It Was Starry-Eyed Love At First Sight with Joseph NicaVana by Salamanca Cigar Group

There is no denying that JOSEPH NICAVANA had the look I really like. Double bands, sleek, seamless, unblemished WRAPPER with COCOA and BARNYARD smell. The FOOT was exactly what I love in a scent: RAISINS and COCOA !

I heard about him from a Twitter friend who said I NEEDED to try Joseph NicaVana by Salamanca Cigar Group. And, yes, as soon as I saw this cigar I knew I was going to like his look  ... but when I puffed on the stick ... yeah, I was in love !

The COLD DRAW had  CHOCOLATE and BROWN SUGAR which enticed me so much. I love the way the stick looks when I'm holding it and you can clearly see it is well-made/constructed.

The FIRST THIRD was a luscious 45 minute experience, with notes of COCOA, BLACK PEPPER and EARTH edging out wanting to be noticed first. These flavors were met with some LEATHER that stayed in the background for most of this third till it just edged at 40 minutes in where it started to become more prominent. I tried to keep the pace slow and relaxing with this third. Joseph NicaBella kept a razor burn line and the ash was what I'd expect from a well made cigar.

The SECOND THIRD came on with a little more body pushing it up from a medium to a medium plus. With the increased body came the consistent spice with COCOA, SPICE and LEATHER leading the flavor profile. Then a delicious TOAST and COFFEE entered my palate with the LEATHER and SPICE balancing well with the rest of the flavors. The Strength began to increase in the middle of the cigar, with this third lasting about 30 minutes.

The LAST THIRD increased in BODY and STRENGTH dramatically with COCOA, SPICE and WOOD being the prominent flavors. As I smoked on, an ESPRESSO with EARTH and CINNAMON joined the mix. The PEPPER that was more prominent earlier retreated, and these delectable flavors pushed forward. By the time I was NUBBING Joseph NicaBella, I was another 40 minutes into this third. This is a very consistently balanced cigar with flavors that I adore. For this review I smoked more than 2 cigars, bought more and continued to enjoy this amazing treat from Master Blender Alan Fonseca. As noted on Twitter, this is BOXWORTHY and deserves a space in your humidor.

As for Joseph NicaVana? This cigar has touched my soul. I feel like it was blended with my palate in mind. Super DELISH !

Wishing You Long Ashes,

Robusto Cigar Babe



Relaxing Moments with a Cuddly Friend, New World Cigar by AJ Fernandez

You know those kind of friends, the ones that you instantly feel relaxed with the moment you all get together in a room? There is no competition, no showy attitude, just smooth relaxation, gentle laughter, and knowledge that you will have a purely good time.

That's the way I feel about New World by AJ Fernandez. The 3 cigars I smoked for this review were all (5.5 x 55) with a Nicaragua Oscuro Wrapper, Jalapa Binder and Condega, Ometepe, and Esteli Nicaragua Filler. Nicaraguan goodness here.

AJ Fernandez New World is so good looking. A box-pressed beauty with slightly wrinkly, dark and rich looking wrapper. The scent is amazing ... with a cold draw of raisins, cocoa and earth. As I settle myself on my porch, I notice the beautiful uniformity of every New World stick and this size fits perfectly in my hand and feels comfortable between my lips.

Each of the three cigars smoked, I used a different method of cutting: straight slice, v-cut and perforation device. I didn't find any difference between the draw in the beginning with all three, but later on, the perforated cigar needed to be redone half way through. As with all cigars I review, I was drinking filtered water.

As I light the cigar, a delicious aroma wafts out from the cigar, and immediately scents the entire area around me. The 1st Third cuddles me immediately with a deep tobacco taste, pepper, hay with cocoa drifting in the background. My body begins to warm up as New World caresses my mind while pure relaxation begins to flood my body. New World knows exactly how I like our interludes ... comfortable, a little spicy, warm with a touch of sweetness --- but not too sweet.

As I sink deeper into my seat, the 2nd Third delivers this creamy chocolate, with a touch of coffee bean, leather and a delicate hay in the background. My body begins to melt with New World. He releases the most DELISH flavors in this part of the smoking experience, that I don't want this time to end.  I hold onto him, admiring his dark wrapper and dreamily inhaling the perfume smoke drifting from the cigar. I don't want this part of our union to go away. Uhhhh so good.

New World Cigar with #RodneyThePug

Halfway through I detect a fading floral taste in 2 of the 3 cigars. It stays for  couple of puffs, but then dissipates just as quickly as I detected.

With satisfaction draped around me, the Final Third stays consistent with pronounced coffee bean, cocoa and sweet hay. This long smoke (about 1.20 hours) was like a big hug from an old friend who knows you well enough to sit close and be engaged. My love affair with New World holds my interest, smokes rich and balanced and gives me a thoroughly enjoyable experience that I'd be happy to enjoy over and over. The only draw-back for me, is I usually enjoy a cigar that is unpredictable with flavors that constantly change. So I categorize this stick as a consistent dream. Sometimes I want to reach for a reliable hunny.

When I know I want to relax with a good friend, even one with these kind of benefits that helps ease my mind, relax my neck, lean back and just let the day fall away from my shoulders ... it's New World that I want in my hand. Consistent and yummy.

Thank you Craig @Mad_Bricky for suggesting this stick to me. It's been love since first puff.

All about AJ Fernandez:

Wishing you long ashes --

Robusto Cigar Babe



Autumn & Nica Rustica Cigars Are Perfect Combo

This cool and rainy September afternoon reminded me of the best side of Autumn - rustic beauty, brown leaves falling and slight musty smell of the season. It's also the day I met my new afternoon luvr. It was unexpected. I didn't really know what I was looking for when this dark and lovely looker caught my eye at Carmine's Cigar Lounge in Staten Island. 

Not my usual type ... he had a rustic, carefree, and bold look. But I knew the moment I picked him up and breathed in deeply that I could fall for him. And OH did I ever.

Nica Rustica, made by Drew Estate, has an unrefined Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a Mexican San Andreas binder and Nicaraguan (Esteli & Jalapa) fillers. Dark and robust, this medium to full strength cigar presents with pigtail cap and 6 inches x 52 ring gauge that fits perfectly between my lips. Cost? $12

Not in looks, but more in flavor & profiles, the Nica Rustica reminded me of Undercrown and Liga Privada.  Delicious preview of rich flavors during the pre-lit draw was earth & cocoa. Upon lighting, the Nica Rustica  kept a terrific burn line, slightly flakey ash, with tremendous smoke output. 

Once I had my hand on him I just knew we were meant for each other. Upon lighting, I drew in the rich tobacco, savoring the first delicious puffs. Full of flavors, my new cigar luvr teased my palate first with unsweetened cocoa and wood, then opening up with black pepper that balanced the taste. Not as dense as No.9 or as sweet as I find the Undercrown can be, the Nica Rustica is consistently good. He slowly released a tasty goodness making me want him all the more. What girl doesn't like to be teased with treats and goodies? With Nica around, who can even think of another cigar luvr ... I only want him. 

Nica builds with potency ... He's robust, but gentle and oh so fulfilling.  Midway through our encounter, his earthy flavors develop into a slightly sweet tobacco taste. The final third rounds out with a touch of smokey BBQ wood flavor and I just knew I don't want my date with Nica to end. 

Sitting back in my chair, Nica in hand, I can't take my eyes off this delicious new luvr who caught my attention and held me fast for about an hour and twenty minutes. Even when it was over, my thoughts went back to Nica and our relaxing, flavorful afternoon together. Believe me when I say I'll be adding him to my rotation of cigar luvrs.

Nica ... yeah... he stays on my mind. 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Nica Rustica.

For more information about the Drew Estate Nica Rustica Cigar go to

Wishing you long ashes -- The Robusto Cigar Babe

chat with me on Twitter: @RobustoBabe
share photos with me on Instagram: #RobustoCigarBabe

Creamy? Absolutely! The La Careme by The Crowned Heads Gives It All

Sometimes simple, plain and elegant cigar bands can appeal to the cigar smoker and in the case of the La Careme, it worked perfectly for me. In fact, the name is sexy. I was attracted to the look of this cigar long before anyone mentioned a word about it online.

The Look of the La Careme is very impressive. The dark brown wrapper has very few small veins and the box-pressed feel of the cigar, fits very nicely in my hand. It feels velvety and sleek. The simple band looks elegant sitting upon the dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. 

The Scent of the wrapper has cocoa, earth, and tobacco. 

This is one of my favorite parts of the cigar review experience. The Cold Draw yields a sweet chocolate and spice on my lips. 

The First Third starts off with a blast of Black pepper. The spice is very prominent and is joined by a strong earthiness. 

Ten minutes in and the pepper is fading with a dark coffee flavor joining with cedar wood balancing out the profile. A few more puffs in and a creamy cashew nuttiness has joined adding a little sweetness and cocoa to the profile

It could be the chilly breeze but the ash is flakey and the cigar is very smoky. Pepper and wood have moved into the background with the sweet chocolate and cream tantalizing my palate.  Several minutes go by and the consistent flavors in this First Third are Cocoa, vanilla, cream, wood and pepper. This is one very smooth and delicious cigar.

Into the Second Third, the cocoa and coffee are prominent for a while and then a smoky molasses sweetness comes into the profile with an earthy balance and spice. The coffee then moves to the finish and the creaminess is very welcome and delicious. 

The creaminess carries well into the Last Third with chocolate balancing the cigar out beautifully. Later into the middle of the Last Third, the earthiness, spice and wood pick up till they are prominent in the profile. The cigar finishes off with a lovely vanilla latte flavor that makes it very hard to put down. 

Absolutely luscious and delicious! I always keep this cigar in my regular rotation. The Robusto size has more spice and the larger vitolas have more cream and chocolate but all are fabulous. 

Wishing You All Long Ashes ...

Robusto Cigar Babe



When All You Really Want is Flavor ... the EP Carrillo Oscuro Does It!

Everyone was talking about EP Carrillo and I needed to find out for myself what was all the fuss about the Oscuro.  Rugged, dark and commanding of attention, the EP Carrillo drew me in quickly with the look, but it was what it did to my palate that made me never want to let it go ...

I bought my stick at Cigar Aficion cigar lounge in Staten Island, New York City. Grabbed a dark roast from Tim Hortons and settled in amongst friends to review the stick.

The Look of the EP Carrillo is very dark chocolate in color with visible seams and veins. 

The Foot and Wrapper give off a Cocoa, Spice and Tobacco scent

Upon Lighting there is definite spiciness and a slight sweetness, along with a luscious tobacco taste. Cedar joins in a few puffs later. This cigar has tons of smoke! 

As I smoke into this First Third, the dominant flavors are Cedar, Pepper and Earth. 


Into the Second Third, the ash drops, the flavors stay consistent, and then a salty Hazelnut joins the profile, and this cigar really starts to develop!

Half way though the cigar, a licorice joins the profile, the spice picks up giving the cigar a spicy, salty nutty flavor, with an earthy undertone. 

The Last Third rounds out with a deep earthiness, spice and cedar. There are plenty of flavor additions along with balanced flavors to keep me happy throughout my smoking experience. 

The EP Carrillo Oscuro burned slowly with lots of smoke, great burn and draw and all the delicious flavors I love in a cigar. Definitely worth keeping a box on hand at all times. Go get yourself some of this yummy cigar

Wishing You Long Ashes ....

Robusto Cigar Babe



Falling in Love With Brothers From the House of Emilio Cigar Family

As you know from Twitter, I enjoyed my long loving affair with the AF 2 from Emilio Cigars. But hearing a whisper that I needed to experience the other brother, AF1, I sought him out and added him to my regular line up of Sunday luvrs. 

And ohhh was I happy I did ... Mmhmmm 

Emilio Cigars AF1 was so good looking. The San Andreas Maduro wrapper with Nicaraguan filler & binder drew me into him quickly. Just the luscious look of this gar made me lick my lips in anticipation to our Sunday date. 

Dark & sleek with a delectable pre-lit scent of cocoa & cedar from the wrapper & foot, my mind imagined how the date could play out. I stole a brief kiss of a cold draw tasting a preview of coffee and nuts. 

With excitement for the date beginning, I lit AF1 & drew in the dimensional smoke into my mouth, held for a bit savoring these first flaves in each puff. The 1st Third held flavors that make me take notice quickly -- silky caramel mixed with cafe au lait with a background of pepper spice. Further into the Third brought a slight creamy cocoa flavor. 

With satisfaction building, the 2nd Third held my interest with the continuation of coffee bean flavors with a touch of raisin, wood with a background spice. The cigar burn is perfect with the smoke billowing through the room leaving a seductive scent in the room. Completely enraptured with my AF1 cigar, I barely noted people staring at us. I knew they wondered what I was smoking ... their heads cranning to see what had caught my attention and held on tight. 

My love affair with AF1 continues into the Final Third with a rich, chocolate taking center stage with a balanced mix of espresso & spice playing a more dominant role. I love the way AF1 commands attention. Intricate, dimensional, and smooth. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with this cigar. AF1 held me tight and soothed away every wrinkle from my day. 

But to compare the Emilio brothers AF 1 & AF2 isn't possible. I love them each for different reasons and constantly switch luvrs all the time. AF1 is delectable, but AF2 is sumptuous. 

What's a cigar smoking girl to do ? 

Can't I just keep it in the family & continue to love them both for different needs ? Mmmhmmm that's the plan. I suggest you try them too.

All about House of Emilio: 

Wishing you long ashes --

Robusto Cigar Babe



All You Need Is a Little Nomad Therapy - I go for the Maduro

I'm always draw immediately to the rugged, dark good looks of a cigar ... and Nomad Therapy Maduro by @Godfadr is a satisfying treat.

The Look is tempting with White and Black Band on a Wrapper with visible veins.

The Cold Draw yields cocoa, tobacco  flavors with tingly spice on my lips.

Upon lighting the Initial Puffs produce a spicy start, with Cedar, Earth, Cocoa with a slight sweetness of raisins.

Nomad Therapy is not shy at all. Five minutes into the First Third and a spicy and smoky red pepper makes a bold appearance, along with wood, some white pepper in the background with cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

The white ash hangs for a bit with a killer burn and lots of smoke.

In the end of the First Third the spice has settled down some allowing an aromatic cedar flavor to come in more prominently. The Nomad Therapy has my attention and as I sit and admire the smoky scents, I can feel all my tension fall away from my shoulders. I'm in a deep trance with this Therapy Maduro.

As the ash drops there is a flavor shift to an alluring creaminess, combined with almonds and wood.

It's so nutty, yummy and satisfying.

Second Third has sustained almonds, wood and some spice to keep things interesting. It's the balance of the flavors that excites me. They are distinct and delectable.

Half way into the stick a subtle cocoa emerges and right now I'm in heaven.

Final Third the spice is prominent, mixing well with the cocoa, earth, and wood bringing me to a satisfied finish with the Nomad Therapy Maduro.

This cigar is a dream to smoke. Gives you someone to think about, to meditate on and the finish gives you something to savor long after you say goodbye to this Therapy. I prescribe at least a weekly session, but daily works well too.

Wishing you long ashes ....

Robusto Cigar Babe


Relaxing at the Cigar Aficion Lounge with One Life Maduro by Nestor Miranda

Any Saturday afternoon you might find me hunting for new cigars at local cigar lounges in and around NYC. I love when really good lounge managers come up to me with ideas for new smokes to try. At Cigar Aficion in Staten Island, the manager there always has a few good ones for me in mind.  His suggestion was Nestor Miranda One Life Maduro Danno Edition.

With a dark and rich maduro leaf wrapper, the One Life caught my attention right away with a pigtail cap. With a glistening shine and bulging veins, I found the cigar to look strong and classy ... dapper even.

 The  band is a very attractive, modern look with red, black and silver colors. I sat down with a smile admiring this beauty of a cigar, and smelled the foot for cocoa and a slight pepper scent. Bottled water in hand, I rolled the pigtail to see if I could smoke it that way, but because the draw didn't feel right, I had to straight cut the cigar.

First Third

Immediately you can taste coffee and chocolate within the first few puffs. There is  slight smokey pepper in the background that I'd liken to a chipolte or Hungarian paprika. This cigar is smooth and yummy. I could feel One Life caressing my senses, calming my mind and bringing me into sharing this moment with a dark and luscious love. 20 minutes seemed to fly by bringing me      to ...

Second Third

I have to say that a floral or licorice taste came forward with the chocolate and coffee starting to settle into the background. There is this beautiful sweetness that emerges and at first thought, I believed it was raisins, but no, it was succulent plums. Mixing with earthiness, 25 minutes into this third, I could taste black pepper brightening the flavor profile. It was a nice addition to this sumptuous smoke that felt amazing between my lips.

Last Third

The final third opened up with a spice and chocolate that kept the cigar flavorful throughout this experience. A nutty and creamy cashew entered the profile bringing this creamy goodness to this smooth tasting cigar. A few puffs later, a breadiness joined the profile and a subtle raisin sweetness, bringing this Saturday afternoon delight to an end.

I smoked two Nestor Miranda One Life Maduro cigars for this review, both times with Water. The first time at this lounge and the second time during #SundayCigarHerf. It was a very good smoke and I look forward to trying more cigars from this company.

Have a Smokin Week !

Robusto Cigar Babe

Follow me on Twitter: @RobustoBabe


Thanks for the Honor of Being Recognized by Cigar Snob Magazine

I'm so incredibly honored to make the list for


for Cigar Snob Magazine

every issue since January 2017

If you haven't followed these other fine people, please do so.
I'm particularly fond of +Cigar Inspector and @CigarEvents

My Infatuation with Punch Rare Corojo

It happens sometimes. You know you are in a strange city with friends when you are introduced to something special and sometimes sparks just turn into fireworks. That's what happened when I was introduced to Punch Rare Corojo. I was minding my own business ... ok ok I WAS drinking bourbon ... but I had my head on straight. He was luscious, smelled great, was surprisingly not what I thought he'd be ... well, I just fell for him ... hard.


Punch has that way about him that catches my attention. He is BOX PRESSED with a reddish brown SUMATRA WRAPPER with a PUNGENT scent. I like that in a cigar. We met and shared each others company at the Texas Cigar Festival a couple of years ago, and ever since then, I can't keep my mind off of Punch RC. After just one time with him in Texas, I became obsessed with the idea of him ... the way he made me feel when smoking and the warm scent I still smelled long after our interlude. One moment to my lips and I was hooked.


Impeccable flavor of COCOA and EARTH come through in the cold draw. Yum and I want more.

Eager to light, The FIRST THIRD yields a mild SPICE with CEDAR and EARTHY goodness. As I continue to puff this cigar, a DARK CHOCOLATE emerges adding a harmonious dimension to this first part of the cigar smoking experience.

The SECOND THIRD has a similar profile to the first part, with similar flavors, SMOOTH deliciousness and luscious SLIGHT sweetness that hangs in the background. I'm completely in love halfway through when a COFFEE bean emerges. This is pure comfort and a whole lotta love right now.

The LAST THIRD brings me to the point of infatuation and on the edge of submission when a hint of NUTTINESS emerges along with a mild SPICE, a little bit of sweet chocolate. Another couple of puffs in and you can taste how the coffee mixes wonderfully with all the other flavors bringing balance, dimension, comfort, relaxation and a whole lotta goodness to your life.

The Punch Rare Corojo is hard to find where I live. I am constantly chasing him for these dynamic flavors. Whenever I find him, I take as much as I can to relive the smoking experience I can't get enough of.

Completely DELISH and BOXWORTHY. You won't be disappointed with this amazing stick.

Wishing You Long Ashes,

Robusto Cigar Babe