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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Nica Rustica Review (Pre-Release)

At long last, the delayed Nica Rustica release is almost upon us. There's little doubt Drew Estate will fulfill on their latest publicized retail date of November 1st (or thereabouts). We know you all are going to be trying these well-priced toros as soon as you can get your hands on them, so why read our Nica Rustica review?

Well, you may adjust the quantity of your first purchase after taking in our humble opinion. We won't give it all away here, but we will say that this cigar surprised the HLC committee (of one)....

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Leccia Black Review

It took awhile to get to the Leccia Black even though it was one of the HLC tasting committee's most anticipated releases of the year. The campfire-essence produced by the fire-cured tobacco drives the conversation about this cigar, but we found other elements (or more precisely, the lack of them) much more remarkable...

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La Aurora Review

The biggest challenge to reviewing La Aurora's core line is figuring out what to call the cigar. The "Traditional" or "Aurora" monikers the company uses on their website haven't stuck, but neither have alternatives like "Classic".

The cigar is value-priced, accessible and maybe a bit ignored online as the naming confusion illustrates. In the HLC tasting committee's opinion, these facts make the stick quite worthy of some attention. We'll just call it La Aurora and move on to the review...

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