Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca | Cigar Review

Wrapper: San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Filler: Nicaraguan: Esteli Ligero, Ometepe Viso, and Jalapa Seco.
Size: 5.5 x 52 “Robusto Extra – Box Pressed”
Body: Full
Price: $9.80 Single/ $8.40 by the box of 20 at Cigar Hustler




Today we take a look at the Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca.
Made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.

Etiqueta Blanca means White Label. Only 1000 boxes produced. Clave means “Key.” But it is also the heavy wood sticks used by a percussionist. And since there are musical notes on the cigar band, I must assume that is the proper translation.

Only 3 sizes:
Robusto Extra: 5.5 x 52 $9.80
Toro: 6 x 54 $10.50
Toro Gordo: 6 x 60 $11.20

From Cordoba & Morales web site:
“Córdoba & Morales dates back to 1906 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, in the region of Vuelta Abajo, where Célestina Córdoba y Morales, my grandmother and childhood best friend, was born. At a very young age, she learned from her ancestors the family secrets in the tobacco fields, everything from sowing the seeds to making an unparalleled and superior cigar. My grandmother passed away in 1989 at 83 years of age. She didn’t leave us, but instead inspired and taught us hands-on how to follow the family tradition. More importantly, she cultivated in all of us a love for cigars.”

Total of 7 blends: Front 9, 19th Hole, Family Reserve, Puro Pinar, Clave Cubana, Grand Salomone, and Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca.

The box press is crisp and good looking. Each stick is packed solid with just the right amount of give. Seams are very tight. Very few veins. A nicely applied triple rounded cap. And a nice oily coffee bean brown wrapper.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cocoa, cinnamon, cedar, and earthy tobacco.
Time to light up.

A blast of red pepper attacks the senses. The draw is perfect. Smoke billows into the ceiling rafters. A thick chocolate shake tastes pretty good.
There is a very woody element. And the strength ain’t foolin’ around. It is a tad above medium body in the first eighth of an inch. There is a bit of a curry influence.

The burn line starts out a little wavy. Not to worry yet.

I love the large plumes of smoke.

It hits medium/full. I’ve smoked 3/8”.

Uh-oh. Didn’t eat anything. I ordered a special humanized horse’s feeding bag that you drape around your neck. It allows you to vomit while you type and not leave the keyboard. Between that and the crash helmet, I should be OK.

This is definitely a pepper bomb. Lots of humidor time should tamp that down if that’s your thing. I prefer the more manly approach and let ‘er rip. The box of Kleenex sits next to me as my sinuses drain.

The Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca has no sweetness to report so it is a savory, meaty thing. This is what cavemen smoked until they learned to use their opposable thumb.

I’m digging it.

Creaminess joins the fray and pulls everything together: Chocolate, cream, cinnamon, cedar, earthy tobacco, curry notes, meaty elements, and a slight bloom of some sweetness at the back of the line.

The char line is doing well.

And then the 1” long ash falls. Badda-Boom.

I’m not sure of the back story as to why only Cigar Hustler carries the cigar online. I didn’t decide to review this cigar until last night. So I did no prep work by contacting them.

The cigar is about to hit full bodied. Wow. Yikes.

There are no reviews and the description on the Córdoba & Morales web site is mostly vague, I got no heads up to the strength of the cigar. I can now fill that in at the top of the page in my leaf stats. FULL!

The balance is excellent. And the cigar finds its first stage of complexity. Very long chewy finish. Nice cigar.

Sweetness arrives with a fanfare. It is sort of a sweet orange citrus.

Let’s discus the price point. $10 for this cigar. Ouch.

I bought a Clave Cubana 6 pack sampler from Cigar Hustler but now seems to be gone from its site. I paid $43.99, or $7.33 per stick. I got three Robusto Extras ($9.80) and three Toros (6 x 54 – $10.50). I guess word got out and they are gone. But if you are interested, contact Cigar Hustler and beg the way you do with your wife at bedtime.

So, A bit over $7 is a steal. The quality is superb. And I would rather see this stick in the $7-$8 range.

The second third begins.

This is just a fine, fine cigar. Very complex now. And wonderful mix of sweet and savory flavors.

And the full body part…well..it sort of feels like I’m just coming on to some good acid. I still remember although the last time I did it was on my 25th birthday. 40 years ago.

The chocolate and creaminess are neck and neck. The spiciness is hanging tough and I like that a lot. I will take to bed with me any cigar that stays spicy for the whole duration.

I know….here I go again…but the Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca qualifies as a flavor bomb without any equivocation.

So when I compare the good cigars in this price range, I must admit that this stick belongs in the same category.

Fruitiness appears for the first time. Sort of tart and sweet. The sweet orange citrus moved to the netherworld. So this is something different. Dried fruit of some type.

I’ve smoked 2-1/4” in about 35 minutes. And it seems to have flown by. A good cigar will do that.

This is a pet peeve of mine. Names of cigars. Sometimes, they just get too ridiculous with too much back story. It’s a bloody cigar for chrissakes. So kudos to C & M for being as simple as can be with “White Label.” Nice. Like the Beatles “White Album.”

Side note. An old friend had the opportunity to do the voice over work on the last John Lennon interview ever done. Maybe 2 days before he was murdered. Back then, the interviews were put on records for the radio stations. Parts #1-5. My buddy transferred them to cassettes for me. It is the most stunning account of Lennon’s life you’ve never heard. Interspersed with music and done chronologically. Send me a million dollars and I will transfer the cassettes to CD format and send them to you. Great on a long road trip. 5 hours of Lennon. And sadly, Yoko couldn’t keep her mouth shut.

Back to the Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca. I am having a rip roaring good time here.
Black cherries. Not dried fruit.

I reach the halfway point.

Cigar Hustler only sells cigars two ways: Singles and by the box. At this price, I cannot afford either. So I am happy that I still have a 5 pack left to age a bit. And smoke on special occasions.

For my daughter’s wedding in May, I am supposed to bring 20 cigars with me for the wedding party. I’m not sure what to bring. Don’t want to buy really expensive cigars because it will probably be wasted on them. Any suggestions? I was thinking something along the line of My Father La Antiguedad or My Father Flor de Las Antillas. Help me out.

I remove the cigar band and it is one of the most attractive ones I’ve seen. Classy.

I’m impressed with the construction. The char line has not required a single touch up. The wrapper has no issues. And the cap needed just one clip. That is because I’ve drooled on it as I pass in and out of consciousness from the full body experience.

It is now full body+. Nicotine settles in for the long haul. I don my crash helmet. Should have eaten something but I didn’t know.

The Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca is like a big chocolate bar. With waves of creaminess adding to the delight.

Notes of roasted nuts and toastiness arrive. We now have a Snickers bar.

Living in Europe allows you to choose from a million wonderful chocolate candies. But when Stewart Copeland and I hung out getting stoned, he would always buy a Snickers. Out of all the wonderful things he could have chosen, he grabbed a Snickers. Americans. Harrumph.

My puffing slows way down or 911 will be called.

The rule of thumb is to take a puff every two minutes. Do you do that?

This size is on the border of sizes I enjoy. This blend has all the intensity of a Corona.

C & M really outdid themselves with this blend. Now I have to find the other blends. I checked their retailer list and not a single store in Wisconsin.
But my lovely readers, Cigar Hustler carries them all. Huzzah!

I see into the future when I get my social security on the 3rd, buying some.
The wife is going to kill me.

The Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca is a spectacular cigar. Nice for a change as of late there have not been many I can say that about in my reviews of late.

I rescind my “Ouch” theory and say this…the $10 is worth every nickel. It is not a 2015 cigar as it came out in the summer of 2014 but I will sneak it in to my Top 25 Cigars of 2015. I have a different rule than the upstanding reviewers. Since these companies don’t send me cigars until I send them a rave review of their product, if I don’t try it for the first time until this year, it therefore belongs in 2015. Screwy, I know.

The last third begins.

The cigar is heavy with flavor. It is deeply complex. The finish is extraordinarily long.
And I’m swooning from its power. It’s been a while since I smoked a stick this strong.

My vision is blurred. And I’m moving like Ray Charles at the piano. Which includes the big smile on my puss.

Here they are for the last time: Chocolate, creamy, spicy, sweetness, black cherry, cedar, wood, nutty, toasty, and that wonderful earthy tobacco.
Here is the real kicker. I’ve only had these cigars for a week. Clearly, I am getting that fresh rolled flavor. It will disappear in a week or so and then after a couple months return.

I cannot begin to emphasize how flavorful the Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca is. Just a real monster.

I cannot believe this. On the C & M site, they proudly display the rating that Cigar Snob gave the blend: 89.

Are they crazy? I don’t rate cigars with numbers but occasionally rate them like in school. This is an A+ cigar. It certainly deserves to be rated in the mid 90’s.

The cigar finishes kicking my ass but good. I’ve got a case of the spins.

But the Córdoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca is worth your time and dough. Tell Cigar Hustler the Katman sent you.



Note from Cigar Hustler owner Mike Szczepankiewicz:
“Thanks brother. I just posted it to my twitter and Facebook. Great review! Glad you enjoyed it!”

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