It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out Black Star Line Cigars War Witch. This cigar is made at the AGANORSA factory in Nicaragua and comes in one size, a 6 x 46 box-pressed Corona. It retails for $12.
The War Witch is a Nicaraguan puro meaning all tobaccos come from Nicaragua. It features Corojo and Criollo tobaccos, though there are no further details on where these are placed within the blend.
Pre-light, the cold draw produces a faint leather and fruit flavor. The wrapper puts off a sweet citrus and tobacco aroma, while the foot smells similar. Once lit, the draw displays citrus, cedar, and nuttiness. Through the nose, a spicy white pepper mixes with citrus. The finish consists of a nuttiness and caramelly leather.
Thirty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up toast, citrus, and roasted almond. Through the nose, black licorice blends with dark rum and nutty notes. The finish gives me coffee with mixed berries and hints of white pepper. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.
The second third gets me to one hour and twenty minutes. The draw presents flavors of coffee, black licorice, and bold nuttiness. On the retro-hale, there is added sweetness with no change to flavor notes. The finish sees berry flavors up front with more coffee. There is no change to strength or body.
Two hours in, the final third ends. The War Witch is quite the slow burner! On the draw, I pick up spicy coffee with a sweeter black licorice and smoky almond. The retro-hale remains consistent. More berries come through on the finish paired with oak and coffee. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.
The Black Star Line Cigars War Witch is a phenomenal cigar. It’s no surprise coming from AGANORSA. This cigar really wowed me with a solid amount of complexity and flavors that work perfectly together. Smoke output is voluminous, and construction is top notch.
The slow burn allows for quite a lengthy experience that is very welcome. Price point on the War Witch is extremely competitive. I couldn’t put this thing down. It’s a box-worthy cigar that I think everyone should try, and I highly recommend it.
It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Jas Sum Kral Rudy’s Exclusive for 2019. This cigar is a limited extension to the original Zlatno Sonce blend, and it comes in the same size as the previous JSK Rudy’s Exclusive – a box pressed 6 ½ x 42. The cigar retail for $13 and comes packed in boxes of 10. Production is limited to 100 boxes and sold only at Rudy’s Shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The blend on the Rudy’s Exclusive 2019 features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, but the tobaccos within remain a mystery. Riste Ristevski, owner of the company, has acknowledged the presence of ligero and corojo, but no other details have been released.
Twenty-five minutes in, the first third closes out. On the
draw, I pick up spicy white pepper with nutty cedar and leather. Through the
nose, peanuts blend with spicy cedar. The finish offers up earthy hay on top of
spicy honey and white pepper. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.
The second third finishes around one hour. I find citrus
notes complemented by nutmeg and leather. On the retro-hale, flavors remain
consistent with the addition of toast. The finish displays damp earth and white
pepper. There is no change to strength or body.
An hour and a half into the cigar, the final third rolls to
a stop. There is more citrus and nutmeg dominating the draw. Through the nose,
sweet toast pairs well with white pepper. On the finish, I pick up bitter earth
with more white pepper and a subtle hint of caramel. Strength and body finish
out at medium-to-full.
The Jas Sum Kral Rudy’s Exclusive 2019 is a good cigar. It’s
reminiscent of the original Zlatno Sonce with that signature punch the original
powerhouse Connecticut delivered so well. Flavors are enjoyable with solid
complexity keeping it interesting, and presentation is beautiful.
My only complaint about this cigar would be the snug draw.
Throughout, I had to pull the smoke harder than I personally prefer. I’ve
smoked almost a box of these with varying levels of draw resistance, so it
seems some of these may have simply been rolled a little tight. However, the
draw issue is minor enough to be tolerable, and it’s a tasty cigar I’d
recommend trying if you can find it.
It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Tatuaje 15th Anniversary Habano Rosado Torpedo Grande. This cigar comes in at 6 1/2 x 52 with a sharp tapered torpedo head. It retails for $21. The Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper is silky smooth. It conceals all Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It’s a really sharp-looking cigar.
Thirty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up sweet bread – somewhat like Hawaiian bread – and white pepper. Through the nose, there is more sweet bread with some honey. The finish blends oak and sweet leather. Both strength and body settle in at medium.
The second third gets me to an hour and fifteen minutes. Buttery toast and mild black pepper hit me on the draw. On the retro-hale, I see no changes, The finish consists of light baking spice alongside more oak and sweet leather. Strength and body remain consistently medium.
The final third wisps away at two hours. I find strong white pepper and leather on the draw. Through the nose, baking spice melts with caramel. The finish offers me some oak with mossy oak and black pepper. Strength and body finish out at medium.
The Tatuaje 15th Anniversary Habano Rosado is an fine cigar. It’s not explosive on complexity, but the flavors it dishes out are a mellow blend of pleasantries. Construction was good, and it was an enjoyable smoke.
Unfortunately, the price of this cigar is very steep, so that may put many people off. You can certainly get a comparable experience from many cigars at half the price, and I can’t justify a box purchase solely for that reason. However, it’s a solid smoke, and I highly recommend this one if the cost doesn’t bother you.
It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out one of the
newest JSK cigars. The Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Habano is one of the first
CBD-infused cigars on the market. It comes in one size – 4 ½ x 48 – and retails
for $12. Each cigar is infused with 20 mg of hemp-derived CBD. The blend
consists of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with an Indonesian binder and Nicaraguan
Pre-light, the wrapper gives off dried fruit flavor. The
wrapper produces a potent damp hay aroma, while I smell the same out of the
foot. Once lit, I taste slight vanilla and white pepper. Through the nose,
there is a hint of sweet cocoa and vanilla. There is a mild white pepper on the
Twenty minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the
draw, I pick up citrus with cedar. Through the nose, vanilla blends with white
pepper. The finish offers plum and brown sugar alongside a hint of leather. Strength
and body settle in at medium.
The second third gets me to forty-five minutes. I find oak,
grassy earth, and white pepper on the draw. On the retro-hale, I see no
significant changes. More plum comes through on the finish with added leather.
Strength and body remain at medium.
The final third ends around one hour and five minutes. On
the draw, the flavors remain the same. Through the nose, white pepper takes
over with extra spice. There is further white pepper on the finish with leather
and cedar. Strength and body finish out at a consistent medium.
The Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Habano is a solid smoke. The effects
of the CBD will be hard to determine without continuous use for at least a few
weeks, but the cigar in its own right stands tall. The flavors are on point
working together and keeping it interesting. Construction is top-notch. Price
is a little high, but real CBD products do have added expense. Overall, the JSK
Nuggs is another highly recommended hit from this rapidly-growing boutique
brand. And no, it doesn’t taste like weed.
It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Cornelius
& Anthony The Gent in the Robusto size. This box-pressed 5 x 52 cigar
retails for $8.50. It features an Ecuadorian Rosado wrapper with a binder from
the United States and fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras.
The cold draw produces a slight oak flavor. The wrapper
gives off a chocolatey leather aroma, while I smell dried fruit. Once lit, I
pick up white pepper and cedar on the draw. Vanilla and cinnamon come through
on the retro-hale. The finish hits me with light black pepper and some coffee.
Thirty minutes in, the first third finishes. On the draw, I
pick up some white pepper with brown sugar and coffee. Through the nose, mint
blends with cinnamon and vanilla. The finish lingers with spicy nutmeg, toast,
and prune. Strength and body settles in at a stout medium-to-full.
The second third gets me to one hour. I find more white
pepper on the draw with leather and floral notes. The retro-hale consists of
cinnamon and toast. On the finish, there is more spicy nutmeg with black pepper
and ginger. I see no change to strength and body.
The final third closes out at an hour and a half. On the
draw, white pepper gives depth to citrus and more floral notes. Through the
nose, my sinuses are blasted with bombs of black pepper and cinnamon. The
finish offers black pepper with char and earth. Strength and body finish out at
The Cornelius & Anthony The Gent Robusto is an excellent
cigar blend that offers great complexity and flavor. Construction is top-notch
with a smooth draw and plentiful smoke. The flavors on this thing really work
well together, and I enjoyed every last puff. Cornelius & Anthony continues
to put out quality cigars. This cigar ranked as my #13 cigar of 2018, and I
highly recommend trying it.
First off, I must say that this K by Karen Berger is a beautiful cigar! It’s an exquisite sharp box pressed Solomon with a pleasantly dark and shiny marbleized Maduro wrapper. I mean it is flawless!
This will be my 2nd time smoking this beauty, so I already have a baseline of what to expect. The first experience however, was at a cigar lounge paired with good company, some silver screen entertainment and my 1st bottle of Havana Club Rum. The point being, I was a tad bit distracted. I enjoyed it so it was a no-brainer to purchase again.
On this go round, I am in my safe happy place at home where I can focus and hopefully dissect the nuances and characters at play in this cigar. The Dungeon, aka my basement, (which by no means is the place that most aficionados would call a smokers paradise) is where I will be enjoying this cigar. Think of it as one of those basements that my Brother Lee Mack describes when he talks about the musky aroma he gets from certain wrappers in his reviews. Minus the funk. Haha!
I have however created my own little Oasis [no pun intended] for smoking at home. To be honest, once I’m in my zone, vibing with a good cigar and a good bourbon or coffee, I soon forget the struggle and turmoil of Baltimore City, right outside my window. Cigars provide that escape for us as smokers and it doesn’t matter where we are in the world. I’m sure all my BOTL & SOTL can get behind that concept.
As a new writer to the iROBUSTO team, I just wanted to give you all a glimpse into what I’ve got going on as I’m doing my review. With that being said, let’s get into it.
Who Is K. and What is The K
Karen Berger is the mistress of the late Don Kiki (Enrique Berger), and she’s also known as the “Cigar Queen”. The nickname stems from her vast knowledge and experience from being submerged in the cigar industry for many years. She is a native of Esteli, Nicaragua, and this cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro. This particular vitola is the 6×54 Solomon Maduro and as I mentioned earlier, it is a total treat to look at. It also comes in a Habano wrapped version, housed in boxes of 10 and priced roughly between $11-$13.
Pre-Light: (I’m so ready!!!)
Again, this is a dark, oily and marble textured wrapper with a sharp edged box press. The creases were so sharp, one could assume this cigar was ironed. The cap is applied perfectly and the wrapper smells of fermented tobacco, hay and herbs. I was expecting barnyard and musky earth from the look of the cigar, but it was more of a grass and tea kind of thing going on. The foot however, was a whole other level. Because of the tapered foot of this Solomon, I damn near jammed the whole thing up my nose (LOL)! But when I did get a whiff…Wow! I still got the hay, but it was accompanied by a sweet cocoa and milk chocolate blast. [And I did remember this from the 1st time I smoked it] I’m excited and optimistic at this point.
1ST THIRD:(Dessert before Dinner)
Right out of the gate, it was as delicious and sweet as the foot aroma premeditated on the cold draw. This cigar was super smooth too. Honestly, I don’t get my hopes up too often concerning actual palate taste by what I get on cold draws. Especially when there’s sweetness involved, or when the cigar is labeled as full body. It was a perfect match in this case. The tobacco core was almost as if the sweetness was added in some way or another. The chocolate was in cahoots with something that just kept telling my brain, “warm cookies”!!!
I’m puffing away at this gem and I start to notice a transition in flavor as the burn reaches the end of the tapered foot and gets into the body of the cigar. It made perfect sense because there’s no way that sweetness was gonna hold up. I mean, as I said, I’ve smoked this before and I would have remembered smoking a 6 inch candy bar and sure enough, change has come.
As the chocolatey dessert like sweetness mellows, a subtle spice starts to move in. It’s hinting more towards an allspice or cinnamon as opposed to a pepper spice. Then, low and behold, that herbal tea thing that happened during prelight has manifested itself and is peeking in and out, wanting to play along. I’m not mad at all.
2ND THIRD: (Construction, Complexity and Retrohales)
Before I ramble on about what I’m getting from this cigar, lemme just say that the draw and construction has been perfect. It’s not just pretty to look at and well made, it’s functional.
That whole sweet dessert factor has definitely toned down significantly but it has been replaced by a tasty nuance that I’m just gonna categorize as gingerbread since it’s a more subtle sweetness with a warm spice to it. I should also mention that this note is mostly experienced through the nose via retrohale and room aroma. (Sidebar- I’m the guy that retrohales probably 85-90% of the time because from my experience, the tongue and palate can only handle so much. I also prefer to smoke indoors or away from wind, fans, vents, etc., because I like to release clouds of smoke directly in front of me to actually smell the smoke. Not to inhale, but smell. This, paired with the retrohale and my palate, is how I pick up the notes in a cigar when I smoke.)
At this point, the herbal tea is leading the charge accompanied by dark roast coffee and some leather. This cigar is officially adulting now. I can now deem this cigar as complex.
Further along, the tea is morphing from what it has been to a floral lemongrass like note, then back again. The coffee and leather are still very much present while the gingerbread spice is more like a white pepper and cinnamon combo thru the nose. I can’t say that the power of the cigar has been evident before now but at this point it’s at Med+ for me.
FINAL THIRD: (Holy sh*t! She’s Back!)
The chocolate sweetness has returned, and here I was waiting for a peppery bitter finale. Not only has the chocolate returned, but the gingerbread is back as well. I’m pretty positive that this is a direct result of the shape of the cigar. The Solomon is tapered at the foot and the head. This means less baccy in these sections, which is where the sweetest most dessert like experiences were. Note to Self…we need a lancero version!!!
As the cigar comes to a close, the coffee has come down to a medium roast. The strength has definitely reached med to full and there is a minerally soil flavor coming thru. As enjoyable as this ride has been, it’s time to put this nub to bed and call it a night.
There were so many welcomed yet unexpected moments with this cigar. I would have never expected such a sweet comeback in the 4th quarter. I’m used to coffee notes getting stronger towards the end of most sticks, not the other way around. I was also expecting some black pepper blast. Although there were spicy moments, they were more of an allspice, cinnamon and maybe a touch of white pepper type of deal.
I was super impressed by the burn as well. We all know how spot on you gotta be when toasting and lighting solomones and figurados, but she burned like a champ from start to finish.
I’d like to Thank You guys for joining me for this ride. I look forward to sharing many more of my cigar adventures with you and I’m also hoping to hear some of your experiences with the same cigars. Please feel free to comment and share this post.
It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Warped La
Relatos The First. Around 10 years ago, this cigar made its original appearance
and now returns for more. This 6 x 38 Petit Lancero retails for $9.30 and looks
to be perfectly rolled. The blend consists of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with
a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
Pre-light, the draw gives me some oaky bourbon flavor. The wrapper
produces a hay aroma while I smell dried fruit out of the foot. Once lit, I
pick up toast with cedar. Through the nose, potent white pepper, cedar, and
toast blend together. The finish consists of spicy pepper with caramel.
Twenty minutes in, the first third closes out. I pick up
salty cedar with hazelnut and black pepper on the draw. Through the nose, spicy
ginger blends with white pepper. The finish hits me with caramel and graham
cracker. Strength and body settles in at medium.
The second third gets me to forty-five minutes. I find
similar flavors on the draw with no distinguishable changes. On the retro-hale,
cedar carries through with more ginger and caramel. The finish offers leather
on top of smoky oak and more caramel. Both strength and body remain at the
The final third pulls through to one hour and simplifies the
flavor profile. On the draw, I pick up black pepper and leather. Through the
nose, toast blends with white pepper. The finish sees no change with more
leather, smoky oak, and caramel. Strength and body finish out at medium.
Warped La Relatos The First is an excellent cigar. It offers
a thoroughly enjoyable flavor experience with moderate complexity and perfect
construction. It’s a pretty quick smoke, so don’t expect this one to last much
more than an hour. It’s a return hit from Warped, and if you like any of their
other blends, you’ll surely enjoy this. I highly recommend it!