Neos Cappuccino Cigarillo

Hand holding a mini Neos Cappuccino Cigarillo

The Neos Cappuccino Cigarillo is an enjoyable little dessert cigar and a perfect companion to an hour of leisure at a European café.

Neos are made by J. Cortès Cigars in Handzame, Belgium. The company selects Ecuadorian Sumatran wrappers for their cigarillos at a Sri Lankan processing facility. The Neos use an Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper over homogenous binder paper and a short filler blend of Burley and Virginia tobaccos. Neos are a mini cigar (3.5’ x 20) with a brown, chestnut shade to its wrapper. Neos come in tins of ten and boxes of one hundred.

Neos Cappuccino Cigarillos are Neos infused with delicious tasting notes of vanilla and coffee. The Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper is rolled onto a tube of homogenous binder and short filler and then segmented for each cigarillo. This means that the cigarillo does not have a cap. When I opened a tin to review them, I noticed few of the cigarillos had a frayed wrapper. Overall, however, the cigarillos had a solid construction with a pleasant aroma.

Neos Cappuccino Cigarillos are a quick smoking experience of 10-15 minutes. The cigarillo’s utilization of short filler tobaccos typically used in pipe and cigarette blends gives the smoker a much milder taste than dedicated mini cigar or cigarillo brands which use darker tobaccos. The infused tasting notes of molasses, vanilla, and baking spices accompany the smoker throughout the experience.

Neos represent a unique experience for the American cigar smoker. Mini cigars and cigarillos are typically associated with European markets in the American cigar industry. If you have never tried a mini cigar or cigarillo, I would suggest picking up a tin of Neos. They truly encapsulate the cerebral relaxation of being an expatriate at a European café.

Gurkha Ghost

Hand holding a lightly-ashed Gurkha Ghost cigar

The Gurkha Ghost is very popular and well known. With a 93 rating, attractive packaging, and unique flavor it was won the hearts of smokers nationwide. It comes in a 5 pack or a full box of 21 cigars. Both of which have a sort of tribal theme featuring the name.

It stands out amongst traditional packaging in the cigar industry. The band has silver embossing and iridescence. I’m sure that if you light this cigar around friends or in public, people will ask “what are you smoking” just because of how cool the band looks.

The blend consists of a dark Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, a Dominican grown Criollo 98 binder, and select fillers from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. This size is called the Asura and measures 6 x 54.

The Ghost has a nice draw, maybe a bit on the tighter side but the smoke output is heavy. The strength and flavor are medium. The Ghost delivers flavors of sweet earth, charred cocoa, and wet hay. There is no sort of spice or bite whatsoever. The entire cigar remains smooth and balanced. Usually cigars with a maduro wrapper has some sort of intensity or bite, not the Ghost. If you are looking for dark flavors without all the strength, this cigar is for you. It is a nice variation from the reputation that most maduro cigars have.

With good construction and unique flavor, the price point fits the bill. See what all the hype is about and try the Gurkha Ghost.

Montecristo White Series Toro Review

hand holding a Montecristo White Series toro cigar lightly-ashed

The Montecristo White Series Toro is an excellent daily smoke and an exemplary shade wrapper cigar.

This cigar is manufactured in the Dominican Republic by Altadis USA at Tabacalera de Garcia, the largest factory in the Dominican Republic. This cigar uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder as well as Nicaraguan and Dominican long filler. The size is a stereotypical parejo toro (6’ x 54). Uniquely, the White Series toro comes in a box of 27. $294.60 for a box of 27 premium shade wrapper cigars is good value.

The cigar’s Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper is light brown and flawless, bearing the distinctive greenish-tan hue associated with shade tobacco. The overall construction of the cigar is perfect and, upon cutting, the smoker can see that all the pieces of long filler are well blended with no thick veins to obstruct the draw. The cold draw is subdued, bearing notes of nuts and grasses. As expected of a toro, the cigar takes a good toasting before an even smoking begins. The draw is slightly tight, but this is because of a construction that helps the cigar from becoming spongy into the latter half of the smoking experience. 

The Montecristo White Series has notes of toasted wheat, peanuts, barnyard hay, and nutmeg. The tasting notes are constant companions throughout the entire 45-75 minute smoking experience, being joined by notes of white pepper and rice in the final third of the cigar. The retrohale is creamy and smooth, providing consistent returns on enjoyment. It should be noted that this cigar is rich in the sense of smoke production. The intensity and flavor of the Montecristo White Series are mild to medium.

This is a fantastic cigar. The White Series toro is an immensely popular size, and I can vouch for its quality. Anyone who is a fan of shade wrapper cigars should pick up a box of these. In a world where genuine Connecticut Shade is increasingly elusive, Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigars, like the Montecristo White Series, are a godsend.

The Punch Clasico London Club Review

The Punch Clasico London Club is a tasteful, affordable box to have in your humidor.

This cigar is manufactured in Honduras by General Cigar Co. It uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra Wrapper over Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican filler. The London Club is the name for the size, a 5 x 40 which is slightly skinnier than a standard corona size. The full box of 25 will cost you slightly more than $60 which I consider to be a steal.

The Sumatra wrapper is a dark brown color with a good amount of oil and teeth. Construction seems to be perfect with just a little bit of give when squeezed and no imperfections in the outer leaf. It holds up resiliently to a straight cut, there is no cracking. The cold draw is subtle and pleasant with hints of sweet coffee. The cigar is easily lit with an even burn throughout the entirety of the cigar. The draw is right in the sweet spot of not too tight or too loose. The intensity and flavor are both medium.

The Punch Clasico has hints of licorice, coffee, nuts, and charred wood. Those flavors remain consistent and prominent during the entire cigar. The average smoke time between 3 cigars is 25-30 minutes. Overall, this is a fantastic cigar. I highly recommend picking up a box of these. They are perfect morning/coffee cigars. I am a big fan of the size. A normal corona is 5×44, this cigar is a fair bit skinnier which shaves about ten minutes off the smoke time.

This is a quick smoke with little to no spice at all. Pick up a box from Luis Martinez and add some variety to your humidor for those days when you do not have an hour or more to spare.