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Add me to the list of Ave Maria converts. I'm new to cigar smoking and have been trying samplers, like some other newcomers, to figure out what I like and don't like. I was a bit nervous about trying a "pricey" cigar but I hadn't read any negative reviews and I'll admit I was a sucker for the band. I used the "buy 4 get 5th free" promo here on CI and selected some different styles. Not wanting to jump too fast into anything, I let them sit in my newly cured, set up, humidor for about a week. These are worth EVERY...SINGLE...PENNY I paid for them. I've only had one so far but it was hard to put down and I look forward to my next one. I can't afford this as an everyday smoke but it has become my Friday Favorite or "Special Occasion."
After all the hype and superlatives heaped all over this cigar well, Ava Maria me. The cigar had a pleasant taste at the start but i keep waiting for a change and/or some complexity....it never changed. Start to finish. I'm not saying it's not a good stick....that's just my take.
I had my first Ave Maria yesterday. You are absolutely correct. Loved it.
I'm not quite a contrarian on these, but I'm not on the bandwagon. I've smoked 3 of the knights templar and enjoyed each, but given all the bombast with which CI introduced these, I'm a little disappointed. Very good construction, nice aroma, good burn - nothing to whine about, it's just sort of like a .270 hitter. The band is perhaps the most impressive thing about this stick - more hat than cattle to slightly twist the adage. This is a very good cigar but I'd rather have a Punch Deluxe, or a Hemmingway, or an RP Decade, or a Padilla Miami, or a Romeo y Julieta 1875, or a Tarano Exodus, or ..... you get my point.
My partner and I visited the Super Store this past Friday and a huge thank you to Joe for all his suggestions and help. We smoked our first Ave Maria and it truly is nothing short of divine.
I'm a big fan of the re-review, so here we go. Wanna know how good this cigar is? First of all, know that I only buy decent cigars. Second, I've recently found myself less excited about the cigars I'm having .. "Am I not that into cigars anymore," I wondered. I just lit up one of my Ave's, and answered my question. It's fantastic, and I'm plenty excited about it. If you appreciate the finer things, or just want to impress casual cigar buff friends with something that doesn't say Monte Cristo on it, bust out a couple of these; be a connoisseur; be damn happy about it.
Went to the Thirsty Thursday event last night at the Bethlehem CI store -- great time. They were rolling out the Ave Maria, and so we all got to try it. Very nice smoke, indeed. Easily recommendable. Medium stick, nice burn, very tasty. A little on the full side of medium as it burns through. Smoked mine down to a fragment of a nub!
I am now on my third box of Ava Maria Lionhearts. This has become my new favorite cigar and will now be a regular in the rotation. They are good any time of the day, they burn perfect everytime and they are consistently so damn good. I like them better than CAO black, which has been a long time favorite. Although I hate to part with my Ava Maria's, the few I have given to friends have received rave reviews. If you like your cigars medium to full bodied, smooth and flavorful Ava Maria is your ticket to cigar bliss.
Very nice smoke. Solid medium body until you get to the last 1/3 where it amps up. Flawless solid construction, great draw and an excellent burn through out. Vanilla, nut and a touch of leather with a smooth finish. I've gone through a half a dozen and see a box of them in my future.
just tried my first ... very niice ... not mild ... nor strong ... just is ... all the way to nub ... very good experience ... lots of leather and earth in it .. if you like that ... definitely try a 5 pack at least ...
simply outstanding. you get what you pay for in this cigar.
I just smoked the Arc of the Convenant 4.5X60 and it was outstanding. It was full flavored with a hint of sweetness, which is common with Corojo wrappers. It started out medium bodied in the first third and was medium to full bodied in the last two thirds. It had a great draw and burn also. Highly recommended, if I rated it I would give it a 92.
Happy Holidays, you fantastic folks at CI!!!
I just had to weigh in on the Ave Maria which I had included on my last order. Besides masterful branding... I mean look at that label for crying out loud, it oozes opulence, exclusivity and charm. To that end, great job. I had a couple of Holy Grails at my fingertips to try, and was excited to try them. The finely matured habano wrapper is the clue that you are in for a treat! But the buttery, creamy Esteli fillers tell you, you are about be switched up... ever so pleasantly.
This stick gives off a majestic plume and as you get to the last third of this fine medium-bodies beauty... you pick up a nice leathery finish. For its foray into the world of boutique cigars, not a bad way to get started.
My rate on this stick: 90
OMG! AWESOME! Simply Aweseome. Medium at the stat with light complex flavors of cedar, earthness and smooth. Half way she turns it up a step get a lil more kick by bringing in a lil bit of spice. PLUS! The gets more complex by the puff. If you looking for a Med don't smoke it past the wrapper. if you want a Awesome MED that get a lil more of a kick at you go on this is the smoke from you. Don't know if anyone will care but I am what they called a "Pro Palete" at a local Cigar Club. I tend to read Cigas better them some.
I sampled my first Ave Maria on New Year's Eve. It will not be my last. I enjoyed every puff, down to the nub. Excellent flavor, excellent construction and even though it has nothing to do with the flavor or quality of the stick, you have to love the band.
This is a wonderful stick. Even burning all the way through, near perfect balance without the harsh start of most full bodied beauties. I believe the write up on this one to be very accurate, but the price is a little up there. Waiting for a good special or sampler/freebie might be the way to go if you've on a budget, or for somebody who wants to try one. I would say you'd be a fool not to take on a box of these for a flavorful seasoned warriors.
I got the 8 sampler w/ the Hail Mary in Latin on the top of the box. The awesome band and the presentation is exceptional. I began w/ the corona sized claremont,because AJ has an affinity w/ this shape and did not find it to be the best example of the blend. moving to the robusto crusader what a difference! this is what everyone is talking about,very flavorful with an effortless draw and tastes of creamy cedar and some baking spice on the nose.i liked the churchill the best and would buy again.
Have had two Holy Grails after a month or so of aging....Great Cigar. Construction, draw, burn, and flavor are all top notch. Nicely done CI.
The reviews of this cigar are no joke! This is one fine cigar! Great draw, awesome flavors, very well balanced. It has moved straight to the top of my cigar buying list! Very pleased with it...thanks CI for bringing it to us!
First and foremost...if you are not an AJ Fernandez fan by now you should be. Everything this guy makes is simply expert. Great flavors, construction,etc. and excellent price points. Ave Maria is no exception to anything above mentioned. It did have a strong "Cayenne" pepper to it but I liked it.
I've had two so far...both right after I received my sampler. Excellent all the way around. Easy light, long ash, great flavor...for once a cigar that actually deserves to be "pricey" (at least it is pricey to me).
This is a strong medium to full bodied smoke. Believe all the reviews these smokes are FANTASTIC!!! I strongly urge anyone whom is in the market for a winner to pick up a box of these before the price goes through the ceiling!
Now i Know what all the talk is about. I recieved one in a sampler and let it nap for a few months. I lit it up yesterday and found out what everyone was talking about. This could be my new favorite.
I was excited with great anticipation when I heard about these great tasty sticks. A.J., in my book is the greatest maker. What got me with the Ave Marias, was the smoothness with out giving up on flavor.Slightly complex in and out with deeper flavors building towards the middle,then leather and earthy through the end.Taste almost like the diesel unlimited only much lighter. The construction quality and burn is exceptional as is all his smokes. Mild enough for the morning or anytime. I think this is going to score well.
I received the Ave maria Knights Templar in a combo package, and was interested in trying it based on the other great reviews. And I have to say that the positive feedback was absolutely on target. A very fine cigar with full flavor and a medium strength that is sure to please even the most discriminating palette.
There is (as Pete Johnson describes) a distinctive sweetness to this cigar that makes it a rich, satisfying smoke, that I guarantee will be a hit with most anyone who tries it. Not the best cigar I've ever smoked, nor the most complex, but terrific nonetheless. And at the current price point, an absolute no brainer.
I started seeing crazy good reviews about this stick, and I just had to try. I was in shock and Awe with how amazing this beauty is. Wonderful taste, a great burn, and instantly this cigar was added as a favorite of mine.
Great Stick, just finished the last one out of the box of 20 of the Knights Templar. Great even burn, smooth taste, and wonderful smoke.
Will be recommended to the whole club.
This is a stick that lived up to the hype! I'll be back!
The person who said these sticks need to lay up in a humidor was right. Just an opinion. But these aren't for the maduro lovers. Still they're a nice stogie for the pepper people in the house.
Was given some Ave Maria St. George's by a friend. After just a few tasty puffs I knew this was going to be a wonderful smoke. Great flavor, perfect draw and burn. This is everything you could ever want in a top-notch cigar. This cigar also has one of the most artistic bands I have ever seen. Has quickly become my favorite. I am saving the rest for special occasions.
I've smoked a lot of cigars in my short time on earth, however; I'd have to say that the Ava Maria is something special. Great burn, generous smoke and the flavor and aroma is unbelievable. For the guys at CI, keep up the good work. I've never been disappointed with your suggestions and shipping. Even up here in the far north of ND.
All I can say is wow!! Very smooth, Great flavor! Got to get more!!
These cigars are the reason I get up and go to work every morning. There's nothing like sitting on the back porch after a long day with a good single malt, my dog and an Ave Maria. Makes me smile.
I want to be as careful as I can, without taking away anything from this cigar. Every review has been postive, and I have no desire to change that, but one has to review according to their experience with the cigar. I ordered 5 of the 5 of the 7.4 X 54, and I just finished my second one. When you have a cigar in your hand that is as well made, wonderful to look at, and you need more than an hour to smoke it. It also burns pretty even all the way down, with a smooth draw until the half way mark. At that point unlike the first Ava Maria I smoked, the draw became less, and the smoke was like dashing pepper on my tongue. Since the first one didn't act in this manner, I trust that I received one that was not made properly. Had I have written this review after the firs Ava Maria, it would have looked like the others who have written. However, just finishing my second one, it has left me a little confused. I smoke full bodied cigars, but this second one knocked me on my butt. In fact, with 5 inches still left, I wondered if I was going to be able to finish it due to the amount of pepper taste burning my tongue and mouth. That being said, it is a work of art to watch it smoke, and I left the ash on until 2 1/4 (I measured) was still attached to the cigar. Being a person who doesn't like to waste money and put a cigar out ahead of time, I smoked it to the nub. Regardless of what my experience was on the second cigar, this is a cigar worth you ordering a 5 pack to form your own thoughts concerning this cigar. In agreement with another reviewer, this is a high priced cigar, and one I can't afford to purchase on a regular basis. It's not so much lack of money as it is better cigars at a lower price. I will go out on a limb and say there are not many that look as good as this one, and smoke as even as the Ava Maria. In addition, I have a real problem with any cigar that has a pepper taste. When that word is used in describing a flavor of a cigar, maybe you can help me out by telling me why pepper is a good thing? I can't ever recall seeing a person grab the pepper shaker and put some in their mouth.
I'm not as good as others when it comes to the different flavors that dance around on their palate while smoking certain cigars. However, I'm far from a novice when it comes to knowing good cigars. The Ave Maria 6 X 54 gives you plenty of smoke time, and remains smooth all the way to the finish. This is a cigar that is a pleasure to smoke, and one that doesn't have to be manicured while smoking. With it's long ash, even burn, huge smoke clouds, and the simple beauty of it's looks. Creates a cigar experience found in only a select few, found at higher dollar amounts. If full in body, you will never know it due to no sign of harhness on the palate. If you enjoy a cigar for the good tobacco, and a slight hint of spice you will enjoy the Ave Maria.
Just had the Clermont and although I was hesitant before lighting it, I was pleasantly suprised after the third puff. Smooth all the way through, even burn thoughout, subtle flavors but definately a cigar I can smoke everyday and not get bored. The band is beautiful, and the cigar is well worth it.
I tried one right off the truck and hated it, but after about 2 months in the humi, I tried again and boy what a difference. The flavors mellowed out so nicely. Best 1 1/2 hour smoke I've had in a while!
Just unzipped a box of Crusader's . You will find no dissapointments in this fine smoke. Rich in flavor and as smooth as a mild. The presentation is a work of art. Forget numeric ratings and just call this one " Two thumbs up ".
I'm new to cigar smoking, so I've been ordering samplers in order to find just what I liked. I was drawn to the Ave Maria by the great looking band and positive reviews, but I could never find the right sampler, so I went ahead and bought a single. When it arrived I gave it a few days while I tried the other singles I had purchased. But when I did finally try it, I knew right away I had found my favorite cigar. Right out of the package it smelled unlike any other cigar I had tried. The burn was even and the draw was very smooth with lots of thick smoke. The taste was great and unlike other cigars, didn't leave that stinging sensation in my mouth. I enjoyed it so much, I actually forgot I was in Afghanistan! I'm definately ordering a box to meet me when I get home. This cigar with a wee dram of Balvenie DoubleWood and some time to myself and everything else will just melt away.
WOW! Although I am a mild/mild-medium guy, these cigars are fantastic. Not overwhelming at all. Great flavor, very smooth, easy to light, very enjoyable. A cigar as beautiful as the lady/song for which they are named.
Not taking the time to read other reviews, since I didn't want them to influence my thinking. I received the 6 X 54 Toro in the Choice Cuts Premium 54 (A sampler pack you need to try). This cigar made me realize why I am among those who understand the love a fine cigar. There is nothing I know to say about this smoke that is negative. In fact, I would place this cigar not far away from Cubans. One can make that statement, if they have had the chance to smoke the divine sticks several times. This was my first encounter with Ava Maria, but you can bet your life in want be the last. I will not attempt to express the flavors, since I never was offered the class in college or grad school that demonstrated how to taste leather, white paper, chalk board eraser (ha, just tossed that one in there), or many other decriptions that are used by those more intelegent than I am. Oh, I do know what pepper tase like, that should account for something. Being serious, and having much respect for those who know how to find the correct way to introduce the flavors. This cigar is packed with the type of feather I love, and it doesn't have any pepper.
This is a cigar that you need to resist the temptation to smoke when it arrives at your home. I did that and had a real bad impression of the cigar. However, now that they have been in my humidor awhile. The second one I smoked (laid in humidor for several days) was so much better in every area that the one I tried as soon as they arrived.
These make me glad I'm Catholic!
Great cigar. The wrapper was what you want it to be no flaws nice sheen on it. Smoked great, just like a Monte Cristo white label might be better. Smoked it till it was burning my fingers. Get some.
Friend gave me the 6 x 48....Quite a good smoke. I'll look for a combo or box special in the future to take advantage of a stick I know I'll like!
After reading the reviews, I ordered the five-pack of Ave Maria "Lionheart"cigars and found them to be a very nice cigar! I am a mild to mild/medium cigar person and these don't let you down.The cigars draw easy and have a nice flavor ( with a hint of pepper ), and a nice aroma. As of now, these are not available in my area, so I'll be ordering more! Very nice cigar! Nice job!
Smoked my first two Ave's that came in a sampler and when I saw the freebies offer ordered a box. Great smooth smoke with a solid construction and even burn. Appropriately flavorful without overpowering the senses.
I love everything about this cigar... Very smooth, just the right amount of spice, nice burn, thick smoke, and flavor profile changes every 1/3rd or so. Well worth the premium tag, and a steal during JAMs. AJ Fernandez is the man... er 'El Hombre'
These cigars, no matter what shape or size, are an absolute great smoke. Hands down the best cigars I've ever had. By no means am I an expert on cigars, however, for a night out with the boys ever weekend, we grab a smoke, and all five of us prefer Ave Maria Cigars while we shoot billiards, have a couple drinks, party, go out to eat, play cards, or even just sit in our lounge chairs and watch television. The Cigars are perfect, not mild and not too full. The best cigars for any occasion. To Ave Maria, we salute you.
Great tasting medium smoke with some pepper in the first inch or so. I saw a few reviews that say too much pepper. It really does taste great though, it has a very nutty taste that I couldn't get enough of. HOWEVER, these sticks (at least the 6 I had) had some construction issues. They are extremely delicate too...I don't give my two cents on anything be it booze or beer unless I've had several tastes, and I just think Ave Maria's are good but not great. Try the fat camp sampler to get some great sticks and to try 3 Ave Marias if you desire.
This cigar has one of most attractive wraps I have seen. Once lit, the oils come oozing out. Medium strength and full flavored in an underlying way. Very creamy with a touch of spice and pleasant nutty aromas. Too mild for me to finish the day but a great way to start it off.
The toro tastes just like a Gran Habano Vintage 2002. Not a bad thing, by any means! Oh... Except for the wallet thing. However, at the time I purchased a box, I got a lighter and five Red Dots... Thanks for hookin' it up CI!!!
After reading all the positive reviews, I decided to try a 5-pack of the Lion-heart Box Pressed. The big green truck finally arrived seven weeks ago with my box of treasures. I decided to smoke one right off the truck and that may have been a mistake. The construction was flawless with a fantastic aroma. Too much pepper for me and I really did not enjoy the smoke. The burn was even and did not go out after sitting for 5 minutes unattended several times. I tried another today after seven weeks in the humidor. I will tell you that the cigar had mellowed out tremendously. The pepper was completely gone, taste was mild to slightly moderate with lots of smoke. Honestly, I enjoyed the smoke....The taste remained the same until the last inch when it got a little bitter. I may order again, but there are plenty more smokes available at CI that are more sophisticated and much cheaper.
Absolutely Love Ave Maria's. Usually I pick them a 5 pack at a time. I finally broke down bought a box of 20 crusaders, that came with 5 Cohiba red dots and a lighter. Loved that deal so much I reordered and just yesterday got in a box of Ave Maria Reconquista- so much beauty inner coffins and surrounded by leaf. I must say I usually smoke Macanudos and Cohiba Red dots, but I am falling in Love with Ave Maria.
I really wanted to enjoy these. I love the band and the great reviews given them had me looking forward to trying them. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with them. They were too loosely rolled. Even a friend of mine tried one and he said it was like smoking a cigarette. The slightest inhale (suck) and my mouth was filled with smoke. I punch, so it's the same for every cigar I smoke. It was an even burn but very fast. I am hoping to try another one from a different batch to see if the 5 I got was from a bad batch.
I'm usually not a Churchill fan, but received a new humidor for fathers day with these included. They have been in the box for over 2 months now, until today. Most Churchill's I have had have been boring, giving you 7-9 inches of the "same ole thing"...not in this case! It transitioned from leather to spicy pepper and back to mellow sweet nicely and often. Rich tobaccos slipped in and out and this cigar was never boring....all the way to the nub....a pleasant surprise to me.
Bought a box of Churchills a few weeks ago, and have been waiting until New Years Eve to light one up. What a magnificent cigar. Great flavors, solid construction, and an even burn line all the way down to the nub. I'll make sure I always have some of these around.
One of the tastiest cigars I've had, but the uneven burn is a little irritating.
With all it's hype I expected much more than I received.
I found this stick to be nothing more than an expensive
lawn mowing cigar. The construction and burn was top notch'
however the taste was flat and boring. No complexity at all.
Sorry, I know i'm in the minority here but...
This is an AWESOME cigar, not only do I think the lighter and band is cool, it's definitely in my top 3 favorites right now
Can't say anything that hasn't already been said. I can just say that these are one of my favorite cigars. Not too mild, not too heavy. Good all around. Treat yourself.
Just got 5 of these in a sampler and tried one right off the truck. Very smooth, nice burn, good flavor, but not complex. Hopefully some time in the humidor will improve them.
I absolutely love these cigars. They are every bit as good as you've heard. Great smoke.
If you like smoking the Monte Cristo #2, but cringe at paying the price, the Ave Maria St George is just as good, if not better! For the past 2 years, I've handed these cigars out to clients who have complimented on the quality of the cigar and many have become loyal Ave Maria customers!
I don't know what or why it took me so long to try one of these? A buddy gave me one and I was so impressed....That I ordered a box that night! That was 3 boxes ago. I just ordered my 4th of the Crusador and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. A well rolled Medium bodied Cigar that for the money. You just can't beat. As so many others have pointed out the level of complexity is just fantastic. So many makers strive for this type of Cigar. And fall way short. If you have any doubts about trying these? Don't. Order a 5 pack. I'll bet you order a box before your done with it! Hell. Maybe like me. Before the first ones finished!
I got 5 of the Lionhearts through the build-your-own sampler, and at first drag, I was disappointed. I always look forward to new flavors from cigars, but this one just tasted a little airy. About a 1/2 inch into though, it got pretty good. Mild, smooth, easy to smoke, it's everything I heard that it was. Not really any special flavors that I could tell, but definitely no bad tastes either. It's my LT's new favorite cigar after I sadly parted with one through a trade for an unnamed Nicaraguan. Definitely worth it for special occasions, but a little too pricey to be an everyday cigar
I'm pretty new to cigar smoking, so like most I've been buying samplers. I got 2 Ave Maria Knights Templar in the Delicious Dozen II (amazing) and they were probably my favorite. I have since had some big name cigars (Oliva, Cohiba, Rocky Patel, La Herencia to name a few) and the Ave's have remained my favorite. I'll try more brands, but can't wait to order more of these. They have a smooth draw, great taste and after taste, and a nice ash. Incredible cigar.
I just had my first St. George and my first Ave Maria. By George I think you've got a winner here. Definitely on the full side, somewhere between a Rocky Patel 15th anniversary and a Gloria Cubana Series R. Had a great draw and burn, a steady smoke all the way to the end. Already adding these to my list of go to cigars.
I normally smoke full bodied & flavored cigars in the Robusto size. Saw a freebie deal on Ave Marias. 10 free Salomans w/box order. Ordered a box of Crusaders. I like Aves well enough, but was very surprised at the Holy Grail's (Saloman) oomph from the get go. Great smoke! Like it even better in the larger size. Thanks for the great deal CI!
I just purchased a box of 8 salomons and 5 of them had cracked heads from the point right up to the cigar band. This came with a free 10 pack which were in perfect shape. Boxes are not opened before shipping for inspection. As far as the flavour, I smoked churchills aged six months and was not overly impressed with flavour or complexity. Maybe a smaller ring gauge would bring out a stronger flavour on the wrapper. My personal favourite is the special edicion man of war, it has a great taste profile with leather, coco,and is refined and balanced with strength.
I am a novice cigar smoker, but from the top cigars I managed to get my hands on, this is surely in my top 5 hands down. I tried the Lionheart from the build your own sampler. Its a medium smoke that tastes great, has a nice, easy draw that creates a pleasant cloud of smoke. I've recommended it to "experienced" smokers at a private club I currently work at, and they thanked me for introducing them to this fine product.
OMG! These are the best cigars I ever tried. I always make my own samplers because trying to find my brands is tough, but the last 2 days I've been enjoying the Ave Maria and wow! So smooth, so well blended. I recommend it A++
As an intermediate smoker who has sampled a wide variety of cigars, I have to say this is an impressive cigar for the money. Nice even burning with a nice smoke. The draw is a bit light compared to others in the same range but not at all a hinderance. Flavor is a medium leather with a very light hint of pepper followed by clean wood. Smooth but not so much so youre unable to distinguish the smoke and flavor. The cigars themselves are aesthetically pleasing with its wrap and the leaf itself. Overall I found it to be very enjoyable.
While this isn't the best cigar I've ever had, it is probably the best $6 cigar I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Bravo. Got five in a sampler a few months back. After smoking 3 of them, I decided I had to order a full box.
Ave Maria Lionhearts have become a favorite of mine. I got them in a sampler and decided to smoke one at the VFW with some friends. This is by far in my Top 10 favorite cigars.
Just finished my 2nd smoke and I cannot say enough about how good this cigar is! Has that nice full flavor that creeps down your throat and it maintains a good amount of spice even after the halfway mellow point...This is a must have in my humidor from now on.
Well I gave them a shot and I enjoy them, but for all the hype that these receive, I just don't get it. I admit the box and wrappers are highly attractive and the smoke is decent, but I have to agree with the .270 hitter comment, they're just nothing other than decent.
I just finished smoking an Ave Maria St. George. A very good cigar. Draws and burns well. I smoked it to about 1.5" with no bitter taste nearing the end. I received this in the Angrier Men sampler. Will have to buy more in the near future.
PHENOMENAL! ....Ave Maria is at the top of my cigar list for spectacular smokes. My boy and I had to try some after we read the reviews here on CI from all the other cigar company execs, so we ordered a 5 pack of the Charlemagnes (we like to enjoy a nice, long smoke). For such a huge stoge, the flavor was consistent throughout, and it was excellent, to say the least. I will definitely be ordering more of these babies soon, possibly the sampler pack and see which size I like the most. Regardless, Ave Maria has a nice little Protestant boy considering saying a Hail Mary. Hats off to this brand, and to CI for the great reviews and pushing it.
Started off this morning with an Ave Maria, big mistake. Now I am spoiled for the rest of the day. The cigar is that good. Great draw...great burn...great flavor! What more could you ask for?
One feels the need to make up a word to describe these. Fantastical....
Just finished my third Ave Maria and the conclusion is A++++++. A little pepper when first lit, then comes the spice, not the spice that gives you a headache or makes you oozy, very nice clean spicy taste, kinda sweet. The last half of the cigar becomes quite a bit more flavorful slowly losing the spice and ending up kind of like a Hair of the Dog, but not as strong. A beautiful cigar with a nice slow burn. I like it!
Barbarossa (churchill) (7.0"x48)...Sitting here still sucking on my stogie. The ash finally fell off at 2". What a fantastic cigar. Started out mild with a little spice. Picking up in flavor as it burns. WOW...I really like this cigar!
Ark of the Covenant (gordo) (4.5"x60)...A great fat little cigar. My only complaint is the gorgeous, but huge band. I hate it when you take off a band and it breaks the wrapper. MAKE THE LABEL SMALLER SO THE GLUE IS AT THE NUB OF THE CIGAR WHERE IT BELONGS! Then, if it breaks the wrapper, it will be at the nub, not halfway through the cigar.
I am a full cigar fan. I recently smoked an Ark of the Covenant and it blew my pants off. It was kind of unremarkable other than the fact it kicked my pants right off. The flavors don't mature over the cigar, but that being said it was a good, smooth smoke. I think it's closer to a fuller cigar than a medium, but to each his own. It's definitely a sit down and smoke cigar. The best deal I would say is if you can get one in a sampler or special....
If you want a good medium cigar at a decent price, look no further than Ave Maria. I prefer the Knights Templar toro size.
This cigar (Ave Maria, TORO) is nearly perfect. Great amounts of thick tasty smoke, easy draw, even burn and the darn thing is a down right beautiful stick. The construction is flawless in my opinion. For the price this is an everyday cigar with no sacrifice to quality or taste. Three weeks at 69% humidity and you and your mates will be in cigar paradise.
Even after several weeks in the humidor, these taste very "green" and "young". Not sure what all the fuss is about....
I can only describe this stick as wonderful. It starts off with a spicy that hits you in the front of your throat, then mellows a bit as you get into it. Its definitely not a mild, nor a powerhouse, except in flavor. Its complex and enjoyable from start to finish. I find it has a nutty finish with a sweet draw. By far one of my absolute favorites!! I've smoked them through 2 tours of duty in Afghanistan and this smoke is a genuine escape. I love them any time of day. Its heavy in the hand and very well rolled with tons of tobacco. I would reccomend these to anyone, Im partial to the belicoso because i snip them shallow to get a concentrated draw, I love chewing on these every inch of the way. I even find it hard to discard the nub. A good chew, and a GREAT smoke. You wont be dissapointed!!
One of the finest cigars I've ever had the pleasure of smoking. Fine construction, great burn and draw. But the best thing is the taste of this cigar. Just delicious. Tip of the hat to Ave Maria and CI nation!
This is perhaps one of the most beautiful cigars I ever held. Perfectly constructed. Lit easily. Ash will hang on until I knock it off. Burns evenly, with lots of smoke. Only problem is this cigar tastes like a campfire. I don't know what people are talking about when they give this cigar big hype. Perhaps they are trying to justify spending way too much money on a clear loser of a product, or they are novice smokers and are just following what someone else had to say. Save your money and purchase a more proven cigar. And let's remember, just because something is pretty, that doesn't mean it will make you happy!
GREAT CIGAR, full of flavor.
This is phenominal cigar at a pretty decent price. This is one that I would love to smoke every day. Definitely adding it to my Top 10 list.
Just tried my first St George. It's unreal. I will be ordering plenty more. Already told the lady about the wooden taster box for Christmas. I've earned it!
No review could ever do this cigar justice. I smoked the Holy Grail, and it was about as close to it's namesake as a cigar can get. The depth of flavor, the draw, everything about this cigar was excellent. Freud said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", but this one transcends into a religious experience. Sitting with this cigar and your thoughts is truly liberating. I am at a loss for any other words except "Buy a box. It is impossible to pass up such a wonderful experience."
I tried the Ave Maria last year, and thought, "WOW, THIS IS AWESOME!" This cigar is everything that everyone says it is. The only words that do it any justice are "PURELY DELICIOUS." I wanted to make them a special event cigar, but can't hold back that long. I love this smoke! It's pure torture waiting till my next Ave order comes. If you haven't tried one yet, then you are definitely missing out.
Okay.....so I broke the rules and smoked one as soon as they arrived. That's right, and I'm not sorry. This cigar was superb from the minute I opened the box. Very nice feel, solid construction. Has a nice aroma before the light. Started out with a very relaxing creamy taste. There were some very nice flavor changes all the way. I would say it's a medium body, but never harsh. I never had to take the lighter to touch it up. Nice even, slow, cool burn. Can't wait for them to age a bit in the humi........but on this cigar, you can cheat.
Not sure what to say. I kind of wanted these and my wife got me a box for Christmas. Of course I had to make a big deal to her, but I am not impressed. I prefer a good Romeo or something like that. These just didn't grab me. I thought it would be like smoking something heavenly but it was just a spicy smoke.... Not worth the cost. They do have a decent burn though.
Another thing. I see guys here talking about how these or others are not as good off the truck as so many months in the humi, but as for my box, they were boxed in January of 2012, so that means they were in the box for almost TWO YEARS before I got them. How would having them in your personal humidor matter when they have been resting for that long inside a cedar or cedaresque lined box for that long anyway??
I really wanted to like Ave Maria. They are good smokes, well constructed, burn well, but just not worth the premium price or the hype. They're just a good cigar, not a great one.
A brilliant smoke, after trying one from a sampler I had to purchase a box because of my desire to have more. Beautiful wrapper with notes of earth, pepper, and a slight nuttiness. More medium bodied then full during the smoke. The first few puffs may be fuller along with the last few close to the nub. Every single stick I personally have smoked always has contains a solid white ass and an even burn. Never disappointed with the flavor, each stick has been close to the last and they get better with age so throw them in the humi! Ave Maria has become the everyday cigar for myself even though they are slightly more pricey then the competitors, worth every cent.
I'll try all kinds of cigars, ones that are $0.75 a stick to $30.00+ a stick. I tried the Ave Maria Lionhearts just for a new cigar to try and in my own opinion this is one of the best cigars I have ever had. It is my favorite stick to light and it is always my go to cigar. Its like it only gets better the farther down it burns. I always burn my fingers on these.
well i gotta say, this cigar is im·pec·ca·ble in every way and if you pair it with A&W Aged Vanilla Root Bear...I think its illegal. lol
I have to hide these from my friends
How the heck is this cigar not rated? This is firmly in my top 3. I'd give it a 93 rating.
Got 5 Knight's Templar as part of the Build Your Own sampler. So far have smoked two after letting them settle down in my humidor for a few weeks. The first one had a half inch wrapper rip in the foot and tasted like charcoal for the first two inches. The second was surprisingly different. No harsh charcoal taste, but the wrapper came apart in two or three places during the smoke. The taste is pleasantly medium without being able to distinguish "flavors." The cigar is less than firm to the touch. Not sure what I think about these. I wouldn't buy them at full price in boxes, but at $3.00 apiece in samplers, I'll probably continue to buy for a little while. I find some of the rave reviews puzzling. This is an OK cigar, but it appears to be hyped beyond its value.
I bought the sampler box to give these a try...they are out standing! Looking forward to finishing them so I can pick a favorite and order a box!
Very pleasant medium body smoke. Burns well, so easy to keep cool and flavorful. Can't afford to smoke these at full price, but will definitely pick them up when available for around $3 per stick like in the "Build Your Own" sampler.
This is another of my go to sticks. Medium to full in body's, great construction and it always burns clean to the nub. Oh..and I personally think the band is one of the most beautiful bands on the market for what's its worth. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
The ark of the covenant is a really good smoke. Got it the fat camp sampler.
Definitely one of the best cigars I have smoked. Really well constructed, great smell, not bitter at all. The double corona is a really good size. I'm sold
Wonderful smoke! One of my favorites.
Having my first Templar !! Wow such a great smooth cigar. Such a even burn with very nice white ash with plenty of body and flavor.
I'm not going to say I taste fruits, trees, dirt, or coffee. My palate isn't that refined. But I will say, if you want a good tasting cigar at a price you won't mind sharing a few with the buddy who never seems to have any when he drops by, this is the one for you.
The sheer volume of reviews, mostly very enthusiastic, tells me that Ave Maria is making its way into a lot of humidors. It is a departure from the normal treatment Mr. Fernandez gives to his corojo clad offerings. The St. George belicoso sports a light brown Equadorian wrapper covering a 6" X 52 body that is jam packed with Nicaraguan & Honduran long fillers. The eye-catching construction & medium bodied/full flavored taste profile are what we have come to expect from AJ. True, that many of his other boutique blends are more full bodied than Ave Maria, but don't mistake this dip in power for a lack of complexity or strength. It delivers on both counts. Cedar, leather, various spices & a palate coating pepper component are in play for the duration. A nice deviation from my penchant for super strong blends like Diesel or Prensado. With an ash that clings like glue & a cool, even burn, expect 60 minutes of enjoyment. For mildheads it is a good introduction to bolder blending, while fullheads should enjoy the way Ave Maria manages to satisfy even the most jaded palate, while remaining medium bodied. I like it a lot & believe you will too. An enthusiastic 91/100 makes Ave Maria another 90+ must try from one of the world's finest cigar makers.
This is my new favorite. Smooth and creamy, but strong enough to satisfy this old man! Well made and stays lit, I give it a solid 92 in my book of stogies.
A fantastic cigar with an excellent draw. These are a staple cigar in my collection.
A medium-bodied delight for the senses! AJ is on top of his game with this superior blend, from the Equador Habano wrapper to the Honduran/Nicaraguan long filler. Built heavy & chock full of the flavors of oak, cinnamon & a unique sweet spice, you won't soon forget. Strong enough for even a fullhead like me, yet smooth enough to tempt the mildest smoker's palate. Mid/high priced shapes abound in this line, my personal favorite the 8 bone belicoso called St. George. Well worth a try, it sits proudly next to my Alec Bradley medium offerings like Tempus, Nica Puro & Retreat. Ave Maria stands up to all those fantastic blends. Always looking for a deal on these. Deserves 90+ ratings.
I place several orders a year with CI and I always make sure the order includes some Ave Maria's. The new Immaculata is fantastic. I just wish there was an ash tray available. :)
Shout out to my hometown friends in Bethlehem, Pa. Calypso Westsider, Liberty HS class of '79. Great cigar. Perfectly constructed, perfect burn wonderful taste that was smooth start to finish. I don't get all the nuances to describe like some, but it is one of my favorites so far. To me what I expect from a cigar, no negatives whatsoever. Highly recommend. Can't beat CI for service and price. I know where I'm heading next time I'm in Pa. to visit my family.
Update on an earlier review : You're going to be tempted to smoke one right off the truck. Don't do it. I tried and was really not impressed with this cigar. It had a decent flavor, good burn and all that, but nothing special. A few weeks in the humidor changed that. Rich, flavorful, creamy, leathery, bit of spice. I know you're going to try one anyway, all I can say is, put the rest in your humidor and your patience will be rewarded.
With the current price drop on Ave Maria, I picked up two boxes. These are an every day type smoke for me. If you enjoy a good medium strength cigar, Ave Maria is for you.
I got the Arc of the Convenant 4.5X60 in the CI Fat Camp sampler. What a great stick. I would have to say it is one of two cigars that I fell in love with out of that sample. This is a cigar that you don’t have to fight with to enjoy. It carries a med-full flavor and is one of those cigars that you wish just would not end. It had a great draw and burn all the way to the fingers. I would highly recommended to anyone who likes a med to full cigar. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Great smoke! Don't let the small size trick you, this is easily an hour and 20 min stick that delivers great taste and a smooth draw all the way down 'til your fingers are burning. Be careful, lighting one may mean you light another one over and over again.
I bought these on a CI reduced price special. Normally, they go for more than this working family man would be comfortable spending. I should have bought a case. These are truly beautifully made cigars. The colorful gold label is an exquisite work of art. You immediately notice the perfect wrapper and the aroma before lighting. Your visual and olfactory senses are stimulated before even lighting up.
A great smoke. Burns even and consistently. Very easy draw. Some pepper on the palate, but not too much. You hit the sweet spot just after removing the wrapper for the last third. Enjoyable right to the end. Now if they'd offer another special...
New cigar smokers might want to approach with caution. Quick background - I received five Knights Templars with a combo pack and let rest in the humidor for only 7 days before curiosity got me. I'm writing this after having the first.
As a new cigar guy (roughly 6 months) who gravitates toward milder cigars, I guess I just didn't dig it much. To be sure, it is a beautiful stick and I love the band, and hopefully an adequate amount of time in the humidor will help. But this kind of reminded me of my first swig of scotch. It might have been the finest scotch one could hope to find, but ooh-wee it's not really "good" until the drinker gets used to scotch. I'm sure the same is true of these pricier, medium to full-bodied cigars. But, for now, I'm sticking with my most reliable cigar. Believe it or not (and don't you laugh at me), the "CI Knock Off - Macanudo" robusto is, for me, the best yet!
I bought a 5 pack of the Immaculata's and couldn't bring myself to share one with anyone. I smoked it down to the nub and got "blisters on me fingers!" My new favorite goto smoke anytime. Sweetness, excellent burn and smoke so thick my neighbor called the fire department. The wrapper is so stunning I had friends asking me for them.
Spoke too soon!!!! Half way through it started to get spicier! Wow... The last half of this Knight Templer vitola was a solid 93 gents!
Construction, burn, and complexity... all warrant a 92-94 rating. Flavor is superb, but there is zero spice or what I call pepper, so it fell short for my personal preference. If you like pepper, it's not for you, but if you enjoy great, smooth, complex tobacco without pepper, it's a must try. Gotta love AJ Fernandez these days. The man is on fire!
This cigar is GREAT! I had my first just this past weekend (the Clermont), and I got to say I won't judge a cigar by size ever again. It was consistent and strong down to the nub. I will continue to buy this cigar and I highly recommend to anyone.
I was curious so I picked up a five pack. My feeling is that this cigar blasts your palate relentlessly with pepper. Just when you think you can't take it anymore,
wham...here's another blast. Not for me.
Not bad, has good cut, draw, ash and burn. Is smooth; I would recommend it to anyone needing an everyday smoke. Thanks
Have you tried Ave Maria yet? If you haven't do it today...one of my all time favorites especially if you like a medium cigar. Never had a bad burn in any boxes, very well done!
Beautiful cigar and very tasty.
A very nice smoke for the price. The ash was a little more loose than I had hoped for, but certainly on par with many other brands. For the price, this is a smoke you simply must have in your humidor.
Every time, and I mean every time, I light one of these a passing woman tells me how good they smell.
They haven't got me laid yet but I keep lighting them and waiting. Should that happen you can bet I'll be ordering by the case.