As you may or may not know the Monthly Rundown is an article composed of all of our reviews, features and news of the previous month. Since it’s March already that means it’s a compilation of last months coverage here at CM.
There were a few stand out cigars for the month of February. One was the Eiroa CBT Maduro Robusto, an excellent full-bodied, full-strength maduro that has become one of my favorite maduro’s in quite some time. Second was from a time-honored company, the Ashton Symmetry Belicoso, a cigar brimming with intense, mouth watering flavor while exemplifying a well-balanced profile. Lastly was the La Flor Dominicana Chapter One, a big, bold cigar released in 2013 that made our best of list for that year. All three cigars received a II. Memorable in our Class & Quality system, the second highest rating a cigar can receive on our site. An interesting review by David was of the limited edition Tatuaje Petemas 2014 – Mars Attack Redux that you could only get if you were part of Tatuaje’s Saints and Sinners club.
“The Herrera Esteli Norteño Lonsdale is an absolute flavor bomb. Gobs of flavor coat the entire mouth, from roof to every inch of the tongue. It always hovers right below overpowering and manages to stay mostly balanced from beginning to end. Pepper is the ever present entertainer in this cigar coming in waves and shifting in terms of intensity. That pepper is offset wonderfully by a berry sweetness and an earthy core. While I normally prefer a profile like that of the original Herrera Esteli, I have to say that I enjoyed the Norteño even more. It has become one of my favorite San Andrés wrapped cigars and I can’t wait to try the other vitolas. Another great blend by Herrera who’s got a bright future ahead of him with Drew Estate.” – Joshua Child
“During the winter time there is nothing better than a corona sized cigar that delivers flavor and strength in the same package. The Green Label is one of the strongest cigars in the 601 line, behind the La Bomba, and the corona vitola doesn’t fall short. The flavors are so complex and enjoyable that I find myself grabbing this cigar more frequently than not. Espionsa and the La Zona factory are busier than ever, but this 601 Green Label still shines as a gem inside their extensive portfolio. If you are looking for a full bodied, almost full strength cigar that lasts right around the hour mark, this is the perfect choice.” – Kyle Freeman
Feb 6: Eiroa CBT Maduro Robusto
“If you’ve been longing for the old Camacho Triple Maduro from before Davidoff purchased Camacho and had it re-branded and re-blended, look no further. In fact, I’ll go on record saying that the Eiroa CBT Maduro is superior. It’s ridiculously complex, full flavored, unique, and has some fabulous aromas. It’s probably one of the best Maduros I can remember smoking in some time. Maduro lovers will find everything they want from this blend: strength, sweetness, and full flavor. About the only negative was a perceptible amount of harshness to start but it was always overwhelmed by goodness. Do yourself a favor and smoke this. The end.” – Joshua Child
Feb 7: Ashton Symmetry Belicoso
“I thought this cigar would be good, but I didn’t know it would exceed all of my expectations. The Ashton Symmetry was brimming with intense, mouth watering flavor while exemplifying a well-balanced profile. The construction was near-perfect, and the smoke production kept impressing till the end. And due to the Symmetry’s intense body, it’s going to age beautifully in my opinion. Ashton released the La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse and this cigar late last year, both being extraordinary cigars. While the Noblesse is a limited release, the Symmetry is a regular release and I have no issue admitting that I’ll be enjoying this cigar for years to come.” – Matt Masters
Feb 9: Viaje Exclusivo Super Lance
“I unfortunately never got a chance to smoke this cigar fresh, but with nearly 2 years of extra age, it’s smoking beautifully. The construction was top-notch and the flavors were very enjoyable. There were times where this cigar lacked distinction, but it wasn’t that often and for the most part kept me engaged the entire 2 hours. If you come across this cigar or have it resting, its time to smoke.” – Kyle Freeman
“Despite being young, which obviously led to some harshness and the burn issues, this cigar was still very satisfying and I smoked it until it was burning at my lips. Anyone who enjoys a strong pepper blast that is supported by a complex flavor profile will find enjoyment here. The 2013 Mars Attack was one of the best cigars I had last year, but it also had some age on it before I got to it. The 2014 version is showing some prominent features that should work ideally for the aging process and I am very excited to see where it ends up in another 6-12 months. Keep an eye on the future for a revisit to this cigar.” – David Carroll
Feb 11: Southern Draw Firethorn Toro
“The Southern Draw Firethorn Toro is a very natural tasting cigar. What I mean by that is the sweetness never had the character of chocolate, molasses, toffee, etc. but instead exhibited a very natural tobacco sweetness that I relished. Otherwise, I enjoyed how the cigar transitioned from a zingy start with plenty of pepper, mellowing with subtle transitions from third to third; all of them welcome. It wasn’t a palate tripper, taking you on a zig-zag journey from flame to ashes, but there was enough to keep your interest piqued. All in all a very pleasant, enjoyable cigar with complimentary flavors delivered with balance and quality construction. Southern Draw hit the sweet spot with this one, producing a flavorful cigar that smokes just a hair above medium in terms of body and strength.” – Joshua Child
“To say this cigar blew me away is an understatement. I was in love with the flavor profile and the powerfulness the Chapter One delivered. The chisel vitola made this 58 ring gauge not only smokeable, but enjoyable. If you get your hands on any, smoke them because they are perfect right now with the age and will smoke for just over 2 hours. Bold, balanced, memorable.” – Kyle Freeman
Viva Republica kicked off the month of news with the announcement of the Jailbreak, a cigar that features a lancero inside of a 6 x 58 cigar. Then came announcements of multiple small-batch releases from what was at the time named Bellatto/Caldwell/Sears project (was called Impromptu before that). Almost two weeks later the trio of Tony Bellatto, Robert Caldwell and Jaclyn Sears settled on Lost & Found for the name of their ongoing project. Another interesting release on the horizon is the Larceny Project from Sean Williams of Primer Mundo Cigars and Eddie Ortega of Ortega cigars. The concept is simple: The blend done by Eddie will release under the El Primer Mundo name and the blend done by Sean will release under the Ortega Premium Cigar label, ten of each coming in one box. A host of other cigar announcements and teasers from smaller companies made the news in February as well.
As far as the big guys, General Cigars teased, then finally revealed their new Punch Signature. I actually had the chance to smoke it and found it to be surprisingly good. Review to come. Davidoff announced a new Camacho factory and land acquisitions in Honduras and Nicaragua. Clearly they are positioning themselves for the future because they also announced another Davidoff flagship store, this time in Tampa, Florida.
Check out the following list for our complete cigar news coverage for February 2015.
- Feb 4: Viva Republica Puts Lancero Inside a 6 by 58 Cigar
- Feb 9: Bellatto/Caldwell/Sears Announce New Projects
- Feb 11: XIKAR Launches New Tabletop Lighter 5×64 Turrim
- Feb 11: Punch Signature Announced
- Feb 11: Warped Flor Del Valle Las Brumas Fully Detailed
- Feb 11: Eddie Ortega and Sean Williams Pair for Larceny Project
- Feb 12: XIKAR Releases New M8 Cutter
- Feb 12: Black Label Trading Company Opens Nicaraguan Factory
- Feb 16: Dante Cigars Reveals Limited Purple Mofo
- Feb 16: Davidoff Cigars Unveils First Exclusive Editions 2015
- Feb 20: Drew Estate Announces “Pope of Greenwich Village” Cigar As Part of Smoke Inn Microblend Series
- Feb 23: Punch Signature Details Revealed
- Feb 25: Bellatto/Caldwell/Sears Renamed to Lost & Found
- Feb 26: Ortega / Primer Mundo Announce “The Larcenists”
- Feb 27: Davidoff Announces New Camacho Factory, New Land Acquisitions in Honduras and Nicaragua
- Feb 27: Davidoff of Geneva USA Announces Flagship Store in Tampa