Editorial: Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2021 + Blind Tasting Results

Editorial: Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2021 Blind Tasting Results

This year marked the 12th Annual Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival. Unfortunately last years event was not held in person so we were not able to do our Blind Tasting Event. In 2019 we did the first ever Blind Cigar Tasting Event for every attendee of the festival and it was a huge success. You can read about it here. This year, we went bigger and the event did not disappoint.

The idea of this event was to give the everyday smoker the experience of what it’s like to review a cigar when you don’t know what you’re smoking. We partnered with 14 different cigar manufacturers and by hand, unbanded over 1,150 cigars one at a time and replaced them with our own bands with just our logo and a number on it. Every attendee of the festival was given a coupon book in their swag bags to come redeem for their blind cigar, along with instructions on how to review it and find out what it was. The first 60 people to fill out the form during the festival got to spin our prize wheel where we gave away some awesome stuff including a Cigar in a Bottle, Custom JR Cigar 50th Anniversary Humidor, Custom BMP aluminum ashtray, and much more! We also gave attendees a week after the festival to submit their review to be entered to win a box of Foundation cigars.

Editorial: Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival 2021 + Blind Tasting Results

At the previous event (2019), we had 117 reviews submitted total for the event including the weeks afterword. This year, we had 207 people submit their reviews during the festival, and another 68 so far after for a total of 276. Needless to say, that is a huge jump in the number of people submitting the reviews, and we really do appreciate it.

Below you will find the results summary for each cigar entry did, sorted by average score. In the raw data we are able to sort by 100ths of a decimal place, but we are only displaying whole numbers. There were no ties. If you would like to see the raw and more detailed data of how each cigar did, you can go here. At the bottom of this page, you can find more details about each cigar that was entered in the tasting.

Final PlacementCigar NumberCigar NameScore
114Espinosa Murcielago92
27Drew Estate Undercrown 1091
38J.C. Newman Perla Del Mar Corojo91
49Aganorsa Leaf Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch91
513Hiram & Solomon Grand Architect90
64Alec & Bradley Kintsugi90
76Kristoff Corojo Limitada90
812Foundation Charter Oak Habano89
95Diesel Estelí Puro89
1011Miami Cigar & Co. Don Lino Africa88
111El Artista Buffalo TEN Connecticut88
1210Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata Natural88
133Davidoff AVO Classic Belicoso87
142Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT Toro86

Cigar #1 – El Artista Buffalo TEN Connecticut

El Artista Announces Buffalo TEN Connecticut - Cigar News

In June of this year, El Artista has announced the third blend in the Buffalo TEN series, Buffalo TEN Connecticut. The original Buffalo TEN was released in 2019 and saw a lot of success given the high scores by site like ours (93) and the price point, $5.00. Last year, the company added a natural version of the cigar, which also scored very well (91).

Like the other blends, Buffalo TEN Connecticut comes in one size, a soft box pressed 6×50 Toro. The come in 5-Packs that sell for $22.50 MSRP. Buffalo TEN Connecticut uses five different tobaccos from across Central & South America and The Caribbean. The blend starts with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper from El Artista’s own farms, a rich Cameroon binder, and filler from Nicaragua, and the company’s own farms in the Dominican Republic. The cigar had a soft launch in Norway distributed by Nordic Cigars at the beginning of June and will be available for sale to retailers in North America at the PCA Trade Show. The cigars will ship in August.

Cigar #2 – Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Joya de Nicaragua | Antaño CT Robusto

In June of 2019, Joya de Nicaragua unveiled a Connecticut shade-wrapped line extension Antaño line called the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT. The word Antaño translates in Spanish to “Yesteryear”. The Antaño CT is the fourth in the Antaño line with original Antaño, Antaño Reserva, and Antaño Dark Corojo.

The blend for Antaño CT, uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, and Nicaraguan filler and binder. Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT comes in 20-count and in 4 sizes: 6×54 Belicoso (MSRP $ 9.90), 6×50 Toro (MSRP $9.70), 5×52 Robusto (MSRP $8.45), and 5¼x46 Corona Gorda (MSRP $8.00).

Cigar #3 – AVO Classic Belicoso

Blind Cigar Review: AVO | Classic BelicosoIn January of this year, AVO Cigars announced that the Belicoso size in their AVO Classic line was returning. The Belicoso was last made in 2005 and comes back as a limited production of 2,000 boxes of 25 cigars being sold only in the United States.

The blend uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut Sun Grown wrapper, and Dominican binder and fillers. It is described as mild-to-medium strength. The Classic Belicoso measures 6 x 48. Each cigar sells for $12.00.

Cigar #4 – Alec & Bradley Kintsugi

Alec & Bradley Kintsugi Robusto - Blind Cigar Review Alec & Bradley, sons of Alec Bradley founder Alan Rubin, announced their third regular production line back in March of 2020: Alec & Bradley Kintsugi (pronounced Kint-Su-Gee). Kintsugi was scheduled for Fall 2020, but did not ship until December of 2020. This follows Blind Faith from 2018 and Gatekeeper from 2019.

The name comes from a Japanese legend says that a 15th century Japanese Shogun dropped his favorite vase, shattering it to pieces. He then ordered artisans to reconstruct it with gold or silver lacquer- making it even more beautiful. This name they say draws a parallel with the current state of the Premium Cigar Industry. The blend for Kintsugi uses a Habano wrapper from the Trojes region of Honduras, two binders (Nicaraguan and Honduran), and fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua. Kintsugi comes in 24 count a golden filled-in crack pattern. The bands and interior box got their inspiration from traditional Japanese themes and artwork. It is manufactured at the Raices Cubanas Factory in Danli, Honduras and comes in four sizes: Robusto 5” x 50 ($7.95) , Toro 6” x 52 ($8.80), Gordo 6” x 60 ($9.85) and Corona Gorda 5 5/8″ x 46 ($7.25).

Cigar #5 – Diesel Estelí Puro Robusto

Blind Cigar Review: Diesel | Estelí Puro Robusto General Cigar announced a new regular production line from Diesel in August 2020, “Estelí Puro.” This cigar is blended entirely with tobacco from the Nicaraguan region of Estelí, hence the name.

The wrapper comes from AJ Fernandez’s La Lilia farm, while the binder is from San José, and the fillers are from several plots including AJ’s San Lotano farm. It is of course blended by AJ Fernandez and rolled at his factory Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua. It was developed with General Cigar Brand Manager Justin Andrews. Diesel Estelí Puro comes in three vitolas in 20 count boxes: Robusto 5.25” x 54 $8.99, Toro 6” x 54 $9.49, Gigante 6” x 60 per cigar $9.99.

Cigar #6 – Kristoff Corojo Limitada

The Corojo Limitada is for the fan of Nicaraguan tobacco. Nearly a puros Nicaraguan blend, this medium-full bodied cigar is loaded with spice, nutmeg, toasted nut and a sweet-spicy finish. Made with 100% Habano seed tobacco that is double and triple fermented, the Corojo Limitada maintains the Kristoff tradition of flavor and smoothness. The signature of Kristoff Cigars.  Blend Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Habano Binder: Nicaraguan Habano Filler: Nicaraguan Habano, Dominican Habano  Sizes Matador – 6.5 x 56 Churchill – 7 x 50 Robusto – 5.5 x 54 Lancero – 7.5 x 40 Torpedo – 6.25 x 52 The Corojo Limitada is for the fan of Nicaraguan tobacco. Nearly a puros Nicaraguan blend, this medium-full bodied cigar is loaded with spice, nutmeg, toasted nut and a sweet-spicy finish. Made with 100% Habano seed tobacco that is double and triple fermented, the Corojo Limitada maintains the Kristoff tradition of flavor and smoothness. The signature of Kristoff Cigars.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano, Dominican Habano

Matador – 6.5 x 56 Churchill – 7 x 50
Robusto – 5.5 x 54 Lancero – 7.5 x 40
Torpedo – 6.25 x 52

Cigar #7 – Drew Estate Undercrown 10

Drew Estate Undercrown 10 Toro - Blind Cigar Review Drew Estate back in May, during it’s Freestyle Live event, announced a new version of its Undercrown line to celebrate 10 years since the launch of the original: Undercrown 10. This was also the mystery cigar included in the Freestyle Live Event Packs. Undercrown 10 joined the existing lines of Maduro, Shade and Sun Grown.

The blend for Undercrown 10 starts with a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Nicaraguan fillers. It will come in four regular production sizes: Toro (6 x 52) $12, Robusto (5 x 50) $11.75, Corona Viva (5 x 43) $10.50, and Corona Doble (7 x 50) $13.50. All come in boxes of 20. There will also be a limited-edition “Factory Floor Edition” which is a 6 x 46 $13.60 lonsdale . This also comes with 20 cigars, but in addition will include a “tobacco leaf library,” meaning a sample of each individual leaf comprising the blend. Lastly, there will be an event only size, the Undercrown 10 Tuani Belicoso (6 x 52). This will only be available at event hosted by Pedro Gomez and will comes in boxes of 2 similar to the Liga Privada “A” and Undercrown Manifesto.

Cigar #8 – J.C. Newman Perla Del Mar Corojo

J.C. Newman Perla Del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda - Blind Cigar Review Last November, J.C. Newman relaunched the Perla del Mar line First released in 2012, this line is budget friendly but handmade at J.C. Newman PENSA in Nicaragua. The look and blends were updated in the relaunch. Coming back are the Shade and Maduro blends refreshed, but there is also a totally new blend: J.C. Newman Perla Del Mar Corojo.

The J.C. Newman Perla Del Mar Corojo Corona Gorda uses an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. It comes in what they call a Tampa-style press and sell for between $6 and $7. There are four sizes: Robusto (4 3/4 x 52) $6.45, Toro (6 1/4 x 54) $7.10, Double Toro (6 x 60) $7.60, and Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 46) $6.45. All of them come in boxes of 25. The Perla del Mar brand goes all the way back to Cuba. The name comes from the beautiful Caribbean water that can be found in Cuba. Perla del Mar translates to Sea Pearl.

Cigar #9 – Aganorsa Leaf Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch

Blind Cigar Review: Aganorsa Leaf | Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch Orpheus Back in June of 2019, Aganorsa Leaf announced an extension to their Guardian of the Farm line, Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch. In this version, blenders Max Fernandez and Kyle Gellis of Warped Cigars Aganorsa’s proprietary Shade Grown Corojo Maduro wrapper to make a more intense smoke. That is the same wrapper found on the Aganorsa Leaf Signature Maduro. The Guardian of the Farm line gets its name from the dogs that stand watch over their tobacco fields.

Guardian of the Farm Nightwatch comes the same four sizes as the original: Rambo (4.5 x 48), JJ (box pressed 5.25 x 50), Campeon (6 x 52 109 head), and Orpheus (6 x 44). All are in boxes of 25 and MSRP is between $8.50 and $9.95. The only difference in format between the original blend and Nightwatch JJ is box pressed and the Apollo has changed its name to Orpheus. Some of the artwork for Nightwatch was created by Dean Keever, of Tree House made famous for art design of beer can.

Cigar #10 – Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata Natural

Cigar #10 - Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata Natural Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata is composed of authentic corojo wrapper, binder, and filler – making this cigar a medium to full-bodied blend. Featuring notes of leather, earth, espresso, and spice. Available in boxes of 50 with 25 Medulla (round parejos) and 25 Oblongata (box-pressed) allowing you to experience two uniquely nuanced versions of this showcase cigar.

50 x 5 / 50
52 x 6 / 50
60 x 6 / 50
70 x 7 / 40
80 x 6 / 30

Cigar #11 – Miami Cigar & Co. Don Lino Africa

Blind Cigar Review: Don Lino Africa | Duma Miami Cigar & Company announced in May last year that the Don Lino Africa line would return to shelves in 2019. It was shown off at IPCPR. The re-release of this cigar is part of the companies 30th anniversary celebration. It started shipping on November 18th, 2019. THis time around, the cigar is blended by AJ Fernandez and rolled at his factory Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Don Lino Africa uses an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper, African Cameroon binder, and Piloto Dominicano, Ometepe, Jalapa, and Esteli fillers. It comes five sizes, all box-pressed, Robusto “Duma” 5×50 ($9.00 MSRP), Belicoso “Kifaru” 6.25×52 ($10.50 MSRP), Toro “Punda Milia” 5.5×54 ($10.00 MSRP), Gran Toro “Tembo” 6×60 ($11.00 MSRP), and Petite Corona “Kudu” 4×44 ($5.98 MSRP).

Cigar #12 – Foundation Charter Oak Habano

Blind Cigar Review: Foundation | Charter Oak Habano Lonsdale Foundation Cigar Company added a new Habano version of it’s Charter Oak line last September. Previously, the Charter Oak was available in two blends, Connecticut Shade and Connecticut Broadleaf, now we have Charter Oak Habano. The line is relatively inexpensive, but has always been regarded as a great budget cgar.

The bands and packing look really close to the original using the same historic 600-year-old oak related to Connecticut’s legacy of independence and industry. The box color is different for the Habano blend having a warm, honey colored box and black corner label. The Habano is available in the same five sizes and 20 count boxes as the original lines, but will also a Torpedo vitola. The original sizes are: Petite Corona – 5 ¼ x 42, Rothschild – 4 ½ x 50, Lonsdale – 6 ¼ x 46, Toro – 6 x 52, and Grande – 6 x 60. The new Torpedo measures 6 x 52. The new torpedo size will come in boxes of 50, not 20. The blend is described as medium-bodied.

Cigar #13 – Hiram & Solomon | Grand Architect

Blind Cigar Review: Hiram & Solomon | Grand Architect Toro Hiram & Solomon Cigar brought a new cigar to IPCPR 2019: The Grand Architect. The cigar is named after one of the founding principles of Freemasons.

The blend starts with a corojo wrapper, followed by a seco habano wrapper, then fillers from Paraguay and 2 types of Nicaraguan Ligero. The leaf from Paraguay is a rare leaf that is also used in the company’s Entered Apprentice and Veiled Prophet blends. The Grand Architect comes in 20 count boxes and three sizes: Robusto – 5 x 50, Toro – 6 x 52, Gran Toro – 6 x 60. They are rolled at Plasencia Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, and cost between $10.00 and $12.00 USD.

Cigar #14 – Espinosa Murcielago

Blind Cigar Review: Espinosa | Murcielago Robusto Just before the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show, Espinosa Cigars announced they had been working with AJ Fernandez to refine and repackage the blend of the Espinosa Murcielago. As the Trade Show opened, Espinosa debuted the new packaging for the Espinosa Murcielago. Previous versions of the blend had red and black bands that now have a new black and silver holographic band. The red and black boxes are now a natural-colored box.

The blend still uses a Mexican San Andres wrapper on Nicaraguan binder and filler. It is being launched in two box-pressed sizes (Robusto and Toro) and one rounded size (Rabito). The cigars are packaged in 20-count boxes.