Pre- Release Arandoza Cigars Red Label | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan (Triple Ligero)
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $7.25-$8.50 dependent on size.
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NOTE (7-4-2014):
I’ve gotten lots of questions regarding the release date. This is from an email that Pilar Arango sent me:
Hello Phil,
Release is at IPCPR July 20th so they’ll be in shops shortly after that.
Thanks for the great review!
Thank you,
Pilar Arango
Arandoza Cigars

Ever wonder what San Andrés means? Saint Andrew.

This cigar will join the White and Blue labels and make its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show this summer.
The cigars are manufactured at the La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

There will be 3 sizes: 6 x 52 Toro, 7 x 49 Churchill, and a 5 x 60. No name was given for the 60 ring.
There is no information anywhere about this cigar, including the Arandoza web site. I want to thank Robert Arango for the samples.

The cigar is absolutely stunning in its appearance. The dark, oily coffee bean wrapper is toothy and gorgeous. The seams are nearly invisible. A minimum of veins. One of the most impeccable triple caps I’ve seen.

And what really sets it off is the double cigar band. The main band should make Gurkha blush. And the foot band merely says “Red.”

The cigar is jam packed with the perfect amount of give. But no soft spots.

I clip the cap and find aromas of barnyard, cocoa, spice, grass, wood, dried apricot and leather.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are extraordinarily spicy. Loads of red pepper. I like it already. The draw is perfect. Smoke fills the room making the dog sneeze…she lies next to me on the floor while I review. She’s on the floor, not me. Although, if there is a big nicotine kick in my future with this cigar, then, I too, will be on the floor next to her.
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I could not find a lick of info on the characteristics of this cigar; not even from Arandoza’s web site. So I am on my own dear readers.

I taste a very rich earthiness. Followed by honey-like sweetness. There is a heavy dose of oak. Cocoa begins to rear its pretty head. Nuttiness appears soon after. This cigar is exactly what a high premium cigar should be: Flavor bomb right from the start. No waiting for the last third to make you happy.

I have an admission to make. I got these sticks yesterday. I had a hunch and dry boxed them for almost 24 hours and lit one up for this review. I have been rewarded heavily. I read an interview with Robert Arango who said due to the style of aging his cigars; they are good to go right out of the cello.

Now, from my experience, all boutique brands say the same thing and only 10% know what they are talking about and I end up wasting a cigar.

Mr. Arango hit the G spot in two seconds flat.

The char line is dead nuts. The strength started out at medium body but within half an inch was hitting its stride with medium/full bodied. And since the cigar is so jam packed, I have a journey in front of me. Better get the crash helmet out.
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I’m getting something fruity…like me. But I get a huge blast of cocoa that makes it hard to delineate. I will get it.

The cigar is a giant leap for Arandoza Cigars. I have reviewed both the White and Blue labels and found them exemplary cigar blends. But this takes Robert’s talent to a new level in the Cosmos. It is brilliant.

Espresso pushes some of the cocoa aside to be seen and tasted. The fruit is peach preserves. You might get a different type of stone fruit but that is what I taste. Delicious and decadent.

Man, I am digging this cigar! Many Mota! This cigar has that same high quality of standards as the recently reviewed MoyaRuiz La Jugada Nunchuck. This is going to be a huge seller and will put Arango on the Big Map.

The price point. This is a shining example of what an honest man will do for his customers. He provides a $12+ cigar for something in the $7 range. I wish I knew if this will become a regular production cigar.

Since there are only 3 sizes, I am guessing that this stick will go for around $7.25-$8.00.

I can say, bar none, this is just about the finest $7-$8 cigar I’ve smoked. EVER.

The strength moves to full bodied with only 1-3/4” smoked.
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Arango says in his press release that this was intended to be his strongest cigar yet. And I do believe he has accomplished that. It is a monster.

Here are the flavors, in order: Spice, earthiness, sweetness, cocoa, coffee, oak, fruit, and leather.

The cigar is heavy in the hand and the char line is just spot on. This is a joy to smoke.

I’m guessing but since it will debut at the IPCPR trade show this month, we can expect this cigar to hit B & M’s in September. Arango also mentioned in the interview that he plans to only sell his sticks in B & M’s. His web site will tell you which ones will sell them. You can always call around to the stores on his list and order them. I will.

I am getting some black cherry now.

After a horrifying night of storms and flooded basement, the sun is shining brightly this morning allowing you to see the oiliness and toothiness of the cigar in my photos.

The second third begins after 40 minutes of smoke time. It is a very slow smoke and I am glad for it. I want to savor every centimeter from this blend.
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At this point, the cigar becomes muy complex. The flavors do a Spock mind meld and become one.

The balance is top notch. And the finish is super long and chewy.

It hit flavor bomb status early on but now it has hit Super Flavor Bomb status.

The black cherry and sweetness are extremely strong. Oddly enough, I haven’t gotten any creaminess yet. This gives the blend an interesting point of view. I like it.

Rest assured that when you buy yours, and you will; that the cigar can be smoked right away after 24 hours of dry boxing.

Never put a new cigar right into your humidor. It is usually a tad over humidified and this process of dry boxing overnight will remove that factor and embolden the flavor profile.

Now I’m getting a combo of graham cracker and nougat flavors. And the long awaited for creaminess appears. Perfect timing.
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As you know, I prefer Robustos or smaller. But this Toro is just what the proctologist ordered. I think I would be left wanting a lot more in the robusto size. With the Toro, I will be left totally sated.

I wish, dear readers, that you could go out and buy this stick right now. Instead, I am giving you the big tease.

I near the halfway point and the cigar’s flavors are explosive and full of character and nuance at the same time.

I think I can taste a floral note. The sweetness, cocoa, and black cherry are so strong; it is hard to tell at this juncture.

I applaud Robert for being able to produce a blend like this and keep the price so affordable. I will want two boxes when they are available. This is a reliable cigar. And you want as many in your humidor as possible so they are at your disposal any time you want.

Nicotine rears its ugly head. My typing slows down. My typos rise exponentially. The screen is wavy. So I put on my crash helmet just to be safe.

The cap is so impeccably constructed that it is only now that I clip a bit off to save you from seeing my drool from chomping. This is a first.

This is about as close to a perfect cigar as possible.

The strength moves to very full bodied. Yet, at the same time, it remains smooth and cool.

The halfway point is upon me. The stick is swimming in flavor. It is so complex and balanced that I want to take off my crash helmet and run around the block yelling Robert’s name. Ditzy, I know.
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Here are the flavors at this point: Earthiness, spice, sweetness, cocoa, creaminess, black cherry, fruit, oak, graham cracker, nougat, leather, and peach preserves. Not bad. LOL!

Thank God that Robert sent two samples. You have no idea how cheap some manufacturers are and send only one stick. As a reviewer, you absolutely must have a minimum of two sticks to do a proper review. In this case, only one was needed but now I have a Cracker Jack surprise waiting for me in my humidor.

This cigar is strong. The only stronger cigar I’ve ever smoked is the Nunchuck and not by a big margin. This blend is going to turn the cigar world on its end.

The last third begins and I am swimming in a sea of swarming simbas. I slow down. The nicotine is frying my brain.

The standard rule is to take a puff every two minutes to get the most out of a blend.
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I smoke much faster than that when I write because I chomp while doing so.

It has taken me 90 minutes to get this far. A wonderful 90 minutes. I expect that when the cigar is finished, it will be a 2+ hour cigar.

Drat. There is a bit too much glue on the wrapper and I must cut part of it away. What a shame. I try to remove the band on the second cigar and the same thing happens. Such a beautiful band and now it is marred.

With a couple inches to go, the red pepper returns in force. In fact, all of the flavors explode.
This cigar is for the experienced palate. Not a newbie cigar.

Creaminess has become second in line.

Obviously, I highly recommend this cigar and while I don’t rate cigars like most reviewers do, if pressed, I would give this cigar a 97. Yes. I know what that means. Nearly perfect.

I want to thank Robert Arango for the samples. I am already jonesing for the release of the cigars to the public.
Final smoking time: 2.5 hours.
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9 replies

  1. WOW, this cigar is right up my alley! Please let us know when it’s available!

  2. Good lord! The photos alone make me salivate in anticipation of this stick,and the teasing review is like experiencing some bizarre strip joint. Cue mental image of drooling cigar smokers stuffing singles in the Katman’s g- string.

  3. Why oh why can’t I get this cigar TODAY!! Thanks for the vivid review

  4. Katman, outstanding review,beautiful photos and let me tell you, I know you read the sites and other reviewers writes for comparison but my friend let them make their comparison from yours…how you describe and express your journey experience reviewing a cigar is what make you the best in my book. You are on your own, you said for this review, well guess what, better alone than with bad company…the others should read and learn a bit from you which I’m sure they do but will never admit of that they have read someone else review. Keep the good no fantastic work you’re doing for us, your readers and followers,Buddy…
    Life is Good !!!

  5. I hate and love this review at the same time!! How long until we can get our hand on these sticks? Start the countdown.