Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Robert Arango sent me a couple of his Blue Label cigars to try. Thank you Roberto. Now I did, or tried, to do my usual research on the manufacturer but there is very little info about Arango and his cigar line on the web…which means, he is a comer.
His cigars are produced at Erik Espinosa’s factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. And the company has only been in existence since 2011. From what I’ve garnered, cigar making is in his family’s blood.
And that’s about it. I do have a suggestion to make to the new guys; send a resume or information sheet to reviewers. It makes the review blossom when I have, most probably, very interesting factotums to divulge. But we don’t, so on to the cigar.
The wrapper is a medium brown and very oily. Construction is solid. The seams are tight. There is just the minimum of veins. And the cap is flawless.
I sniff this baby and detect a rich earthiness…some cedar and leather.
I decide to punch this stick as it has an ample cap. And then I light ‘er up.
I’m hit with a blast of black pepper and then some richness, sweetness and creaminess. Wow. This little guy doesn’t waste any time getting down. The pepper is more than I expected. I’ve only had these cigars for a few days and my smarter half of a brain said I should give them some time. But I woke up this morning and said the hell with it…if the first one isn’t ready, I will wait on the second. In this case, I get the full benefit of character of the first and then can allow the second to rest a bit. Although depending on what this cigar turns into, I will most probably be purchasing some for my own humidor.
Half an inch in, there is some nuttiness…more like mixed nuts than any one specific nut at this point in the cigar.
The char line is close to dead nuts perfection.
The first third ends with a panoply of flavor components. The stick just oozes character and deep earthy richness. The cigar is very well balanced. I’m hoping for the Nic cocoa flavor as I’ve already grabbed my Diet Coke.
The second third begins with balance and complexity. Cocoa is more than evident and a creamy coffee flavor is on point. The nuttiness turns into pecan and black walnuts. There is definitely sweetness to it and probably comes from the cedar on my palate.
This cigar is $6.00. Six friggin’ dollars! This is unbelievable. Flavors are pouring out of this cigar like water through a sluice. The cocoa, the pepper, the creaminess, the cocoa, the coffee, the sweetness, and the nuttiness take turns coming up for air and showing off its character; meanwhile, the balance and earthiness maintain an even keel.
The last third is to die for. The strength is increasing and heading towards full bodied. The flavors are extremely intense. I don’t want to put the cigar down. This stick is making me a flavor junkie.
I don’t know who Robert Arango is; but this man knows what he is doing. This is the first of his collection to come. And I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in 2013.
Good on ya’ Roberto!
And now for something completely different (It’s a clean story):
My dad was a golfer. But my dad was not the type to accomplish something and then teach it to his only son. My father was an only child and therefore, selfish and self-centered. So as I grew, and he mastered sports activities, even bowling, he never had the time or patience to teach me diddly squat.
Back in the late 50’s, there was a huge televised golf tournament at Recreation Golf Course in Long Beach, Ca. My home town. All the biggies would be there: Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, etc.
My dad got tickets and was taking me with him. I was so excited to be included in something he did, I could barely contain myself. For weeks leading up to the tournament, we watched golf on TV together on the weekends and he would explain things.
Wow. My dad and I were bonding.
I could barely sleep the night of the outing. I was ready to go at first light and off we went around 7am. I remember we had to walk quite a ways from the parking to the first tee.
Back then, the crowds were big; but nothing like today. There were no roped off areas. You were expected to show decorum and behave like gentlemen and ladies.
Well, not this day.
It was around the 7th hole that we were at the putting green. Everyone was on one side of it. On the other, were TV cameras and announcers. Strictly verboten to the public.
Arnold Palmer was about to putt but the goddam huge fans were in my way and I couldn’t see. I was a little guy until junior high school where I sprouted a whole foot from 4’-11 to 5’-11.
Out of frustration, I bolted from the crowd and ran along the perimeter of the green to the other side where the cameras were. A huge gasp enveloped the crowd as I got down on my belly with my face propped up by me bent arms and hands. Palmer hit the ball but was startled and the ball went right by the cup and over to me. I jumped up and ran to the ball and celebrated.
My father was mortified. He came over at a horse’s gallop, grabbed me by the arm, and jerked me off the course back to the car. He never said a word. But his beet red face said it all.
My father never took me to a golf outing again. And I don’t think he ever forgave me.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS