Posts Tagged ‘Robusto’

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Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca

Filler: Mixed Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 20, $45.95 at Cigar.com

Score: 8.6

Inching closer and closer to burning through the 7 House Blends offered by Cigar.com, today we take a look at the Brazilian Label. The Brazilian is rolled by Tabacalera Fernandez and is the most recent addition to the House Blends. Sold in boxes of 20 and in 4 sizes, there are also several sampler options by size and House Blend variety. So far, we’ve reviewed the Blue, Purple, and Corojo.

In our reviews so far, we’ve noted consistency and great flavor profiles in what is surely a value-priced smoke. So, let’s see how the Brazilian matches up.

Appearance, 1.4:
The pre-light draw and aroma on the Brazilian is quite complex and very full. There is a sweet and pleasant espresso with a slight spicy undertone at the foot. The rest of the stick has a medium-full roasted aroma with thick and creamy notes of cocoa. The wrapper is quite moist with a few soft spots, though packed very well at the foot. The overall exterior is rugged, with raised veins and a leathery texture. Though the head is triple capped, there is not much more to speak of on the exterior. The green and yellow band are simple and pop well from the dark wrapper. The pre-light draw creates a very unique taste—a bit of a dry rub on the tongue that I haven’t experienced before. It has a very solid draw and appears to be a very interesting smoke.

Burn, 1.7:
The Brazilian lit very well and created a fairly straight edge throughout. As I’ve experienced with all of the Cigar.com House Blends, the burn on this cigar is quick, really quick! The Brazilian released a great cloud of smoke that smelled excellent; it reminded me of the sweet smell emitted from melting chocolate over a campfire. The ash started off very poorly with a big split down the middle. Once I ashed at the one inch mark it corrected itself and burned great.

Flavor, 2.7:
Up front there was a fairly strong shot of pepper with a bit of body to accompany it—the Brazilian introduces itself well. The dryness picked up on the pre-light continued throughout the smoke and the finish reminded me of the smell from wet lumber. There were a lot of wood notes in both texture and flavor, with cedar and other earthy flavors taking over the early notes of spice. I only picked up the sweetness when exhaling through my nose, which complemented the other flavors very well. Overall, this was a very rustic smoke that had excellent complexity and a medium-full body.

Overall, 2.8:
As has been my experience with the other Cigar.com House Blends, the Brazilian delivered in the flavor and burn departments—a very consistent smoke. The flavor profiles were very interesting, though I was a bit distracted by the dry finish at times. This is the classic story of the ugly duckling, where the inside is what matters. At around $2 a stick this is going to be hard to beat.

(Total: 8.6)


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Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Sumatran

Filler: Panamanian

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 20, $114.99; 5-pack, $25.99

Grade: 8.8

Matt over at Tex Cigars recently sent us a couple of the Mad Dog sticks in the Robusto size. This blend is only sold as a Robusto and Torpedo, and is hand-made in Panama. Often grown with a bit of volcanic soil, cigars from Panama can carry some unique flavors. Though many cigars are produced in this region, less are actually shipped from Panama, which Tex lists as one of the unique features of the Mad Dog.

The Mad Dog rested in our humidor for a couple months and we’ve been itching to give it a shot. You can learn more about this cigar here.

This review comes from our close friend Chris; He and his wife just celebrated the birth of their first child, a healthy little boy named Lane! Everyone welcome Chris, and congratulate him on the new addition!


Appearance 1.8:
The appearance on this stick is beautiful—a reddish brown Sumatran wrapper that is very smooth and oily, the Mad Dog makes a great first impression. There are minimal veins and no soft spots—very well constructed. The pre-light draw is solid with notes of sweet pepper. The band on this stick is eye-catching, with a shiny chrome outline of a Mad looking Dog set against a black background.

Burn, 1.5:
By far the biggest deduction, the burn on stick struggled from the beginning. The “v” shaped burned only worsened as the smoke progressed. Though the ash was consistently colored and held well, the crooked burn required several touch-ups to correct. On the positive side, the draw on the Mad Dog was nearly perfect and never burned hot. The smoke emitted had a very sweet and enjoyable aroma and thick clouds were produced throughout. Had the burn been straighter, this stick would have scored around a 1.8 on burn, soaring it to a 9.1 overall grade. So, if burn issues don’t bother you, this is a high scorer!

Flavor, 2.8:
The Mad Dog transitioned exceptionally well; beginning with strong notes of pepper, by the second third the stick had mellowed out into a very sweet and smooth tasting cigar. The sweetness was complemented by a leathery taste that was very enjoyable to the palette. Great complexity, consistency, and flavor, the Mad Dog is a winner in the flavor category. There was also some noticeable body to this medium-full stick, which made the experience nice and relaxing.

Overall, 2.7:
At just under $6 a stick, I’d say this is a solid value. In fact, I would consider buying a box of these at the current price point of $114.99 per 20. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this cigar, even with the burn issues. The great flavor profile and beautiful appearance prevented me from being totally distracted by the required touch-ups. As I said earlier, had the burn on this stick been better, we’d be looking at a score into the low 9s. Thanks to Tex Cigars for providing this excellent House Blend.

(Total: 8.8)

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Size: Robusto, 5×52

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 20, $110

Grade: 8.7

The Lx2 had a lot of buzz when it first came out; I picked one up at my local shop and let it rest for about six months. The Lx2 is slammed full of ligero, the highest priming on a tobacco plant. This portion of the plant receives the most sunlight and produces a dark and thick leaf that is stronger and more flavorful. Here is CAO’s word on the powerhouse:

CAO Lx2 (“Ligero Times Two”) is the third and final installment to the CAO “x2” trilogy. This ligero-heavy powerhouse possesses a full-bodied flavor profile and was inspired by tobacco grown on the 140-acre “Pueblo Nuevo” farm located just outside of Condega, Nicaragua.

CAO Lx2 features a sungrown Nicaraguan wrapper, Honduran binder, and three different ligero fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

CAO Lx2 boasts a bold, muscular structure but also shows flavors of bittersweet chocolate, paprika, and woody tobacco notes that fan out superbly on the palate. Available in three shapes, CAO Lx2 cigars have been draw-tested to ensure a consistently flawless smoke.

You can learn a bit more here. Let’s get to it, shall we…

Appearance 1.8:
The dark chocolate wrapper on this smoke is very appealing. The texture is smooth and the cigar is very firm with good weight. The label is very eye-catching and really draws you in with its double banding. The cap was a little rugged but when cut it came off very clean. The pre-light aroma was that of cocoa along with the clean smell of dark tobacco; the foot had an aroma of hay. The cold draw followed the above profile with some spice, but the barnyard was not present in the cold draw.

Burn 1.5:
The Lx2 lit well but, as far as burn goes, it was downhill from there. The ash did not hold past ¾ inch, and I had to re-light going into the 2/3 and the cigar starting flowering into the 3/3 mark. The draw was also very tight throughout the smoke, though it did loosen a bit when reaching the 3/3 mark—however, it was never comfortable and required consistent thought and work. This is the biggest point deduction for this smoke and a better burn would have marked this cigar a 9.0+.

Flavor 2.8:
As to be expected, the Lx2 was very flavorful. The first puff produced notes of green pepper and smoothed out into a earthy tobacco profile with a cocoa finish. About halfway through the first third, I picked up a nutty flavor on the finish coupled with the continuing cocoa, which was quite nice! The second-third of the Lx2 continued to smooth out and notes of fresh cut grass seemed to jump out at me. There was also some mint on the finish. The final third returned to a more pronounced earthy tobacco taste with a caramel type finish. The smoke was very complex and I enjoyed the transition in the smoke.

Overall 2.6:
The complexity of this smoke makes it a good value at around $6 a stick, but the burn issues really detracted from the enjoyment of the stick. I am going to pick up another one the next time I see it in a shop and I will re-review to see if the burn issues are consistent or if I just got a bad one. Overall, a very interesting and engaging smoke.

(Total: 8.7)

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Size: Robusto, 5×50

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $39.95

Grade: 8.5

My buddy and blog partner Jed introduced me to Cu-Avana a year or so ago when he left me with one of the naturals. It sat for a while, appearing to be nothing spectacular, and one afternoon I grabbed it to unwind. My expectations were considerably low; when I thanked Jed for leaving the smoke he said no worries, it’s a cheapie. In price yes, but not in enjoyment. The natural immediately became my go-to value smoke and I’ve purchased several 5-packs since then. Today I fired up the maduro, which carries the same mild strength as the natural but with a bit more flavor.

Appearance, 1.4:

Not the strongest point of the Cu-Avana, nor any two-buck stick for that matter. This was the biggest deduction in the review, which I knew going in. There were a few obtrusive veins and the weight of the stick seemed a bit hollow. The wrapper was oily but ridged with lots of bumps. The cap and the foot were not excellent, but not terrible either. Overall, the construction was decent with a nice, clean burgundy and gold label, which complemented the dark maduro wrapper nicely. There was a pleasant sweet smell from foot to top and the draw was perfect; the sweetness was evident in the draw with a surprising bit of spice.

The deductions here are for the rigidness, cap and foot construction, and the hollowness of the stick.

Burn, 1.6:

The maduro lit wonderfully with a couple matches and a perfect burn ring quickly formed. The draw created nice, thick smoke clouds and continued throughout the stick. About 2/3 through I did have to re-light, but that could have been blamed more on distractions from conversation than on the stick; the pre-light brought a bit of harshness, which quickly passed. The ash was very dark and unattractive, though fairly consistently colored with minute transitions in shade. The ash held through the first 1.5 inches before falling in my lap.

The deductions here are for the re-light, slightly loose ash, and unattractive coloring.

Flavor, 2.7:

The flavor on the maduro was nice and sweet throughout; the first inch was a bit empty in flavor but it quickly moved into the sweetness. With most mild smokes, however, you loose a bit of complexity, and I would have loved to get some of the spice noted in the pre-light draw evident during the smoke—this would have been an excellent compliment to the sweetness. There is no real body or force to this smoke, just a clean, smooth, and mild smoke. The only transition came around the 2/3 mark, which presented a bit of harshness, which as I mentioned early, was likely due to the re-light and it quickly passed.

The deductions here are for lacking complexity.

Overall, 2.8:

In my opinion, this is the best stick you can buy for the money. I have enjoyed several of these and have not come across any issues whatsoever; a consistent stick. It is designed to be a mild smoke and therefore there is no room to complain at its lack of force. If looking for more oomph, Cu-Avana has recently released the full-bodied Intenso, which I have not tried. This is without a doubt box-worthy, especially when a box of 20 is the price of some 5-packs. Pick up a few today!

(Total: 8.5)

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Size: Robusto,  5 x 50

Wrapper: Honduran Habano

Filler: Honduran and Costa Rican Ligero, Nicaraguan Viso, and Panamanian Seco longfiller tobaccos

Binder: Nicaraguan Seco leaf

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 20, $79.99

Grade: 8.6

As a big fan of boutique cigars, I must admit I was excited to get my hands on this Conuco Robusto. An exclusive smoke from Famous Cigar Shop, the stick is produced in partnership with Rocky Patel and, at four bucks a stick, it is half the price of a standard boutique smoke. Needless to say I was interested to see what this was all about.

Appearance, 1.6:

The cigar appears to be well constructed with no soft spots or visible spotting on the wrapper. The texture is smooth with some veins and tooth. The cap looked nice, but at the foot of the smoke the filler was hanging out of the wrapper a noticeable amount which did affect the toasting of the cigar. The label on this smoke is very subdued, though it fits the idea of the cigar nicely. The pre-light aroma and draw were filled with notes of sweet tobacco and some chocolate.

Burn, 1.7:

The draw on this smoke was very good all the way through. The dark grey ash held up to 1.5 inches before I lost my nerve and knocked it off. The cigar produced a mouthful of flavorful smoke with not a lot of heat at all. The smoke did require a touch up around the beginning of the 2/3 but by the 3/3 it was perfect.

Flavor, 2.6:

The first puff on this smoke produced a flavor of barnyard and sweet citrus. It was a very mellow flavor with no spice, which I was expecting. As the cigar burned into the 1/3, I picked up a dark wood flavor, which reminded me of the smell of my two acoustic guitars. They are made of mahogany and rosewood, two types of wood that have a more rich, spicy, and heavy aroma than say hickory or cedar. Attached to this flavor was a hint of sweetness.  The finish on this smoke was not long at all and this trend continued throughout the smoke. As the smoke progressed into the 2/3, it did not become more complex but the notes of dark wood, chocolate, and lingering sweetness continued. The 3/3 brought a definite coffee flavor to the party which paired nicely with the chocolate notes still hanging around. Though the smoke was not as complex as I anticipated for a full body smoke, it was very consistent.

Overall, 2.7:

The value of this smoke is great; it is a good, solid smoke for the money no doubt.  I would recommend this to any smoker who likes a full bodied smoke with a hint of sweetness.  Rocky consistently puts out a great smoke and this partnership with Famous is a winner.

(Total: 8.6)

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Size: Robutso, 5×52, Box-pressed

Wrapper: Sumatran seed grown in Costa Rica (Aged 5 years)

Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan mixed long-fillers

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 20, $49.99

Grade: 8.8

Coming from Rocky Patel and blended by EO Brands, the Reo was originally released in 2005. I purchased a 5-pack from Cigar Bid a year or so ago and I payed around $17; the boxes are currently on sale at Cigars International. Listed as a medium-full bodied smoke, the Robusto is shaped with a very nice box-press.

Appearance, 1.7:

I used a punch on this stick and the pre-light draw was perfect; the smell from foot to cap was consistently sweet with no variation in between. The box-press was very nice and the triple cap really set this off as a top quality cigar. The stick had a nice weight to it with only sleight veins. The dark, oily stick was complimented by a large, multi-colored band.

Burn, 1.9:

The quality and hold of the ash was nearly perfect. A slight gray with very few inconsistencies in color, the ash held well beyond the first 1/3. The draw from the pre-light matched perfectly during the burn; the draw was superb throughout the entire stick. There were no touch-ups, runs, or re-lights required and the burn was a perfect circle throughout. It lit very easily with a great cloud of smoke from the first puff.

Flavor, 2.6:

The largest deduction of points came in the flavor profile, though this doesn’t say much since very few points were deducted throughout the smoke. The first and last 1/3 carried similar profiles—sweet and a bit mild with a slight hint of peppermint. During the middle 1/3 the more mild sweetness passed and a slight harshness arrived, though very brief; The middle 1/3 showed why this is considered a medium-full smoke, though I’d classify this stick as simply medium. The middle section also brought a bit of pepper in the back of the throat. With the shift in flavor, this stick ranked high for me in complexity.

Overall, 2.6:

This stick ranked perfectly on my value rating; this is an excellent smoke, especially when you can get a box of 20 for under $50. I enjoyed this smoke immensely and would certainly recommend it as a box purchase; this stick has been in my humidor for close to a year and the flavor profiles improved from my earlier smoke a few months back. Final words, an excellent smoke!

(Total: 8.8)

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