Monday, September 15, 2008

Colombian Gold by Bravo Cigars

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Colombian Gold by Bravo Cigars is a Colombian puro made with tobacco grown in the Northern Andean region in Colombia, South America. It is the first of five brands to be introduced by this brand new company. To learn more about Bravo cigars and Colombian tobacco visit: http://www.bravocigar.com/.

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Thank you to Bravo cigars for sending me a sample pack of four sizes. So far I have smoked the torpedo and churchill sizes and found that I really liked the churchill size the most so far. The robusto smelled a little young with traces of ammonia so I rejected that one quickly. The toro I will keep and review down the road.

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The Colombian Gold is a great beginner's cigar. It lights up easily without having to take a draw. The scent of the smoke is sweet and pleasing that I can't imagine anyone being offended by it. The flavors are mild most of the cigar to medium in the last third. There really wasn't much strength or spiciness in the blend to scare anyone off.

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The cigar is average looking. It's not the best looking shade wrapper I've ever seen but it wasn't horrendous either. The cap was sloppy and a little soft. When I punched it, it seemed a little mushy. A few areas on the wrapper had wrinkles which made me question the leaf's quality or the rollers attention to detail. There were also some bumps present on the wrapper which may have been from the binder underneath, but I'm not sure. The wrapper is of Ecuadorian seed origin and a Connecticut seed descendant grown in Colombia. (Keepers of the Flame has a great write up of this cigar which you should read as well.)

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The aroma of the cigar smelled like grassy compost along with some sweet hay notes at the foot. The pre-light draw was like tea and hay.

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The initial flavors were milky and sweet with notes of light coffee and vanilla. The finish was short and clean and had a "pencil lead" quality to it. At times the coffee tasted a little muddy but eventually it does settle into a nice smooth taste for much of the smoke. I found the second third to be the best in terms of balanced flavor. A nice bouquet of creamy roasted nuts is added in to the cafe au lait body. You can really relax quite well with this cigar's flavor profile and would be great to smoke on a Sunday morning while reading the paper.

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The last third of the cigar surprised me with it's jump to a medium bodied, full on leather taste. I took my time at the end and was rewarded with a smoke that didn't turn harsh or bitter.

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Overall, I was satisfied with the flavor of this cigar. I wouldn't hesitate offering this cigar to someone who normally doesn't smoke cigars. I would be confident that they could actually finish this cigar and not feel like they've been hit with a two-by-four. The construction could use some improvement however. Hopefully the factory doesn't have a high turnover rate at their facility so the rollers can continue to get some experience.

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I think it's exciting for the cigar industry to have other countries try their hand at growing tobacco. Hawaii and Colombia have shown they can grow some satisfactory crops. But, is it too early for them to make puros though? I think the best blenders are like head chefs. You have to constantly taste to know how to season your product. If you know it's missing something, why not add the tobacco it needs (regardless of where it's from) to make it right? It should be interesting to see the direction that some of these new companies take.

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