Monday, October 20, 2008

Pinar Del Rio Habano Sun Grown

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With the cool fall temperatures upon us, I found a great new cigar to keep me warm while I freeze my arse off smoking on my backyard deck. The Pinar Del Rio Habano Sun Grown is a peppery smoke, sure to warm your lips and the inside of your mouth, yet does it with smoothness and lots of rich flavor.

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This cigar is made by the factory, Don Leonicios Tabacalera of Tamboril, Santiago, Dominican Republic. It is headed by Abraham Flores and Juan Rodriguez who are now in their fifth year of independent operation. They have created the Pinar Del Rio brand to celebrate the famous tobacco growing and manufacturing region of Cuba.

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Last month, I reviewed the Pinar Del Rio Habano Oscuro which I found to be a full bodied powerhouse. You can read the review here.

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The Habano Sun Grown is rolled with a beautiful reddish brown Dominican Habano Sun Grown tobacco leaf. It has a matte finish and only a few medium sized veins but the seams are nice and tight. The band is attractive and matches the Colorado Maduro color very well. The cigar also contains a Dominican Habano binder and a filler combination of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos.

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The cigar has a slight lumpiness to it, but feels evenly packed. The quality construction and tobacco is apparent in the ash which is light in color, compact, and holds on strongly well past the one inch mark. I found the burn line to be inconsistent depending on the type of cut I used. When I punch cut the cigar, I got a nice even and sharp burn line versus when I used a guillotine cut, the burn line was a little wavy and needed some touching up. I also found that the spiciness of the cigar could be controlled by using the punch cut. You don't get the big blast of pepper in the beginning than if you had a more generous opening at the head of the cigar. But, let me not get ahead of myself...

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The initial flavors of this cigar started off with a charred "meaty" flavor surrounded by a creamy body with a dark caramel sweetness on the finish. Red pepper notes are present and can be felt as a tingle on the lips and on the tongue. I found that you don't get as much heat on your taste buds if you use a punch cut. The draw is firmer but the smoke is still thick while the pepper comes in much more gradually. The cigar then takes on a more leathery body with a distinctive Corojo-flavored core that is at it's decadent peak in the second third. The red pepper spice fluctuates but is definitely a nice accent to the blend. The cigar smokes very smooth with no harshness or bitterness.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this cigar. It makes a fantastic cold weather smoke because of the heat it generates as far as spiciness goes. It has a satisfying rich full flavor that makes you want to smoke it right down to the nub. If you like spicy, leathery, dark caramel sweet cigars, you will absolutely adore the Pinar Del Rio Habano Sun Grown.

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By the way, these cigars are available in four traditional vitolas. I smoked the robusto which is a 50 ring gauge by 5 inches. The singles prices vary from $5.40 to as high as $6.60 for the churchill. In my opinion, this is a very fair price for the quality of this cigar. Check out Silo Cigars for the availability of the Pinar Del Rio cigars as well as other top of the line boutique brands.


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