El Jefe Goes to Little Havana

Have a Cigar This Christmas!

Is smoking a cigar really a genuine way of honoring the true and biblical meaning of Christmas? YES!

I admit that when most people think about Christmas celebrations they don’t think of cigar smoking first, or even at all. However, I would like to put forward an argument that having a cigar on Christmas is not only a great way to celebrate. It is in fact, an act that can point to the true biblical meaning of Christmas.

First here are a few of the lesser reasons:

Christmas really is, in part, about being thankful for your family and friends. Please understand, I don’t mean this is the cheesy Hallmark way. However, Christmas is a celebration of God’s great gift of his physical presence with his people in Jesus. Jesus came, intentionally into a family context and gives us a great understanding of community and how much God values both family and community. For most cigar smokers nothing exemplifies quality time with people we love more than slowing down, smoking a cigar, and enjoying the company of great people.

Christmas is also a reminder that God loves his creation so much he decided to physically enter into it. I think it is fitting to take time to appreciate Gods creation even in its broken state. Again, a cigar is a great way to do this. Not only can take time to slow down with a cigar and look around us, but a cigar itself is part of God’s glorious creation. Not an over processed product, but a simple part of nature. (And no that’s not an argument in favor of pot, mind altering substances are a completely different conversation).

The main reason for having a cigar on Christmas:

The true biblical reason for Christmas is to celebrate the coming of our savior Jesus Christ. We remember not only all that Christ has done for us, but also how he decided to come. He came as a baby, and so we remember and celebrate the greatest baby ever born. And what is the most famous traditional way we celebrate the birth of a baby throughout our cultures history?

That’s Right! Smoking a cigar!

The tradition of a child’s father celebrating the birth of his new born child with friends and family has dropped off somewhat in recent years. In part because smoking in hospitals is kinda frowned upon in world of modern medicine, for some reason. However, before hospitals were widely available, childbirth took place at home, with (hopefully) the help of a doctor on call. In the old days, men waited in another room while the messy business of having a baby was handled by his wife and a medical professional or midwife. Being in labor isn’t exactly a quick and easy process, and a cigar could really help pass the time. Celebrating dads would also often gather with friends in the parlor of the house and pass out cigars to light up once the baby was born.

Some claim it goes even further back, tracing the tradition to American Indians who exchanged gifts to celebrate the birth of a child during the “potlatch” ceremony, in which a primitive cigar was among the most prized of offerings.

So this Christmas why not celebrate the birth of God’s son with the time honored tradition of smoking a quality cigar with family and friends. Hey, maybe you even want to light up on of those “it’s a boy” sticks just to drive the point home.

(A quick side note here, if you think smoking an “it’s a girl” cigar is a clever artistic statement in opposition to the historical patriarchy and gender normativity. You are not cool and edgy, you are an annoying ass-hat. Also, more than likely you going to find a lot of stuff on this site challenging. That being said we are glad you are here, and hope this broadens your perspective.)

 

Seasons Greetings:

In conclusion, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And that you had the opportunity to celebrate our glorious God with family and friends. I hope you consider new ways of enjoying reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas in the future, whether that is with a cigar or another tradition.

On behalf of the ChristianCigarSmoker guys, this is Pastor Smokey wishing you a very merry Christmas!

[Note: This article was originally compiled on in 2019 but I had so much fun doing it and we have grown so much that I wanted to take a moment to update and repost it in honor of this Christmas season.]

Tips for a Smoke-Filled Festivus

We at Christian Cigar Smoker love Christmas, and we certainly do not hate “all the commercial and religious aspects of Christmas,” so we gladly take advantage of any reason to get together and smoke cigars. We’re not making up any new holidays but taking advantage of a more contemporary holiday to give us a reason to light up our premium hand-rolled cigars: Festivus.  

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you. Celebrate Festivus correctly this year. I will show you how to do so because I have hosted not one but two Festivus cigar events! That makes me an expert. I will not take this time to explain the history or meaning behind the Festivus Holiday. Instead, you can watch season nine, episode ten of Seinfeld, The Strike (Why wasn’t the episode called “Festivus”?  Really, Jerry and Larry?). 

Tips for The Airing of Grievances

Got a lot of problems with you people? The cigar lounge is the perfect place to properly air one’s grievances with your friends, family, and peers while letting them know how much they have disappointed you during the past year.  

So as not to overdo it or overly offend someone, make sure you have smoked at least one cigar before the Airing of Grievances. This practice will give you time for quiet reflection and a sense of calm before you let loose. It will also help you “speak the truth in love” and adequately convey your grievances. In doing so, you will be able to convey your complaints properly. It will also help you avoid the Frank Constanza error of losing your train of thought.  

Cigar and Meatloaf Pairing Tips

If you celebrate Festivus with the traditional meatloaf on a bed of lettuce, make sure you properly pair your cigar to maximize your experience. I suggest a medium-bodied cigar before the meal. 

Throughout the festivity, and while eating your meatloaf, I suggest smoking 3-4 cigars, consisting of a Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, or a Maduro wrapper. Choose a size ranging from a petite corona to a double corona.  

If you’re breaking tradition and not eating meatloaf, I suggest smoking 3-4 cigars, consisting of a Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, or a Maduro wrapper. Choose a size ranging from a petite corona to a double corona.    

Tips for the Feats of Strength

If you are honored with participating in the tradition of the Feats of Strength, practice common courtesy by putting down your cigar before competing. We’re not barbarians; we’re cigar smokers!

Limited room at the cigar lounge? If there is no room to wrestle at your lounge, or you’re practicing social distancing, you can substitute the activity with another. Our Festivus celebration in 2019 featured a father/son thumb wrestling match. You can also arm wrestle or have a staring contest. 

Safety Tips

Don’t allow your Festivus celebration to end in injury. Sometimes we get carried away overeating meatloaf or getting worked up when airing grievances. Don’t get too full on meatloaf. Don’t forget to not inhale your cigar. Arrive safely and leave safely. If need be, designate a driver. 

Indeed, you need to avoid Festivus pole accidents. Every year, nearly three people sustain injuries related to improper Festivus pole installation. Since the inception of Festivus, over ten people have sustained ankle and knee injuries from sliding down Festivus poles; it is not a firehouse pole. Don’t become another statistic! Remember also that the Festivus pole should be constructed of aluminum, which has a very high strength-to-weight ratio. 

If participating in the Feats of Strength, always remember that even if we’re not living in the time of a pandemic, it is always best practice to wear a mask. Wash your hands both before and after the Feats. 

Tips for Celebrating the True Spirit of Festivus

There is a time for every season under heaven—a time for airing grievances and a time for practicing kindness. Therefore, in the spirit of Festivus, let us not only tell others how much they have disappointed us but let them know how they may, at times, lack being so horrible.  

Go easier on others. For just one day out of the year, when you are smoking your premium handmade cigars, don’t poke fun at those who smoke machine-made or infused cigars. Set aside your differences as you smoke with the lowly and uninformed.  

Don’t ridicule those who sniff the cigar through the cellophane. Don’t let out a loud sigh of disgust when someone uses a bullet cut on a torpedo cigar. Don’t lie to the new cigar smoker, telling him that it is customary to inhale cigars on Festivus.  

Also, to maximize your Festivus Cigar Smoking Event, invite your friends to form a circle around the Festivus Pole and sing a carol. I wrote a new song to the tune of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, entitled Smokin’ Around the Festivus Pole, which can be viewed here.  

Enjoy your smoke-filled Festivus this year!

Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole

Those of you celebrating Festivus with fellow cigar connoisseurs may be wondering why there aren’t many good Festivus carols out there.

I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you.  I wrote the following lyrics to Smokin’ Around the Festivus Pole.  It is (obviously) to be sung to the tune of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.  If you have any suggestions for lyric changes, additions, or feel the need to air some grievances about said lyrics, feel free to do so in our discussion panel.

Smokin’ Around the Festivus Pole, by El Jefe

Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
At our local cigar lounge
Smoke is filling the atmosphere
Connoisseurs everywhere

Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
The airing of grievances
Later we’ll have some meatloaf pie
Then we’ll have the feats of strength

You will get a sentimental feeling when you smell
We’re retro haling, let’s be jolly
Light ‘em up, or you’ll be sorry!
Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
It’s a Festivus miracle!
Corojos, Maduros, Puros and more
A holiday Opus X

You will get a sentimental feeling when you puff
We’re retro haling, let’s be jolly
Light ‘em up, or you’ll be sorry!
Smokin’ Around The Festivus Pole
At our local cigar lounge
Smoke is filling the atmosphere
Connoisseurs everywhere

Related:  Tips for A Smoke-Filled Festivus

 

The Monday Review – 12/14/20 – The COVID Cigar

In Lieu of “The Monday Review”
One More Way COVID is Ruining Everything

It is Monday, and here at ChristianCigarSmoker.com that means it is time for “The Monday Review“. Each Monday we strive to provide you with a high quality, engaging cigar review. So why is there no review this week… COVID thats why!

I know, I know people want to blame COVID for every problem in the world today, but this time it really is the culprit. ChristianCigarSmoker is not yet a large robust organization with lots of reviews. While it is true that some of the other guys will at time write reviews, I [Pastor Smokey] do the bulk of the review work currently. This means at times if I can’t do a review than no one can, and right now I can’t review because of COVID.

So does that mean I have the COVID as I am writing this, no. In fact I came down with COVID over two weeks ago and have long since recovered. Well, recovered in all but one way. As I am sure most of you are aware COVID has this annoying symptom for many people, it causes you to lose you sense of taste and smell. What is more that symptom tends to linger even long after the virus is gone.

This is what happened to me, and as it turns out taste and smell are both kinda important when reviewing a cigar. My taste and smell are both coming back, and I can currently taste and enjoy a cigar again, but I would never want to create a sub-par review because my palate was being interfered with.

So why don’t I just write a review on a cigar I have smoked a lot in the past and I am already familiar with? It is true I have plenty to pick from and writing a review on a cigar like that is helpful and tends to make the best kind of review. However, you still want to smoke the cigar while actively writing the review. Memory is funny when it comes to things like taste and if you really want an accurate description you have to come up with that description while the taste is fresh.

For those kind souls out there who want to know how I am doing after COVID. Let me put it this way not being able to taste my cigar was far and away the worst part of the whole thing. No, I am not exaggerating for effect. Yes, I understand that is some few people it can be very serious and dangerous. No, I don’t think the fact that it can be dangerous means we shut down the world. And no, that is not cold hearted or political, just common sense, as there are other things just as serious and dangerous that a shut down causes.

Ok to conclude…

  • COVID Sucks!
  • But not so much we should all freak out.
  • Know COVID can cause you to lose the enjoyment of cigars for a while.
  • We will return to your regularly scheduled Monday Review as soon as possible.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Festivus and enjoy a cigar, COVID free this year!

[article by: Pastor Smokey]

Tuesday Lounge Review – 12/8/20 – Casa de Montecristo

Tuesday Lounge Review

Casa de Montecristo
December 8, 2020

Lounge Name:Casa de Montecristo

Street Address: 510 S Howard AveCity: Tampa
State: Florida
Metro Area: Tampa

Estimated Seating Capacity: 20 inside / 10 outside

Overall Rating: 3.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Humidor Size Rating: 3.5
Humidor Selection Rating: 3.0
Atmosphere Rating: 3.5
Culture Rating: 3.0
Air Quality Rating: 3.0

Description: Casa de Montecristo is located just east of downtown Tampa and is one of those lounges that is very un assuming from the outside but defiantly sees a jump in atmosphere when you walk in the front door (or perhaps side door given the parking set up). This Lounge sports a good sized walk in humidor, comfortable open-plan seating area, and a full service bar (just drinks, no kitchen).

When it comes to the humidor, Casa de Montecristo impresses in every category but stops short of blowing any minds. The size is better than most, with a comfortable and we ordered layout. The selection is not only sizable but of good quality. It sports a lot of the better brands that are not seen everywhere like a near full line-up of Southern Draw. It has a few limited releases to spice things up as well. The prices also impressed, while it was not the cheapest humidor I have walked through, it was much lower than I would usually expect from such a well polished lounge.

The seating area is well furnished, primarily with good quality leather arm chairs and side tables, There are big windows that keep the place well lit, this is not one of your dingy dive lounges. The seating tends to be spaced out. This has its pros and cons. It makes you feel like you have room and opens up the atmosphere to encourage either public conversation or private thoughtfulness. It is not conducive to more private conversations as it is hard to talk across the space without others near by hearing all that is said.

Lastly, it sports TVs and a well stocked bar. There are a good number of TVs without feeling like you are in a Buffalo Wild Wings. The bar has a nice selection as well, again at reasonable prices. I will say it is nice that they give a relatively fair shake to the beer menu as well as the liquor menu.

Comments: If you live in or around Tampa you are probably use to an abundance of great cigar lounges (that is not to say you have too many, I don’t think that is possible), but if you have not been to Casa de Montecristo yet it is worth the trip.

I had the opportunity to visit this lounge along with some of the other ChristianCigarSmoker guys this summer on our trip to Ybor City. For more on our trip, check out our full podcast episode chronicling the trip HERE, including a small clip from outside this lounge. While this lounge is not in Ybor City, it is only a short drive away and I would recommend it to those doing a cigar trip to Ybor. In fact, combining it with a side trip to the Davidoff Lounge as we did is a great idea.

One thing in particular that stood out to me while we where there was a limited production cigar that MyFathers makes just for them (pictured). It was absolutely delicious, in fact, I delayed our departure just so I could enjoy every last bit of it. One of my pet peeves about reviews is that they use the descriptor of creamy far too often. This cigar however, truly deserves that monicker. If you stop into this lounge I recommend giving that stick a try.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Lounge Website: https://www.casademontecristo.com/soho/

For a full look at all our lounge reviews click HERE.

 

The Monday Review – 12/7/2020 – Tatuaje TAA 2020

The Monday Review:

Tatuaje TAA 2020
December 7, 2020

Cigar Name: TAA 2020
Company Name: Tatuaje
Line: TAA

MSRP (per stick): $11.95
Size:
5 5/8 x 54
Role Type: Vitola (Box Pressed)

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 4.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 4.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 5.0
Flavor Rating: 4.5
Value Rating: 4.0

Description: The Tatuaje TAA 2020 only comes in one size. The box pressed Vitola (5 5/8 x 54). It sports an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and filler. The construction is near perfect. Very tightly rolled and firm. The draw is perfect!

The flavor profile is rich yet smooth with notes of wood and leather. The first half of the cigar is smooth and tasty. No hint of unusual flavors or anything other than smoothness. By mid-cigar it is very consistent with the same flavors continuing through the middle of the burn. The finish is excellent all the way to the end. I hated to set it down the last time but all good things must come to an end. As for the retro hale it never works for me or shows me anything else. This time was no exception. Hurts my sinuses.

Overall rating for me is a 4.5 out 5 stars. In my short (9 years) of cigar life, I have had 4 or 5 sticks that would make me go back again and again. This comes very close to topping them all. The only thing I would rank above this in flavor profile is Davidoff. I love their sticks. But this one definitely tops them all in the construction category. Great stick.

Comments: This cigar is a limited release cigar. Typically, we do not review limited release cigars because we like for our reviews to remain useful and relevant over time. However, in this case we are making an exception. We are doing this for two reasons. First Rav Dov really likes this stick. And second this is a limited release that is part of an ongoing limited release line.

Tatuaje has released a new TAA every year since 2011, and the 2020 was particularly good. It also stands out a little bit. Most of the previous TAAs have been made with Connecticut wrappers, while the 2020 sports an Ecuadorian Sumatra.

Because of the high-quality and limited availability of this cigar we recommend if you get the chance to smoke one take it. Just how limited are we talking about? 3,000 boxes of 20 cigars each were produced and that is it.

Person Reviewing: Rav Dov (aka. David Weis)
[Editor and Comments: Pastor Smokey]

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion – A Review

The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion

Yes! This book actually exists! Forgive me if you knew this already but I just found out recently, and immediately wondered how I had never heard about it and wondered how I could get a copy. The getting of a copy turns out to be easy thanks to Amazon, where you can get a nice paperback copy of this book for $11.95 at the time of my writing this.

As for having not heard of the book for so long, I still have no idea how I missed it. I can only surmise that the book just never got the publicity it deserved. But now, having obtained a copy I wanted to let you all know what I have learned about it. So here goes…

About the Book:

The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion was published in 2013, and was written by two guys in Michigan. Quick shout out to the cigar culture in the mitten state. These two authors are Ted Kluck and Zach Bartels. Ted Kluck is the author of over 10 books ranging in subject-mater from the emergent church to Mike Tyson. Zach Bortels on the other hand, is a pastor of a Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan.

The book that came out of a collaboration between these two men could best be described as a hilarious amalgamation of bits left behind when cigar culture and Christianity had a head on collision. The more serious spirit behind the book is captured beautifully by the subtitle printed on the front cover. Which reads: “A Celebration of Smoking Cigars & Pipes to the Glory of God”.

Whats Inside:

If you are looking for a book with a detailed narrative or a complete systematic history, this is not the book for you. However, if you want a lot of fast-paced, funny articles, loaded with fun facts, then you are in the right place. The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking companion has a lot of content that is only a page long and there are no parts of the book that are more than about 5 pages in length.

There is a lot in this small book and I will go through some of the things I liked best and worst below. However, here is some more notable bits of content:

  • Are Cigars and Pipes Sinful (A short essay)
  • What to Look for in a Cigar Lounge (7 points)
  • Examples of Cigars in Pop Culture
  • The Daily Telegraph Scandal (C.H. Spurgeon’s cigar controversy)
  • 20 Ways to Smoke Cigars to the Glory of God

Things I Liked:

  • Cigar Brands and What They Say About You (a funny profile of people who smoke cigars like Cohiba, Swisher Sweets, Davidoff, and Garcia y Vega)
  • Every Cigar Smokers Essential Guide to Living with His Wife.
  • Cigars in Ministry Timeline (A look at the evolution of smoking in the career of a typical vocational minister)
  • Smoking Spiritualized (this is a great classic poem that we have covered here in the past. For a look at our article click HERE.)
  • Suggested Hate Mail Templates (In the appendix the authors write their own stereotypical hate mail responses to the book)
  • Cigar and Pipe Hall of Fame (spaced throughout the book there are one page bios of famous men who made their hall of fame, often with great cigar or pipe quotes included. Here is the full list of those that appear: Steve Brown, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ralph Erskine, C.H. Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, Pious X, J.R.R. Tolkien, Karl Barth, J. Gresham Machen, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Colson, Father Damien, Jared C. Wilson, and Johann Sebastian Bach.)

Thing’s I Didn’t Like:

  • Great Moments in Literature and Film if a Main Character Was Replaced by Cigar Aficionado’s James Suckling (This is a very creative bit where the guys rewrite famous lines with a cigar aficionado’s attitude and subject-mater. My problem with it is it just goes on too long, reappearing in the book multiple times.)
  • Basic cigar education on things like the construction and use of cutters (I did like that this was valued, but I think it was mis-calculated. I know they did not have the space to go into much detail, but for this books general audience I think the explanations were too basic, to the point where their value was lost.)

The Best Part:

In my humble opinion there are two parts worth their weight in gold.

The first is the quote from C.S. Lewis that appears on his Cigar and Pipe Hall of Fame page. Here is this utterly fantastic quote: “the pipe gives the wise man time to think and the fool something to stick in his mouth.” You can’t tell me C.S. Lewis was not a genius!

The second was written by the authors directly and it is just too perfectly in line with ChristianCigarSmoker.com to not mention. It appears in the “Cigar Brands and What They Say About You” article. One of the sections is for those that smoke Acid cigars. I can’t resist including that sections here:

Acid

Please take a moment to complete the following quiz.

Do you…
a.)  Own a pair of leather pants, unironically?
b.)  Own a purple shirt that is also shiny?
c.)  Zoom down the high-way on what is known in the motorcycle community as a “crotch-rocket”?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you probably smoke Acid cigars. Acid is the brand that Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat would have smoked in 1988, were they (the cigars) around in 1988.

My Conclusion:

In short, I love this book for what it is, and what it is, is the best cigar bathroom reading in history! If you think that sounds insulting you are misunderstanding me. This book is intended to be picked up and put down in short snippets. It does an excellent job in being entertaining, educating, providing interesting facts, and being an all-around great conversation starter. I give a hearty endorsement to this one. I will also give it a ChristianCigarSmoker.com rating of a 4.0.

Article by: Pastor Smokey [aka. Doug Goodman]

The Monday Review – 11/30/20 – El Rey del Mundo Oscuro

The Monday Review:

El Rey del Mundo Oscuro
November 30, 2020

Cigar Name: Oscuro
Company Name: El Rey del Mundo

MSRP (per stick): $6.95
Size:
6 x 54
Role Type: Robusto Larga (Toro)

Flavor Profile: Mild/Medium

OVERALL RATING: 3.0
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 3.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.0
Flavor Rating: 2.5
Value Rating: 2.5

Description: The El Rey del Mundo Oscuro comes in five different sizes. This review is based around the Robuso Larga (Toro, 6 x 54), but it also comes in a Robusto (5 x 54), Rectangulare (Corona, 5.6 x 45), Robusto Suprema (Churchill, 7 x 54), and a Choix Supreme (Toro, 6.1 x 49). This cigar gets its name from its wrapper which is a Oscuro Sumatra. It also has a Honduran filler and binder after its country of origin.


This Oscuro has a very light and subtle cold draw with clear notes of hey that do not come though in the rest of the smoke. While I found this to be a very enjoyable cigar it was much more on the mild side than seemed to be advertised. It has a primary flavor profile of very earthy notes, as you go through the smoke it also picks up cashew like notes of nuttiness. This cigar is light on the spice and what spice there is tends to be more of a sweet spice. The flavor of this cigar is very consistent stick to stick and holds the flavor all the way to the end much better than many mild end cigars tend to.

The El Rey del Mundo Oscuro come with an elegant individual packaging style, with a classic red, yellow, and gold collar that is wrapped over not only the cigar but also full white tissue paper wrap. This tissue paper wrap covers the full cigar like a skin and is twisted at both ends, making this a very distinctive cigar. The cigar also has a very good construction under the paper as well. This is one cigar I have never had a bad roll with and it gives a very even burn. The draw and resiliency are both good but not anything that one would typically feel stand out enough to take note of.

Comments: El Rey del Mundo, which means “King of the World” in spanish, is one of the oldest and best respected names in the cigar industry. Created in 1848 by Emilio Ohmstedt it now is rolled in two locations, Habana Cuba and Honduras. In the 1960s and 1970s the global taste for cigars took a turn for the full bodied. This meant that the El Rey del Mundo line, long known for its subtle and complex flavor profile waned in popularity. Despite beings someone who is given to these more full bodied flavors, one of the things I respect about this line most is that they did not compromise with the times but continued to be true to the excellent product they have made for generations.

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.

The Monday Review – 11/3/20 – PDR Small Batch Reserve Maduro

The Monday Review:

PDR Small Batch Reserve Maduro
November 3, 2020

Cigar Name: Small Batch Reserve (Maduro)
Company Name: Pinar Del Rio (PDR)

MSRP (per stick): $6.75
Size:
6 x 54
Role Type: Gran Toro

Flavor Profile: Medium

OVERALL RATING: 2.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)

Appearance Rating: 2.5
Roll/Burn Rating: 3.0
Flavor Rating: 2.5
Value Rating: 2.5

Description: The PDR Small Batch Reserve (Maduro) comes in a number of rolls. This review is based on the 6 x 54 Gran Toro stick, although it also comes in a Robusto (5 x 52), Churchill (7 x 54), Double Magnum (6 x 60), Fundadores (6 x 38), and  Wicked Plug 1, 2, and 3 (4 x 60, 5 x 60, and 6 x 60). It has a Brazilian Habano Maduro Ligero wrapper, a Dominican Criollo 98 binder, and a Nicaraguan and Dominican Corojo filler. Pinar Del Rio released this cigar back in 2012 and it has been a regular part of their line-up ever since.

This cigar starts with a an odd cold draw that is a bit biting and acidic. I try not to hold a cold draw against a cigar, while it can be interesting and a nice bonus at times I personally tend to focus on the actual smoking part of a cigar. The Small Batch Reserve (Maduro) has an interesting flavor profile that while blending well, seems to present itself in layers. The first layer if a woodsy pine flavor. Layered on top of that is an orange zest flavor that gradually transforms into more of a lemon zest flavor over the life of the smoke. Finally, a top that are faint notes of butterscotch. This cigar walks the line between a refreshing smoke with just the right combo of tang and spice, and lacking a depth of flavor that can give way to bitterness for some smokers. I will say the flavor was very consistent from cigar to cigar and while I thought it flirted with being a miss at times I always enjoyed it. One last flavor note, this cigar has a flavor profile that is solidly consistent, however if you are someone that likes to smoke a stick down to an inch and a half or less this cigar will not hold up well.

The construction of the Small Batch Reserve (Maduro) is one part of the cigar that is not in question. All of the sticks I have smoked have been remarkably consistent. The draw is always the same and well within the correct range. I tend to like a draw that is a bit more open so for others this cigar may be near perfect on that score. As for the burn I have never had any problems, it seems to burn even and well, without need of relights. I have also never had any problems with splitting or unraveling with this stick. The one small flaw I have run into is that on several of the cigars the top cap layer seems to want to come loose. This does not seem to have much impact on the smoke however, since it is just the top layer and depending on the cut you use, you will be removing it anyways.

Comments: Pinar Del Rio has primarily been the work of Abraham Flores and Juan Rodriguez. They have seen the bulk of their success with the 1878 series, however the Small Batch Reserve series includes both the Maduro line that is reviewed here and the Habano line, which we will hope to review in the future. The Maduro line is still a Maduro Habano as opposed to a standard Habano so please do not let that confuse you.

The following is what Pinar Del Rio says about themselves on their website: “PDR Cigars, a boutique modern factory in Tamboril Dominican Republic. PDR hires only the most experienced rollers and it shows in the quality of every cigar. Each puro is delicately handcrafted that results in a cigar of supreme construction. The tabacco leaves used in every blend is of the highest quality and the refined finish is a testament to the attention given to every leaf that passes through the doors of the PDR Cigar factory. Our doors opened in 2004, now in its 15th year of independent operation, we are proud to present to you the jewels of La Fabrica.”

Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)

Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.