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Short Reviews of Four Little Cigars

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We do not typically review little cigars, but since I picked up a few sampler packs at a couple of 2013 cigar events, my opinions about four different brands of little cigars are being combined into this one review. First of all, little or small cigars are defined by TTB.gov as "Cigars weighing not more than three pounds per thousand". Many little cigars resemble and/or are about the size of brown cigarettes. They can be made by machines, contain short filler, and be wrapped inside of strips cut from sheets of reconstituted tobacco. However, some little cigars are actually made by hand, and contain "long" fillers rolled inside of wrappers which are all real tobacco leaves.

This review includes two machine made and two handmade brands of little cigars, ranging in length from 3¼ inches to 4¾ inches. Average smoke time is usually around 15-20 minutes for a typical little cigar, which is very convenient for those times when time is short. However, the smallest little cigar in this review lasted for only five minutes, while the largest (but not the longest) took about 25 minutes. Unless noted otherwise, all of the little cigars reviewed had good draws and burned evenly. None needed any relights nor touch-up lights, and no individual little cigar had a cigar band.

Review of Villager Export Cigars

Villager Export Cigars
2013 © Gary Manelski Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Villager Export cigars are made in Switzerland, and are available in boxes of 50 cigars with either Natural or Maduro wrappers. These cigars are four inches long with a ring gauge of 37. The cigars are individually packaged inside of paper instead of cellophane like most other cigars. Besides the taste, what makes these cigars a bit unusual considering their small size is that they are square pressed. The cigars are open at both ends, so no cigar cutters are needed. The Maduro is a bit fuller than the Natural, but I would put them both in the medium range. Smoke time was 15 to 20 minutes down to 1½ inch remaining. I rate these cigars 2½ to 3 stars.

Review of Illusione Cuchillos Cigars

Illusione Cuchillos Cigars
2013 © Gary Manelski Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Illusione Cuchillos are 4¾ inches long with a ring gauge of 32. The cigars are handmade in Central America with a 60/40 blend of long and medium filler tobaccos. The cigars come in boxes of nine, and are closed at the head, so a cigar cutter is needed. Each individual cigar is packaged in cello. The cigars are medium bodied with a hint a spice, and taste a little bit like the Villager Natural, only smoother. It took me 15 minutes to smoke the sample Cuchillos down to 1½ inch remaining. Of the four different brands of little cigars sampled in this entire review, these were my favorite. I rate them a solid 3 stars.

Review of Chevere Irish Cigars

Chevere Irish Cigars
2013 © Gary Manelski Licensed to About.com, Inc.
The sample box of Chevere cigars made in Ireland included six little cigars that were not individually packaged. The cigars came in three different sizes, with two samples of each size, and are open on both ends, so no cigar cutter is needed. The cigars measured 3¼", 4" and 4¼" long with ring gauges ranging from 23 to 37. The smallest cigar took only five minutes to smoke while the largest took 25 minutes. The four-inch cigar took me just under 15 minutes to smoke down to 1½ inch remaining. All the cigars had the same flavors, but the smallest size was the most intense. The flavor was spicy and peppery, like the initial blast of pepper and spice in some large cigars, but it did not have a chance to mellow out nor develop, since the cigar was finished almost as fast as it started. I rate these Chevere little cigars 2 to 2½ stars, but the largest size was the best of the three.

Review of Felipe Gregorio Habano Skinny Cigars

Filipe Gregorio Habano Skinny Cigars
2013 © Gary Manelski Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Felipe Gregorio little cigars are handmade in the Dominican Republic with long filler tobacco, and are closed at the head, so a cigar cutter is needed. These cigars come in boxes of 10 cigars that are not individually packaged. The cigars were just under 4" long, and based on their reputation, I was expecting them to be the best. However, a couple of the samples had somewhat tight draws, limiting the volume of smoke. It has to be hard making cigars this small by hand, but most of the cigars in the box were just fine. The flavor was close to full, but occasionally a bit dry, and sometimes a little harsh. There was just a hint of sweetness that did not last very long in some of the cigars, as the predominant flavor was leather. It took me 15 to 20 minutes to smoke the skinny cigars down to 1½" remaining. I rate these cigars 2 to 2½ stars.

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