Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dunhill Signed Range (Dominican)

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I don't know if it's just me but does any one else have a problem with on-line retailers sending you the wrong cigar? Maybe they see the name and think that just because I'm female they think they can get away with it. For example, instead of the Esteban Carreras 1961 corona, I get the Carlos Torano 1916 corona. Now granted they both have Spanish names and dates in their name but still...


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Another switcharoo done to me is the Dunhill signed range Dominican for the Dunhill signed range Nicaraguan. This time I can't complain because not only was this cigar more expensive (being discontinued), but it also tasted fantastic.


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The Dunhill Signed Range cigar line was released first in Great Britain in 2001 then released in the U.S. in 2002. Originally the cigars were manufactured at the Cuevas and Torano factory in Navarette, Dominican Republic. The cigars were created to cater to the popularity of more fuller bodied cigars compared to the mild blend found in their Dunhill Aged cigars. The tobacco used in the Dominican produced Signed Range is a Connecticut seed Ecuadorean wrapper, Pennsylvania broadleaf seed binder, and a Columbian and Dominican filler. In 2007, production was moved to Nicaragua and the Torano factory based in Esteli. The manufacturer states that this was a "quest to find the best super premium cigar blend". The Nicaraguan Signed Range contains a Cuban seed Nicaraguan wrapper, African cameroon binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican long filler tobaccos.


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If you buy a box of these cigars you will notice that they are numbered and feature the signatures of the people responsible for creating the cigars. The torcedor (cigar roller), escogedor (sorter), empacador (packer) and the ultimo control de calidad (quality supervisor) all hand sign each box they are responsible for.


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The band on my cigar gives away the fact that these were produced in the Dominican Republic. In fact, the toro sized Signed Range Nicaraguan that I ordered at the same time shows the correct label. The Dominican band has a more modern simplistic look compared to the Nicaraguan which has the "Dunhill" name in cursive with "since 1907" underneath it.


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The cigar was well constructed. The wrapping was nice and tight and held on during the entire smoke. The wrapper color I would describe as a smooth "paper bag" brown with some small veins through out. The cigar felt firm and nicely packed. The pre-light draw was free and felt perfect with a very slight minimal resistance. The flavor on the pre-light draw was a creamy sweet tea. The wrapper itself smelled like sweet earthy tobacco and the foot like sweet black tea. The cap was nicely formed with two seams and cut easily with a Palio cutter.


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You get a nice volume of smoke with each draw. Immediately you taste nice toasted wood flavors with a slight bitter tinge and warm spices in the background. The flavor starts off mild but tastes very balanced and smooth. You also get a little whisper of cream and vanilla. The burn starts off a little lopsided but nothing too drastic. The burn line is nice and sharp and the ash formed is very compact and light gray in color. Eventually, you taste a more cinnamon on the finish. The mildness makes this cigar seem like an ideal smoke for your morning coffee. The smoke leaves a nice trace of sweetness in the mouth. The resting smoke is very pleasant and exudes warm spiced tobacco.


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At the one inch point, the cigar develops more creaminess like roasted nuts and spice. Plus the flavors become more pronounced and tastier. In the second third, the flavors remain smooth and you get the same toasty wood and spices plus a much longer finish of cedar and light leather along with nuts and vanilla. There is definitely nice complexity in this cigar. At this point the cigar is solidly medium but beginning to develop into the full range. Still no bitterness or harshness. The flavor is deep and rich at the two inch sweet spot with a nice caramelized vanilla sugar residual finish.


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The final third displays an interesting pronounced cedar and leather body which just dominates the palate. I also notice more clove spice which is really nice and some pepper. The back of my throat can feel a little heat as if someone sprinkled pepper on my cigar behind my back. The cigar is in the full range in the last third. The flavors stay smooth and the finish is now marathon long. It also stays surprisingly cool even though you are down to the nub.


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Even though this cigar is a bit pricey at $10.85 for a short robusto (4 and 1/2" by 52 ring gauge) for which I actually paid $9.75, I would consider buying it again because of it's elegant flavors and complexity. I'm interested in tasting the Nicaraguan Dunhill Signed Range to see if it is better or just as complex. I mentioned that I also received the toro sized Signed Range which is Nicaraguan so I should be getting the opportunity to compare these cigars very soon.