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Queen-of-Cigars

Cigar Review – Camacho Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged

Cigar Dojo Collaborates with Camacho for an Innovative Taste Experience

Iron sharpens iron.  So one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 21:17

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About

Collaboration is nothing new in the cigar industry but there are some partnerships that that truly potentiate the creativity of each other.  The joining of Cigar Dojo and Camacho is a great example of that enhanced effect.  When ideas start out with “what would happen if….” either wonderful things or major disasters are about to happen.  The Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged takes the idea of barrel-aged cigars to a new level.  Tobacco is aged in barrels that have previously been used to age bourbon and then Imperial Stout.  The combination of the bourbon, stout and tobacco creates a flavor profile that is unique and stand-alone in the cigar industry.

Construction

Only 4000 cigars were made so sorry readers, if you don’t have one, they are already sold out.  However, stay tuned……you never know what the Dojo has up its sleeve.  Might find some sneaking into the market down the road.

The cigar felt sturdy with no soft or hard spots noted throughout the length of the stick.

Wrapper  –  Mexican San Andres Maduro

Binder  –  Original Corojo Maduro (Honduras)

Filler  –  Barrel-Aged Original Corojo Maduro (Honduras), Brazilian Maduro, Dominican Maduro

Vitola  –  6″ x 50 Toro

Price  –  $9.99/each   /  $99.95 bundle of 10

Smoke-Inn Exclusive (Currently Sold Out)

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Appearance

At first glance one might think this is a Camacho Triple Maduro. The wrapper and bands are similar in color and style. Once you take a closer look however, the Imperial Stout words pop out on the foot label.

This is a good looking cigar. Not fancy but not really plain. The wrapper is a nice deep brown, smooth with some veins which gives it the appearance of a sturdy and substantial stick.  The vitola is perfect in my opinion.  Substantial enough for a man’s hands but also a perfect ring gauge for my fairly large lady hands which has me feeling like an accomplished lady SOTL and not a beginner fluffy flavored cigar smoker.

Draw

I used my customary and favorite punch for my cut and found the cap to be sturdy with just the right amount of give.  There was no cracking or breaking of the cap during the cut.  The dry draw was plentiful but not sloppy.

The IS (Imperial Stout) lit nicely and produced an abundant plume of smoke in the first few draws.

First Third

There was no pepper in this baby, but plenty of flavors mixed onto my palette right out of the gate.  It was surprisingly smooth.  An immediate flavor of charred wood mixed with cocoa and leather hit my palette.  The combination gave the IS an earthy but not dirty flavor.  The hint of malt was there and came forward during the retrohale.

The flavors are already blending for a scrumptious palette experience.  Plenty of smoke is produced and I am anticipating where this cigar is going to go as the smoking experience proceeds.

Second Third

The ash is a nice yellow white with gray interspersed.  It is solid and does not fall off as I move the cigar around for inspection. Burn line is crisp and even with mild touch ups done just to please my anal OCD need for a straight line.

The ash finally fell when I really jiggled the stick around while taking pictures.  A cooler burn is noted in the center of the filler as noted by the way the ash detached.

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Malt flavors have moved forward as have some hoppiness.  The mix of stout and bourbon is there but what amazes me is that it is not overpowering.  It is subtle yet strong enough to let you know it is there.  The chocolate cocoa and leather balance the flavors nicely.  It has settled into a well balanced and flavourful smoke.  Not sweet, not peppery, yet not harsh or bitter.

Last Third

The label was easy to remove and there was no damage to the wrapper.  This is a fairly fresh cigar so I am always cautious about the integrity of the wrapper.

More of the barrel-aged flavors are coming out and there is a taste of hops on the tip of the tongue.  The IS has settled into the home stretch with mostly malt, barrel-aged and hops flavors.  However, just as I am getting to the nub portion of the cigar I get a blast of leather again, as if the cigar wants to tell me, I’m not done being complex.

Tasting Notes

I like to put my cigar down for a few minutes as I smoke and one thing that stood out was the blast of flavor I experienced every time I would pick the stick back up.  This is a flavor bomb of a cigar that is only going to get better with age in my opinion.

Malt, cocoa (chocolate), bourbon, leather, charred wood, and hops lend itself to a cigar that might sound a little odd but makes the most of an innovative and creative mix.

Overall Rating – 91

Whether a Stout drinker, bourbon drinker or some other beverage drinker, the flavors of the IS Barrel-Aged cigar are subtle enough to be noticed and enjoyed but never enough to turn-off non-beer / bourbon drinkers.  That raises the ante on this smoke for me.  I am more of a coffee and liquor drinker and I could easily pair this cigar with some dark roast, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, Cuban coffee and have a superb combination.  I am very excited to try many different pairings with this in the future as I think the possibilities are quite endless and will bring out different aspects of flavors.

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Cigar Review – DTT Muestra De Saka Exclusivo

A Tasty Morsel of Refreshing Repose

“Come to me, all you who are burdened and weary, and I will give you rest”                                    – Matthew 11:28

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About

When I first heard about the Muestra De Saka, it was through Facebook posts by the Wunderkin himself Steve Saka.  He was adamant that “if you prefer powerful cigars this is not the cigar for you”.  Being a fuller bodied cigar lover, I was not discouraged, as I have come to find out that much like in life, if you exclude what isn’t your norm, you stand a very good chance of missing out on a plethora of great experiences.  The Muestra De Saka is just that – a great experience.  Muestra in Spanish interprets to “sample” so it is interesting to note that this cigar is truly a sample of the passion and spirituality in blending cigars that Steve Saka possesses.

Construction

The presentation of the Muestra De Saka is simple yet elegant.  Each cigar, which only comes in one size, is encased in a cedar coffin.  The cigar is adorned with a yellow ribbon  and the name is superimposed on it in red and black.  The plainness of the cigar adds to its attraction.  A gorgeous muted satin with a hint of redness encourages you to want to touch and experience the obvious smoothness of the wrapper.

Wrapper  –  Habano

Binder  –  Nicaragua

Filler  –  Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Ometepe, Esteli’)

Vitola – 6 X 52 Toro

Price  –  Coffin – $14.95 each

Box / 7 Coffins – $105

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Draw and Light

The cigar has a pleasant aroma when removed from the coffin and celephane wrapper.  Unlike a lot of cigar smokers, I do not overly enjoy a strong smell of hay.  This cigar is pleasant and the light hay did not overwhelm.  There were no additional heavy aromas of note.  As is my customary cut for most cigars, I used a punch which gave me no problems. The cigar was firm but no tight spots noted and the cap cut easily with the punch and did not crack of break.

The dry draw was again pleasant and had a sweetness that I am looking forward to experiencing.  The light was uneventful and as evidenced in the accompanying pictures, remained even and balanced throughout the smoking experience.

First Third

I immediately noticed a “freshness” to the cigar that surprised and delighted me.  The flavor of white pepper, leather, coffee and hay were all done lightly so as not to overwhelm the senses yet provided the revelation of complexity.  A mineral taste was noted in the background that felt as if it brought the other flavours together in synchronicity.  A touch of cinnamon was also noted and added to the sweetness of the tobacco.

The ash was “fluffy” yet sturdy.  Nice whiteness highlighted with light gray and hints of yellow and dark gray dispersed in the crevices.  Forging on the cigar revealed an almost hidden nut flavor that would come in and out between the coffee and mineral flavours. The white pepper created a tiny tongue tingle on the finish.  The retrohale produced an almost “minty” experience that added to my first impression of the refreshing nature of this cigar.

Second Third

The coffee notes came forward as the smoke progressed and I felt myself settling into my chair and my body relaxing a bit more.  The cinnamon and leather remained but I also continued to pick up on the minty notes which kept me perked up while the cigar relaxed me at the same time.  I could definitely pair this cigar with a Gin & Tonic, Mojito or Moscow Mule or even some mint tea or Mint Julip.

The ash tapped easily and burn line continued intact.  Except for a small corner of lifted wrapper, this cigar was constructed and burning well.  I did not touch up where the lifted wrapper was and let nature takes its course.  As I suspected, it corrected itself and no help was needed to keep the cigar burning even and clean.

Last Third

Coming into the homestretch, the Muestra De Saka continued to provide a flavourful experience.  Leather was taking over but the coffee, cinnamon and mineral notes remained including the refreshing mintiness that I first experienced

There is an earthiness that comes forward more in the last third but not enough to make the cigar taste “dirty.”  The balance of flavours while keeping this cigar in the mild to medium range is a testament to the extensive blending experience of its’ maker.

Tasting Notes

The soft sweetness along with the mix of leather, coffee, cinnamon and mint provide the ultimate in mellow relaxation.  This is a cigar that a true cigar connoisseur could enjoy even if they were more inclined toward full body cigars.  The complexity takes this from the possibility of mundane to an attention getting joy ride.

Overall Rating – 93

Flavor, complexity and a mild to medium cigar made with high quality makes the Muestra De Saka well worth the $14.95 price tag for each cigar.  From presentation to smoking completion, this is a cigar to savour for the ultimate in relaxation without boredom.  It is a limited edition cigar but one can hope that Steve Saka and DTT decide to grace us with its presence again in the future. Garcia’s por esta maravillosa muestra del Mundo de Saka.

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Cigar Review – Quesada Dojo De Luxe (Limited)

A CIGAR FIT FOR A KING

Psalm 45:13-15 – The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold. She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to You. They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King’s palace

About

The Quesada Dojo De Luxe is the result of collaboration between Quesada Cigars (Terence Reilly, Manuel Quesada) and Cigar Dojo (Eric Guttormsen, Jordan Guttormsen).  Seeking to bring about the reminiscent experience of cigar days gone by, the De Luxe was designed and crafted to remind us of the cigar’s roots and it’s glamour, all while maintaining the Cigar Dojo mantra of being affordable to the “every day” cigar smoker.

Construction

Wrapper  –  Ecuadorean Connecticut

Binder  –  Dominican

Filler  –  Dominican

Vitola  –  5 3/4  X  52  Perfecto

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Appearance

The Quesada Dojo De Luxe is packaged in a traditional Quesada Box (black with gold letters) with the addition of the Cigar Dojo nomeker.  Each box contains 10 individually wrapped (cellophane) cigars, and in this case, as is customary with the latest Dojo release cigars, a Boveda Pack is inserted before the boxes are wrapped for delivery.

Once removed from the box and its cellophane wrapper, the De Luxe exudes a certain classy and suave appearance.  The wrapper is a golden blonde brown and is oily and smooth to the touch.  This is a cigar that feels immediately comfortable in the smoker’s hand.  The labels (2) again exhibit the traditional and very recognisable Quesada logo but also include a second label in complimentary black and copper gold with the Dojo name and cigar title “De Luxe”.  It is a great combination of old tradition and new innovation with just that subtle addition in label.

Draw and Light

A straight cutter was used to make a slice about 1/4 inch off of the foot.  Once the cut is made the dry draw is clean and easy.

There is a certain carefulness that must be taken when lighting a perfecto as it can be the start of either a great burn line or a battle to keep it from being extremely crooked.  The limited lighting area can be a challenge with this vitola but in the case of the De Luxe (this is my fourth one) it has been minimal.

First Third

There is a slight hint of pepper at the start but this quickly fades to the back.  My immediate reaction is to the smoothness and cubanesque flavor.  I feel like my body is starting to relax already after only a few substantial draws.

A slight caramel flavor comes into my mouth with butter and toast notes adding a nice creaminess.  I notice that the wrapper is very thin and fragile so I am going to keep a close eye on construction as the cigar burns.

The retro is smooth.  I am not a big fan of retro simply because it can flare up my sensitive antihistamine reaction.  However, in this case I am almost wanting to keep retrohaling in order to soak up more of the subtle flavours.

Second Third

As I begin to move into the main body of the perfecto I am still enjoying the smoothness of this cigar.  The butter is beginning to taste more like whipped butter that has just the right amount of sweetness accenting the caramel notes that have been there from the beginning.

Cedar and a bit of nuttiness reminiscent of almonds also float in and out while I watch the white smoke rise when exhaling.  The smoke is quick to disperse yet it is abundant enough to fill the mouth nicely.

The ash is holding well and does not easily drop when I finally tap it into the ashtray.

As I near the end of the second third I notice a slight bitter citrus taste that comes forward only to retreat as I begin the last third.  It is a bit of a surprise but not unpleasant as it is mixed in nicely with the cedar, nuttiness and whipped butter.

Last Third

Consistent to the end, the De Luxe continues to be smooth, creamy and buttery.  There is more of a muted cedar now and the nuttiness is almost reminiscent of cashews.  The burn is cool and I am having no trouble being able to “nub” the cigar which is definitely my desire.

Miscellaneous Notes

The cigar burned well, fairly even and the wrapper remained intact throughout the smoke. There was a curious “split” in the ash at the beginning (first half inch in) but it had no effect on the burn nor the smoking experience.

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Tasting Notes

Butter, whipped butter, caramel, nuts (almond and cashew), cedar, toast, bitter citrus

*Overall Rating – 93

The Quesada Dojo De Luxe definitely provided a relaxing smoke experience.  I felt as though this would be the smoke I would definitely bring with me on an evening out for dinner and drinks, dressed to the nines and feeling like a classy lady, sporting a very classy cigar.  However, this will also be a great Sunday morning cigar for me when I am drinking my coffee and watching a church service online on my deck or in my Gal Cave.

Ultimately no matter where or when you smoke the Quesada Dojo De Luxe you are going to be in good company and your bros and sisses are all going to know that you are one classy guy or gal. Definitely a cigar fit for a King, or in this case the Queen!

*Cigar Dojo Advanced Ratings Tool

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Hello Cigar Kingdom!

In a world full of testosterone, whiskey, scotch, bourbon and cigars, there exists a wild animal lurking in the midst of the tobacco jungle.  Peering out between the leaves and carefully observing the male of the species, these stealth and gorgeous creatures have been slowly and steadily emerging and partaking of drink and cigars. The new cigar afi”she”onado has arrived and is increasingly involved in the world of creation, marketing, selling and most importantly, the full enjoyment of the art of cigar smoking.

When traditionally thinking of the female who smokes cigars, the focus has been more on the models and visually “hot” women who help promote and cater to the large male market that has always existed. The sizzling and scantily clad ladies striking sultry poses with phallic cigars In their hands or between their lips, have been a staple in the cigar industry, and more than likely will remain so as far as the future can be told. There is a certain comfort in the “man-world” of cigars with all its simplicity and no-nonsense sexism.  There’s nothing wrong with that perspective and expectation as it is steeped in cigar smoking tradition and anyone who loves cigars had better come to terms with it.  However, time continues forward and with it the rise of strong and confident female cigar smokers.

Nothing needs to change men! Nor are women asking for change either!  The female cigar smoker simply wants what you want; the ability to live life simply in the moments that we are able to imbibe in a well-earned drink and a full-bodied cigar or two. Maybe we even want to ogle our own brand of sexism with buff and bare chested adonises serving our cigars! Yes, we all know the stereotypical lady smoker; she starts out with a few CAO Flavors cigars and pairs it with her favourite Cosmopolitan recipe. Lady smokers are complex creatures smoking fragrant and sweet-smelling “cigars” while their she-smoker cousins have been creeping out from the dark shadows of the jungle seeking all that the cigar life has to offer and by doing so taking their rightful place among the brothers of the leaf.

Women cigar smokers are coming of age and that’s what the Cigar Kingdom’s “queen of cigars” blog is all about. These are the women who know how to smoke with the best of them while being fully comfortable in their female skin. Yes brothers, you can spot us with a trained eye. We are everything from the everyday working gal, the military or veteran sister, the married woman seen hanging out with her husband and friends, the professional dressed to the nines and any other shape, size and configuration you can imagine. So how do you know it’s a cigar afi”she”onado? Just check out the cigars!

Don’t be surprised to see those medium to full-bodied sticks in our hands. There’s nothing like a great glass of bourbon paired with an Espinosa 601 La Bomba Warhead or perhaps a Moscow Mule and a Liga Privada No 9. The combinations are endless and our palettes are maturing. We want to smoke with you, create with you and enjoy the immeasurable simplicity of all things good that cigar smoking brings to one’s life.

Will we sometimes have our “girlie” moments and revert back to that Cherry Bomb with the Cosmopolitan? Most likely, yes, after all we are girls! Just don’t let it fool you into a false sense of bravado. We are growing in number, we are your sisters of the leaf and we are here to stay!