Sunday, August 10, 2008

Te-Amo World Selection Series Honduras Blend

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Te-Amo is a popular brand with Americans. This cigar company was created in 1964 in San Andres Tuxla, Mexico. They manufacture millions of cigars most of which are sold in the U.S. and from what I've gathered so far, it's mainly a bargain cigar brand with not a very good reputation.

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As of October 2007, Te-Amo (distributed by Altadis U.S.A.) debuts the World Selection Series which offers three different themed blends: Dominicana, Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigars all have a Mexican Maduro binder but differ in the type of wrapper and filler it contains. The Dominicana blend has a U.S.A. Connecticut shade wrapper and a filler of Dominican and Mexican tobaccos. The Nicaraguan blend has a Mexican grown Criollo wrapper and Nicaraguan filler. The Honduras blend has a Mexican grown Corojo wrapper and Honduran filler.

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I decided to try the Honduran blend robusto because of the 90 rating it was given in the latest Cigar Aficianado magazine. I found the cigar on-line for $35.95 for a box of 15. Which comes out to $2.40 a cigar! What a bargain. The robusto size is 54 ring gauge by 5 inches.

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The cigars look absolutely scrumptious when you open the box. The deep Colorado Maduro color makes them look like chocolate bars wrapped in cellophane. When you remove the plastic wrap you immediately get a whiff of chocolate and a faint smell of ammonia. I plan on laying these down in my humidor until that "chemical" smell disappears. The wrapper itself looks and feels a little bumpy and has very small veins. The feel of the cigar is "cushioney" but firm on the inside. The cap was well shaped but irregular in it's layering. It clipped off easily and pre-light draw gave me flavors of fruitcake and chocolate. I detected some spiciness on my lips.

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The draw was clear with nice minor resistance to it. I had no problems lighting the cigar, however the burn line started off un-even like an EKG chart and pretty much stayed that way throughout the length of the cigar. Frequent touch-ups were necessary. The ash was somewhat compact even though it had some flowering and was a light gray in color. When I ashed the cigar I was surprised that there was no "coneing" to indicate the presence of ligero in the filler. I'm sure this was the exception though because the other two cigars I smoked from this box did have a cone shaped ash.

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The initial flavors were really nice and full right off the bat. Rich coffee with caramelized sugar was predominate and I'm guessing that may be the Mexican tobacco exerting it's influence. It quickly developed into well rounded flavors of creamy vanilla and roasted nuts with warm spices in the background. Eventually notes of leather work it's way into the finish but all the while it never loses it's caramel sweetness. There wasn't a lot of complexity or flavor transitions but I definitely was not turned off by the flavors being given off. The cigar was smooth in the first third but I did get a little throat irritation in the second half but nothing too offensive that a swig of water couldn't take care of.

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Overall, I think this cigar is a great bargain buy. I would recommend laying them down in your humidor until it loses some of it's harshness and odor of ammonia. I hope to try some of their other blends in this series and eventually do a comparison review. I think Te-Amo is headed in the right direction by blending Mexican tobacco with tobacco found in more esteemed growing regions. I would be willing to pay a little more if they can figure out how to make a more interesting blend.

1 comment:

Andrius said...

I have two theses Mexican beauties. I decided to find some info about them in the Net. I found this review and it makes me really want to smoke this robustos ;-) Nice and interesting review! With respect, Snoopazz.