Friday, January 25, 2013

601 La Bomba Napalm (5x52)

I am a fan of strong cigars and Nicaraguan tobacco. With that said, I have the only cigar I have seen with a warning label up for review. The La Bomba actually has a warning inside the box lid letting you know it is not for the novice smoker. I looked forward to lighting one of these up and almost did so before letting them rest. Luckily for them a series of life events kept me from getting into them, and they found a couple of weeks to stabilize in the humi. The La Bomba is a blend from Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega that was originally produced in the My Father factory in Esteli Nicaragua. Some of the older boxes that are still out there bear the My Father seal and the newer boxes I have seen have the La Zona seal, indicating that they were produced in Erik's factory in Esteli. I am unaware of any changes to the blend, if there were any, between the two. I have enjoyed every EO brand, Ortega, and Espinosa cigar that I have had to date. The 601 green label is one of my favorite cigars and I will have formal review of it up soon, I hope.

My son recently picked up a nasty stomach virus that put him in the hospital for a night to get IV fluids. Our local hospital doesn't allow smoking or tobacco use of any kind on their premises, so getting a cigar in was out of the question. I enjoyed this stick the day after he was released to come home and feeling much better. It amazes me how fast children bounce back from being sick, and it seems to take us adults forever to get over an ailment. He is much better and I thank all of you that offered prayers and encouragement. It was his first hospital visit since he was born and scared me and his mother pretty bad. I know, so on with the review already lol.

The milk chocolate Habano wrapper on the La Bomba had only minimal veins and a cool pigtail resembling the fuse on a stick of dynamite. The body was well packed and firm with a little give. There we no soft spots or imperfections that I could find. I used my trusty Xikar cutter to clip the cap and found the cold draw to be perfect with notes of cocoa and a mild sweetness. The body offed notes of cocoa with hints of barnyard and the foot had the same mild sweetness and cocoa that the was present on the cold draw. You can tell by that aroma emanating off of this stick, it is going to be tasty and strong. I used my favorite torch, my Xikar executive II, to toast the foot and get things started with no problems.

The initial third explodes with flavor, after all it is a bomb. The first flavors that grab the attention are notes of coffee and cocoa. There is mild caramel tone that comes in on the finish and brings a touch of sweetness to the peppery spice of the retrohale. As I progress into the first third, notes of leather start to emerge. The finish is long and leaves a touch of caramel on the palate and a nice peppery tingle in the sinuses.

Going into the second third the leather notes gain some momentum as the cocoa notes begin to fade into the background. The caramel notes are still hanging out in the background as some toasted nut notes start to pop in and out. I was almost ready to discard the extra full body claim until I hit the half-way point. That is when the body went from full, to wow that is strong. It was strong, but never harsh in any way.

The final third brought a slight increase to the natural sweetness, it helped to balance out the increase in body. The peppery spice that has been tingling my sinuses is now starting to leave a tingle on my palate as well. The coffee notes are still present, but are definitely in the background. The caramel notes that have been lingering in the background gain some depth but also become more infrequent. The leather notes really take the spotlight in the final third, and man is it good. Shortly after starting into the final third there is an earthy note that pops in and out, it's faint but noticeable.

A great stick for those who love full body cigar bliss, I know I sure do. This stick is strong, never harsh, and has a great deal of complexity to boot. I would not recommend this for a cigar newbie or someone who only smokes mild body cigars. The ash held to over an inch each time and I only made 1 small burn correction between the 2 I smoked for the review. If you eat full body cigars for breakfast and have not yet had the La Bomba, I ask what the heck are you waiting for? There is no better time than now. Espinosa Cigars is having a La Bomba challenge going on right now and there are some awesome ashtrays to be won. There is even a autographed box of La Bomba cigars up for grabs!

For More information on the 601 and Espinoa lines visit
Espinosa Cigars
You can also chat Erik up on
He runs a t-shirt giveaway on Tuesdays known as "T-Shirt Tuesdays". Who wouldn't want an awesome cigar shirt from Espinosa cigars? I love mine! So if you feel up to the challenge, grab a La Bomba, your camera, and slap some creativity in with it. You better hurry though, 2 winners have already been selected so your time is running out.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Exactus Clasico Robusto (5x54)

I was contacted on Instagram by Ram Rodriguez, the owner of Exactus Cigars and Custom Sticks, about sampling some of his brand. With great excitement I said , yessir I would love to sample your cigars. I couldn't find much information on the blend but was sent a clasico, Maduro, and a Habano to try out. I let these rest for a few days after their journey to my front door and waited with great anticipation. I have seen these listed on cigarstix and knew they had to be good because Brad wouldn't list anything on his site that he wouldn't smoke. I chose the clasico to review smoke first since it is listed as the mildest of the offerings. The clasico is listed as a mild-medium body cigar on the website, so I decided to start at the mildest and work my way up. The wrapper is a beautiful golden brown with only small veins and virtually invisible seams. The body is firm and well packed with very little give and no soft spots or flaws that I can find. I straight cut the double cap with my handy Xikar cutter and found a perfect cold draw with notes of cocoa and molasses. The body offered light notes of hay and cocoa and the foot offered the same molasses and cocoa found on the cold draw. I used a single flame Xikar executive to toast the foot and get things started with no problems.

The first third opened with notes of toasted nut and a some mild fruit notes. The finish is long and toasty with a mild natural sweetness that lingers on the palate. There is a fair amount of spice on the retrohale in the first portion of the burn. The spice calms about 1/2 an inch in as the smoke become smooth and creamy.

Going into the second third some coffee notes emerge a develop rather quickly. The toasted nut flavors are still present as the fruit notes fade into the background, leaving only their sweetness. There is a doughy flavor that starts to pop in as I near the final third.

In the final third, the doughy flavor becomes more of a sourdough as the coffee notes fade to the background but remain present. As I progress into the last third some pine wood notes pop in and out. The rating smoke also has the same sourdough aroma is quite pleasant. There was a lot more going on in this smoke than I anticipated, and was pleasantly surprised.

The ash held to over an inch each time and was a light gray color. The construction on this stick was excellent, I made only 2 minor burn corrections and I attribute them to windy and rainy smoking conditions. The body, to me, remained at medium for the duration of the burn and the flavor was full. The smoke was creamy and smooth from 1/2 inch in, through to the nub. This is one of those boutique gems that you can taste the passion in commitment in each puff of smoke. Thank you Mr. Ram Rodriguez and Exactus Cigars for providing the tasty cigars for this review. I look forward to lighting up the Habano and the Maduro in the very near future. For more information on Exactus Cigars and Custom Sticks visit their webpage and you can find Ram on Instagram

A quick google search didn't turn up many options for ordering online. Luckily I can tell you where you can find these great smokes. My friend Brad Bortz has a fine selection of boutique cigars over at and it just so happens that he carries the Exactus line. He actually has a sale going on right now on the 3 cigar sampler of Exactus in all sizes. What better time to grab a sampler and taste the clasico, Habano, and the Maduro for yourself. If you would like to get your hands on some you can find them
HERE. You can pick up a box for around 89 bucks, making it an excellent value with a ton of flavor for your buck.

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Vegas Classic Torpedo (6x54)

I have had this 5 Vegas torpedo and a robusto hanging out in the humidor for awhile now, just waiting for me to pick them out to smoke. They seemed to get left behind after each trip I made to the humidor, each time new cigars were added they were pushed deeper and deeper. I found them after work one day and rescued them for review. The robusto was first to be burned so the torpedo was left for the formal review and photo shoot.

The 5 Vegas Classic sport a milk chocolate brown Sumatra wrapper that houses a Cuban-seed blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican long fillers. The mildly oily wrapper has minimal veins and a touch of tooth to it. The body is firm and well packed with no soft spots or flaws to be found. This is one of the pointiest torpedo cigars I have ever seen. The wrapper offered only a mild note of coffee and foot offered a notes of sweet tobacco. I went with a v cut, as I usually do with a torpedo, and found a near perfect cold draw with a touch of sweetness. I used my Xikar Executive II to toast the foot with no problems, and I was on my way.

The first third opens up with a nice light roast coffee flavor and notes of roasted nuts and a mild sweetness to support it. There is a fair amount of spice on the retrohale but the sweetness balances it out nicely. The finish is medium and has a roast nut tone to it and a bit of that mild sweetness lingers on the palate.

Just before the start of the second third, the spice calms a bit as the smoke takes on a more creamy characteristic. The coffee notes gain some depth and become more of an espresso. There are a few dark chocolate notes forming in the background and they bring with them a slight bitter sensation. The ash was a bit on the flaky side but strong enough to hold on to just over an inch and a half.

As I started into the final third there were some woody notes that popped in and out. The sweetness has faded some as the bitter sensation of the dark chocolate sees a bit of an increase. The woodiness has developed into an oaky flavor note and the espresso is still present. The oaky wood note moves into the forefront as I progress through the last third. The sweetness is still present but only in enough capacity to balance the bitterness that the dark chocolate brings. The bitterness isn't overpowering and doesn't detract from my enjoyment of this stick.

Final verdict for me: This was a solid cigar. The body stayed consistently medium with a full flavor. The burn was a bit wavy but never bad enough to warrant a touch up on the robusto or the torpedo smoked for this review. I have one more robusto hiding in the bottom of the humidor and think I will leave it be for a future humidor diving trip. I love finding sticks I forgot I had in the bottom of the humidor. This would be a smooth enough medium body cigar to introduce to a new smoker or one that is newish and wants to journey beyond a mild offering. i say it has enough body and complexity to satisfy a seasoned smoker as well. This was a decently complex stick with good flavors and solid construction and the price point makes it an excellent value. These can be had for around 3.50-4.50 depending on whether you are buying a single or a box. StogieBoys has these available as a single and in boxes. I can see myself grabbing a box of these in the future, especially at only 70 bucks for a box in the torpedo size. The torpedo size was a slow burn and smoked for close to 2 hours.

Vegas PTE trade show

If you will be attending the Tobacco expo in Las Vegas please be sure to visit my friends from Rafaeli's cigars at their booth #638.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sosa Auric Perfectum wavell (5x50)

Here is the press release on the Auric Perfectum :
November 5, 2012 (Miami, FL) — Antillian Cigar Corporation, owner of popular cigar brands such as Sosa, 60 by Sosa and Underground, will be releasing a new Connecticut cigar on November 19, 2012. Known as the Auric Perfectum, this cigar will only be made available to fifty brick and mortar establishments across the United States. The cigar will come from the Tabacos M.P.S.A. factory in Jalapa, Nicaragua and will be available in the three sizes of Wavell, Governor and Piramides #2. Auric Perfectum will be made with an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. The strength of this cigar is a flavorful mild to medium. Most interesting is that the cigars will be packaged in smaller boxes of 12 and will retail from $5.75 to $8.00 per cigar.
Arby Sosa, creative director and sales manager for Antillian Cigar Corporation and son of Juan B. Sosa, stated, “I am really looking forward to the development of the Auric Perfectum because it is going to be a dynamic project. We are going to start with 50 accounts and then will only add 25 more accounts in 2014 when we add a new size to the line. Promotion of the cigar will also include two advertisements in Cigar Snob Magazine starting in 2013 and will list every retailer carrying it. The reason why we are being so limited with the product and promoting the individual establishments is because we understand that B&M stores are important to this industry and we want to help where we can. I hope that the Auric Perfectum compliments our established lines and fills a gap being that we are using a wrapper and country of origin that is not currently found in the Sosa line.”

Arby and Celina gifted be some of their new line, the Auric Perfectum. They said in the press release above that they hoped it would fill a gap in their line since it's country of origin and wrapper are new to the Sosa line. I was very eager to get into these and see if it does just that. I have smoked pretty much every other offering from Sosa Cigars and several of their offerings are I my favorite 10 smokes list. I tried to find the meaning of the name and all I could come up with is that it is Latin and Auric refers to an ion of gold. The Perfectum I would assume is Latin for perfect or perfection. If that be the case then this is golden perfection. I know, get to the review already right? So here we go.

The wrapper is an Ecuadorean Connecticut with only very small veins and a golden caramel color. The binder is Nicaraguan and the filler is a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. It is firm with only a little give and no soft spots or imperfections that I can find. The body offers notes of hay and the foot offers notes of molasses and sweet field grass. I used my Xikar Xi2 to clip the cap and found a perfect cold draw with notes of sweet grass. I used a Xikar executive 2 to toast the foot and get things started with no problems.

The initial third opened up with an explosion of flavors and a bit more spice than I had anticipated. The spice soon calms and the flavors start to align shortly after the light. There are coffee and roast nut flavors that jump out front. About 3/4 of an inch into the burn the coffee has become more rich and so has the texture of the smoke. I would say a medium finish with a caramel-like flavor. The coffee and roast nut are really working well together.

As I go into the second third there are some woodsy notes starting to emerge. The coffee and roast nut are still in full swing as the smoke becomes more creamy. There are a few light notes of cinnamon that pop in and out, they are subtle but noticeable. The finish has become longer and more toasty than the first third. The construction so far has been outstanding with no burn corrections and ash holding on to over an inch at a time. I have not had to correct burn on any of these I have smoked so far.

I the final third the woody notes take on more of an aged cedar flavor. The coffee notes started to fade a bit and n flavor dominates the others. Each puff seems to bring a different flavor to the foreground as if you are tasting the grand finale at a fireworks show. The cinnamon notes did develop a bit more in the final third but still hung out in the background for the most part.

This was indeed a perfect addition to the already stellar lineup for Sosa Cigars. The Auric Perfectum is full of flavor and maintained a body on the medium side of mild-medium throughout the burn. If your local h&k doesn't carry Sosa I would say bug the crap out of them and get them on board before all the slots for distribution of these are filled. This is an instant hit in my book and is one of my top 3 Connecticut wrapped sticks. Thank you to Celina and Arby Sosa for sending me the Auric Perfectum, this is an excellent cigar!
You can find more information on Sosa Cigars and the Antillian Cigar Corp at
And also on
Arby is a sports fan and posts frequently about sports, even sports related contests with cigar prizes. Give them a follow and say hello, they are some of the nicest people in the industry and make some of the finest cigars you'll ever smoke.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Espinosa Cigars presents the La Bomba challenge

Miami, Florida (January 9, 2013) – Can you handle the STRONGEST cigar around? Think so? Well take the 601 La Bomba Challenge today!
Espinosa Premium Cigars announces the promotion for the 601 La Bomba Challenge, where cigar enthusiasts take a BEFORE and AFTER picture of their smoking experience with the 601 La Bomba cigar and share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The contest will run for 6 weeks and a different winner will be selected each week [6 winners in total]. The winners will be announced on the following 2013 dates 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15 & 2/22. Each winner will receive a 601 La Bomba Ashtray and a 601 LA BOMBA SQUAD t-shirt.

Complete rules of the contest are posted on the company’s newly redesigned website
The 601 La Bomba is a full bodied and full flavored BOMB! Handcrafted in Esteli, Nicaragua with 100% Nicaraguan tobacco. WARNING: Extremely full bodied cigar. Not recommended for novice smokers

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Perdomo Cuban Bullet 2.0 Maduro Robusto (5x50)

Here is a name that is synonymous with quality in the cigar world. I have never had a Perdomo cigar that was harsh or had a bad draw. I have enjoyed everyone I have smoked to date, so I figured I would see how the value priced Cuban bullet cigars would perform.

The dark brown wrapper had a touch of oil to it with only small veins. It was firm and well packed with no soft spots or flaws to speak of. The body offered notes of cocoa and barnyard and the foot offered notes of cocoa and rich tobacco. I used my new Xikar Xi2 cutter to clip the expertly applied cap and found a perfect draw with notes of cocoa and light earthy notes. I used the Xikar Executive II single flame torch that I won in the "holiday spirit photo contest" to toast the foot and get things started with no problems.

The Initial third opens with cocoa and coffee notes. There is a fair amount of spice especially on the retrohale and a nice mild sweetness to compliment it.
Finish is long and has a warm nuttiness.
As I progress into the first third the spice calms a bit as the the flavors really start to pop. The draw is perfect just I expected it to be with it being from perdomo. About 1/2 inch into the burn, the sweetness has increased a touch as the coffee notes come to the foreground. There are still notes of cocoa lingering in the background as well as some buttery notes on occasion.
This cigar is producing tons of delicious smoke for my eager palate.

Going into the second third the coffee notes become a touch more rich and deep. The sweetness seems to be gaining just a bit more momentum and is really shining. Most of the cocoa notes have faded and been replaced by a earthy note. The balance of sweet and spice is perfect and the body has been consistently medium-full with no harshness at all. It has been awhile since I was last able to sit down while smoking a cigar without having to worry about anything work related. The Cuban bullet 2.0 Maduro was the prefect choice for tonight's smoke.
Ash held to around 1.5" before falling off and was a nice salt and pepper color.

The final third doesn't see any real additions to the flavor profile but the way they present themselves has changed a bit. I can honestly say that the flavors were enjoyable enough I'm glad they didn't change too much. This is one of those sticks that is complex, not so much in the amount of flavors, but in the presentation of its flavors through the burn. There were some faint hints of cinnamon in the final third. They hung out in the background serving as backup for the coffee, earth, and sweet spice that danced around on my palate.
As you would expect from anything perdomo, the construction is superb all the way down to the perfect draw. Flavor is excellent and consistent through the 3 samples I smoked before writing the review. If you like the perdomo lot 23, then you are sure to like the Cuban bullet 2.0 as well. A I stated before I have never had a Perdomo cigar that didn't perform or wasn't enjoyable to smoke. The price point on these is around 3.75 per stick or you can grab a box of 20 for around 60 bucks, which makes them an excellent value. Can find more information on Perdomo cigars and their blends at and you can find them on twitter Nick and Janine both interact with fans and friends on twitter and are a lot of fun to talk to. They are huge Alabama fans ( I don't hold it against them) so if you like to talk Alabama football give them a shout.
Here are the links to the single, box, and five pack in robusto size on


single cigar

5 pack