Cigar Review- Cuba Libre One

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Ligero
Binder: Costa Rican Habano, Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Honduran Ligero, Nicaraguan Ligero
Size: 6.1 x 52 “Belicoso”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $4.00


I have to admit, I was drawn in by the advertising. And then I checked around and it was getting good reviews. A very inexpensive stick by Nestor Plasencia..a cigar that was two years in the making.

The stats on the leaves are absolutely impressive in its diversity.

Construction is very good with a solid stick with the right amount of give. There are some real honker veins happening and a few spider veins. The color is a dark brown, almost a maduro in color. The cap is flawless constructed. The wrapper has a gorgeous oily sheen and it is smooth to the touch.

I sniff for aromas…At first sniff; I get smacked in the puss with a large dose of red pepper. And right behind that is roasted coffee. Almost espresso. Behind that is cocoa. Cedar plays a part in the aromas as well. And some earthiness.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are interesting in that it is multi layered. It is unusual for a cigar to display those characteristics so soon. The roasted coffee and cocoa and earth are the most prevalent flavors. Along with some wood and cedar. This is a $4 cigar? Good ol’ Nestor.
The draw is perfect and the char line a bit wavy.

This cigar’s first half inch starts as a flavor bomb. I believe that’s a first. I am being pelted by an array of flavors. The cocoa is ultra-strong. And the red pepper finally shows up in a muted fashion. So far, this is an outstanding cigar. I checked the cigar forums and this cigar is discussed regularly because of its character and its low price. Everyone seems to love this cigar.

The char line begins to resolve itself.

The blending of these tobacco leaves is a bold move by Plasencia. I can totally understand taking 2 years to find this blend and perfect it. And how could Plasencia sell this stick for so low? This is clearly, a $7-$9 cigar…by any standard. Of course, Plasencia has access to some of the best farms in Central America. Power can be used for the common good. LOL.

An inch in, the ash drops into the ashtray. The flavors are so very complex. I expect the creaminess to show up very soon which will change the whole profile.

A natural sweetness begins to show. Only it is more like honey than tobacco sweetness. I’m sure the cocoa and coffee are the cause of that.

The first third ends in a splendiferous manner. The spice has tamped down. And only lingers in the background. The cocoa and the coffee continue to be in charge. These flavors are just about the strongest I’ve tasted in a non-flavored cigar.

The same components continue through the beginning of the second third. The body is classic medium. I sip on a Diet Coke because of the heavy cocoa profile. The long finish is like a chocolate soda.

The balance has been on point since the first half inch.

I think there are two groups of buyers when it comes to CI. The regulars that have a finite budget to work with and naturally are drawn to cigars like this. And then there are the smokers looking for something interesting to challenge their palate. CI is not known for being a cutting edge store, but they do catch up. And therefore, ignore cigars at this price point, assuming you get what you pay for. Not in this case. I am one of the latter. And shame on me. Here is an excellent cigar with all the flavors I look for in a cigar. And I looked at the photo in CI’s catalog saying, “Yeah, sure.”

I approach the halfway point and the creaminess hits like a barnstormer. Here is the ridiculous point….I don’t have many sticks in my humidor so I only allowed this stick to rest for less than a week. I lit it up and was so shocked with its quality, I hit the laptop immediately. A flavor bomb in only a week? Unheard of.

The spiciness has decided to return and is making a slow climb upwards. The earthiness is more prevalent now. Everything new compliments the existing flavor profile. While the CI retail price is close to $4, I got the cigars on Cbid for $2 each. This really amazes me. So the word isn’t out on these babies yet. If it had a different breed or a different label, this stick would be out of stock. But obviously, this is not a boutique cigar and Plasencia has plenty of tobacco leaves to go around. I plan to hit Cbid and make a bigger purchase. This is a great cigar to have around.
The halfway point still finds the body at medium.

The only issue I have with this cigar is that because it hit its summit in flavors so early on, it doesn’t have any place to go. So one must be happy with the same profile throughout the cigar; with the exception of the addition of the creaminess and newly added spice.

The cigar becomes less complex as it begins the last third. Or I am in palate overload. I’m not sure. I can tell you this; the cigar has been totally enjoyable from the get go. I checked Cbid and there are several units of these cigars going from singles to boxes for almost nothing. Time to strike. I saw a box of Churchills and Coronas going for $25 and $13 respectfully with the auction ending today.

There is no change as the last third begins. All those wonderful flavors are just bolder. And the creaminess has taken complete charge of the whole shebang.

The complexity has ratcheted up. The spice is outstanding. If you are a lover of spice; like me, you will love this cigar. It uses that component wisely. It ebbs and flows. Never a constant so that the profile is ever changing in terms of how the spice affects the overall character.

The last third sees a deep richness of earthiness. I can almost taste the soil from all those host countries.

The cigar finishes up grandly. It has been a flavor ride of enormous impact.

It is here that the strength hits full bodied. The honey-like sweetness makes a return. It is very potent. So now the flavors are rotating like the wheel on “Wheel of Fortune.” In all the years that show has been on the air, I’ve never seen it once. I wonder if I should contact Guinness?

This cigar is a must have. As I said before, it is so affordable that one can leave them to marinate in your humidor for months taking one as the need hits you. I’m sure the cigar will get much more impressive with some humi time; even though at a week, it was fantastic.

And now for something completely different:
The Griffgator Chronicles…

The first tour was when the chick singer was getting off of her morphine habit. She made constant half assed attempts to kill herself. Nothing more than a cry for help. It wore heavily after several attempts while on the road.

We had to hide reviews of the band from her. While the band itself, got great reviews, she was ripped to shreds. How could we tell anyone that she was going through withdrawal during the concert?

The chick really liked the Griff and often visited him late at night in his hotel room. It seemed that only he could calm her. He never divulged to us how he did this. He was a gentleman. An odd behavior from a roadie; even the chief roadie.

On the way to a gig in England, we stopped for some chow. We had to cross a busy street. The chick, Griff and I were walking together. And just as we were about to cross the road, she made a dash to run into a oncoming car. In a nano second, Griff grabbed her to keep her from doing this. Had he not done this, she would have been gone.

Griff was in charge of tuning the instruments right before the gig. He even had to tune the synthesizers. He was extremely reliable on this front. He also played a mean guitar.

So one night, during an encore, the chick coaxed Griff to come on stage and play with us. The song was a simple blues type tune. Not the usual 45 chord changes most songs had.

Griff strapped on his Fender Strat and sheepishly walked on stage to tremendous applause from the audience.

The middle of the song was a jam between the violinist and our guitarist. This time, Griff became a part of this. He was fucking brilliant. His playing out shined our regular guitarist, which pissed Mick off no end.

I had a bass solo in this song and Griff joined me. Just the two of us and the drummer. We traded riffs like we had been playing together our entire lives. My riffs excelled because of his influence and the crowd went nuts.

When we were back in our dressing room, the asshole band leader; the violinist, read him and the chick the riot act and forbade this from ever happening again. What a jerk.

Griff was masterful on stage. The band leader tried to get him fired but our road manager vetoed that, so the violinist called Miles Copeland and complained. To no avail.

Griff never played on stage with us again. Our loss. And the two band members changed their feelings about the man that kept the band intact during each tour.
Musicians can be very vindictive and small minded. From that point forward, I hung with Griff more than I did with the band. Fuck ‘em.


3 replies

  1. Great write up. I did the same thing after blindly buying a box (cuba libre one) on sale. Curiosity got to me and I had to try one right away. To me, I could only handle the first third as it had a hard draw that was intensely spicy/bitter. A few months later and I found your review so decided to try again. Glad I did, wonderfully flavorful cigar for the money. I read your review on the Nica Libre Potencia. Sounds like a good smoke but how do you think the Cuba libre one compares to the Nica Libre Potencia?

  2. Hi Gabriel,
    Thanks for your comments.
    I’ve not had either cigar in a very long time so I can’t help you on the comparison issue. I should get some of those sticks. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. No worries, I didn’t realize how long this review had been up and went ahead and nabbed a box of the NL Potencia anyway. What can I say? I’m a sucker for fair priced cigars. I believe Cigars International is running a sale on both of these at the moment. Happy smoking

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