By Cigar Chronicles Staff
Matt Urbano, founder and owner of Urbano Cigars, describes his company’s just-released, second boutique premium cigar:
"Urbano Sumatra has a sweet, earthy flavor that settles into a creamy, ‘chocolaty’ smoke. It has a light, leathery finish and a luxurious white ash. Sumatra’s medium body complements our first introduction this summer, the medium-to-full-bodied Urbano Corojo, and is perfectly suited to mid-morning or early-afternoon relaxation."

The Urbano Sumatra has a sleek, satiny Sumatran wrapper, with an Indonesian binder and Dominican filler blend. Sumatra’s wrapper, like the Urbano Corojo, is triple-fermented, without scalding or other artificial means. This process yields a refined smoke, significantly reducing the tobacco’s nicotine and natural starches and sugars. Combine that with a full two years of aging of the tobaccos, and the result is a flavor-filled but smooth smoke.

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By Cigar Chronicles Staff
Ares Contreras, founder and president of Pride Cigars, Inc., offers his new 809 value-priced premium cigar line, in time for holiday gift-giving. Contreras, a third-generation Cuban-American tabacalero, is in his fourth year of operation, specializing in boutique premium cigars.

The 809 line consists of one of the broadest choices of cigars in the industry, including multiple shapes, wrapper shades, and blends. A rarity in the industry, Contreras created the 809 as both a hand-made long filler cigar (Black band), and the hand-rolled medium-filler Red band. Both fall into the value-priced category … suggested retail pricing for the long-filler Black band tops out at $2.50, while the medium-filler Red band retails for up to $1.60.

Four 809 wrappers are available in both Black and Red labels: A mild and silky Connecticut-seed leaf, which is "shade-grown" under Ecuador’s prevailing high, thin overcast skies; a mild-to-medium Sumatran; a medium-to-full, red-hued Corojo; and, a naturally-fermented full-power, but mellow, Maduro.

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By Russ Ouellette
One of my favorite manufacturers of value priced cigars is Oliva. That’s not to say that all of their cigars are at the low end of the price scale; certainly the Serie V and Master Blends are a bit pricier, but they are outstanding while not being super-costly. But where Oliva really shines are in their value-oriented lines. Their bundled Flor de Olivas are an incredible stick at a bargain-basement price, but their Serie G cigars (in Cameroon and Maduro wrappers) are some of the best examples of a premium smoke at a sub-premium price.

The Serie G Cameroons are cedar boxed, rather than bundled, are nicely trunk-pressed, and just about every shape has an MSRP below $6.00, and are routinely found for less. What really impresses with this brand is that the wrappers on these sticks are true African Cameroon, grown by the same people who supply the Fuentes with the wrapper for the Don Carlos and Hemingway series.

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Casa de Ortez CigarsAltadis U.S.A.’s recently introduced line of Casa de Ortez cigars are very low priced for the budget-conscious cigar smoker.

Handcrafted in Nicaragua by renowned cigar maker Omar Ortez, the smoke is offered in two strengths. The milder version features a hand-selected Connecticut wrapper, while the Ecuadorian Cubano wrapped stick has a rich, full body.

Both versions are packaged in bundles of 20 cigars and are available in the following sizes: Corona (44 X 5), Robusto (50 X 4 ), Toro (50 X 5), Churchill ( 50 X 6) and Belicoso (52 X 6 1/8).

Casa de Ortez cigars retail for $1.50 to $1.83 per stick, which makes them an extraordinary value for a smoke of this high quality.

Casa de Ortez Cigars Bundle of 20