Cigar Reviews

Tony takes on a blind review challenge

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After a week long hiatus due to an absolutely terrible cold that I caught at the tail end of the previous week I am finally smoking cigars again and back here with a super fun blind trade. Recently Daniel roped me in on a little blind trade action that he was setting up. Basically the way it worked was we were to exchange cigars with someone chosen at random. The cigars were to be 1 Criollo/Corojo labeled “C”, 2 value sticks (under $6) and 2 premium cigars (over $6). I was lucky enough to hook up with a buddy of mine, Hogman21 on twitter, better knows as Mike from If you haven’t checked out his site, drop in and show him some comment love. He’s got a hell of a fun insight on cigars, great selection, honest reviews, and a badass accent.

Any who, these will be ridiculously loose reviews with only the high and low notes from the cigars. I will finish each one of with my guess on what cigar it was and then the actual cigar in question. This was a hell of a humbling experience and showed me that what I throught is true; I know nothing about cigars. Prepare for some foot-in-mouth action as I take on a few smokes that had I known what they were, I probably would have never picked up and smoked for myself.

Cigar “C” (Criollo/Corojo).

Blind Cigar Review


– This cigar sports some beautiful construction

– A few veins but nothing to cause concern

– Quite a bit of loose tobacco hanging out around the body of the cigar

– The larger boxed press cigars are one of my favorite vitolas

– Very sweet tobacco and cedar scent before lighting

– Clipped clean

– Very mild with a ton of sweetness

– Crap loads of cedar during the first third

– Wavy burnline and very loose ash

– Getting some coffee and cream notes into the second third

– Citrusy aftertaste and slight leather

– Ridiculously smooth with no nicotine hit on the finish

– Subtle, sharp spice notes into the last third.

– Finished slightly harsh

This cigar was dead on. I really enjoyed it. The mild, smoothness mixed with the bolder, easy to decipher flavors made for a perfect, relaxing cigar.

My first guess was the Punch Rare Corojo, but it didn’t pack enough flavor. My final Guess was CAO’s Criollo. Country, Honduras/Dominican Republic. Which cigar was it?

Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve – Country, Honduras

Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve

Cigar #1

Blind Cigar Review


– Another well constructed cigar

– Two huge veins running through the body of the cigar

– Very, very grassy and earthy scented

– Picked up some naturally tobacco, earth tones, and oats off the cold draw

– The first prominent flavor was Cedar, which pretty much masked the other flavors

– Very easy, loose draw

– Super bright, extremely tightly compacted ash. It held on for almost 2 inches.

– Cigar burns very slow

– Picking up some spice and pepper into the second third

– Slight nicotine kick, not anything too crazy

– The burnline is getting really thick

– Pepper faded into the second third

– Started to pick up a stale, cardboard taste into the final third

– Flavor went straight downhill, very bland

– Harshness REALLY built up

This cigar started out awesome but quickly went downhill. If it’s a value stick it’s totally worth it, but it would be nice to see it in a smaller size.

My guess? First thought was an Illusione Epernay but the flavor would have stayed consistent all the way through. Country, Nicaragua. Which was it?

The Black Pearl Morada – Country, Nicaragua

The Black Pearl Morada

Cigar #2

Blind Cigar Review


– Very dark, oily wrapper

– Good construction with a few nicks in the wrapper

– Very firm to the touch

– Woodsy and fruity scented

– Clipped easily

– Prelight tasted light straight up prunes and tobacco

– Cedar, cocoa and coffee flavors

– Extremely smooth

– Very large draw with lasting smoke

– Very light ash, but it was very flaky an fell off before each inch

– Got a little pepper, and a ton of wood into the second third

– No nicotine feeling

– No harshness built up towards the end.

– Finished very clean with hints of pepper and a ton of wood

This cigar was right up my alley and I know I have had this before. One of the better Maduro cigars.

Final guess – Either the CAO Traviata Maduro or the CAO MX3. Country, Nicaragua. How close was I?

CAO Traviata Maduro – Country, Nicaragua (which I reviewed here)

CAO Traviata Maduro

Cigar #3

Blind Cigar Review


– Hefty cigar

– Smells like a leather factory

– Beautiful construction

– Very earthy cold draw with some cashew

– Starts of very spicy with lots of pepper

– Tons of cocoa, can’t really taste tobacco

– Very tight ash, held on for 2 inches before falling off

– Tons of coffee flavors into the second third

– Pepper faded, cigar has become a bit bland

– Very uneven burn with no need to touch up

– Last third finished very boring

– No nicotine, smooth and creamy

– Perfect morning cigar

This cigar was unfulfilling but may be perfect for an early morning smoke. Very smooth with no harshness at all.

My guess? Oliva Serie O Maduro – Country, Nicaragua. What cigar was it?

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Maduro – Country, Nicaragua  (which Daniel reviewed here)

Perdomo 10th Anniversary Maduro

Cigar #4

Blind Cigar Review


– Very unique scented with hints of sweet tobacco and alcohol

– Very heavy cigar

– Perfect construction

– Cigar feels damp

– Broadleaf for sure

– Very Dark wrapper

– No pepper, tons of cedar and slight alcohol right out of the gate

– Alcohol faded into a very sweet tobacco

– MASSIVE, effortless draw producing lots of thick smoke

– I wrote “very sweet” 3 times. Must have been VERY sweet

– Wavy burn, needing touch ups

– Slight nicotine kick

– Wavy burnline with very loose ash

– Burns very quickly

– Nutmeg flavor coming through in the final third

– Body ramped up in the final third

This was a very pleasant cigar. I really enjoyed the complex flavors, mid-ranged to higher body, and effortless experience.

My guess – A. Fuente – Country, I haven’t the slighted idea. What could this cigar be?

ANOTHER Rocky Patel? REALLY?!?! Rocky Patel Decade Edicion Limitada – Country, Nicaragua

Rocky Patel Decade Edicion Limitada

I often say that Rocky Patel hasn’t really made many cigars that have been able to catch my attention. No matter what, I always remain open-minded. I just have had too many of their cigars that I hadn’t liked. I don’t want to go out and spend money on a stick that odds are I’m not going to be into. If anything, Mike’s selection really has me second guessing my decision to ignore the brand. Blind reviews are the perfect example on subjectivity and just how much the mental notes about a brand can make an impression on taste/flavor and overall purchase. No matter how transparent one may think they are, there is always a bit of favortism in there.

I had so much fun with this blind review. It just goes to show just how hard it is to really nail down any given cigar. I was actually impressed with how close I got on a few of these sticks. I figured I’d be way the heck off. The country is probably the easiest characteristic to pick up.

Now comes a few questions. Is this something you have done? How did you enjoy it? Would you like to see more blind reviews? This has something that has came up in the past. I know that these are uber-bareboned reviews but if you are interested in seeing more in-depth blind reviews, let us know!

On a side note, we have some awesome things coming up on the site VERY soon. We have another giveaway sponsored by Bonita Smoke Shop, and our thoughts on the top ten cigars of the year! Stay tuned.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.


  1. hogman21

    November 23, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Tony first off I want to say thanks for the shout out really means a lot. Second I was hhappy that we both got to exchnage cigars and this is a great way to revisit smokes you may not have tried or liked. I am glad you enjoy them and I appreciate your friendship. Ps what accent lol, great write up.

    • Tony Casas

      November 23, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Likewise man, it was a lot of fun! You totally have a “New York” style accent man!!! HAHA! Thanks again bro!

  2. Victor

    November 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I told you about some of the Rocky Patel’s. I am personally not a huge fan of Rocky Patel, but I have tried quit a few to know that he does have some good stuff out there. Just like the Sun Grown.

  3. Tony Casas

    November 24, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Victor, I’ve never been a fan of anything but that sun grown, up until now at least. My hesitation is the Like to Dislike ratio. If I pick up one of his sticks there is more of a chance that I will dislike it than like it. But these two contenders showed that there is totally still a shot with this brand. Hopefuly I’ll be lucky enough to stumble into more of his blends that suit my pallet! Smoking anything good for the hoidays?

  4. Joe

    November 24, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Rocky patels for Christmas!!!

    • Tony Casas

      November 24, 2010 at 7:28 am

      You wanted swishers right?! ;p

  5. Victor

    November 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I have a 601 Blue that is waiting for me, plus a couple more that I’ve been wanting to try that we got from the Big Smoke.

  6. Tony Casas

    November 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I love me some 601’s 🙂

    Enjoy man!

  7. Victor

    November 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I got a CAO Travieta Maduro from the Big Smoke and I’m really looking forward to smoking that one, especially after I read your review.

  8. blane

    November 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Yes! Love the blind reviews. It just goes to show how much we smoke (or eat for that matter)with our eyes.
    I have always liked the Decade and OW reserve but have always had BIG stems bunched up in a lot of them.The smoke turns bitter goes out and wont relight
    At that point I take the cigar apart and pull out what amounts to kindling.

    Keep up the great work..

  9. Tony Casas

    November 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I love those Vic! They are super cheap too! Perfect value line cigar. Enjoy !

  10. Tony Casas

    November 24, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for the read and the kind words Blane! This was actually my first blind review. I have been interested in doing one for sometime now though. You never know what you’re going to like. I made sure to do it around a bunch of my friends who shared in the crap talking when the envelopes containing the bands were opened 🙂

  11. Brooks

    November 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Great job, I love blind reviews 🙂

    I have a stick for you, if you want to see if you can guess what it is…I will send it along 🙂


    • Tony Casas

      November 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Oh man I’d love to! Lets do it! I’m just not sure I’d be on par with you calibre of smokes Brooks! I always loved reading your blind reviews and I was just glad I finally got to try one out myself. It’s crazy how much something as simple as a band could possibly, totally change your outlook of a cigar!

  12. DaByrdman33

    November 26, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Nice review. It is amazing what smoking a cigar blind can do to your thoughts on a particular brand. I need to smoke more blind if for no other reason than to find a hidden gem or two. Thanks for the insight.

  13. Sticks

    November 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Great reviews. I love the blind review because it not only heightens the experience but also opens one mind to other over looked sticks. I don’t care for much of R.P. cigars but I do enjoy the RP Old World Reserve Corojo and they only get better with age.

  14. Tony Casas

    November 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

    @DaByrdman33 – somehow your comment slipped past me, undetected 🙂 Thanks for the read. If you ever want to do a blind trade let me know!

    @Sticks – Yeah the blind stuff was extremely fun. Oddly it is making me go back and smoke a few of the Rocky Patels that I have passed up. Hopefully that’s a good thing!

  15. TriMarkC

    November 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I love blind tastings like this! In fact, as a method of cigar reviews its pretty cool, too, because as you noted, it really opens up your mind as to what each cigar truly has to offer.

    I was lucky enough to win a spot on Smoke Magazine’s blind tasting review board one year, and I totally loved it! [Of course, who wouldn’t love getting 12-20 free cigars?!!!!] I was still relatively new to cigar reviews, but boy did I learn alot!

    Maybe there’s a way you can include your readers into some blind tastings as part of a group review.

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