automne

Meet 9 newcomers to the market

This fall, you are in for a treat. Introducing nine new cigars that are more than just fancy new names and bands, they are truly original. CAO wows us with bold, perfectly formed shapes while Lopar plays with unexpected blends in a filler from Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Peru of all places! Read on, my friends!

 

CAO Flathead Steel Horse

Apehanger (Limited Edition)

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Brazil

Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua

Gros robusto

140 mm × 58 (23.02 mm)

€8.50

Appearance: Very glossy, well-rolled oscuro wrapper. Well filled. Firm to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Hints of dark chocolate and wet earth.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: After a smooth, well-balanced opening, this cigar serves up ashy, oak bark and cocoa flavors. Full-bodied smoke, mild strength.

Second third: The flavor profile progresses consistently, toying with touches of lichen, oak moss and fresh peat. Increasingly strong.

Final third: The strength continues to crescendo seamlessly without getting aggressive. Traces of roasted coffee and nuts round out the finish.

Comments from the Panel: “A good cigar, well made, coherent and likeable”; “Excellent performance”; “Far from amazing, but a very decent smoke.”

When to smoke it: After lunch.

The IADC’s verdict: This cigar boasts flawless construction. The burn is excellent. A pleasant smoke despite limited depth in terms of flavor.

Strength: 7/10

Flavor: 6/10

Aftertaste: 6/10

3 (4) B

 

 

CAO Flathead Steel Horse

Bullneck (Limited Edition)

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Brazil

Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua

Gros robusto

165 mm × 66 (26 mm)

€11

Appearance: Smooth, oily maduro oscuro wrapper. Soft to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Light pepper, charred wood. Good draw.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: Starts off mild and creamy with wood and fern notes. Plenty of sharp, flavorful smoke. Gradually picks up some light spices.

Second third: The strength steps up slowly but surely. As for flavor, wood and undergrowth continue to call the shots with some help from walnut and oak bark. Smooth smoke and easy draw.

Final third: The flavor profile stays put. The last puffs are more of the same, a mix of black pepper and charred wood. Not very satisfying.

Comments from the Panel: “Well-balanced, interesting flavor”; “Lacks punch and spirit”; “Too monotonous.”

When to smoke it: At happy hour.

The IADC’s verdict: This cigar has decent flavor, making it a good average smoke. It definitely needs a boost in the strength department.

Strength: 7/10

Flavor: 4/10

Aftertaste: 5/10

3B

 

 


Lopar

Robusto

Wrapper, Binder: Ecuador

Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic

Robusto

120 mm × 52 (20.64 mm)

€18

Appearance: Handsome dark, smooth, oily wrapper. Silky to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Spices, wood and earth. Perfect draw.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: The first few puffs are smooth, almost creamy, as earthy and woody notes greet you before introducing more sophisticated taste. Very good opening.

Second third: Burns beautifully. The flavor profile is rather one-dimensional but very pleasant and consistent, treating us to expressive spicy notes (black and red pepper). Well balanced.

Final third: Nothing new to report: this cigar is still too uniform and lacks character but continues to be very lively and never harsh. Very satisfying finish.

Comments from the Panel: “An easy, enjoyable smoke”; “No surprises, but a pleasant cigar”; “Lacks sparkle and complexity.”

When to smoke it: At happy hour.

The IADC’s verdict: This is your basic cigar with no surprises. That said, it is very well made and a thoroughly enjoyable smoke. For all smokers.

Strength: 6/10

Flavor: 6/10

Aftertaste: 7/10

3B

 

Lopar

Toro

Wrapper, Binder: Ecuador

Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic

Grand robusto

152 mm × 52 (20.64 mm)

€19

Appearance: Nicely taut, smooth and silky maduro oscuro wrapper. Well filled. Firm to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Undergrowth, spices, hints of bakery. Good draw.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: Starts off smooth and leisurely. This cigar expresses itself with rich smoke exuding notes of precious wood, peat and spices (black pepper). Good balance.

Second third: Moves into balsamic territory (red cedar), accented with nice notes of roasted coffee and pastry. The profile is complex, underpinned by plenty of strength.

Final third: Toast, cocoa bean and spicy hints blend together beautifully. The finish is fairly even and creamy. A word of warning: the last few puffs can be heavy or overly bitter.

Comments from the Panel: “Extremely handsome cigar with coherent flavor”; “A thoroughly pleasant experience”; “Well paced but needs to build up its strength”.

When to smoke it: In the evening

The IADC’s verdict: This cigar is very well balanced, often refined and even polished. Despite a certain uniformity, a captivating smoke from start to finish.

Strength: 6/10

Flavor: 7/10

Aftertaste: 7/10

3 (4) B

 

Lopar

Wide Churchill

Cape, Binder: Ecuador

Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Peru

Gros robusto

140 mm × 58 (23.02 mm)

€20

Appearance: Smooth, glossy maduro wrapper: simply flawless. Loosely filled.

Flavors before lighting: Light pepper and charred wood. Good draw.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: Lights up easy on notes of wood (oak bark), fern and light pepper. Pleasant, silky smoke features roasted spices. Medium strength.

Second third: Only slightly stronger, but the flavor remains very pronounced (wood, mild leather, dusty earth and dark cocoa). Smooth, comfortable smoke. Very good draw.

Final third: The flavor profile remains unchanged: dark cocoa, nuts, leather, pepper and vague traces of coffee. The last puffs can be bitter.

Comments from the Panel: “A real nice little number”; “A handsome stick, flavorful and consistent”; “A good choice for novice smokers”.

When to smoke it: At happy hour.

The IADC’s verdict: This mild, extremely well-rolled cigar serves up distinctive and interesting flavors. It may not be spectacular, but can be enjoyed by all smokers.

Strength: 6/10

Flavor: 6/10

Aftertaste: 7/10

3B

 

Oliva Serie O

Torpedo

Wrapper, Binder, Filler: Nicaragua

Grand robusto

160 mm × 52 (20.64 mm)

€9

Appearance: Smooth, silky colorado wrapper. Well filled. Soft to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Notes of lichen, vegetal and nut.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: Steps out lively, kicking up a little harshness. Vegetal and woody notes then make an entrance, followed by touches of lichen, cocoa and white pepper. A full-bodied and balanced smoke.

Second third: The cigar settles into a vegetal-woody profile, expressing its character more fully but the smoke stays the same. Very consistent.

Final third: The experience intensifies with darker, more pronounced flavors (granite, black pepper, earth). The finish is satisfying, but the flavor lacks depth.

Comments from the Panel: “Good opening, but loses some balance as you smoke through”; “A respectable smoke despite its lack of backbone”; “a tad immature”.

When to smoke it: In the afternoon.

The IADC’s verdict: This cigar has great flavor potential but needs to exploit it much more fully. Still very young, it needs to mature in flavor and complexity. One to watch.

Strength: 5/10

Flavor: 6/10

Aftertaste: 6/10

2 (3) B

 

Oliva Serie O

Robusto

Wrapper, Binder, Filler: Nicaragua

127 mm × 50 (19.84 mm)

Robusto

€7.50

Appearance: Good-looking, smooth and nicely taut colorado wrapper. Soft to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Pronounced notes of hay and stable, hints of pastry.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: Lights up easy with grassy (dry hay) notes before earthy and woody flavors stake their claim in a mist of spicy (black pepper, saffron) undertones. Heady smoke.

Second third: A few astringent notes are quickly doused by mellow overtones. Escalating strength brings with it scents of roasted coffee, leather and nuts.

Final third: Nothing new on the flavor horizon. The strength cranks up a notch but there are too many acidic or bitter traces. The fast, furious finish is heavy handed.

Comments from the Panel: “Well rolled and well structured”; “The first two thirds are in fine form and exhilarating”; “Lack of complexity and flavor.”

When to smoke it: At happy hour.

The IADC’s verdict: This cigar is handsome and well made, but it deserves a richer, more diverse blend. Disappointing final third.

Strength: 6/10

Flavor: 7/10

Aftertaste: 7/10

3 B

 

 

El Criollito

Magnum

Wrapper: Ecuador

Binder: Mexico

Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Gros robusto

152 mm × 60 (23.81 mm)

€9

Appearance: Handsome veined, silky colorado wrapper. Firm to the touch. Excellently filled.

Flavors before lighting: Humus, peat, spices and wood. Good draw.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: The first puffs are full-bodied and spicy (red pepper). Balsamic notes (cedar, sandalwood) complete the profile. Very good draw and flavorful smoke.

Second third: Progression slows and the cigar becomes less expressive (hints of dusty earth and dry hay). A few touches of astringency. Medium strength.

Final third: The gradually increasing strength still can’t boost the flavor profile which stays woody-grassy with touches of tanned leather.

Comments from the Panel: “This is one big cigar! Very good opening”; “Lacks overall strength and pace”; “Full of promise but ho-hum at times”.

When to smoke it: In the evening.

The IADC’s verdict: This magnificent cigar is a little too lazy. A stick this size needs to offer more flavor and persistence.

Strength: 5/10

Flavor: 6/10

Aftertaste: 6/10

3B

 

 

El Criollito

Half Corona

Wrapper: Ecuador

Binder: Mexico

Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

Petit robusto

88 mm × 50 (19.84 mm)

€6

Appearance: Shiny, well-rolled, milk chocolate colorado wrapper. Well filled. Soft to the touch.

Flavors before lighting: Precious wood, fresh spices, musk and undergrowth. Good draw.

Flavors after lighting:

First third: Lights up onto acidic, slightly acrid notes, but this early unpleasantness is soon forgotten as rich balsamic (red cedar) smoke puffs out aromas of undergrowth.

Second third: Nice progression: the flavors start to play more with wet tilled earth and tasty spices (red and green peppers). Medium strength.

Final third: More of the same, but beautifully arranged by the hand of a master. The woody-earthy-spicy flavors are both steadfast and powerful. Smooth, flavorful finish.

Comments from the Panel: “A very handsome and tasty petit robusto”; “Excellent performance and balance”; “Could use more complexity, but offers an enjoyable smoke.”

When to smoke it: After lunch.

The IADC’s verdict: This short, stout stick keeps all its promises: not extravagant or especially strong, its winning personality is eager to please. Recommended.

Strength: 6/10

Flavor: 6/10

Aftertaste: 6/10

3B

 

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