Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black Label Dictator Review

Black Label Dictator Flat Flame Review
Black Label Dictator Flat Flame Review
  The Black Label Dictator is the successor to the El Presidente. Still to this day of all the lighters I have reviewed, the flat flame is my favorite. It's too cool and unique not to love. Black Label takes this technology to the next level with the more robust and well rounded Dictator.
  Dictator is larger, heavier, more substantial, and weighs in at about 3.5oz. I tend to lean towards heavier lighters, though, this does not always mean larger. The flame is not really a torch, nor a soft flame. It's somewhere in between. Consider it a hybrid, the best of both worlds. A flat flame does a phenomenal job of toasting the cigar, opposed to torching it.
Black Label Flat Flame
  The body of the Dictator I find more comfortable in the hand, due to the larger size compared to the El Presidente. It's a two stage lighter, meaning you need to flip the top up prior to igniting. There is a nice sized pusher located on the front side of the lighter. Once depressed, the beautiful wind resistant flat flame emerges. Think of it in the shape of a small paint brush. There is also a nice fold down integrated 7mm cigar punch cutter. Lastly, a decent, easy to read sized fuel gauge window rounds out the lighter.
Black Label Review
  The Black Label Dictator suggested retail is $140. Per usual, with a quick search the Dictator can be found at a more palatable price point around $100. Black Label is made by Lotus. I'm not typically a fan of only a two year warranty when buying a lighter. That said, I really like this lighter and is currently my go to flame of choice when I'm firing up a favorite cigar.

BEST Price CLR Found: Black Label Dictator

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.75 - Aesthetics
8.5 - Finish/Construction
9 - Flame
7.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 8.1

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - aesthetics, flat flame, lower fuel consumption
Consideration - two year warranty, price vs. overall value  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Xikar Turrim Press Release

Xikar Turrim Press Press Release
Hot off the press! New from Xikar, the unique Turrim. Look for a detailed , hands on review coming shortly!

Official Press Release:
  XIKAR designs newest tabletop lighter to stand proud on any table but humble enough to pack in travel case.
Kansas City, MO – February 10, 2015 XIKAR, Inc. proudly announces a breakthrough in lighter innovation with the 5x64 Turrim. This new double jet flame lighter introduces groundbreaking features showcased in a unique shape novel to the cigar industry.
  The 5x64 Turrim features the largest fuel tank offered by a XIKAR lighter, encompassed by a durable metal body. Its tall and cylindrical shape is ideal for the smoker on the go, fitting perfectly into a cigar slot in your travel case, or standing alone as a reliable tabletop lighter. The patented ratcheting fuel adjustment system transmits the power of the lighter to your fingertips as the flame is adjusted to the preferred height. This one-of-a-kind lighter stands immaculate in black, G2 and brushed silver finishes.
  “With the 5x64 Turrim, XIKAR introduces a lighter truly unique to the cigar industry.” said Kurt Van Keppel, CEO and Founder of XIKAR.  “It fits perfectly into your cigar travel case and provides 20% more fuel capacity than previous tabletop lighters from XIKAR. With just the right amount of flame power, the 5x64 Turrim embodies the perfect table or travel lighter for any cigar enthusiast” continued Mr. Van Keppel.
  Questions regarding this announcement can be directed to Kurt Van Keppel, CEO or VP of Sales and Marketing, David Frazier.
  Based in Kansas City, Missouri, XIKAR is the leading cigar accessory brand.  Creator of the revolutionary and iconic Xi1 cutter, XIKAR sells product in thousands of retail locations around the world.
  In 1995, Kurt Van Keppel wanted to buy a good cigar cutter, but found that both the inexpensive and high-end models underperformed.  So, he set out with Scott Almsberger to match good design (ergonomics and function) with the best styling and materials.  The result was the Xi cutter, launched in 1997. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus Review

Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus Lighter Review
Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus Lighter Review
  Today CLR is reviewing the Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus single torch lighter. Lamborghini, the brand itself, needs no introduction. For most of us this is the closest we can come to owning something from one of the best high performance sports cars made. We can only hope the lighter holds up to the Lamborghini reputation.
Lamborghini Eridanus Lighter  

  The Eridanus does have a cool factor, a torch flame emitted at a 45 degree angle. I found it to be a very powerful and large flame for a single torch jet. The ergonomics of the cigar lighter are quite nice as well. Once depressed the jet pops out the top at a raging 45 degree angle. Also, great tactile feel due to the almost full sided squeeze pusher. The body is an all metal construction, less plastic = better. There is an easy to read fuel gauge window on the backside of the Eridanus.
Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus
  Unfortunately, with all the positives mentioned above the lighter fell short in a few areas for me. First, the Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus was extremely inconsistent when firing up. Regardless of how fast or slow I squeezed the pusher, it only fired up roughly 50% of the time with the one used in this review. Not sure if this is the norm or just the one I reviewed. Secondly, this is a lighter that retails for $100, with a single torch and no cigar punch cutter. Though, Eridanus comes in one of the nicest presentation boxes of any lighter brand. Definitely, paying a premium for the branding. All that said, I really like strong 45 degree angle torch. It's fun to use something a little different than the norm.

EDIT: I will not change my scoring or comments above/below. BUT I did retest another and using a slow squeeze, it fired 18 of 20 attempts.

BEST Price CLR Found: Tonino Lamborghini Eridanus

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
8.5 - Aesthetics
8 - Finish/Construction
7.5 - Flame
5.75 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 6.95

Fire It Up Test Results:
11 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - aesthetics, 45 degree flame, ergonomics
Consideration - inconsistent light, MSRP value

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Prometheus Ultimo X Press Release

Prometheus Ultimo X Press Release
Prometheus Ultimo X Press Release (lighter & Cutters)
  Prometheus released these beauties back in early November 2014. Featuring triple torch inverted flames for pin point cigar roasting. Prometheus always makes a beautiful lighter when it comes to the God of Fire line ups. This line is they are calling the Ultimo X. These are limited editions with their own serial numbers. The two options available are the God of Fire 10th Anniversary and the Fuente Fuente Forbidden X (yes, Fuente Fuente is correct). 
  Prometheus generally makes a very nice lighter on their higher priced selections. From a non-hands on perspective and past knowledge of hands on with Prometheus, I will share some thoughts. The high polish finish is beautiful, but loves finger prints and shows superficial scratching easily. The colored fuel gauge window is very easy to read, great touch. There is a 7mm cigar punch cutter integrated into the bottom of the lighter as well. Of course the designs speak for themselves and what is not to like? 
 These limited pieces of 500 each are available along with matching cigar cutters. All prices ranging from 79.95- 99.00. The lowest price starting with the cigar cutters. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Visol Aleus Torch Lighter Review

Visol Aleus Torch Lighter Review
Visol Aleus Triple Torch Lighter Review
  Just another value packed lighter from Visol up for review. This is the Aleus triple torch cigar lighter, shown in Visol's gunmetal finish. Not on the same quality level as the Xikar Pulsar. That said, more of an affordable option, with similar features. Though, missing one key feature...
  Aleus has ALMOST all of my favorite packed features: single thumb action to ignition, triple torches, and a cigar punch cutter. A triple torch lighter burns a lot of butane quickly. Unfortunately, Aleus is missing a fuel gauge window, this would be very beneficial. So close to hitting all my key integrations in a triple torch lighter.

  The thumb action is smooth and easy to operate. Once depressed, emits a triangular strong wind resistant flame. On the side of the lighter is a user friendly 7mm cigar punch. Unlike Pulsar's easy fuel adjustment wheel, Aleus uses the old fingernail/screwdriver adjustment. In fairness, there is a serious price difference between the two. I am simply pointing out even though they have a lot of similarities, the right lighter lies with ones personal preferences all things considered. Aleus does have the a nice heft about it, coming in just shy of 3 oz. The Visol I reviewed fired up every time without hesitation. The overall materials used and quality are in line with a $20ish lighter. Do not expect a Xikar like finish. As noted, Aleus can be found around the $20 mark. Not too shabby at all.

BEST Price CLR found: Visol Aleus

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7.5 - Aesthetics
6 - Finish/Construction
8 - Flame
7.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
8 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 7.4

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - value, cigar punch cutter
Consideration - no fuel gauge window, fuel adjustment

Monday, December 15, 2014

Brizard Exotic Wood Nano Review

Brizard Wood Nano Review
Brizard Exotic Wenge Wood Nano Review
  Today, another new brand on CLR. I will be reviewing the Nano Wenge Exotic Wood by Brizard & Co. After pulling the Nano single torch lighter out of the satchel it's presented in, I was struck by its small size. Maybe I have been reviewing to many monster lighters lately?! The lighter is made in the United States and retails for around $55.
  This Brizard Nano is shown here is in the wenge wood. The wood feels very nice in that it has not been overly finished. You can actually feel the grain, which I appreciated. What I did not appreciate was the somewhat sloppy/unfinished welding of the vertical center piece up the body connecting the top and bottom. The fuel adjustment on the bottom requires the dreaded fingernail/screwdriver technique. Nano is relatively a simple lighter, with a smaller than usual footprint. Very comfortable in a pair of jeans, etc.
  Brizard & Co offers the Nano torch lighter in quite a few exotic wood choices: wenge, zeebrawood, rosewood, bubinga, and ebony. I appreciate the lighter being made in the United States, though, still hard to look past a few detail. The finish, no fuel gauge window, single torch, and no cigar punch cutter at this price point for me personally is tough to justify. If the construction was more refined, I could likely look past most of the "lacking", really like the wood and size. Nano is only 2.5" long and under a .5' wide.

BEST Price CLR found: Brizard Exotic

CLR Overall Ratings (10 being best, all added, divided by 5)
7 - Aesthetics
5 - Finish/Construction
6 - Flame
6.5 - Function & Fuel Adjustment
6.5 - Value vs. List Price
CLR Final Score: 6.2

Fire It Up Test Results:
20 attempts, 20 successful lights
Pros - size, real wood, U.S.A made
Consideration - pricey, finish is lacking