I received the cigar used for this review from Cigars Direct. All reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Trajes, Honduran | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Trajes, Nicaraguan & Honduran | Box of 20: $175.00; 5 Pack: $47.00 | Churchill | 7″ x 48
0/3: Looks well made, slightly darker than medium brown in color, no noticeable imperfections on the wrapper, fairly hard packed with a soft box press. I should note that I am shocked, SHOCKED!!!, that I haven’t reviewed this line before. I thought I had (maybe that’s why I never did a review because I thought I already had).
1/3: Starts out very well. Coffee, earth and some sweet spice. It’s got a bit of strength but not so much as to overpower.
2/3: Flavors are pretty much the same as before but the spice does pick up a little in intensity. With the increase in spice it does add to my enjoyment of the cigar because the extra spice adds an extra dimension to the flavor profile.
3/3: Bitter earthiness is the main force in the flavor profile during the final third. I like it because the flavors are deep and work well with the spice and the hint of chocolate that is starting to break through now. I did have to touch up the burn line a couple of times but this is a rather long cigar and it wasn’t too much of a hassle.
4/3: It is pretty easy to see why a certain publication that has been around for two decades likes this cigar so much. Medium-full bodied with a good draw and decent burn, this cigar has a lot of flavor in what I like to refer to as the dark end of the flavor spectrum.
4.5 out of 5 points – a cigar most everyone will like
Full Disclosure: The cigar comes from Cuban Stock. All review are my own.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro Special | Binder: Dominican | Filler: Dominican | Single MSRP: $7.90 | Perfecto | 6″ x 60
That’s a lot of missing information and if I get that information I will put it up ASAP. I looked for that information for more than half an hour and it just isn’t anywhere. (Updates made) Alright, now onto the cigar.
It is misshapen. The head sort of ends up as a nipple and the foot, if I look at the profile the right way, either looks like a bottle nosed dolphin’s head. It has a dark wrapper with some moderate veins running from head to foot. The feel is slightly soft and there are some oils on the wrapper.
1/3: I once did a review on a Chubbys Ultimate and didn’t care for it that much. It’s an alright cigar but just didn’t do it for me.
This one is starting out earthy, bitter, grassy and there’s this salty aftertaste. Everything but the salty aftertaste is… alright.
After the burn line gets comfortably over the shoulder, which takes about an inch, the flavors become earthier with chocolate and coffee. It’s actually decent.
2/3: The second third is a regression, sort of like a decent tv show that just becomes dumb after the first season. Saltiness is back and there is this hot chocolate flavor that tastes like it has been thinned out with water.
3/3: It’s all washed out now. The only flavor that is making any kind of impact is saltiness. Washed out earth and chocolate make up the bulk of the remaining flavors.
4/3: A big part of me wanted to like this cigar but that just wasn’t in the cards. There wasn’t much intensity of flavor even at the best of times and for the remainder the flavors were the cigar equivalent of mud puddles. Medium bodied, with a good draw and burn, which is the best thing I can say about this cigar.
Evidently, this cigar is no longer being made, which may or may not be a shame for reasons that you will come to understand after reading this review or for reasons you have already formulated after smoking one or more of these yourself.
The most obvious thing is that this is a big, shaped cigar. Nothing along the lines of what a cigar maestro can do here but it does have a certain rustic look to it that I like. A couple of pronounced veins, a torn bit and, perhaps unforgivably, I think this cigar’s wrapper may have been dyed. Let me stop you there.
I have never accused a cigar company, especially one I respect as much as Padilla, of doing this. And I’m not unequivocally doing so now either. All I can tell you is that I first realized something was amiss when I noticed that both the head and the foot regions of the wrapper were a perceptibly lighter shade than the body. The next, and more damning, piece of evidence was that I noticed that my fingertips had these dark smudges on them after handling the cigar.
Thinking – hoping – that these smudges were caused by something else I licked one of my clean fingertips, ran it across the wrapper lightly and came up with a newly smudged fingertip. Uh-oh. And I’m not going to speculate why they would – if they did actually do this – do something like this.
Does this alter my view of this cigar? Yes. Even though I’m not absolutely convinced that the wrapper has been dyed my suspicions do affect how I think of this cigar. Bear that in mind.
Ring Gauge: ~54
Wrapper: Nicaragua? Oscuro
Breaking In Flame!
Since the last verified sighting of these cigars I can find was from February of last year it’s safe to say that this cigar has been aging in one of my humidors for at least a year; probably closer to two years at this point. I smoked a number of these about a year ago and I absolutely loved them.
This one is starting off decently but I can’t get over this salty flavor that pollutes with every puff. I can still pick out the creamy chocolate and strong coffee notes but the salt is a bad ingredient in this stew.
Around the transition point from the first to the second third the salty flavor takes on a meaty quality as well, which is a good thing. Meat, chocolate and coffee work well for me in a cigar. And this is one of the reasons why I’m such a big salomon fan. Due to their size there is a lot more time for evolutions in the flavor profile to take place. Shorter cigars have to be pretty much spot on from the get go if they are to be good. That’s not necessarily the case with bigger cigars.
Then again, having too much time can also be a bad thing. This cigar has been maddening for me since it is intermittently very good and bad. Like a particularly troublesome disease this salty taste just won’t go away. This never happened in any of the others that I tried and it is a perplexing development. Usually, cigars get better with age but that is definitely not the case here.
Even though the first two thirds were maddeningly inconsistent altars to disappointment I have high hopes that the final third will recapture some of that magic I experienced with all the previous examples of this cigar that I have smoked. And this final third does start out well with chocolate, coffee and earth. The salt and meat are still there but they have faded into the background and play a very minor supportive role in the flavor profile, which is a definite plus.
And then, like Michael Myers coming back from certain death to kill Jamie Lee Curtis, the salt comes back and at this point I am done with hoping for this cigar to redeem itself. It’s a damn shame too because, as I have noted before, every other example of this cigar that I have tried was excellent. This one was not and since it appears that this cigar is no longer in production I have no qualms giving it a poor score.
Oh, right, I almost forgot to touch on the all important smoking characteristics of this cigar. While the draw was excellent throughout the burn did necessitate some help along the way. And this was a medium bodied cigar. When everything was going right this cigar reminded me of its greatness. Unfortunately, those times were too few to make me like this cigar again.
Full Disclosure: Received this cigar from Cigars Direct. All reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morrón | Binder: Nicaragua Broadleaf | Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican | Box of 25: $135.00 | Pack of 5: $35.00 | Torpedo | 6.1″ x 52
0/3: It looks like it has been tapered a little bit being larger by the foot and getting progressively smaller as it progresses to the cap. Maybe I’m just having a hard time dealing with perspective in this instance but it does look a little different.
It has the kind of dark brown wrapper speckled with some nearly black spots and lighter spots along the few obvious veins that this cigar is going to be rough around the edges. The look of it alone cries out “I’m not going to be a perfect cigar.” There are the veins, the inconsistencies in color, the tumorous lumps here and there and the already noted tapered appearance of this cigar.
However, the wrapper is oily and it does feel evenly packed. This cigar has been resting in my humidor for probably about a year now so I’m hoping that aging it has made it better.
1/3: Unfortunately, the flavors are not great in the beginning. There is this dull bitterness that screams “I’m not even trying.” Coffee and earth are the two flavors that are coming to mind right now. Those flavors can be a pretty good combination together but not at a low flavor intensity. They’re watered down facsimiles – at least in the early going.
Fortunately, things do begin to pick up during this third. If this cigar were a novel I might have been tempted to put it down after a few minutes of numbing blandness but, thankfully, I did not. It’s beginning to round itself out into a flavorful cigar. The coffee, earth and bitterness have all picked up in intensity and there is also a sweetness that is coursing through the flavor profile that is offering some balance.
2/3: As the burn line progresses into the second third the flavors begin to go through some changes. Mocha starts to come through along with some hints of vanilla. The bad part is that there also is this salty, dried meat flavor as well. And that brings things down.
3/3: During the final third it degrades like a piece of space junk going through the atmosphere; well, at least it degrades as bad as an aging slugger in baseball. That salty, dried meat flavor gets stronger and brings down my overall enjoyment of this cigar. Overall, the flavors go a little hot and harsh, which definitely isn’t good.
4/3: Two decent to good thirds plus one bad third does not a good cigar make. Alright, that’s not completely fair. It’s good moments are more abundant than the bad ones (barely) and that should count for something. And those good moments were at times above average. At times a little less than average. So, for a medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn this is a decent cigar.
I received samples from Felipe Gregorio; all reviews are my own.
Is this cigar somehow related to the Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite? But the Pedro in that movie wasn’t black so I’m guessing that there’s something else going on here, maybe a comment from someone in the know would help elucidate the etymology of this brand of tasty cigars.
The cigar is a good looking specimen. This particular cigar, named “Gitano” is a 6″ x 54 torpedo, which is part good and bad for me. Personally, I love torpedoes. For whatever reason, probably due to the fact that since torpedoes are more difficult to roll more experienced torcedores roll them, I have had a better smoking history with this vitola. On the other hand, the ring gauge is on the big side for me now. Earlier on in my smoking career (Really? A career?) I liked the bigger ring gauge smokes but now I find myself going for thinner cigars.
Evenly packed with some stretch marks around the veins this dark, dusty brown maduro wrapper gives off a rustic impression as if embodying the hard scrabble lifestyle that many people in the cigar industry come from. It is a bit hard to the touch but there are some oils on the wrapper and the wrapper itself feels a little rough.
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Sumatra Ecuador
Binder: Dark Nicaragua Habano
Filler: Corojo Dominican & Nicaragua Habana 92
Price: One of each four sizes + 2 others for $27.00
Pulling John Flame!
When I looked at these cigars the first time and saw the ominous name – “Black Pedro” – I thought “uh oh, this is going to be one of those kick you in the teeth kind of cigars.” But that isn’t the case. It actually has some refinement to it, some nuance. Black pepper may be the leading flavor here but the smoke also has a creamy feel to it and there are other moderating flavors to notice like tobacco and coffee with cream. Black pepper really is the leading force in this cigar though and I’m thankful for that. It may be a bracing flavor for some but I like it… a lot.
Entering the second third I thought that there was going to be some flagging of the black pepper flavor but there was no such thing. It’s quite astonishing that something so simple, black pepper, could be so enjoyable but that is where I’m at. Black pepper isn’t the only flavor I have observed. There are also flavors in the nut spectrum and creamy coffee. Very good mix of flavors but without a lot of complexity and, so far, no evolution in flavors.
One of the things that separates the good from the great cigars for me is how the flavors manifest themselves. With great cigars the flavors are strong and clean and those little flavor molecules permeate around every taste bud wrapping them in a tasty cocoon. This is one of those cigars.
Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case when there is one predominant flavor, even when that flavor is a great example of its archetype, it can become too overpowering by drowning out the other flavors. That happened with this cigar a little ways into the final third. My cocooned taste buds have become numb to all the other flavors and has decreased my enjoyment of this cigar a little bit.
Overall, I can safely say that I have enjoyed this medium-full bodied cigar with its good draw and burn, which only required minor course corrections a couple of times. If there had been a little more complexity and evolution to the flavor profile this would have been an amazing cigar. As it stands it is still a great cigar because it is one of the best examples of black pepper that I have had in a long time and there was enough complexity in the early goings of this cigar to make it interesting. If you can find some then do yourself a favor and pick a couple up.