Friday, August 17, 2007

New cigars at RTDA 2007: So far, so good

By Gary Korb

It's been just over week since the Retail Tobacco Dealers Association trade show and convention left Houston, and I spent the better part of this week trying to sample as many new cigars as possible in time for our August CigarAdvisor newsletter. I would like to have done more, and will in time, but just deciding which cigars to start with was agonizing enough. So, eyes closed, I reached into my bag, and what follows are my mini-reviews of what came out.

Perdomo Habano Maduro Toro (5½" x 54) - This new creation from Nick Perdomo has been one of the most impressive in terms of my personal taste preference. It's beautiful to look at, too. The wrapper is dark, even in color, and oily. Plus, the detail on the extra large band is a piece of artwork unto itself. Thick, creamy smoke emanated from the head as the room filled with a hearty, sweet aroma. The flavor was primarily woody with a trace sweetness and a modicum of spiciness on the palate. (The cigar actually looks much stronger than it is.) The smoke is extremely smooth, perfectly-balanced, and full-flavored without the heaviness of a full-bodied cigar.

Camacho Triple Maduro Rothschild (4¾" x 50) - Christian Eiroa and his crew just love making bold tasting cigars, and their Triple Maduro line is no exception. The cigar was well-packed and hefty for a Rothie, and the Maduro wrapper is top-shelf. Early on, the smoke was hearty with a burly, dark-roasted aroma and a hint of sweetness. Toward the end of the first third it became much spicier, and eventually rounded out to a strong woody-earthy flavor. It wasn't overpowering while I was smoking it, which is why I enjoyed it; afterwards was when it really hit me.

Gran Habano La Gran Fuma Churchill (7" x 50) - I've been a big fan of the Gran Habano line for some time now, so I was eager to try this new mixed-filler "La Gran Fuma" selection from G.R. Tabacaleras. It has a rustic, oily, copper-hued wrapper. The cigar was well packed; no soft spots. The pre-lit taste was mild, and once lit, the smoke was mellow with an appealing sweetness and hints of caramel and nutmeg on the finish. The cigar drew easily offering a consistently mild to medium bodied smoke with a fragrant aroma. It went well paired with my morning coffee, too. Congrats to Guillermo Rico on this pleasant addition to his other fine G.R. selections.

Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary Toro (6½ x 52) - A good looking, oily cigar with a milk-chocolate colored, albeit somewhat veiny, wrapper leaf. The cigar was evenly packed and had an excellent pre-light draw and taste. The smoke was medium bodied, quite creamy and very smooth with Rocky Patel's signature combo of earthiness and sweet tobacco flavors. The cigar had a nice rich aroma, and smoked for well over an hour. Another good job from "the Rock."

Davidoff Puro Dominicano Robusto (5¼" x 50) - This is Davidoff's first cigar made with an all-Dominican leaf blend, and it's a stunner, too. The wrapper is exquisitely dark, and mouthwatering. Actually, the wrapper was applied so seamlessly, I couldn't see in which direction it was rolled. It had a great draw and the first few hits were creamy and spicy with a wonderfully sweet, floral aroma. Passing the smoke through my nose it was much spicier, but it wasn't overwhelming at all on the palate. In short: a complex, full-flavored cigar with gobs of thick creamy smoke. Thank you Mr. Kelner.

Much more to come in the days and weeks ahead. Please stay tuned…

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