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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.”