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@Charlie86 Short Churchill is an actual (Cuban) size, this is "Small Churchill."

1 day, 4 hours ago on Espinosa The Alibi

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@dancrago I imagine time in the humidor will help.

1 day, 4 hours ago on Espinosa The Alibi

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@Charlie86 With you on the 50 RG+ comments, except for the Culebra of course.

4 days, 2 hours ago on Oliva Serie V Corona Gorda

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@Charlie86 There was actually an issue that I just realized. The new version of the score sheet I sent out had the construction portions blacked out in an area, the score has been updated to reflect that, still not where you thought, but not the 83 originally published. My apologies.

3 weeks ago on La Flor Dominicana TCFKA “M” Collector’s 2014

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@jbill29 There's no real set time, but these were at the office for over a month before I started smoking them.


We generally try to avoid smoking things ROTT, but there's not some 30-day rule or anything. 

3 weeks ago on Ramón Allones Perfectos (ER Suiza 2014)

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@Drew I haven't weighed it, but it's not substantially heavier than a typical humidor. There are some humidor manufacturers that actually use stone bases, this would not appear to be one of them.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Adorini Black Slate Deluxe L

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Okay. Not sure what happened between this year and last year (it's the same way we displayed this and the consensus, but clearly something went awry.) Simplified version up.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on 2014 Awards: halfwheel 25

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@Srbbones We named a Cuban as our top cigar in 2013, but I think until we change our qualifications it's going to be hard for any non-Reserva Cuban to win.


Each time we review an ER or an EL relatively fresh, we hear the responses that we should wait and it will get better—a statement that I think is true in most cases. The problem is, for this list, the cigars must be new. So Cuba is in a bit of a catch-22. I think the Añejados series makes things interesting and the Reservas would be contenders on paper—if of course HSA put one out in 2014.


We made a bit better effort to get Cubans reviewed—there will be another ER reviewed tomorrow—and it's going to continue. The move to review regular production cigars will make things easier, we are planning on covering the festival, etc. It's a process. I think the biggest issue with Cuba and reviews right now is that they generally concentrate them, particularly the limited ones, that sort of screwed things up.


If there was another Cuban that debuted fresh as well as the La Escepción, I think you'd see it in here. I surely didn't smoke all the ERs from last year, but what I smoked amongst the ERs and ELs wouldn't suggest any was that good fresh.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on 2014 Awards: halfwheel 25

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@Charlie86 Hmm. Definitely want to find a better solution.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on 2014 Awards: halfwheel 25

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@Patrick Lagreid @Charlie86 That is what I was told.

4 weeks ago on Ilja VIII

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@Charlie86 @Full Puff Neither of those are scheduled. Not sure we would really considered the Liga Privada No. 9 Corona/Black Rat a unicorn per se, particularly compared to what Ligas we've reviewed as part of this week.

4 weeks ago on Davidoff Diademas 100

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@maxx Competition always brings out the best. XIKAR may or may not want a bit more of a challenge, but for consumers and retailers—it would be much better.

1 month ago on Ten Questions for 2015

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@Truth Only 83 stories about smoking bans.

1 month ago on Another (Holy Grail Week)

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Congrats Morgan. Thanks all for entering.

1 month ago on Room101 Uncle Lee

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@Full Puff @Patrick Lagreid To be clear, they could be. Davidoff lets each of the retailers pick any of the blends, even if another has selected the same one.

1 month, 1 week ago on Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary

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Congrats to our winner @MattyBlayze. Donation was already made.

1 month, 1 week ago on Viva Republica / C4W V-Day Limited Edition Charitable Release

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@MattyBlayze And congrats. You are the winner. Details on what to do next are here: http://halfwheel.com/contest-rules

1 month, 1 week ago on Viva Republica / C4W V-Day Limited Edition Charitable Release

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@Marty f I hear both of you and in some way, I agree with you two a lot. I wish I had a good solution to reviewing Cuban cigars, here's my best shot at explaining why we do things the way we do, always open for a better solution.


1. If we don't review any new Cubans, no Cubans make our Top 25.

2. There are a few Cubans—albeit mainly Colleción Habanos, ELs, Gran Reservas and Reservas—that have smoked quite well fresh. I definitely wouldn't say all ERs are just going to have to wait two years because they say ERs.

3. Plenty of people smoke these fresh, just like plenty of people smoke FFOX fresh. Sure, I'll grant you that most people smoking ERs in the U.S. are probably taking a different approach, but people that are buying the cigars in foreign shops are not just buying them with the intent on waiting.

4. While there have been a rash of newer Cubans reviewed lately, if you look at the rest of the year, it was mostly older Cubans with a fair bit of rest.


Much like when Andre Farkas said Viajes oftentimes need six months, I do firmly believe that once a manufacturer releases a cigar, it can be reviewed. There are people that will not wait and as Brooks once pointed in out in a very similar argument with me a few years ago—in many cases, people aren't going to have the opportunity to wait a few weeks to make a buying decision (not saying that is happening here) before the cigar is sold out.


Finally, we try to treat things fairly. Our goal is not to smoke these cigars when we think they are going to be at their peak, but rather, smoke them when the review can be most relevant. Habanos has shown over the years that it can make a great cigar, even a great cigar off the truck, it's not our job to sit around and wait for that to happen, and if it doesn't, that's why we do redux reviews.


Thanks for reading/commenting guys. Once again, open to suggestions. (Not putting cigars in the microwave prior to review though.)

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Por Larrañaga Sobresalientes (ER Great Britain 2014)

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@Charlie86 The first comment won once. IIRC.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Viva Republica / C4W V-Day Limited Edition Charitable Release

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@Barry2Guys That's what the slash is for. Dash would have meant they were one.

2 months, 1 week ago on Oliva & Padilla Ending Distribution Relationship

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@DavidHolmes1 Lines are so blurry. How do you separate CI, Corona, Atlantic, Holt's, Smoke Inn, Famous, JR, Serious. All have physical stores, some are family businesses, some are owned by big corporations—all are trying to do the same thing.


The smaller manufacturers are going to take orders from who they get them from and who they think will best represent the product. I find it interesting that the companies that continue to produce "brick and mortar only" products are consistently Altadis/General.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Warped Slates Don Reynaldo for December (Update)

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@DavidHolmes1 Supposed to be out this month as of the summer. Dion told me on numerous occasions that he was going to try to coordinate the release with the magazine.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Illusione Pactum Becomes Latest Smoke Inn Microblend Series

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@MilanKalinovic Thanks. Fixed.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Bolívar Super Coronas (EL 2014)

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@TNZ Good catch. GCC price sheet says 14.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on CAO Celebrating Holidays With Nasty Nutcracker & Rabid Reindeer

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Winner announced. Congrats Jay.

3 months ago on Tatuaje The Jekyll

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Winner announced. Congrats Ian.

3 months ago on Camacho Double Shock Toro

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@Skip Martin Probably had nothing to do with your iPhone 6, we had a setting screwed up. Should work now.

3 months ago on Prairie Bomb!

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@Charlie86 No, no. Cigar reviews have been a bit slow this week because I've been out of town. Should have our normal weekday review later this evening.

3 months ago on Announcing Tenemu

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@SydneyUyLiquete They did a humidor, not a cigar to my knowledge.

3 months, 1 week ago on Davidoff Limited Edition 2014 Year of the Horse

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Winner announced. Thanks all.

3 months, 1 week ago on Crémo Clutch City Horsepower Toro (Prerelease)

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@BMP_Emmett You are totally correct. Originally had 2012 for both mentions, including the final notes one, realized I needed to change one, changed both I guess. Thanks for pointing that out.

3 months, 1 week ago on A. Flores 1975 Serie Privada 46

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@Charlie86 Can you actually not see the score? 

3 months, 1 week ago on La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse

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@Charlie86 Will definitely take that into account in the future. It was a very complex cigar, lost a few points for some minor burn issues as was mentioned above. The vegetal flavor was something much different than how I normally discuss "vegetal."

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Tennessee Waltz

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@Capttrips Don't think that's the case at all. The amount of support they are giving Camacho would suggest a lot more than a necessary evil. (Also, look what happened with Cusano, Davidoff won't support things just because they paid for it.)


I think the current Camacho line-up is far better than what we saw circa 2011.

4 months ago on Camacho Liberty 2014

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@fritolaye @fritolayes Had to edit your post.

4 months, 1 week ago on Caldwell Cigar Co. to Open The Honeycomb Hideout

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@dancrago You are correct.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on La Flor Dominicana Capitulo II (Prerelease)

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@Patrick Lagreid @RodrigoDeJerez Yes. The process of applying gold dust to bands/boxes that is commonly used is not legal in the U.S. There are only a handful of people that create bands for the cigar industry. I would venture to guess that most of the cigars you see on this site are made by one of three companies.

Vrijdag is the one that handles a lot of the gold work, like Fuente Fuente OpusX.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Viaje Satori Arya

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@Havana Connections Jason Thanks for chiming in here. I know there are some retailers that don't use USPS out of practice, but I'm a bit confused why it would't work.

Personally, the $11 for multiple packs is fine, but it's for those that order a single pack, where it ends up adding ~$3.65 per cigar. 

4 months, 4 weeks ago on Second Batch of Tatuaje CiGWAR Heading to Havana Connections, 2015 Edition Planned

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@DJSmith @Gooey They are free to run their business how they want, but the fact these could be packed in flat rate boxes with newspaper for half the price is disappointing.

4 months, 4 weeks ago on Second Batch of Tatuaje CiGWAR Heading to Havana Connections, 2015 Edition Planned

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@maxx Yes. They got the August box, the story has ben updated.

5 months ago on Ninth Box of Quesada España Ninfas Heads to Atlantic Cigar Co.

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@Komodota I've got some. It will get reviewed at some point, just trying to get through everything else on the schedule.

5 months ago on CLE Adds Signature Series PLdM

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@Gooey Didn't take it as such. One of the reasons we stopped posting press releases verbatim was because of how much info is normally missing. Press releases as a medium in the cigar world have changed a lot given that 90 percent of the people who are sent them will just copy and paste. It's not a press release, so much as it's a post.

As always, I wish we had more info, doubt it's coming though.

5 months ago on Barrister Cigars to Get First “Tienda Exclusiva by Willy Herrera” (Update)

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Congrats to the winner @fritolaye 

5 months, 1 week ago on JOYA RED Robusto (Prerelease)

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@fritolaye And you (@fritolaye) are the belated winner. Contest rules are here: http://halfwheel.com/contest-rules

5 months, 1 week ago on JOYA RED Robusto (Prerelease)

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