Monday, March 3, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Conuco Robusto

Last Friday I took advantage of a "buy-one-get-one-free" deal on the Conuco Robusto that was being offered in the Famous Smoke Shop Retail Store. This exclusive new Famous boutique selection was an instant hit with me when the cigars first arrived from Rocky Patel's operation in El Paraiso, Honduras, and having not smoked a Conuco in a couple of months, I was overdue.

Fortunately, the weather warmed up enough on Sunday to smoke outside. We were having a birthday party for one of my nephews, so my brother and I partook on his deck as he cooked the hamburgers and hotdogs. My brother paired his Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Flor Fina Maduro with a glass of McClellan's 12 year old single malt, while I had a vodka with my Conuco.

Beyond the inherent quality of this cigar, what really blows me away about these Conucos are their natural sweetness and complexity. The blend itself is an epicurean delight. You've got Honduran and Costa Rican Ligero, plus Nicaraguan Viso and Panamanian Seco leaves for the filler. The binder is a Nicaraguan Seco, and the whole stack is rolled in a dark, oily Honduran-grown Habano wrapper.

Building in strength from a medium to full-bodied cigar, the flavor is non-stop from start to finish. Dominated by sweet, woody flavors, notes of coffee, cocoa, and nutmeg presented themselves in varying degrees throughout the smoke. Yet, as robust as it became in flavor, it never overpowered me. Moreover, this 5" x 50 cigar was so well-packed, it smoked for a almost two hours.

As I was finishing my Conuco Robusto, I thought about how you sometimes walk into a cigar store and the manager isn't necessarily smoking a Fuente, or a Padron, or a CAO. Instead he's smoking one of the cigars sold exclusively in his store; not so much for advertising purposes, but because he likes it so much it's become his everyday cigar of choice. If I was the manager of the cigar store, you'd most certainly find me smoking a Conuco.

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