Reviews by Steve R

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The Original

Steve R

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!) morning after a good rest I made this the first 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. 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)

“Good burn, good draw, nice ash.”
- Nimish Desai (Rocky Patel)

“It does have a lot of depth as the flavor profile goes. It’s a fantastic cigar.”
- Kaizad Hansotia (Gurkha)

“I find it to be a cigar that has a wonderful strength. Because it’s not overpowering, but it’s not mellow.”
- Manuel Quesada (Fonseca)

“Packed full of tobacco....well-rolled.”
- Jerry Dear (Xikar)

“It has a lot of flavor....I’m very impressed with this cigar.”
- Rene Castenada (La Aurora)

“The taste of it is rich, it’s flavorful and I find it a beautiful cigar to smoke.”
- José Dominguez

"It's got a lot of complexity, it's very smooth....this is something I would smoke every day."
- Alan Rubin (Alec Bradley)

All Reviews
All Reviews
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  3. Relic
  4. Metrokane Rabbit Electronic Corkscrew
  5. CAO Brazilia Amazon Basin
  6. CAO Extreme
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  21. Gran Habano Vintage Corojo 2002
  22. La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor
  23. 5 Vegas Gold Maduro
  24. La Perla Habana Black Pearl Original
  25. Diesel Unlimited
  26. Graycliff G2
  27. Cuba Libre
  28. La Estrella Cubana Oscuro
  29. Diesel
  30. CAO VR
  31. Rocky Patel Sun Grown
  32. 5 Vegas Classic
  33. John Bull
  34. Perdomo Tierra del Sol Maduro
  35. 5 Vegas Classic
  36. Excalibur
  37. La Herencia Cubana
  38. Nub Habano by Oliva
  39. CI Anniversary
  40. Nub Habano by Oliva
  41. Nub Habano by Oliva
  42. Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva
  43. Drew Estate Larutan Ltd. Pimp Sticks
  44. Victor Sinclair Triple Corojo
  45. Hoyo de Tradicion
  46. San Cristobal
  47. 601 Blue Label Maduro
  48. Gispert
  49. Alec Bradley MAXX
  50. Montecristo Media Noche
  51. Ashton Aged Maduro
  52. CAO VR
  53. Romeo y Julieta Viejo
  54. Perdomo Lot 23
  55. Zino Platinum Scepter Series
  56. 601 Red Habano
  57. Saint Luis Rey
  58. Arturo Fuente Hemingway
  59. Pueblo Dominicano II
  60. 5 Vegas Gold
  61. Oliva Serie O
  62. Fonseca Habana Selección
  63. Punch Rare Corojo
  64. Romeo y Julieta 1875
  65. Xikar Envoy 3-Finger Cigar Case
  66. Torano Exodus Gold 1959
  67. Gurkha Centurian Double Perfecto
  68. Cu-Avana Maduro
  69. 5 Vegas Series A
  70. Drew Estate Larutan Ltd. Pimp Sticks
  71. Montecristo White Label
  72. Bolivar
  73. Gurkha Symphony
  74. Partagas Cifuentes
  75. CAO Brazilia
  76. Drew Estate Natural
  77. Perdomo Mistakes
  78. Macanudo Gold
  79. Gurkha Doble Maduro
  80. Don Diego
  81. Onyx Reserve
  82. Triple Ligero
  83. La Aurora
  84. Rocky Patel Connecticut
  85. Victor Sinclair Vintage Select
  86. Rocky Patel Sun Grown
  87. Pueblo Dominicano
  88. Puros Indios
  89. Ashton
  90. Perdomo Slow-Aged Lot 826 Natural
  91. Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970
  92. Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva
  93. Fonseca