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Category: Matthew T.

Editorial: Puro Sabor 2018 | Special Events and Closing Thoughts

As we close out our series on Puro Sabor 2018, let’s take a look at the events that made the week special.  In all honesty, even the everyday lunches were special events.  It seemed like every time we gathered for a meal, the organizers pulled out all the stops and made it a grand occasion instead of just another meal.  One of my favorite things about all of these events was the reality of being able to sit down with people from all over the world, all walks of life, and all manner of experience in the cigar industry.  We were all the same at these events.  It was just an enormous group of friends gathering for a meal, some drinks, and great conversation.

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Blind Cigar Review: Warped | La Colmena Black Honey Score 90%

Blind Cigar Review: Warped | La Colmena Black Honey

“Very solid cigar across the board. It won’t change your life or make you feel as if you’d been touched by the hand of God, but it is a well constructed and tasty smoke. It doesn’t require much effort to tease out and identify exotic flavors, or significant transitions, but what is there is very up front, and enjoyable. ” -John I. (John I.)

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Editorial: Puro Sabor 2018 | Factory Tours

Imagine a car enthusiast having an opportunity to tour the Ferrari factory in Maranello, or someone who is a collector of fine watches going to visit Patek Philippe in Geneva.  The chance to actually see your favorite products being constructed by hand can be a real treat for the senses, and it can also give a heightened respect for the work that goes into creating these items that we love so much.  For premium cigar lovers the products that we consume are some of the most artfully and painstakingly crafted products in the world. Still, so many cigar lovers still don’t have the first-hand experience of seeing what goes into growing fine tobacco and crafting great cigars.  During Puro Sabor 2018 I was able to visit a number of cigar factories, large and small.  In this second article of the series about the festival I will take you through these factories in the same order that I visited them.

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Blind Cigar Review: Black Works Studio | Boondock Saint Corona Larga Score 93%

Blind Cigar Review: Black Works Studio | Boondock Saint Corona Larga

“It’s hard for me to assign a top rating to any cigar, and I try to reserve the highest mark for something really wondrous. This is about as close to cigar perfection for me as I can imagine. Big bold flavors with a lot of strength. Packs a punch but the potency was never over the top and the overall balance between strength and flavor was really thoroughly impressive. ” -John I. (John I.)

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Editorial: Puro Sabor 2018 | Introduction

In my most recent trip to Nicaragua I was fortunate to attend Puro Sabor 2018.  Puro Sabor is a celebration of the Nicaraguan cigar industry and the people who make it so wonderful. I had previously been to Nicaragua once before, in the fall of 2015, and I was so grateful to be able to go back again. Since there’s so much to cover about this trip I’ll break it into a series of different articles each covering different aspects of the trip itself. One theme that I hope you’ll notice in all of these articles is the people. The people are the most important aspect of every piece of the cigar industry in Nicaragua. Nothing is more important to the industry than its people and it’s the relationships that make the cigar industry in Nicaragua so beautiful and so wonderful.

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Blind Cigar Review: My Father | La Opulencia Corona Score 91%

Blind Cigar Review: My Father | La Opulencia Corona

“As ugly as this cigar was, it goes to show that you can’t judge a book by the cover. The flavors were so good. There was complexity, and yet consistent notes that pulled everything together. I would gladly reach for this cigar again. ” -Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

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Blind Cigar Review: Dunbarton T&T | Muestra de Saka Nacatamale Score 90%

Blind Cigar Review: Dunbarton T&T | Muestra de Saka Nacatamale

“Overall a very pleasant stick. Once it started mellowing out a little bit the cigar became a very nice smoke. This is one I’ll be looking at more closely after the reveal, and would consider a box purchase on if the price is right. ” -Dave W. (mdwest)

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Accessory Review: Xikar | Linea Single Flame Lighter

That brings us to one of the best features.  The price.  The MSRP of the Linea is only $29.99.  And don’t go thinking that this “budget” lighter isn’t still a performer.  Xikar still backs the Linea with a lifetime warranty, just like the other Xikar lighters that cost two or three times as much.  Functionality, efficiency, and reliability all in such a meager price point is not easy to do, but Xikar did it with the Linea.  The Linea is available in Yellow (pictured), Red, Blue, and Black.  It is available where Xikar products are sold, and at

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Blind Cigar Review: Davidoff | Master Selection 2013 Score 91%

Blind Cigar Review: Davidoff | Master Selection 2013

“This cigar was a tasty bugger. The performance throughout the smoking experience, coupled with great flavors and combinations was just great. The sweetness mixed with other nuances really made me happy, and I will be looking forward to knowing what this is so I can buy some for myself. Well done! ” -Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

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Accessory Review: Xikar | Envoy High Performance Cigar Case

The wow factor in this case comes from the top. It is a metal accent piece with a nice polished finish. The narrow fins with the black contrast insets are meant to mimic the look of the cooling fins on an engine. Just like the cruiser motorcycles that this look is meant to emulate, the contrast of the black leather against the shiny chrome is a classic look. Even with the v-twin styling, this case would also feel at home in the breast pocket of your favorite business suit.

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Editorial: Don Lucas Cigar Factory | Mundo Autentico – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Since I have already been to some cigar factories, I had some idea what to expect. What was so wonderful about the tour at the Don Lucas cigar factory was the close family atmosphere. While it is a small factory by some standards, they do not cut corners on quality or final product. They meet or exceed some quality control and aging standards that I have seen from other manufacturers. They don’t disclose what daily production rates are, but they vary. It all depends on what leaf they have in stock that day that is ready to be rolled. They do not base anything off production quotas, but only on quality standards. I greatly admire that practice, especially considering how rare it is becoming in the cigar industry.

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