Monday, January 21, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Cuvée Rouge Robusto

This past Saturday I found myself smoking cigars at Famous Smoke Shop with the usual group of regulars. I finally decided it was time to smoke a cigar I'd been procrastinating on - the Cuvée Rouge Robusto. It was a sample I picked-up at the RTDA 2007 Show in Houston, and I'd been hearing some excellent word-of-mouth about these cigars ever since, so I figured, there's no better time than the present.

I was seated on the couch next to "John D.," and as I began clipping the cigar, John told me he'd had several Cuvée Rouge and enjoyed them all. He added that the Rouge was one of the closest cigars to a Cuban he's had. I kept that in mind, and proceeded to light up.

If you're not familiar with Cuvée cigars, they're a luxury cigar series produced in four line extensions: Cuvée Grand 2006, Cuvée Blanc, Cuvée Rouge and Cuvée No.151. The Rouge is a Dominican puro capped in a Sun Grown Dominican wrapper with a Olor Dominicano binder. The filler is a blend of Criollo '98, Piloto Cubano, and Olor Dominicano. The Cuvée cigars website describes the Rouge as "Medium to full in body. Deep, rich, and spicy with a potent finish."

My Robusto clipped and lit perfectly. It was nicely packed, but I felt the draw was a little too loose for comfort. As described, the body was medium to full and the smoke was quite spicy, particularly at the beginning, then rounding out some after the first inch. Flavor-wise, I felt the cigar was dominated by a strong woody flavor, somewhat dry, and it did have a "potent," spicy finish. So, the cigar lived up to its advertising, but for the most part it was too spicy for my taste.

Was it close to a Cuban? Well, in a way. But if I had to compare it, I'd say it was like a Partagas D4 with a 427 V8. To the cigar's credit, in the final act - the last 2 inches - it suddenly came together and turned into a much more complex and flavorful cigar. IOW - too little, too late. So the jury remains out, and for now I'll categorize the Cuvée Rouge Robusto as a "try again."

~ Gary Korb

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