Greetings Lords and Ladies of the Leaf!
It’s good to be back amongst the living again. Kyle and I have been puffing away for you! The cigar for you this week is the Pinar del Rio by Abe Flores. Released in 2011 at ICPCR this cigar is stoutly all-Dominican. I purchased this particular cigar from Riverside Cigars. If you’re in Jeffersonville, Indiana, we highly recommend giving this cigar oasis a try – there are very few Patel’s to be found. And to my palate that’s a wonderful thing.
At any rate – we’re going to have a contest – more on that later – and on with the review!
First, the stats:
Cigar: PDR 1878 Reserva Dominicana Capa Oscura
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Wrapper: Dominican Republic Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Republic Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic (Corojo, Habano, Criollo 98)
Price: Around 9.00
Wrapper/Appearance 1/2: The cigar was heavy for it’s size, and well constructed. The cigar was off balance and definitely had more weight towards the cap, but there were no soft spots. However, one caveat that I found is that the end of the cigar was rather ugly. It was a closed foot – however, and while not my preference it was poorly constructed, with a bunch of the closed foot missing.
Cap: 2/2 pts: The cap was really well constructed – there was a pronounced pig-tail on top, curling twice.
Band: 2/2 pts: As you can see from the pictures the band is an intense double red band with a silver block letter font. It’s really quite pretty – sexy almost.
Smell: 2/2 pts: Rich and earthy – the smell drew hints of tobacco and musty leather.
Pre-light draw/lighting: 2/2 pts: The pre-light draw was clean and clear and hinted towards earthiness and a muddiness that while not unpleasant was unexpected.
The promise of leather did not hold true in this cigar. Instead, it was rather metallic in the first third. Though it could have been the inferior lighter that I was using. Otherwise the smoke was pleasant and thick – creamy with a desirable mouthfeel. After a few minutes the cigar turned much nicer and turned more earthy with subtle undertones of nuttiness and baked bread. The metallic taste pervaded once again, and the cigar seemed to burn hot despite my best efforts to make it burn slowly, including smoking less and making sure that I didn’t have to continue to relight. It was windy today so that might have contributed to the fact that the cigar decided to go all wonky on me and continued to burn out. Finally, I got ticked off enough to just snip the end off and relight to start the smoke again. There were several relights during the first third, but I wont completely discount this cigar simply because of my poor equipment and the weather conditions.
This was much better! The metallic taste vanished. It gave way to a cigar that was rich in cinnamon, all-spice, and nutmeg (which, by the way is very poisonous when taken intravenously…I’m not advocating doing that … but it seems to be a dangerous way to use a delicious spice.). The smoke continued to be creamy and rich, and was delicious. The oscura was complex and the taste of bread greeted the smoker as the cigar mellowed out. The cigar was a biter originally and she turned rich and delicious after a brief experience with the dark side. The ash was light gray and very dense. The smoke continued to have a creamy mouthfeel and was totally worth nursing it through the bitter parts.
After sacrificing a lamb to the wind (not really, it just happened that I huddled down underneath the deck … I was like Frodo Baggins in my hobbit hole) it finally calmed down. And the overall experience the final third as completely worth it. The cigar remained savory and had an undercurrent of nuttiness. The oscura rounded itself out remaining delicious and complex. The cigar was a bit dry, I highly recommend having something to drink with you (I was drinking water … but Beer or Wine would work well too.) The leatheriness worked itself back in towards the end, and I nubbed this cigar out. Nice work, Abe!
The overall experience was marred by the wind and the shoddy equipment that I was using. One of the things that I liked about this cigar was the flavor profile. The beginning was metallic and disgusting, but the sheer force of will caused me to keep through it and I’m glad that I did. The initial bitterness wore off to a smooth and savory tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and baked bread and then finished off with the hints of leather that the foot and the prelight draw promised. A decent smoke after all.
Smoking: 7/10 – Quantification: The initial bitterness was so unpleasant that I found myself wanting to stop smoking. But I forced myself to overcome my aversion!
Overall Experience: 7/10 – Qualification: The fact that I had to relight the thing five times and clip the end once, made it rather unenjoyable to smoke. But the taste was really quite good.
TOTAL: 23/30. Truly a good quality smoke – but it could use some work. It was enjoyable, and I’ll be glad to enjoy another one. At the price it may or may not be worth it – check back to see another review of one, I hope to grab another one soon.
Thanks for reading! Another couple weeks and we’ll be ready to post our “CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS” for a chance for you to win cigars and a special prize.