After writing up my thoughts on Ave Maria, I got an email from a guy who was part of a customer trip to Nicaragua in September. I read his, then scrapped mine. He says it all:
"....the surprise highlight (by far): Ave Maria. Arriving in Esteli late I was jet-lagged and dragging the next morning. Come noon I was seven cigars deep and hadn't had lunch yet. So when his factory manager approached us with a new tray of Ave Maria cigars from the packing room, I just about puked. He had a serious look in his eye though, and ceremoniously announced in broken English that this was a "berry special proyect" he started two years prior that's finally set to be released. I politely accepted. The artwork/band was stunning and the wrapper looked like it came right off the pages of a magazine. I'd pick this one out of a lineup any day based on looks. So good was it that I lowered my expectations....can't tell you how many times I've been let down by cigars with great style points. I thought my taste buds would be fried but lit er up anyhow. It was the only one I burned down to my fingers that trip (and still wanted more!)....next morning after a good rest I made this the first smoke of the day, to give it a fully unbiased review on a fresh palate. Boom. Wrapper: flawless. Construction: spot on. Flavor: rich, smooth, balanced, refined, complex....I'm at a loss for more adjectives. The thing that struck me most about it- it's the most complete cigar I can recall. If you want a knock-yer-head-off powerhouse, Ave Maria is not it...same token if you like mild, look elsewhere. Everywhere in between though, this one's masterful. The finest I can remember smoking. I since downed 8 more over the next day and a half of the trip. Blown away. Ship me 2 boxes off your shipment as soon as they land."
Ave Maria has also received well-deserved praise from some highly respected folks in the cigar industry:
“This is a cigar you could easily pay $8 apiece for.” - Nestor Plasencia
“It’s got a distinctive sweetness to it.” - Pete Johnson (Tatuaje)
“This is definitely a premium cigar....well-balanced....this is a hit.” - Doug Wood (La Perla Habana)
“I’m enjoying the heck out of it. I’ve already asked for a second cigar.” - Carlos Diez (Puros Indios)
From order to arrival was 3 days, cigars came properly packaged and appear in perfect condition. The "lionheart" might be the most solid box press I've ever seen, perfect rectangular shape, similar to the AJ Fernandez New World. Gonna let them rest before lighting one up.
Patrick F.✔ Verified Buyer
5 out of 5
Excellent medium body smoke
Sep 17, 2015
Beautiful medium body smoke that consistently delivers. As always CI delivers fast and for a good price
4 out of 5
Sep 16, 2015
Very good cigar. Moderately priced, attractive label etc.
dawn h.✔ Verified Buyer
5 out of 5
Sep 02, 2015
Very easy to order for my husband's birthday. Shipped right on time. Very convenient.
mary t.✔ Verified Buyer
5 out of 5
Aug 24, 2015
I have loved these cigars every since you started selling them. One of the best.
Are all the names just ave marias different sizes? I had the knights templar and would like to try the belicoso, are they the same fillers, wrappers,etc?
07/23/2013by MW of Monaca, PA
Yes, just sizes. All the components are exactly the same. Due to the wrapper being a bigger proportion of the blend as the ring gague goes down you'll notice across all brands that flavors will change slightly. Often times for the better.
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