Pura Sangre Edición 2012 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Viso Habano Colorado
Binder: Nicaraguan Viso Habano Colorado
Filler: Nicaraguan Viso Habano Colorado
Size: 5.5 x 56 “Double Robusto”
Body: Full
Price: $12.50 ($8.99 per single at Two Guys Smoke Shop)




Today we take a look at the Pura Sangre Edición 2012. A Nicaraguan puro.

It is made by Nestor Plasencia and was released in spring of 2013.

The Ventura Cigar Co. also produces PSyKo SEVEN (Which I’ve reviewed here-very good cigar), and the Project 805.

The cigar comes in 4 sizes:
Robusto, Torpedo, Churchill, Double Corona.

From Ventura Cigar Company’s web site:
“Pura Sangre is a true Nicaraguan Puro combining Viso Habano Colorado wrapper, aged 5 years with Viso Habano binder. Premium tobaccos from Jalapa, Esteli, and Condega balance the blend for a spicy, rich smoking experience.”

The Pura Sangre Edición 2012 is crate aged for a minimum of 300 days and only one release per year of roughly 12,000 cigars.

This is a cigar for stout hearted men. It looks like a fire hydrant. The wrapper is a dark chocolate with a bit of oiliness but mostly a matte finish.
It has some tooth. Seams are great and few veins. The triple cap is impeccable. The cigar is absolutely jam packed and I should finish this review in just a matter of….er…today.
It has a main cigar band and a footer. The main cigar band has the letter “V” in red on the side to allude to its bond to Ventura Cigar Co.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, chocolate, espresso, wood, something tangy and leather.
Time to light up.

Just wonderful. A great start. Big dollops of chocolate and cream with a dash of nougat. And a roiling cauldron of red pepper that burns the inside of my nose.

The draw is perfect for such a hard packed cigar. I can’t chomp or I won’t see the laptop screen.

There is a nice toastiness. And something else. I hate stealing revelations from other reviewers but Halfwheel hit it right on the head when the reviewer said he tasted Worcestershire sauce. Halfwheel is a great news source web site. And they proudly proclaim themselves as such with the addition of reviews. They are a great source for background information on a manufacturer. Most manufacturer web sites are bereft of really good information on themselves. They keep it gingerbread and foo foo.

I was worried that the cigar would not be ready. It was a gift and it came from someone’s humidor so I have no idea how aged it is.
But since the Pura Sangre Edición 2012 has now hit Flavor Bomb 1.0 in the first quarter inch, I can relax.

There is no way I can’t chomp this cigar. So cap clippings will be necessary.

The Pura Sangre Edición 2012 is an excellent cigar. Unless it does a belly flop in the middle, I am going to be very happy with this blend.

I’m not overly impressed with the construction at the foot. The char line was wavy from the beginning and needed a minor touch up. It will need another soon.

The flavors: Chocolate, creaminess, coffee, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, spice, toasty, a bit nutty, cedar, leather. Earthiness plays a big factor as well.

As this is slow going, I should apologize for yesterday’s “And now for something completely different” saga. The Buckingham is Cigar Federation’s pride and joy. And I am a member. I had brain lock when I wrote what I did after the review and out of respect to Logan Lawler and the gang, I removed it. It goes back up after this review today.

I checked on my review of the PSyKo SEVEN I wrote back in March. This was a $6.50 cigar that blew my socks off. I don’t rate cigars but I felt compelled to give it an “A+”.

But the PSyKo SEVEN is a totally different blending mindset than the Pura Sangre Edición 2012. The Pura Sangre is also just about twice as much. Those comments later.

I’ve been smoking for a good 15 minutes and only made a ¾’ dent in the Pura Sangre Edición 2012. The char line needs a major tune up. A cigar at this price point shouldn’t have these problems. It should be a razor sharp burn line. Taking points away based on this.

I get a delicious orange citrus element now. Very sweet and juicy. I can almost smell it. Charlotte and I are on an apples and oranges kick at the moment. For lunch, I peel and cut a Honey Crisp apple and a nice Valencia and dig in. The smell of that orange damn near fills the house with that wonderful aroma. And the oranges right now are candy sweet. That’s what I am experiencing with the Pura Sangre Edición 2012.

A new flavor emerges that goes side by side with the luscious chocolate: Nougat. In my Tarazona 305 review, I outlined the differences between caramel, toffee, butterscotch, malt and nougat were. This is how Wikipedia describes nougat:
“Nougat is a family of confectioneries made with sugar and/or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit.”

I can taste all those components; the honey, roasted nuts, even the egg white…like an orange meringue pie.

The char line is a complete mess. I was going to leave it alone for the photos but if I don’t fix it, it will run wild. There is no place for this lazy construction on a $12 cigar. Shame.

The only thing keeping me from putting it down is the price and the superb flavors. If this was a $6 cigar, it’s outta here brudda!

I’m at that dangerous point where I challenge fate about the length of the ash. Do I hold out for the next photo risking it falling on the camera hanging from my neck, or dump it. I normally take the fool’s route.

Flavor Bomb 2.0 at only 1-1/2” smoked.

This cigar blend is crazy good.

I hope everyone had a fun New Year ’s Eve. Charlotte and I did. We went to the kid’s house and her fiancée’s. They had a few homosexual friends over. Just 8 of us.

One fella had a restaurant or cooked at one and brought NY Strips that they grilled up in 4°. We brought the scallops from Costco. And there was asparagus and garlic potatoes. It was fantastic. And their friend, Tony, did all the cooking.

An almost perfect start to the year as I lay the cigar down for a photo and afterwards the ash gently comes off the stick.

The second third begins.

An hour of smoke time. Yikes. I could be here for 3 hours of smoke and 1 hour of review.

A nice woody note enters. Gives the flavor profile some balance. And I should mention that the cigar became very complex by the 1” burned point. The finish is long and chewy. Love it.

I compare cigars at this price level to two cigars: Ezra Zion The Collective and Paul Stulac’s White Blinding Light. The Pura Sangre Edición 2012 is very comfortable in their company.
To be frank, I wasn’t familiar with this blend. I should have been. But unless one spends a lot of his time pouring over the cigar news services; or works in the cigar industry, it is hard to keep up.

The price point. Yeah, baby. Worth every shekel. Except I don’t have enough shekels. I found the best pricing at Two Guys Smoke Shop. They are only charging $8.99 for a single and $7.80 in 20 count boxes. Now I can get behind this. Unfortunately, they don’t sell 5 packs. They leave that middle ground out completely. Too bad. I could go for a 5 pack. Even though the single price is $3.51. But mysteriously, they jacked up the price for January 1. While preparing the review a week ago, the singles were only $7.19. They went up $1.80 each for the new year. Still better than $12.50.

With 3-1/2” to go, the flavors mellow out some. They’ve lost some of their luster.
Some elements have just disappeared. Like the citrus, nougat, nuttiness. These were integral components and I hope they return.

I’m at the halfway point and the Worcestershire sauce has made it to the top of the list followed by cream, chocolate and coffee.
As I approach the last third, things seem to perk up.

The strength started out at medium body but soon escalated to medium/full by the end of the first third. It reached full body by the halfway point.

I really like this cigar. The blend is outstanding. I just don’t get why the construction is so lousy. I made a tiny clip at the cap and all hell broke loose dismantling all 3 caps. The char line is a deal breaker for me. But then I have only one and not another to compare.

I go back to Halfwheel and a couple other reviewers. Damnation. They had the exact same problems with the burn. So it’s not me. It’s not this solitary cigar. It is the manufacturing. Shame once more. You don’t charge folks $12.50 or $9.00 for a cigar that won’t stay together. Luckily, there have been no cracking of the wrapper issues.

But correcting the burn a dozen times in a 2 hour smoke is unforgivable by Ventura Cigar Company’s rollers. Since this is a wide spread problem with this blend, what were they thinking to release it and at such a high price? You don’t give a $12 cigar to a #3 torcedor.

The last third is here and its galloping like Roy Rogers on Trigger. I said that so I could segue into a little story.
My mother had an aunt whose husband was a big time entertainment lawyer in the 1950’s-1980’s. We came out to L.A. in 1955. I remember my first visit. They actually had one of the Roy Roger’s German Shepherds: Bullet. He was a giant dog and I remember being put on his back and riding him in the living room.

I was also there when I was around 18 visiting my cousin Fred Selden…the world famous reed player. Turns out that the actor William Holden lived next door. Fred and Holden were sitting at a patio table in the massive back yard.

They were drinking whisky at 2pm. Holden, turned out, to be a raging alcoholic. We sat there for hours…way past daylight. And I just listened. Holden laid down the dirt on all the giant movie stars of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. I never laughed so hard in my life. I saw Holden a lot after that because Fred liked telling me about music and he knew I was serious.

Shame though..Holden died at 63 falling off a small ladder trying to fix something in his living room. Drunk of course. I was actually invited to the funeral. I went with Fred and his family.

Back to the Pura Sangre Edición 2012. Flavors have returned in force. Tons and tons of character, nuance, boldness, and complexity.

Here they are for the last time: Chocolate, creaminess, orange citrus, wood, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, toasty, roasted nuts, cedar, spice, leather and a rich earthiness.

You have to at least try this cigar if you haven’t already. I’m sure that at your local B & M, the price is $12.50 but it is hard to ignore the pricing from Two Guys Smoke Shop.

The Pura Sangre Edición 2012 has a nice finish. Strong but controlled. Extremely flavorful. Only a little nicotine. No harshness or heat.

But can I recommend it? Other reviewers confirm that the construction issues are wide spread. I would never, never spend $12.50 for this. And even $9 is a stretch. Unless Ventura Cigar Co. goes back to the drawing board to figure out which rollers should be producing the cigars, the Pura Sangre Edición 2012 will just fade into memory.

Note: You see now what happens when I review the smoke while writing. I started off saying the price point was good and ended up telling it to go fish. I don’t go back and take the egg of my face because that was how I felt at the time and that very moment in the cigar experience. It is more fun that way. You get to see what a foolish buffoon I am.

NOTE #2: New Contest starts today. Paul Stulac has donated a 20 count box of the Classic Lord Maduros to one winner. See the post and enter!

And now for something completely different:
“My most important relationships were conducted by my association with music.”

They say that in life if you are lucky to find one or two really good friends, you are a lucky man.
I have two. Not three. Two.

Skipper Howlett and Rick Tunstall are my brothers. And we all found ourselves in the position of finding that music was the glue that bound us.
Unfortunately, we live geographically far apart. Rick is in Virginia and Skippy is in Pomona, CA.

I’ve known Skip for 57 years. I’ve known Rick for 35 years. We played glorious music together. We got stoned and listened to albums together. We went to concerts together.
And we played in lots of bands.

We have that magical bond of our love of music.

In fact, as I stated in my first sentence, all of my best friends were made through music. I was forced to play accordion at age 9. I lost most of my friends during that period. But I never stopped learning to play other instruments and hence; have been a musician for 56 years. Can you think of anything you’ve given your heart and soul to for 56 years?

That’s why selling my beloved Schecter bass, a while ago, devastated me. We needed the money for Charlotte’s health issues.

I ran a small cigar group on FB for a bit and the members were all loyal readers. When things got tough, I reached out, in the most humiliating manner, and asked if they would chip in $10 so I could continue to buy cigars for review.

Now here is the really funny part. When I sold my bass, and then had back surgery on Halloween of this year, all my group buddies got together and wanted to buy me a bass.

They were going to buy me a bass but out of 30 members, only 4 ponied up some dough allowing me to continue.

I left the group. These weren’t friends; only acquaintances. Whose blather exceeded their compassion. Star fuckers. Enamored with the Katman but not liking Phillip.

But now, it is time to put all that behind me and focus on the future.

Skip has been a staunch financial helper and he ain’t no rich man. And Rick, who has his own financial problems, sent me money several times.

But the real solid that both men gave me was their undying friendship. Can’t put a price on that. Whenever I need to talk to someone, these are the boys that will listen and without an agenda. They know me as Phil, not the Katman.

I’ve noted the others who helped me out while I was in real need: Mike Simmons, John Young, Joseph Talotta, Zelig, Reek Havok, (Yes, that is his real legal name), Brian Austin, and TL Harmon….and some others who don’t want to be mentioned.

These are friends with open hearts and souls. And friends who like Phillip; Not just the Katman.

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