RIOT 55 by Stogie Boys | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Maduro
Binder: Dominican Dark Leaf
Filler: Dominican Dark Leaf, Nicaraguan Dark Leaf (Equal Portions)
Size: 5 x 54 “RIOT 55-Figurado”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $3.75 by the Single – $3.10 by a 20 Count Box – $2.46 by a 50 Count Bundle



From Stogie Boys:
“Dominican made and quickly becoming a top pick, RIOT cigars are one of the newest to come from Jose Dominguez. Medium to full bodied, these cigars rival many, but as we all know in the cigar world, there is no need to pick just one. With a smooth even draw the bold flavor flows wonderfully over your palate. Consistent to the very last puff, after smoking just one, RIOT will become a staple in your humidor!”

This is my second adventure with Stogie Boys thanks to Sheryl King. She told me she fell madly in love with me but was devastated when I told her I was no longer 25 and my fro was gone. I have hired a psychic to help heal her love wounds.

This is an interesting cigar. We are all familiar with the LFD Chisel Point but I’ve never seen it in on an inexpensive cigar like the RIOT.

It’s been raining and lots of thunderstorms all night long here in Milwaukee so no sun this morning for my photos. This is a shame because my crappy camera doesn’t do the cigar justice. It has a beautiful oily sheen with a mottled appearance and the color of dark hot chocolate. With a very toothy finish.

Construction surpasses the relative price point of the cigar. Averaging at $3 a stick, the cigar could pass for a $7-$9 stick just by its looks. Seams are tight. Lots of small veins. And absolutely perfect construction of that chisel cap. Flawless.

The trick to the chisel cap is to squeeze it ever so gently with thumb and forefinger from each end; lengthways. This is a real talent because if you squeeze too hard you will ruin it by cracking the cap. At this price, you can experiment with each cigar. And if you don’t get the knack, a cutter works just fine.


After squeezing the cap open, it lies naturally in your mouth like the liquor store cigars with the wood tips.

I open the cap and find aromas of dark, dark, chocolate. Decadent Willy Wonka chocolate. There is also cedar, sweetness, red pepper, buttery smoothness and a hint of exotic spice.
Time to light up.

The draw is spot on. Smoke pours from the foot.

Right away the RIOT 55 has a very Padron or LFD-like flavor. The red pepper builds. The cocoa is rich and delicious. The creaminess hangs back a bit. The strength hits a strong medium immediately. And the rich earthiness holds it all together.

But instead of paying $5-$9 a stick, you get away with murder with this price point.

I didn’t know what to expect from this cigar. Would I be shuffling through my catalog of polite excuses to send to the kind and generous online store that speaks of my inability to give the cigar a good review… and please don’t cut me off.

Or…will I enjoy the hell out of the cigar and my fingers will never touch the key on my laptop that says: “Death to the Katman.”

The stick keeps getting better and better. It has that primal earthiness that only a few brands can pull off successfully.
Here are the flavors: Deep, rich earthiness, dark chocolate, red pepper, creaminess, cedar, and ice cream.

Construction is dead nuts…just perfect. I am chomping on the chisel cap and it is no worse for the wear. The char line is spot on.

You should know that I am smoking this stick after only two weeks. This stick, my gut tells me, is going to be a monster with a month or two of humidor time on it.

The plan was that if it wasn’t ready to smoke, I’d skip the review until later. No need.

A couple weeks and I have a very nice cigar in my delicate, open maw.

The stick is heavy in the hand and is jam packed with tobacco. I have smoked ¾” and it’s taken me 20 minutes to do so.
I begin the second third.

New flavors come to the forefront: Coffee, orange peel, and cumin.

Manny Mota! The cigar is on the cusp of becoming a flavor bomb. Waves of flavors wash over my palate like sticking your face into a giant salt water taffy machine. I am literally wearing a babushka made of this flavor profile.

The strength goes for it and is a solid medium/full body with full body not far away. The red pepper is now almost habanero pepper.

That deep throated earthiness is kicking in. The creaminess is out of control and the chocolate makes me run to the fridge to grab a Diet Coke for my NYC egg cream experience.
egg cream


I cannot believe this stick is only around $3. This is just crazy. My favorite $3 stick was the La Aurora Escogido Natural. The RIOT has taken its place. This is a premium stick at its best and is so affordable you can buy 2 boxes instead of one. I am going to schmooze Sheryl because I want to buy a box of these.

The analogy of the stick being like a Padron or an LFD has changed permanently. It is now much more like an expensive LFD than a Padron. Everything is rich and earthy.

And we have flavor bomb status.

I am at the halfway point and the cigar should smoke faster from here on in because it is where the cigar tapers down to the chisel cap.

I want to sit back and just enjoy this stick without having to type. But I must adhere to the Cigar Reviewer’s Union mandate…and finish the review.

I notice that the wrapper seems to be very thick. Stogie Boys will only say that the wrapper is Maduro without the country designation. I’m sure that if the leaf stat ninjas stormed the Stogie Boys building, Sheryl will have a Glock in her top drawer to either fend off the cigar ninjas or use it on herself to protect the wrapper secret.
Her last words will be, “You scum cigar ninjas! You will never get the wrapper’s country origin out of me!” Blam!

The cigar settles into a nice complexity. Its balance is right on, man. Did you know I actually said, “That’s boss. That’s bitch’n. That’s groovy. That’s mellow, dude….” Back when I was a flower power child in the late 1960’s? Sometimes, I accidentally say some of those phrases now. People just stare at me with that thousand yard stare when I do.

I’m a good hour into the cigar and I am just past the halfway point about to enter the last third.

The strength hits full bodied. And surprisingly, no sign of the dreaded nicotine.

Black cherry enters the picture. It brings the orange peel to the surface once more.

The cigar comes in three sizes: RIOT 45 (4.5 x 52), RIOT 55 (5.5 x 54), and RIOT 65 (6.5 x 54). And all three sizes are Figurados.

And all sizes are around $3 or less by the box.

The last third begins after a smoking time of 90 minutes.

Here are the flavors: Earthiness, creaminess, cocoa, black cherry, exotic spice, coffee, cedar, orange peel, and something new I can’t get a hold of yet. It will come. I am smacking my lips to try and get that flavor and the dog is watching me and she begins licking her chops too. What I would give for a photo of that.

I got it. It is buttery shortbread with a touch of mint.

The cigar is absolutely buttery smooth at this point. It is like an exotic milk shake.

The cap is so rugged, that I have not had to clip it even once because I’m a chomper. And no one wants to see Uncle Katman’s drool in a photo for all posterity.

The cigar finishes out without a lick of nicotine. I don’t think I have experienced a full body cigar that doesn’t give me get the spins at the end. This is a first.

Don’t even think of lumping this cigar into the same category as the usual bundled cigars. Not only is not a bundle (except for the 50 count), it comes in a nice black box. Find another $3 cigar that does that.

I obviously highly recommend this cigar. I have zero criticisms. The construction was perfect from start to finish. Not a single touch up of the char line was required.

Thanks again to Sheryl and the good folks at Stogie Boys for sending me the RIOT 55.

And now for the surprise:

At the end of this review, in the comment section, you must tell me a cute or funny story about you and a cigar. It doesn’t have to be knee slapping funny. Just genuine and sincere. Or, if you are really brave, tell me something about yourself that no one else knows but you.

The winner will be chosen on Sunday, August 10 at 3pm CDT.

The winner will be posted at the top of this page. And must contact me within 72 hours. If I am not contacted within that time frame, a runner up will be chosen.

You can thank Sheryl King and the good folks at for their generosity.

Good luck everyone!




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20 replies

  1. Have you ever taken your 2year old into a cigar shop? Well I have (I know horrible parenting right?) Well theres nothing better than him running around the humidor and picking up cigars to give to you with the adorable “here you go dadda”.

  2. At one time we had a bit of a menagerie in the house. A 120 lb. Malamute,a cat,and a Ferret. Ferrets are fun critters,but high maintenance. Weekly nail trimming,bathing,and cleaning of cage and bedding sack,hammock,etc. to keep down the musk odor that they still have,even with glands removed. If given the opportunity,they will also create little hidey- holes,which he had done in our old couch. Something to remember about ferrets is that anything they find on their domain of the floor is a treasure to be secreted away. So I’m having a stick one day after giving his bath,and letting him have his regular free range romp before going back to his cage. In a slack- jawed hillbilly moment the stogie falls out of my mouth to the floor. The ferret,clearly not understanding the five second rule,has it in his mouth and is off to the races. The cherry of course is intact and now glowing merrily due to his speedy romping. All three animals who would strangely play together,now think it’s a chase game. It was pure slapstick,with me angry,worried,(shit…shit… don’t set anything on fire) and laughing my ass off at the same time. Fortunately I got him cornered before any damage was done. We got rid of that couch after the ferret died. As we’re moving it,his stash starts falling out. Look Lindsay,here’s your missing slipper,and oh,that game cartridge you’ve been searching for. Nuggets of dog food,other assorted deitrus,and of course…cigar bands.

  3. I don’t know how anyone could possibly beat that last story!

  4. We all have stories. Don’t let Doug’s story make you think he is a shoe in.
    Give it a shot, Ron. You have nothing to lose.

  5. Indeed,we all have stogie memories. Maybe not quite as comical as mine, but no less meaningful to the story teller, or less enjoyable for the rest of us to read.
    Good luck to all in both contests!

  6. When I 1st started smoking cigars, back in Aug of 2011 (long time I know) I was given an M80 by Tatuaje (very strong full flavored cigars), well with me being green and all I wasn’t aware of how strong this cigar was, but I had heard that this was a flavor bomb + it’s a HTF stick these days.

    Well, I’m smoking it and all is good, yes it’s strong, but damn good and I’m enjoying it with a coke or Dr Pepper maybe…..not important, anywho it goes out on me… I torch it up and not thinking I accidentally inhale…….bad bad BAD fucking move……I start coughing like mad, I end up dropping and spilling my drink and my eyes are watering……I’m thinking holy shit I’m gonna die!!!

    After my coughing fit subdues I take the cigar relight it and I finish this wonderful smoke.

    Thanks for the contest Katman & Sheryl…….I am very curious to try these, I have heard great things.

  7. I’m 5 years old, my Mom is having my brother, my Grandfather was a pipe and cigar smoker. Grandma & Grandpa, are baby sitting, Grandpa is smoking his cigar, throws the ”butt” in the grass, goes in the house. I pick it up and take a few ”puffs”. In a very short time I’m in the house telling Grandma, I don’t feel good! She gives me a warm glass of milk, in a flash I’m in the bathroom throughing [Sp] up. Had my first cigar, second one was 14 years later. Thanks gor the contest.

  8. A cigar smoking man from Nantucket
    had a humidor made from a bucket
    most thought it a sin
    but so many fit in
    that if he found a bad one he’d chuck it

  9. There once was a man from Pamona
    who smoked a Grand Double Corona
    though he’d hoped for girl’s sighs
    they all saw through his lies
    and they laughed at his miniscule bona

  10. Awesome review as always. I am new to the whole cigar thing. I felt that it was time to broaden my experiences and have been going to my neighborhood tobaccoist for a couple weeks. I’m always hesitant to spend more than $3 on a stick, simply because I don’t know what different manufacturers produce! These would be a great addition to my new humidor, and help broaden my experience with stogies.

  11. Brother Katman (us old farts are too close in age for me to call you Uncle),

    I haven’t been smoking cigars long enough to have any good stories but I’ll tell you a secret. In my basement I have a secret stash of old Playboys from my youth. I keep them for sentimental reasons since they are not much good to look at anymore. All the pages are stuck together.

  12. Hunka-Hunka Burnin’ Love

  13. Is it OK to talk about Monica Lewinsky’s first cigar experience instead of mine? Much more interesting than my 50+ years of smoking stogies. Flavored cigars dipped in cider!

  14. Well, strange thing Uncle Katmensch (you may want to explain to your non-Yiddish speaking readers what a “mensch” is – clearly, you is one), but I now have a legitimate entry into this contest. Having developed a Pavlovian response to your reviews – “if Uncle Katmensch loves it, I buy it – immediately,” I ordered a bundle of 50 RIOT 55’s from StogieBoys upon finishing this review. How do they do $12.00 overnight shipping? But, I digress.

    The cigars should have arrived yesterday given the two-day shipping promise, but nothing showed-up at the front door while I was out cruising cigar lounges in and around Ft. Worth. Around 8pm, I thought perhaps I should check the mailbox – just in case. Wouldn’t you know it, the nice federal worker placed a bundle of 50 Riots in the box when the ambient temperature was about 100 degrees – and they baked to perfection for six to eight hours. I immediately opened the package and put the stogies in the freezer for an hour. They were HOT!

    Being the cigar-whore that I am, I of course smoked one last night after it reached room temperature. It was still warm and pretty humid – but the cigar burned perfectly and was a pretty good smoke – that did not in the least resemble your review of it except for showing the promise of some good flavors and great construction.

    Now for the most unusual experience of my stogie career – I smoked another RIOT this morning when my palate was clean and ready – I let the cigar sit in a dry-box overnight. Well, this poor, mishandled, baked and frozen stick was the cigar you reviewed – in all it’s glory and then some. It was better than most $7-$8 cigars I’ve smoked. Deeeelicious with very little if any nicotine – but oodles of flavor and perfect burn.

    I was not prepared for the humongous goodness of the RIOT after just twelve hours of rest – and, although I trust your reviewing skills implicitly (with brain and wallet) – your timely review of the RIOT gave all of your loyal followers a chance to get in on the ground floor of a wonderful smoke. Now, my hope is that the maker (Victor Sinclair, apparently) keeps the quality level where it is instead of pursuing volume.

    Good Job, Katmensch!


    Tonight is Swinging Dick’s Night at The Cutters Lounge cigar bar. There are to be no women. So why is The Katman’s daughter serving the ceremonial Clynelish 20-year old Scotch to Michael, Rick, David, and me?
    “My dad is running late. He said to start with his recommended appetizers.” She holds out a tray of Rocky Patel Vintage Perfecto 1992 cigars.
    Michael turns his head, blows a billow of smoke, and converses with it. “There aren’t supposed to be any … girls tonight.”
    Katie curls her lips at him, “Why? That never stops you from scratching, farting, and belching.”
    Michael’s head whips back at her and he tries to give her his most foreboding stare of doom. Katie turns and sways away to the counter out front, scratching her ass at him.
    Rick grins and pleads after her, “Everything out there in the world is for women.”
    I add, calling out lamely, “Civilization is a feminine concept!”
    Rick turns to me in seriousness, “It really is, you know. Think about it: the highest compliment paid to the most advanced invention is ‘a woman can do it’”.
    Michael says “Yeah? What about France?”
    “They were supposed to be the highest civilization once, and they wore powdered wigs and silk stockings!” Michael leans back in triumph.
    Katie calls from the front counter, “Yeah, yeah. Without women men would just fish and drink beer.”
    “And smoke cigars!” says Rick.
    “How can she hear us?” I ask incredulously.
    “She’s young,” says David, laughing at me.
    Michael persists, saying loudly, “All real men used to hunt, …seek, …endure…
    Rick interrupts him at his own peril, “Men hunt, women nest”, quoting from the old Seinfeld show.
    “…and all real women, yes, tended the campfire and the children,” Michael finishes, glaring at Rick.
    Katie shoots back, unseen from the front counter, “And women made damn sure the Men stayed away from the children. They’ll fuck anything.”
    David bursts out with mock indignation, “How dare you insult my better half?” He grabs my hand.
    I say wryly, “Not tonight, dear, I’m constipated.”
    “Maybe I can help?” he whispers.
    Michael makes a retching sound. Rick chimes in, “A little too civilized, gentlemen.”
    The Katman enters. We stand.
    I bow. Rick curtsies. Michael salutes smartly. David flings his right arm out with a “Heil, mein Meister”.
    The Katman seats himself upon the massage recliner Throne and proceeds to hold court, allowing the obvious question from David, “How did the meeting go?”
    The Katman lowers his eyes and warms the foot of his cigar, revealing, “This is a RIOT 55 by Stogie Boys.”
    I ask humbly, “Is it as good as the Rocky Patel Vintage Perfecto 1992?”
    “Better,” says The Katman as he savors the ignition. “You’ll all try one.”
    “What about the meeting?” insists David irreverently.
    The Katman states matter-of-factly, “It’s going to be a fight. The government is hell-bent on regulating cigar blends.”
    “Why?” asks Rick rhetorically, “This isn’t cigarettes. This is wine tasting.”
    Michael says, “It’s what bureaucrats do. The government can only grow.”
    “Until the revolution!” I conclude, trying to be weighty.
    David shakes his head, “The German government strictly regulates beer. They sure haven’t ruined that.”
    “A Cigar Czar?” Rick contemplates out loud, “Quality control for blending? Now that’s a government job I’d like to have!”
    The Katman watches and listens as his court debates, his eyes pulsing red with the glow of the RIOT 55 cigar tip.

  16. I have a brother inlaw that I some how influenced to start smoking cigars a few years back and this is about him. We were hosting a New Years Eve party and he wanted to get some good Cubans to smoke on the night so I sent him away with a list, he arrived for the party with a fist full of top shelf CC’s and the party kicked off. His first cigar was a Diplomatico #2 and he loved it and washed it down with many drinks of Scotch. Second stogie was a Montecristo #2 which he also loved although he was feeling a bit squeamish by now, not being a quitter he started on number three, a Bolivar Belicoso Fino, needless to say by this time his stomach was full of Single Malt Scotch and that’s when the overdose of nicotine hit him, he ended up puking everywhere and lying down on the ground while the night sky spinned around him, he kept begging me to stop the sky spinning. What a great party and great memories. he now is a seasoned smoker with his own humidor full of top quality cigars.

  17. Funniest cigar story I have is lighting my cigar before cutting it. The look on my face trying to get it to draw must have been hilarious. Too bad I smoke alone.

  18. Most of us have done that bro, at one time or another, much to the amusement of anyone around. “Damn it, what’s wrong with the draw on this cigar?? Oh, what a dumb ass.” Hopefully spoken to ourselves in soft undertones….. Got to do something about that smoking alone though.

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