Cabal Robusto | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Bonao
Binder: Peruvian, Dominican
Filler: Nicaraguan, Pennsylvania, Dominican
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $7.50


Today we take a look at the Cabal Robusto.

It was released sometime in 2013 so I’m late to the party once again.

Bonao is a tobacco-growing region of the Dominican Republic.

From the Cabal Cigars web site:
“Nothing good comes quickly or easily… Over a grueling two year period, the quest for a perfect blend and a worthy manufacturer for his Cabal line of cigars, Chris Arolfo and Hendrik Kelner, Jr. joined forces to create the flagship brand for the newly formed Kelner Boutique Factory (KBF).

“Based in the Dominican Republic, KBF relies upon Hendrik’s vast experience and exclusive tobaccos to produce cigars with unrivaled tastes and consistency. Over the course of a year, Chris and Hendrik developed flavor profiles and sizes that Chris envisioned when he set out to launch Cabal Cigars.”

Thanks to a small group of readers, this is one of the cigars I was able to purchase with their donations. Once again, thank you brothers.

The Cabal is a solid stick with a mottled medium brown wrapper. Seams are fairly tight. Lots of small veins and a couple huge honkers. The triple cap is flawless. The cigar feels like it has a lot of tooth but the photos will either bear that out or prove me wrong.

The cigar band is as simple as they come. The name of the cigar brand and the tiny words “Robusto” on the side.

I clip the cap and find aromas of black tea, spice, nutmeg, earthiness, and cedar.
Time to light up.

The draw is a bit tight. But then here they come, walkin’ down the street…well, you know the rest.

A strong cinnamon element is at play, a wonderful sweetness, cream, earthiness, and black pepper. The spiciness is slowly building.

Then a mixed bag of salted roasted nuts appears. The whole mishegos…minus the peanuts.

The char line starts off impressively.

There is a tartness I can’t quite identify yet. The black tea translates from an aroma to a flavor.

The bedrock of the flavor profile is built on two blocks: Cedar and earthiness. And there is something smoky in there.

The sweetness/tartness has parts of orange citrus, grapefruit citrus, waffles (No kidding), and hot cocoa.
What an interesting flavor blend.

The strength is classic medium body.

The burn line gets a little wavy so I give it a small touch up.

With 1” burned, things are ratcheted up a notch. The black pepper becomes scorching hot red pepper. The sweetness and creaminess go nuts. The cocoa brings out some coffee flavors. An herbal note that works nicely with the tea flavor is bold. In addition to the Cabal being nutty, it gets a toasty note.

The citrus is the perfect counterpoint for the sweetie elements.

I bought this as a single from Cigar Federation for the MSRP retail price. But as a member, I got 10% off. The deal is that the Cabal is only sold through B & M stores in just a few states: Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Texas and Washington State. CF is the only online store that carries them.

I’m playing with fire as the sturdy ash reaches a length of 1-1/2”. Do I faux pas and let it drop on to my sensitive, scarred lap? Or do I behave like a gentleman and let it disengage in the ashtray? I gently tap it on the ashtray and it is screaming, “Baby, baby, please don’t go!” (It’s going to land on the top of my camera hanging from my neck. Time to take it off.)

The second third begins.

While nothing close to a genuine flavor bomb, it is exceedingly pleasant and flavorful.

And now I get a peanut butter taste. It has the longest finish of all the flavors.

While taking this photo of the Cabal, the ash gently disembarks from the foot.

The Cabal comes in only three sizes: Robusto 5 x 50, Short Robusto 4.5 x 52 $6.50, and the Corona Gorda 5.5 x 46 $7.00. These are the CF prices. Prices will vary from state to state at the B & M’s.

Flavors that were somewhat muted earlier begin to shine: Chocolate and coffee. The nutmeg transforms itself into cinnamon and I can envision a cup of mocha java with lots of foam and that little sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Nice.

Another sweetness abides. What the hell is it? Initially, the Cabal started with a generic type of sweetness and then began to define itself. This element is very sweet. What the hell is it?

It’s clover honey. That wisp of grassiness flavor threw me.

Here they are: Spice, chocolate, coffee, creaminess, citrus, cinnamon, clover honey, nuts, toasty, black tea, and cedar.

A lot of flavors. I’ve had this cigar for around 6 weeks. I bought one a couple weeks ago to give me a second one because the first one was a gift from a reader. In fact, this reader, Mike S., went through the CF catalog and bought me a bunch of singles. With limited funds, I tried to buy as many twosies as possible but I only had so much dough so Mike really bailed me out.

More char line waviness that needs only a minor adjustment.

I reach the halfway point.

The price point. If you read me regularly, you know how I rail at the high prices of cigars that came out of the 2014 IPCPR trade show. Just ridiculous and greedy.

I have no qualms with this price for any of the three sizes. I would add it to my list of great cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 price range but it exceeds those limits by a buck. Rules are rules.

This is a very good start for Cabal Cigars. Their other blend: Esoteric has a Dominican Cotuí wrapper otherwise the same guts as the original Cabal. And it only comes in one size: Robusto. CF carries them but are sold out. And they are just 50 cents more than the original Cabal. Would like to try and compare.

BTW- the original Cabal is a regular production cigar. While the Esoteric is a limited run. Couldn’t find how many were produced.
I gently clip a tiny bit of cap. Katman drool.

Oh..the sun came out and there are snow flurries. Beautiful…as long as you don’t have to go out in it. This year, the Milwaukee County officials pulled back on the salt trucks for their budget’s sake. So now there are much more car accidents than last year. You just can’t see that black ice. And they are completely ignoring the residential areas. We take our lives in our hands each time we leave our housing complex to get to a major street.
The snowflakes are so huge that they look like feathers falling.

The strength moves to medium/full.

If I had one word to describe the Cabal it would be Smooth. And if I had another word, it would be: Complex.

Flavors are not as bold as they were earlier but they are definitely more complex. It is a jambalaya of rotating flavors whose balance is on the money. It has had a nice long finish from the start.

I am very happy with my new lighting system and new Fuji camera. But the damn cat keeps knocking over the single lamp stand that doesn’t have an umbrella. I just bought my second one. Now I’ve smarted up and remove the bulbs when I finish a review. The new one on the way is called a “Daylight” bulb. No description needed. I look forward to that. Especially when there is no sun…which is most of the time. Either it is very overcast or in summer it is blocked by the huge trees.

The Cabal hits the last third.

And like a switch being thrown, the flavor profile becomes intense. All flavors are accounted for.

The spiciness reaches out and begins to scream. It is exactly like starting a Pepin Garcia cigar with that pepper blast. Wow. Never had a cigar make my eyes water in the last third.

I’m very impressed with the construction of the Cabal. Yes, there were some minor touch ups required on the char line but so what.

I read the info on the Cabal web site and there is no bragging about using #9 rollers or only producing 100 per day..etc.
That always seems to curse the cigar and ends up being the stick that gives me the most trouble.

Cabal Cigars is a new company. I do believe they are on the right track.

The upfront flavors are creaminess, spice, peanut butter, cinnamon, and chocolate.

Ever make peanut butter cinnamon toast? I have. That is what this reminds me of…if you add some chocolate sauce.
The Cabal finishes smooth and complex. The flavors are terrific.

The Cabal has been out for a while so you probably have tried it. But for those that haven’t, I recommend you go to Cigar Federation and snag some. If they are out of the size you want, you can sign up for an email notification when they come in.
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