Tatuaje The Krueger Review

It's been too long since we examined a limited Tatuaje release. This time, we're putting Pete Johnson's 9th Monster "The Krueger" through its paces. The opportunity was also taken to preview some thoughts about 2017 COTY lists and the state of the Tatuaje brand. Check out our thoughts and recommendations before scaring up a couple of the latest Monsters for yourself....
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The Best Cigars of 2015 – HLC COTY Awards

Time for this year's list of favorite smokes!  For 2015, we chose to publish a single list and focus on the COTY (cigar of the year) category.  We'll recognize our favorite budget and limited smokes early in 2016. It's impossible for any one list to provide a full accounting of the year's best cigars.   So we encourage you to consider our picks alongside those from other sources.  We suspect there will be a consensus around particular brands and blends ...
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COTY’s Are Coming

Yup, it's been awhile. Other obligations kept us from posting comments and images for a bit. Instead of doing rushed, sloppy work, we chose to just step back for awhile.Despite the lack of published reviews, the HLC committee (of one) continues to diligently taste and score cigars, hundreds in 2015 alone...
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Room101 Master Collection Cigar Review

We're doing things a little different for our Room101 Master Collection Cigar Review. Instead of just one, we've selected two vitolas to sample and rate. Because the Sucio and Mutante are identical length with differing ring guages, comparing both should provide good insights regarding the wrapper and overall blend potential....
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Best Cigars of 2013 – HLC COTY Awards

The Highlight Cigars Tasting Committee is happy to present you with our 2013 Cigars of the Year -- the third annual installment of what we like to call the the HLC COTY Awards! The awards have been expanded to four 2013 categories of 10 cigars, but only one stick can be named our 2013 Cigar of the Year. The COTY is the best cigar we've tasted that meets criteria designed to provide a champion that's not just a great-tasting stick, but one that's uncommonly consistent and most importantly, available...

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Tatuaje JV13 Review

As promised in our unboxing post, we’re happy to bring you our Tatuaje JV13 review. Those paying even casual attention to the cigar world understand the significance of Pete Johnson’s annual Monster Series releases. We’ll assume since you’re reading this that your industry observations are more than casual. The assumption makes this review shorter (and Continue Reading...
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Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones Review

Here's one you may not have heard of. What's the story with the Joya de Nicaragua Rosalones? Well, it’s pretty simple really. The Rosalones is a Nica puro available exclusively in the US via the Cigars International family of online retailers. The Rosalones sports a criollo wrapper and can be had for almost no money. We got ours on the devil site for $2.00 each....
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Camacho Diploma Cigar Review

Our perspective on Camacho's 2013 marketing push is detailed here already, so we won't go in to all the changes happening with the brand overall. Maybe because the Camacho name had become a little stale, we lack familiarity with the lines the company recently re-launched with new bands and in some cases new blends...
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E.P. Carrillo E-Stunner Cigar Review

Here at HLC World HQ, there is no cigar maker more beloved than Ernesto Perez Carrillo. This makes an E.P. Carrillo E-Stunner cigar review tricky. After all, who is this cigar for? It isn't meant for experienced smokers that already possess a healthy stash of Ernesto's sticks. So it's meant for the younger smokers searching for a "bolder" experience, right? Aren't those younger smokers blessed with a digital native's heightened sense of authenticity...
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HLC Smoke Center Ed. 2

After a long wait, HLC's regular post of cigar industry and media observations "Smoke Center" is getting a reboot. This space will be used to share facts and thoughts we find interesting. Hopefully you will find these posts useful as you consider your next cigar purchases and events. That's about it for the preamble, let's get on with it...

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San Cristobal Revelation Review

Ashton is behind some of the better DPG-sourced cigars on the market that don't have a My Father or Tatuaje band. The newest of these releases is the San Cristobal Revelation reviewed below. A Sumatra-wrapped stick with Nica innards, the Revelation follows a formula enthusiasts acquainted with Pepin-made product will find familiar...
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Tatuaje JV13 Unboxing Pics

Each year, Tatuaje ships monsters in two kinds of boxes. One box is a plain 10-count. The more stylized and rare “dress” boxes graphically represent each yearly character on a coffin-shaped design. We lucked in to a JV13 dress box that we may not open for awhile, so technically, this might not be a true unboxing, but for those of you who enjoy plenty of box images with your cigar porn, this should be about as good as it gets...
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AJ Fernandez Mayimbe Review

Please, just step away form the walk-in humidor and breath... that's it... in...out...in...out.

OK, your doing fine, but you may need to sit down. Please trust us when we tell you that the global poles haven't shifted, the apocalypse hasn't arrived (yet) and the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West. We are aware that you just saw a cigar from AJ Fernandez with a $15 MSRP and we know that confuses you. Maybe it even scares you a little. That's okay.

If you just give us a couple of minutes, we'll try to provide the information you need to at least understand how and why the AJ Fernandez Mayimbe exists. You don't have to buy one. That's a serious life choice that only you can make for yourself.

Just please check out our Mayimbe review after the bump before doing anything rash...

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Rocky Patel Edicion Unica Review

It’s rare to discover something new and interesting that we haven’t ever heard of while perusing the shelves of a local B&M’s humidor. This too-infrequent event occurred during a recent visit to The Big Easy in Studio City, CA.

The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 toro looked impressive in its stately 100-ct box, so we snatched a couple up despite the stick’s absence from our watch list. The result is our first full-length review of a Puro from Honduras...

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Tatuaje TAA Review

Here's our review of the third release Pete Johnson put together for the Tobacconists’ Association of America. This year, the blend was switched so that the cigar essentially becomes a one-off brown-label extension. The small update is another in a series of clever decisions Tatuaje used to spice of their core line during to commemorate its tenth anniversary.

At first, this could be perceived by some Tat fans as a negative. The "old" TAA blend was reserved for more limited, special product and the brown label blend is represented in quantity at most cigar shops. We don't see it that way. The brown label blend is iconic and nationally distributed line extensions are pretty rare. Plus, the regular TAA blend (that should return in '14) isn't our favorite from PJ. So we purchased more than our usual TAA allotment before sampling for this review. These sticks aren't cheap, so was the investment a wise one? Find out after the bump...

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