Cruising Cigar Man
New Cigar Reviews
Taste the best of the Caribbean in these two new luxury cigars!
Dec. 23, 2005 05:45 PM
For this issue, I’m spotlighting two new full-bodied luxury cigars from two of the top manufacturers: Davidoff of Geneva and General Cigar Dominicana. Both made in the Dominican Republic, at the heart of these cigars are rich-tasting tobaccos from different regions of the DR, Honduras and Nicaragua. Should you be cruising the waters surrounding these countries in the coming months, you may want to have some of these fine cigars on-board.
Davidoff Limited Edition Robusto Intenso
The Limited Edition Robusto Intenso is a full-bodied cigar deftly handcrafted to a 5 1/8 inch Robusto length with a wide, 52-guage ring foot to permit more flavor.
There were only a few distinct veins in the wrapper of my sample, but it was appealingly oily and even in color. The cap popped-off perfectly. At first light, the smoke had a familiar semi-sweetness, and as advertised, the aroma was very enticing. The cigar smoked smoothly from the first and drew perfectly with some sharpness to it. As the ash (which was quite firm) neared the 1-inch mark the flavor rounded out.
Just past an inch, the black and dark gray stippled ash let-go, leaving a perfect crimson cone in its wake. Now cruising at full-speed, the cigar produced a lot of spicy smoke, and I was starting to understand why they named this cigar “Intenso.” The second ash held on for a good one-and-three quarter inches.
By its midpoint, the cigar took on a new dimension in spiciness, yet surprisingly, it was also smoking more smoothly. Even at it’s spiciest, the cigar was never overpowering. This can probably best be explained by the fact that all six tobaccos used in the Davidoff Robusto Intenso are matured from three to five years. Lots of other things were happening in this cigar. I can’t put any specific flavors to it other than to say the Robusto Intenso is a great example of a “complex” cigar.
What’s intriguing about this cigar is how it appears to “regulate” the amount spiciness it puts out. I don’t know how the blenders at Davidoff do it, but again, I would contribute it to the unique mix of tobaccos, all of which are grown in at least three different regions of the Dominican Republic, including an Ecuadorian-grown wrapper leaf.
I smoked it down to the last one-and-a-half inches. This was also one of the few cigars where I may have enjoyed the aroma even more than the flavor. Highly recommended.
Bolivar (Dominican Republic)
The Bolivar brand was originally introduced by the Rocha Company of Havana, Cuba, in 1901. In the 1950’s, Ramon Cifuentes, creator of Partagas cigars, began manufacturing the brand. Although still produced in Cuba, this new Bolivar blend is made in the Dominican Republic by General Cigar Dominicana. The sample I chose for this review was the Toro, measuring 6 x 52. (Suggested retail price: $148.75 / box of 25.)
The wrapper on this cigar has an attractive copper hue with a black marble pattern and shimmers with oiliness. Although it was not excessively veiny, some scars were apparent, but I didn’t consider them a detriment.
Bolivar sports a Honduran-grown, San Agustin Ligero wrapper with a complex filler blend composed of Dominican tobacco and two Nicaraguan leaves: one grown in Esteli, the other on the isle of Ometepe. It’s the rich, volcanic soil of Ometepe that gives this tobacco its unique character and contributes greatly to the complexity of this blend. The binder is a very dark, robust Havano Medio Tiempo leaf grown in Connecticut.
The cap clipped-off perfectly (a sign of excellent construction). Once lit, the cigar glowed evenly across the foot and the first puff produced a warm, earthy aroma and an easy draw. A few more puffs and there it was: the mother load. It was almost insidious. The smoke drew smoothly pulling a lot of smoke with it that languished on the palate. Then, suddenly, a riptide of spiciness emerges. Not so much a hot sensation, but very peppery, like a gourmet salsa.
At about the one inch mark the ash was still quite firm and the cigar is beginning to round out. By its midpoint the cigar was demonstrating a remarkable consistency in both balance and flavor.
Both cigars earned a 9.3 on my 10-point rating scale, yet each had their own unique flavors and aromas. For those who have gained an appreciation for hearty, complex cigars, including the better Havanas, these Caribbean schooners are smooth sailing.