2010/08 – Min Ron Nee Cigars – Cifuentes Cristal Tubo

8 Aug

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo

Min Ron Nee Cigars – Cifuentes Cristal Tubo

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo

August 2010

It is always nice to communicate with the renowned author and collector Min Ron Nee.

Even after no longer flying to Hong Kong we keep in touch and exchange information on cigars and his upcoming second Edition – see below for more details.

So it was a great pleasure to receive a mail from him a few months ago about some rare vintage cigars that he was gifting me and other friends to review.

“Hello Nino,

I have sent you some cigars by HK Speedpost this morning.

They are Cifuentes Cristal tubo and 2 other cigars : a 1960 H. Upmann No.4 and a pre-embargo La Cosmopolita Habanos en Cedro

The 1960 H. Upmann No.4 and the La Cosmopolita are 2 old boxes of cigars I opened recently to smoke.

The No.4 is quite good but the La Cosmopolita tastes expired.

Don’t know whether this is due to poor prior storage or the brand was a crap brand.

I have attached some pictures of the boxes for you.

Also some pictures of the 1960 Upmann No.4 box. You can see there is a “1959” tax stamp on the cigar. Very commonly seen in early 1960’s boxes.

Best regards


His original pictures :

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee


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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubos
Photograph : Min Ron Nee

Gino “Mr. Japan” received his Cifuentes first during a personal visit in Hong Kong and has kindly given permission for me to use his excellent review and pictures on my site – for which I am immensely grateful as I am no good at putting impressions into words.

Here is his review and pictures :

CIFUENTES CRISTAL TUBOS – Conservas 44 x 145

This cigar has been gifted to me by Min Ron Nee in Hong Kong.

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”

After a long trip I left it in my humidor at 65RH and 18ˆC. for a while before opening the tubo and decide to smoke it pairing it with a Grand Marnier 150, called Cuvée Speciale Cent Cinquantenaire, made with up to 50-year-old cognacs sealed within hand-finished frosted glass bottles featuring hand-painted art nouveau decorations. I bought this bottle at the HK duty free.

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”

From the IEPRHC – Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolutionary Havana Cigars :

Ramon Cifuentes created this brand when he was also owner of the Partagas factory and these cigars have been in production until 1975 even if the official catalogue kept them until early 1990.

The brand was famous mainly for making small ring gauge cigars as
– Cubanitos and Habanitos , Chicos 29 x 106
– Emboquillados no.5, Demi tip 29 x 126
– Vegueritos, same nombre de galera, 37 x 127
– Petit Bouquet, Infantes, 37 x 98 ( shortest cigar in Cuba)
and also :
Altezas Reales, salomones espagnola 57 x 184
Super Estupendos, gran corona 47 x 235

Review :
The cigar is in a glass tube with a plastic closing tap. It has a beautiful anilla indicating the brand (Cifuentes) and the Nombre de Salida ( Cristall Tubos) and at one side the name Havana and on the other side Elaborado a Maquina ( not hand made) .

I do not know the provenance of the glass tubo but the tap has a US patent number. Near the tap there is a second anilla that has indicated the following message”el cigarro en este envase nunca pierde su calidad y aroma” (The cigar in this tubo doesn’t loose in quality and aroma).

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”

Once opened first flavour that come to nose is a pregnant odour of close and old. I would say peat and after few seconds of oxygenation the tobacco flavour come up very light.

The cigar has a “Colorado” wrapper, faint, smooth and with a surprising velvet texture. Construction is good with regular filling and after five minutes it is still strong in peat. I do not drink whiskey but there is a small after odour of it. Little leather. I proceed to cut the perilla with scissors and the draw is good, I would say loose.

The aromas before lighting are very equilibrated with none prevalent so I proceed to light it with a jet flame.

The first few puff of the cigar doesn’t give me great emotion, almost no flavour maybe due to long burning time for lightning but once cooled down again I get the peat and the leather. My mouth is dry but I do not drink yet. Unexpectedly at end of the first third little hazelnut flavour comes up giving to the smoke an evolution and the cigar opens itself more giving me wood, dry fruits and mainly dried apricot flavour. The smoke is ample, rich.

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Gino smoking the Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”

The flavour remain in my mouth giving me a sweetness unexpected. When inhaling very limited feeling but as soon I blow out the smoke my mouth is rich of a mixture of flavours. Surely we are talking of selected leafs that are well closed in the binder leaving a nice firm gray ash.

I sip the Grand Marnier, an explosion of orange flavours due surely also to the Sicilian tarocco peel I sliced inside. Now my mouth is rich of sweetness, orange and dry apricot. The cigar is cooling down. I leave it for five minutes then it restarts with no problems giving back the leather and hazelnut.

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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”
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Cifuentes Cristal Tubo
Photograph : Gino “Mr. Japan”

So far I did not mention the strength in the cigar as there wasn’t but from the end of second third from bland it went to medium “Fortaleza” giving me a spicy aftertaste on the tongue and I could feel pepper blowing the smoke true my noose.

This cigar has been a complete growth of surprises, I can say that it is well balanced with a medium-short aftertaste and my final vote is 96/100.

Gino “Mr Japan”

I had the pleasure of tasting the Cifuentes Cristal Tubo and the H.Upmann No.4 ( see report ) with Andreas and Bernhard while planning our joint Algarve vacation and enjoying a frugal but delicious cheese and red wine dinner with our wives.

Just some additional impressions and pictures of the Cifuentes Cristal Tubo from us.

The cigar was very grassy, herbal and floral in the first puffs.

“Lighter” than the H.Upmann No.4, less nicotine, more aroma.

Almost like a young cigar – funny that we would have judged it

quite young and would have given it potential.

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Cifuentes & Robaina Padrinos for dessert
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Bernhard impressed
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Awe inspiring aromas
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Even Lotte was begging for a puff ……..

As for his upcoming second Edition, all sounds very exciting and technically perfect regarding the photography and printing details.

Min Ron Nee
generously invited me this month to Hong Kong to personally see and report on the progress of the second Edition which I am regrettably unable to do,

“About the report on the next edition MRN book. I sincerely invite you to come to Hong Kong to visit me for the report.
The shocking resolution achieved by using 8 x 10 films and 350 line screens offset printing has to be seen to believe.”

But I am waiting for the progress update and the technical details on the second edition and will share it here on my site as I receive it.


Copyright Nino


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