Corona

When smoking this Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Petit Corona, I was going against the grain of the “Gordo is best” phase the industry is experiencing. A benefit of being one of the authorized Drew Diplomat Retailers means I get to geek out on the new smaller sizes debuted at IPCPR this year and I am happy to report the flavor and strength of the stick was alive and well!

For this review, I paired my stick with water.  I used a small ring gauge guillotine cutter with ease though some of the wrapper did come a bit uncurled (probably due to my slightly tilted angle of my cut). I used matches to light my stick and it took well. Although a shorter stick, I’ll report my review in the format of thirds, as usual.

First third:  The flavors all sort of swirl around at once. With my first few puffs, I’m picking up some light spice and pepper along with some cedar and natural tobacco notes. It started to burn a bit of an uneven burn but a touch up of a match smoothed things out.

Second third:  The tobacco flavor that was super apparent backs down a bit but the pepper accents are still present in this second third. Burning it a bit hotter now (less down time between draws on the stick) yields more of a woody note, almost like the char from flame steak.  That stronger spice mellows out. Tobacco flavor deepens, with some leather on the back of my palette.

Last third: I ashed and purged. A little barnyard popped out at the end accompanied by the consistent pepper flavor. Smoke really thickened up with the heat increase.

Overall: This stick is great for a pepper fan,  and could be a great short treat for someone with a well trained nose. Even without the benefit of years of smoking experience, if you’ve got the time (and the Liga Privada NO. 9 Petit Corona doesn’t beg for much of it), you’ll benefit from a box of these in your humidor to share with friends.

Tis the Seasoncigar on pumpkin

Gourds make the best seasonal cigar rests.

Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Short Panatela

Patio Review: New size of an already-classic, the T52 Short Panatela

The seasons are changing from hot to not, making the patio a perfect cigar review location this fall. Smoking the new size of a crowd favorite, the Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Short Panatela, was a fun little smoke. Although the Liga was a bit smaller in length than I usually smoke, I still provide this review in terms of “thirds”.

For this morning review, I paired with Italian roast coffee with a little cream. Initial observations of the stick boasted a strong, dark and somewhat oily wrapper with a clean cap encouraging a perfect guillotine cut. The band was a little tricky to see the seam but easy to remove once I did. The construction of this Short Panatela sized stick was excellent. The quality construction made for a moderate draw with relatively even burn. The ash is strong and tight.

First third:  The flavor hits the tip of the tongue right off the batt so you know, regardless of its size, this is still a T52. Strong tobacco flavor with a little spice comes through on the draws. Maybe slight leather flavor there too?

Second third:  That stronger spice mellows out. Tobacco flavor deepens, with some leather on the back of my palette.

Last third: Tobacco flavor spreads out to the sides of the tongue very pleasantly. There’s a bit of salivation as a result (that’s the nicotine hitting me). Spice comes back, in a pleasant way, giving a little contrast.  Because of the size, I had to be careful with my fingers as I held the small and at this stage very hot nub of a T52.

Overall: This is a nice stick with a medium feel, and small enough to be a quicker morning cigar. I would advise that a faster smoker be ready for a bit of heat management due to the shorter length, though I enjoyed mine for almost an hour.  As a slower smoker, this is a great stick to have a box of in your humidor.

Tis the Season

Corona Viva cigar

Gourds make the best seasonal cigar rests.

 

 

Davidoff Master Blend Series

Davidoff Master Blend Series – 15 count sampler

Davidoff Master Blend Series cigars highlight fifteen different flavors and strength profiles, all the brainchild Davidoff’s Master Blender Eladio Diaz. Inspired by Eladio Diaz’s travels, only the best tobaccos were brought together with the most rare and exceptional blends chosen to create the most unique palate simulating experiences. Growing regions include United States of America, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Peru.

To  make sure that everyone gets to enjoy these in the best format for them, Anthony’s is proud to provide this Davidoff line as a unique tasting opportunity in the form of a 15 stick sampler, or a three 5 stick sampler or singles. To help you make your decision, we’ve provided a quick overview of each blend. And as I write this blog, to make this more fun for me, I picked my personal favorite from the bunch, the Number 10, to smoke as I type.


cigar in ashtray

Quick recommendation – you gotta get these, even if you don’t write cigar blogs for a living, because they are just too good to pass up.

 

While you can pick any of these Davidoff Master Blend Series sticks as singles, I’ve summarized each stick in the same way the 5 pack samplers come in.

  • Blend Number 1 – A medium to full strength blend, with primary notes of pepper, wood and cream.
  • Blend Number 2 – A medium blend strength stick, with primary notes of hazelnut, coffee and some chocolate. (Pair this with coffee for a delicious treat!)
  • Blend Number 3 – A medium strength stick, with notes of natural tobacco sweetness and hints of wood.
  • Blend Number 4 – A medium strength stick, with unique primary flavors of cinnamon, walnut and coffee. (Make this your dessert after dessert.)
  • Blend Number 5 – A medium strength stick, the primary kick comes from the spice and slight cream flavor profile.

  • Blend Number 6 – A medium strength stick, the primary flavor profiles are spices and slight natural tobacco sweetness.
  • Blend Number 7 –   A medium strength stick, with notes of pepper, ginger and woody notes. (This flavor profile has a kick to it!)
  • Blend Number 8 –  A medium strength stick, the primary flavor profiles being coffee, ginger and some creaminess.
  • Blend Number 9 –  An almost full strength stick, the chocolate flavor profile dominates with notes of almond and vanilla.
  • Blend Number 10 –  An almost medium strength stick, the primary flavor profiles are spices and slight natural tobacco sweetness. (My personal favorite!)

  • Blend Number 11 –  An almost full strength stick, hazelnut and chocolate compete for primary flavor, with a touch of cream supporting.
  • Blend Number 12 –  An almost full strength stick, big hits of pepper and spice flavors are rounded out with hunts of honey.
  • Blend Number 13 –  A medium-full strength stick, the primary flavors are most unique with leather, mint (not sweet) and wood.
  • Blend Number 14 –  A medium strength stick, the primary flavor profiles are wood, almonds and chocolate.
  • Blend Number 15 –  A medium-full strength stick, the loudest flavors are caramel, pepper and ginger. (Have this instead of dessert.) 

many cigarsStill can’t decide on your favorite blend? Why limit yourself?
Choose them all in the 15 count sampler pack! 

Caldwell Hit & Run

Caldwell Hit & Run Pre-Release Bundles are now here!

Anthony’s Cigar Emporium has received a few pre-release 10 ct. bundles of the Hit & Run before the dress boxes are released nationwide after the 2017 IPCPR.

The Caldwell Hit & Run cigar is a collaboration between Robert Caldwell, A.J. Fernandez, and Matt Booth.  It is comprised of Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder and Dominican filler. Hit & Run will be lauched at the 2017 IPCPR and will come packaged in 10-count boxes in five formats: 46 x 6” Corona, 54 x 6” Toro, 52 x 4 ¾” Rothchild, 50 x 6” Piramide and a 60 x 5 1/8” Perfecto. The Caldwell Hit & Run is made at the William Ventura factory in the Dominican Republic.

Browse the Caldwell Hit & Run at Anthony’s Cigar Emporium by clicking here or the picture below.

Hit & Run will come packaged in 10-count boxes and offered in five sizes: 46 x 6″ Corona, 54 x 6″ Toro, 52 x 4 3/4″ Rothchilde, 50 x 6″ Piramide and 60 x 5 1/8″ Perfecto.