Blanco Cigars Premiere Selection Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habana 2000 (Esteli)
Binder: Honduran (Jamastran)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa & Esteli)
Size: 6.5 x 52 “Torpedo”
Body: Full
Price: $6.00





I’ve reviewed the Blanco Liga Exclusiva de Familia Double Corona Connecticut which is a fabulous cigar, the NINE, and the American Legion. David and Cesar sent me the maduro version which I highly anticipate smoking. Also, I have a bevy of others to review, such as Primos Estate Selection Habano Criollo Rosado, and Primos Estate Selection Habano Criollo Maduro.

The brothers are not afraid of too many words. I dare you to say any blend’s name three times, fast.

The Blanco Premiere Selection Maduro comes in seven sizes:
Corona 5.5 x 44, Robusto 5 x 52, Toro 6 x 52, Torpedo 6.5 x 52, Double Corona 7 x 52, Sesenta 6 x 60, and Churchill (Tube) 7 x 46.
The cigars are sold in boxes of 24 and prices range from $5-$6 a stick.

From the Blanco Cigars web site:
“Our family grows premium Habana 2000 wrapper in Estelí, Nicaragua, and allows it to age through the traditional and time honored Cuban process. The result is this beautiful maduro wrapper. These cigars are blended with tobacco from our fields in Estelí (Nicaragua) and the Jalapa (Nicaragua) and Jamastran (Honduras) valleys. The result is a maduro cigar that has all the elements and taste of a great maduro without the heavy smoke of a full-bodied cigar. HABANA 2000…SIMPLY EXQUISITE!

“The Blanco Cigar Company was founded in the USA in 1998; however the family’s history and roots in the tobacco industry can be traced back to Cuba’s western-most province of Pinar del Rio and their cousins of 80 years, the Plasencia family. The Plasencias, whose roots are also found in Pinar del Rio, are today one of the preeminent tobacco families in the industry. The Plasencias run all farming and manufacturing operations in both Danli, Honduras and Esteli, Nicaragua.”

The wrapper is a gorgeous dark baking cocoa brown with mottling and oozing oil. It is smooth to the touch. Seams are totally invisible. Very few veins but a big one running the length of the stick. The cap is beautiful and seamless. The yellow multi colored double cigar bands really make a sharp contrast to the dark cigar. Very striking.

I clip the cap and find aromas of a berry sweetness, spice, cocoa, coffee, herbal notes, cedar, and banana across the shaft. The berry and banana aromas make the cigar smell very exotic.
Time to light up.

The draw is tight and the cigar awl must be used to clear a path. Works like a charm. The cigar is just jam packed with tobacco and I think I dealt with a small plug. No worries.

The flavor profile starts with some sweetness and fruitiness. A natural earthiness appears. No spice yet.

The char line needs a minor correction. I initially clipped the cap with a V cut. It was incorrect. I went back to the behemoth stainless steel four hole cutter and did a straight cut and this opened the cigar even more. Remember to never cut the torpedo cap below the shoulder of the start of the slant towards the point. It will unravel. Halfway is just about right.

The fruitiness is banana. This is a first. But there is also a dark cherry flavor. The Nic Havana 2000 is really driving the bus.

At the 1” mark, the cigar’s flavors open up. Sweetness, cocoa, coffee, banana, black cherry, cedar, leather, and a bit of creaminess.

The strength started at medium body. But methinks it will get stronger.

This is a very manly cigar. Meaty and dark. Like me. It has a wonderful subtle, nuanced flavor profile that is gearing up to do something terrific.
Red pepper shows up.

I’ve found the Blanco cigars to schizoid…just a little. The Blanco Liga Exclusiva de Familia Double Corona Connecticut took 3 months of humidor time before it was ready to review. The American Legion took one week. And the NINE? One week.

This blend seems to want to sleep some more. I’ve had the samples from the lovely Blanco brothers; David and Cesar for about 2-3 weeks.

I take a sip of water and the black cherry bolts from its mid-point position to the front of the line.

The second third begins. Flavors expand dramatically. The wrapper puts a different spin on this maduro. While it seems to have the stereotypical Nic flavors, they are coming at me sideways. That’s a good thing. They are much more unique than the regular Nic puro. (I know there is Honduran leaf in the binder.)

The stick hits the proverbial flavor bomb status. Here are the flavors: Creaminess, black cherry, sweetness, spice, banana, wood, cedar, leather, cocoa, and coffee. Man, this stick is good. And you can’t beat the price point. If you go to the Blanco Cigars web site, you can buy their whole line. Their price points are great. They have fixed their shipping price issue and I believe they only charge $4 for 5 packs.

The halfway point is upon me and the cigar is friggin delicious. I still have three or four blends to review and I can’t wait. Clearly, the Blanco Liga Exclusiva de Familia Double Corona Connecticut took so long is due to its mammoth size of 7 x 54. I’m smoking a torpedo that is 6.5 x 52 but it took only three weeks. What a relief.

The black cherry and banana are bowling me over. It is like an ice cream sundae.

Strength has moved to medium/full.

The last third begins and the creaminess is just swimming all over my palate. And so is the fruitiness.

The banana flavor excels. As does the sweetness and black cherry. This is a great cigar. And shall be placed in my list of “The Katman’s Best 70 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $7-$9 Range.” It belongs in this list and I shall have to change the name to $6-$9 range.

With a couple inches to go, the cigar becomes very complex. The balance is spot on. It has a nice long chewy finish. No harshness or heat. And so far, very little nicotine.

The cigar seems ready to jump to full bodied.

The cigar finishes out nicely. A total of almost two hours of smoking time. The flavor profile is smooth as glass.
I highly recommend you try this stick. Or any of the other Blanco cigar blends. So far, they have impressed me with their talent.

One last thing, the American Legion is a cigar made to help out that organization and part of the money raised will go to that wonderful group. And to top it off, it is a great cigar for only $5.75. You can buy it at

Thanks again, David and Cesar, for the samples.

And now for something completely different:

I have small hands for such a manly man. My first two bass guitars in life were the Beatle Hofner and then the Jack Bruce Gibson EBO. Both were short scale basses.

There are two types. The short scale has a neck length of 30-32” and a thin neck. The long scale is 34”. The short scale is easier to play not just for its length but because the neck is slimmer.

The Fender Precision bass is a long scale bass with a wide neck. It was like playing a 2 x 4. Drove me nuts.

I switched from my EBO in England when I bought Martin Turner’s P bass. He was one of the founders of English band, “Wishbone Ash.”

I was forced into this by the rest of the band. Why I listened, I have no idea. I was good and fast on my EBO. I could play like Stanley Clarke who also used short scale basses…even one called a Piccolo bass.

I got the Fender home and in moments, I was full of terror. I could not move like I did on my EBO. Everything was labored and difficult. And this was while we were rehearsing for the next tour of Europe. I was scared shitless. And stupid me, I sold my beloved tricked out EBO.

All of my fancy shmancy bass riffs were dead in their tracks. It was a huge mistake and it affected my playing. Of course, I eventually got used to it but the timing was wrong to change instrument styles in the middle of a busy recording/touring schedule.

Back in the States, I found the love of my life. I bought a 1980 Schecter fretless bass brand new. If found it in a music store in Culver City, CA. I was drooling when I saw it. 100% Brazilian rosewood. Shimmering in the fluorescent lights above. The salesman told me $900 plus he would throw in a case. That was a lot of dough. I left. My girlfriend and ex-wife, Teri, had come along with me.

In bed, later than night, I couldn’t get that bass out of my mind. Teri talked me into buying it. Bless her heart. I can never thank her enough for getting my priorities straight. How many girl friends will talk you into spending that kind of dough on a guitar?

We raced to the store the next day. The same salesman. I said I’d take it. “Oh, by the way, it is now $1000.” I yelled at him. He told me there would be no free case either. A real smart ass jerk.
He knew I wanted it.

So I plunked down the cash and walked out with it. I refused to buy a case for it..not from him.

Teri slept at home that night. I slept with the bass in bed with me. I did that for a week. I fell asleep with the bass on my chest.

I was terrified that it was my first fretless. Same as a big stand-up bass. No frets to guide me. But the Schecter boys made the bass themselves. The company has changed ownership 5 times since 1980. And I got one that they made, personally.

It’s modeled after the Fender Jazz bass. Which is similar to the P except the neck is much slimmer. And the action? OMG! The height of the strings above the neck was infinitesimal. And it played perfectly. I took to this bass like a duck to water.

In the over 30 years I’ve owned it, it has only gotten stronger. What a difference in sound. It is now thunder and lightning. That rosewood aged beautifully like a fine wine.

A few years later, I bought a rare Dobro electric upright bass. I had the whole bass tweaked because it was built in the mid 1970’s and Dobro only built twelve of them. So I spent $600 to get the action lower and to update the electronics. I ended up playing the upright 95% of the time when my bands played out.

I later sold it after my skydiving accident left me crippled for life. I still play the love of my life; the Schecter. And thank you once again, Teri, for goading me into buying it.

One last thing, I ended up selling my 1968 Fender P for $2800 as a down payment for a car for our daughter. I know. Dumb move.
Many musicians change axes like they change their underwear. Not me. I’ve had a total of 5 basses in my life and never more than two at the same time.

It has been four years since I played in a working band. And then the pain caused by lugging it for four sets finally got to me.
I really miss playing. How many things in your life have you dedicated 45 years to?










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6 replies

  1. I have owned several high quality guitars in my life (like an early 60’s Fender Jazzmaster and a ’67 Gretsch Chet Atkins, but that is one beautiful instrument.

  2. That is indeed a beautiful guitar. That is a really cool case never seen one like it. Was that also made by Schecter? I’ve had my Telecaster for 45+ years yikes!

    • The case was something I bought online from Arizona at the Bass Place. It is a Fender tweed case that folds into an A frame guitar holder.
      I paid $80 as these were in clearance.
      I have never seen them before this or after.
      And when I contacted Fender, they had no knowledge of this case. But if you see it in detail, it is impeccably constructed with the Fender logo and face plate.
      I just lucked out I guess.

  3. A “banana” flavored stogie . . . What the . . . Okay, this one I gotta try. Also, you’ve mentioned your sky diving accident in passing several times. But you’ve never narrated the incident, at least in the time I’ve been following. Care to relive the terror for your reading audience?