Don Juan Urquijo

Reviews Videos43 Comments on Don Juan Urquijo

Don Juan Urquijo

Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Philippines
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & Philippines

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Don Juan Urquijo before I lighted up. There I was in Makati City in the Philippines at one of the many Shoe Marts (SM) (a major department store similar to our Macys/Hechts but with a wine/liquor/tobacco section) and my opportunity to try a Filipino cigar. Now some of the people I met in the Philippines had warned me that most of the Filipino cigars were very harsh and not enjoyable. If I was going to try a brand that I had to try the best, that being the Don Juan Urquijo made by La Flor de la Isabela in their warehouse in Paranaque City in Metro Manila. I also got the countless stories on how Magellan brought Cuban seeds to the Philippines in 1521. I was actually offered to take a trip to Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu to see where Magellan was killed, but I came to the Philippines for cigars and not a history lesson.

As I cut the tip and lighted up my very first Don Juan Urquijo I was a bit thrown off with the texture of the cigar. The texture seemed too smooth, like it was a machine made stick and not one made by hand. The wrapper had some sweet hints to it as it sat in my mouth for the first few puffs. It took awhile for me to feel comfortable with the texture but shortly I started doing what I do best and the air filled with my puffs of smoke.

I definitely have to agree with the few reviews out there. The taste of the cigar is very unique. You had the strong spicy characteristics that you find in the CAO Brazilia but evenly paired with the smoothness of a Montecristo. You end up with a very interesting smoke that should be more well known.

Very solid construction! I had no problems with the wrapper and the humid conditions in the Philippines kept the cigar burning nice and even. I didn’t like the texture. I’m use to cigars having a certain “feel” when I hold them and it felt awkward holding this guy.

Outside of the texture and “feel” of the stick, I really enjoyed the Don Juan Urquijo. Its definitely a sleeper cigar that if they fall into the hands of the right distributor, they could find a loyal following and its the first cigar I have ever given a perfect score for its lighting and burning properties.

From an earlier post you will know that I ended up purchasing 3 boxes of 25 (along with other boxes). It took me a few days to get my hands on them as Shoe Mart had to order them directly from the manufacturer. What I didn’t expect was when I went to pick up my order all the boxes were date stamped for the day before and included a note from the cigar roller (my Tagalong is a bit off) saying that I shouldn’t smoke them right away (that’s how I translated it at least). I asked around a bit and it turns out they actually had to make my order at the La Flor de la Isabela warehouse especially for me since cigars are so expensive (3,000 pesos…$60 a box) the average Filipino (who makes 300 pesos a day…$6) can’t afford them.

I can’t wait to get some of these out in the mail and see what others think of them.

My Rating Sheet – 86.5/100
Cigar Aficiando Rating – 88/100

Don Juan Urquijo Video Review
“APL Song” by The Black Eyed Peas (Filipino Pride)
WOW – Philippines

Click To Play


43 thoughts on “Don Juan Urquijo

  1. I’ve been wanting to try these myself (having spent most of my adult life in the Philippines). Did you have any problem bringing them back to USA? Did you have to pay taxes. I’m curious how these will do after a couple of months/years of aging.

  2. Hey Ronnie! Thanks for the comment. These are really great cigars that I can see getting better with age. I can’t wait to ship some out to some of my buddies and get some additional reviews.

    I didn’t have any problems with US Customs in San Francisco. I didn’t even get stopped and I was hoping I wouldn’t since the allowance is 50 cigars and I was bringing back 300. San Francisco seemed more determined to stop counterfit DVD movies and pirated software than cigars.

  3. My father just traveled back from PI and brought some back with him. A very mild and enjoyable puff that not only has a unique taste, but an exqusite smell.

    Looking forward to getting more!

  4. Darin – Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment.

    Make sure you stash some away in your humidor and let it get some age on them. An even more enjoyable smoke with age.

  5. Jerry,

    Thanks for the heads up on this cigar. My in-laws went back for a short visit and they will be bringing me back a couple of boxes.


  6. Ronnie – My pleasure man. I truly believe that if these were in the hands of the right distributor and marketer that these stogies would quickly become a huge hit in the mainstream stogie market.

    Enjoy your boxes you lucky pinoy!

  7. Joe thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    Thanks for reminding me about the 1881’s. A did manage to bring back a box of them and realized that its time that I review the 1881’s and other Filipino stogies I picked up. Keep a look out for some Pinoy powered stogie reviews.

  8. Hi Jerry,

    Just want to let you know I really enjoyed your review… I’ve tried the 1881’s and they’re a very decent mild cigars, but haven’t tried the Don Juan Urquijos though. Which vitolas did you buy? and which one would you recommend for mid-bodied smokes. The reason I’m asking is that, I’m going to the Philippines in a couple of weeks, but will only have a couple of hours lay-over before I fly to my home town. Do you know if they sell DJU at the duty-free shop at the airport? Coming back will not be a problem since I have a 5 hr. lay-over and could manage to go to SM. Thanks in advance for your input.

  9. Mabuhay! Rafi thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    I bought the Corona sized Don Juan Urquijo. If you liked the 1881’s you definitely will enjoy the DJU on a whole different level. You can definitely taste and feel difference in quality in the DJU compared to the other lines and brands of Filipino cigars. The DJU is the only brand I picked up that didn’t have any harshness at all.

    There is a Cigar Shop in the International Terminal in Manila that carries all the major Filipino brands like Don Juan. SM should be your last resort as they normally have to order them to be made. Also check out the Antonio Gimenes brand. They are a bit harsh out of the box but 6 months in the humidor does amazing things.

    Have a safe trip back to the homeland!

  10. Hi Jerry,

    Mabuhay! Thank you for the quick reply… I have posted on some threads in other group sites but never gotten any responses. Yes, I’m pretty excited to for this visit, especially haven’t been back in 22+ years and I know everything will be so different. With your description above and especially for a corona size, looks like that this cigar is really worth the money. Do you know if the prices at the duty free same as SM? and which sizes would you recommend on the other brands? Thanks again… Rafie

  11. Its a bit more expensive shopping at the airport and will be about 4,000 PHP ($80 US) for a box of corona sized Don Juan’s.

    Most of the other brands will run your around half that. As for sizes on the other brands it was a bit tough. The Antonio Gimenes line I bought were Robusto sized and like many, was the only size available.

    As much as things change, things stay the same so I’m sure after a day or so back home it will feel like you never left bro. While some consider the Philippines to be 3rd world, its paradise to me.

  12. Thanks, Jerry. Do you know if DJU comes in packs? At least I can try some and on my way back, I can purchase them from SM and at the same time I can check the prices in Bacolod (my home town). Also, does some DJU come with narra humidors? But just in case, and depending on drinking atmosphere, I’ll tag along some of my dominican favs.

    Yes, Home sweet Home…

    Thanks again…

  13. DJU do come in the narra humidors. Much more expensive and I didn’t find them in cigar shop at the airport. They did have a few at the SM but they were over $100 US. They make a cool barrel looking guy if I remember correctly.

    The DJU also come in packs of 5 in the corona size only I believe.

    Cebu in the house here!

  14. Thanks my fellow Visayan neighbor (Unsa man bay? Ma-ayo ka man giud!)… I really appreciate all you infos and please let me know if you’re around So. OC, CA, probably we can meet up and have a quick stogie break. I’ll save you some my good OpusX’s (XXX Belicoso, my fav). Thanks again…

  15. Update:

    My in laws are back and they brought me to boxes of DJU corona. Jerry’s review is spot on. Mild to medium body. Spicy and creamy.

  16. Ronnie – Glad to hear that your inlaws were able to bring you back a couple boxes. Its also great to hear that you enjoyed them as much as I do! I tell, if they were in the hands of the right distributor and were easier to get a hold of, they would be a hit in the cigar community!

  17. Something new we are working on here at the Stogie Review is to start adding a brief (5 minute) video review to accompany our written reviews.

    The video review for the DJU is found at the top of this review.

  18. Nice added touch there, Jerry… Well, I’m leaving tonight and can’t wait to get a hold of those DJU’s. Just by watching, looks like it’s got a good draw and burns evenly. Thanks again…

  19. Jerry! I’m glad you got a new camcorder…how about reshooting this video in better quality?

    This cigar sounds very interesting. Did Cigar Aficionado really rate this cigar?

    I’m a big Black Eyed Peas fan and had no idea that one of them was from the Philippines. That middle video, APL Song was kind of sad…can you e-mail me and tell me what Equity for Filipino WW2 Veterans is all about?

    Even though I couldn’t understand the last video at all I’m assuming it had something to do with Filipino girls? Is that the same Jasmine Trias from American Idol fame? I didn’t know she was Filipino.

    Great stuff as always…thanks for educating this white guy!

  20. With this weekend being Veterans Day that APL Song you posted is awesome!

    I’m glad to see you take so much pride in your heritage!

    I kept seeing this review as the most popular and had never heard of this cigar before. Any chance you could send me one to try?

  21. You guys are quick! I just added these videos not two hours ago!

    Kirk – Thanks for all the comments on the site and your e-mails. I’ll try and reply to them as best I can even with Filipino Americans Veterans of WW2 info as well. But I’m very happy you enjoy the site and yes, thats the Jasmine Trias from American Idol fame. Her along with the Black Eyed Peas, the Pussy Cat Dolls (the lead singer is half Filipino) and Cassie (she’s half too) are HUGE in the Philippines.

    Vic – I’ll see what I can do. I have to make these last for another three years. Thanks for the kind words! Like most, I didn’t take pride in being Filipino when I was young. I wanted to be like everyone else and fit in. I was actually embarrassed when friends would come over or my parent were in public. It wasn’t until I got older that I appreciated my heritage and the difficult decisions my parents made leaving their families, friends, homes, everything they knew at such a young age all in the hopes that their children (that didn’t even exsist at the time) would have a better life and not have to suffer like they did.

    You can find a translation of the Bebot video at –

    Basically, its just about being Filipino…and yes, the ladies too.

  22. I’ve just stumbled onto your review and I will try the Don Juan Urquijos. I’ve been smoking mainly cigars from other countries and its time to give our product a chance.

    Mabuhay and thanks of the review

  23. By the way, when you are in Manila, where do you usually smoke? When I go home, I usually smoke at Kiplings, Fort and Tay and or Churchill’s

  24. Eugene – Glad you found the site and enjoyed the review! Appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

    I’ve said this many times but if the Don Juans can find their way into the right hands it could be a big hit.

    I will have to check out those places the next time I visit home. The trip where I picked these up was my first trip home but the family is already planning a trip in the coming year so I will keep those places in mind.

  25. I posted this on another board, Jerry. I hope this helps guide you on where to go and smoke when you fly back this year.

    There are three to four hotels in the metro manila area with cigar bars. You can purchase cigars from them.

    Mandarin Oriental has KIPLINGS. Kiplings is part of the hotel and its entrance is inside the hotel itself. They have a decent selection of ports and scotches. You can purchase cigars individually or by the box but it may be expensive. The Mandarin is located in Makati, Metro Manila

    EDSA Shangrila has CHURCHILL’S. Churchill’s is NOT part of the hotel itself but is located within the building. You can purchase cigars individually or by the box. Its entrance is apart from the hotel entrance. The EDSA Shangrila Hotel is located in the Ortigas Center, metro Manila.

    The Renaissance (formerly called New World Hotel) has a cigar bar called FORT AND TAY. Fort and Tay is NOT part of the hotel itself but is located within the building. You can purchase cigars individually or by the box. Fort and Tay has a cutting fee if you bring your own and smoke your cigars there. Its entrance is also apart from the hotel entrance. The Renaissance is located in Makati, Metro Manila

    The Peninsula also has a bar called The Bar. that also sells cigars which is supplied by Tabak. But they are mostly tubos and nothing fancy.

  26. just got 4 boxes of DJU – pyramids, robustos, churchills & coronas, from friends. i will let them rest in my humidor for a few months. by that time, spring will be here and they’ll be ready to smoke.

    thanks to jerry (and the rest of the guys at stogie review). keep up the great work!

  27. Jerry – I don’t know how closely you follow politics but you will be happy to know the House Resolution #622 which will provide Filipino American Veterans of WW2 the benefits promised to them in 1946, passed. Lets hope they actually fund it. I did some research on it every since you posted that Black Eyed Peas video, hope you don’t mind me on my soap box. I can’t thank you enough for opening my eyes to something that history books don’t seem to cover but should:

    In 1946, on a hot July day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a military draft calling the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines into armed services under the command of United States Army lead by General Douglas MacArthur. Those brave soldiers stood side by side with American military service members courageously fighting to defend America.

    These Filipino World War II veterans are part of what is often referred to as the “greatest generation” and with good reason. From Bataan to Corregidor, Filipino soldiers unselfishly fought to preserve and protect the democratic principles we champion, with the hope that those principles could liberate a people enveloped by tyranny. It is said that 10,000 Filipino soldiers and 1,200 American soldiers died as prisoners of war during the Bataan Death March alone.

    Filipino World War II veterans fought as nationals of the United States and must be given the same recognition and praise as all American veterans. I applaud the service and efforts of all of our veterans and am honored to give such praise to the Filipino World War II veterans.

  28. You know what pisses me off the most. We help Germany & Japan rebuild…we pay restitution and make a formal State apology to Japan for dropping the atomic bomb on them. We do these things for our enemies at the time but we can’t take care of the folks who fought on our side?

  29. Kirk thanks for updating me on HR 622. Like you said, I hope Congress actually funds the bill. Its long overdue.

    Your outrage is what the veterans feel. They wear called to action by the President, sworn allegience to the American Flag and carried out orders from American Generals. The fact that we have done so much for our enemies but so little for our friends is very discouraging.

  30. Jerry – I just wanted to say that I brought a box of these home from the Philippines for my boyfriend and he loves them. He agrees with you that in the right hands, these could be a hit!

    I love the fact that you take such pride in our homeland. Great new video…I just left there and want to go back already. Thank you!

  31. Word! Jerry you gotta say something when you add a new video! Amazingly beautiful island and people bro!

    I’m not Filipino, I’ve never even traveled outside the US but that new video makes your home feel like my home even though I don’t understand a word of it!

  32. Grace – Glad this review helped you make your boyfriend happy. I wish it wasn’t so expensive to go home. When you’re their its cheap, getting there is the expensive part.

    Kirk – I’m always adding different videos. This one is a Department of Tourism video wanting Filipinos who are living and working in other lands to come home and enjoy the beauty of the Philippines.

  33. Jerry, Kirk and I ordered from that online place and it only took long enough for us to forget that we ordered them to arrive. Took about 90 days. Must have taken the slow boat here. 🙂

    Very nice looking box! Can’t wait for these to rest and to give them a try. You definitely need to reshoot the video although I do like the “old school” feel.

  34. I got several boxes of the coronas at the duty free store in Portland Or several years ago. I would love to be able to get more of these. They are the best I have ever had. I’m no cigar expert but these are a treat.

  35. hey jerry, just got back yesterday from a long flight from the Phiippines. I managed to bring back three different boxes. 1. Flor De Filipinas Coronas Sumatra (tabaqueria de filipinas). 2. 1881. 3. Don Juna Urquijo. all of them are 25cts. smoke a bunch of them while i was there. Im wondering if you have any other cigar suggestion that you tried in the philippines coz my mom is still thr and shes bringing me more of the DJU. Also any recomendation of cheap prise humidor coz as of now i only have 100cts max. and its full i need to upgrade, maybe around 300cts.

  36. Thanks everyone who commented here, the information has been very helpful, I will impart some updated info as well to anyone interested in trying these.

    I’m at the EDSA Shangrila right now smoking an 1881. They don’t have their cigar shop here any more unfortunately, but they sell cigars at Rustans in the mall next store on the 4th floor, as well as in the SM mega mall across the street. You can’t get singles but you can get small boxes of 5’s. I think the price has gone up a little as a box of Don Juan Urquijo Coronas is going for 4700 peso’s at SM, Robustos are a little over 6300P and a box of Panetelas is 3300P. A 25 of 1881’s is now 3500P for the coronas and well worth adding to the collection at that price. I also grabbed a 10 of Antonio Giminez Churchills for 1300P.

    Unfortunately the cigars aren’t in humidors and the smaller cardboard boxes I picked up to sample were pretty dry. Nothing a couple weeks in the humidor won’t fix though. I hope the bigger wooden boxed ones have kept their humidity a little better. Anyone know what wood they use to packed them?

  37. hi

    i’ve been frequenting kipling’s cigar bar, tabac and churchill’s.

    are there any more cigar bar/ lounges/ shop
    in greater manila area?

  38. Wow, what a surprise. Right now I’m in Singapore and a friend gave me one of these sticks. As I’m smoking it on the patio, I thought I’d look the brand up on Google and there you were!

    Thanks for the review, and for keeping all these old videos up where we can get at them.

    You’ve come a long way baby!

  39. Hi there,
    Dera great Torpedo, things have changed a little since you made this report.
    An update here, the Tabacalera Factory is now located in a nice green and clean industrial area well outside Manila.
    The Manila air was no good for the stogies !
    The factory was set up about 2 years ago and is run by Mr. Alan a young and passionate person about cigars, the whole processing is fine and world Class.
    The Cigar go into aging room with controlled humidity and temperature for few month before delivery.
    You can actually see all of this on my blog SWIGAR INTERNATIONAL , go to Tabacalera on top and see for a short factory visit…
    The Don Juan Urquijo is an outstanding stogie ! I rated some well over 92, that much i appreciate those.
    This DJU line was mastered by a Cuban hired to shake up the process and he created the Don Juan Urquijo with 5 tobacco from 4 different counrtries.
    Filler is Brazil + Dominican + Philippines
    Binder is Isabela Philippines
    Wrapper is Connecticut
    A great Cigar the Don Juan Urquijo !

    TODAY NOVEMBER 28 2011 TABACALERA CELEBRATES 130 Years of existence !

    As i seen those Philippines cigar are so difficult to get, i built up a site and make frequent visits to the factories to make those better known and accessible, visit Swigar dot com if you want to try some Philippines cigars !

  40. A friend’s wife recently brought some of these back from the phillipines and he was nice enough to pass on a stick. Smoking it now – had no idea what to expect going in, but definitely impressed. Nice smoke and a very pleasant surprise.

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