Ok, here goes.... I got this smoke from Marco-Polo. He said it's one of his favorites. Appearance
Wrapper on this corona-sized cigar was nice, medium brown, reminded me of milky milk chocolate. The pictures show a sheen to it that I didn’t necessarily see live and in person, but it is a very pleasant looking cigar.
Unfortunately, there was a tear in the wrapper, but I was determined not to let that stand in the way of checking this out this mystery stick in full detail. Turns out it might have had an effect on the smoking experience, but nothing that made me put down before it was time.
As for physical details, this was a corona, as far as I could judge; probably something like a 42 ring guage and about 5 inches long, maybe shorter. There was the tell-tale sign of a triple cap which, naturally, made me wonder if this was a Cuban.
I only have limited experience with ISOMs, but there were a few things that led me to believe that this was perhaps not from that island south of Miami.
Overall this seemed to be a finely constructed smoke. Aside from the tear, the wrapper had a nice color and the foot showed lots of good stuff wrapped up beneath.
Flavor and smoking experience
I am on a full-flavored kick, so I thought I was in for a more mild experience than I would have liked when I first lit up. First tastes were cream and just pure tobacco, albeit on the medium to mild side of things, with just a hint of pepper or spice. Flavors started to develop pretty quickly though, with a tangy sensation starting in the first third and by the second third, I was getting wood and cedar, cinnamon and all sorts of good stuff.
Flavors developed throughout and I ended up experiencing wood, cedar, cream, nuts, quick bursts of coffee toward the end, and a tongue-numbing finish that lasted throughout the last half. Overall, these are all flavors that I love, so my taste buds were definitely intrigued. Even though I thought I was in for a mild smoke in the beginning, the developing flavors won over and, two hours later, I’m still tasting this smoke and I now realize that I want more.
The draw and burn were not what I usually like in smoke, but something tells me that isn’t typical for this cigar. There was the tear in the wrapper and I had to touch up the light about four different times. Something about this smoke didn’t like having more than about 1/4-inch of ash on it. Whenever the ash would stack up too high, the burn would dwindle and hide. That was fine, I just did like a heretic and flicked the ash every now and then.
Still, I had to stay on top of the burn and I got worried about puffing too hard on it and making it bitter. But this smoke really kept up, even with all the touching up. It even went out when I put it down to get a drink half way through (NB: goes pretty good with Buffalo Trace), and tasted just fine on the relight.Conclusions
Overall, this was a complex and compelling little smoke. Going from a relatively simple, woody, light smoke to a full-flavored but medium bodied smorsgabord. It had me fooled in the beginning, I had no idea what kind of ride I was in for. But by the time I had committed to it, the smoke really took me through some satisfying flavors. I’m sure one without a tear and maybe a little better humidification than my slighly unkempt Vinotech setup would be a fantastic smoke.
One of my favorite parts of smoking this cigar was the aroma. While I thought the prelight smell wasn’t too distinctive, the live smoke was just warm, toasty, and pleasant. I found myself holding it under my nose to get a good long whiff. Nice.My prediction
Well, I’ve rambled on enough. Throughout this experience, I kept wondering whether this was a Cuban. The triple cap, the thin vitola, and a lot of the flavors—especially the tongue-numbing bit in the last third—drew me to this conclusion. But there was something Nicaraguan-ish and Pepin-ish about it, to the extent that my limited experience led me to believe.
So… my prediction is that this mystery smoke is a Cabaiguan.How did I do?
Marco-Polo is going to have to chime in here and let me know how far off I am. I misplaced the envelope with the band it, so I’m sitting here on pins and needles. Thanks for sharing what you told me is one of your favorite smokes. It was a pleasure and a great way to unwind in the midst of a pretty stressful, busy week.