Monday, June 2, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Cuvée 151 Robusto

By Gary Korb

Last month Mike and Joe Chiusano, along with J.T. Guagliardo of Cusano Cigars, paid a visit to Famous Smoke Shop to introduce some new cigars that they've added to their product line. These included the newly blended Cuvée Rouge and Cuvée 151 cigars, plus two new Cusano cigars: the Cusano Habano LXI Sun Grown and the Cusano 59 Rare Cameroon. (All of these cigars should be arriving at cigar stores shortly.)

This weekend I decided to smoke the Cuvée 151 Robusto after dinner, which consisted of Portuguese-style barbequed ribs and yellow rice. The cigars are so-named for the highest proof liquor sold in the U.S. Like all Cuvée cigars, only the top 10% of prime Dominican longfiller tobaccos harvested are used in this blend, and the wrapper on the 151 is a gorgeous Brazilian Maduro. But despite the origin of its name, this 151 Robusto was in no way overpowering.

The cigar had a nice heft to it; well-packed, with a nice cap, easy draw, and a woody, pre-light taste. Once lit, the cigar offered lots of creamy smoke dominated by strong cedar and oak flavors with a hint of anise. The smoke was medium-bodied at the start, then built to a more full-bodied smoke in the last third. Every so often I'd pick-up an appealing wisp of cocoa in the aroma, too.

I paired the cigar with a Tria 2002 Syrah, a hardy Californian with a nice body and a peppery finish. It complemented the flavors in the cigar perfectly. Next time, I'd like to try a 151 with a good Port, just to see how my palate would react to the cigar with something a little sweeter.

The cigar smoked smoothly, remaining consistent in deep, woody flavors throughout, and reminded me of a Davidoff Millennium Robusto, particularly during the last act, when the flavors were at their peak.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable cigar. Highly recommended.

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