Size: 5.5 x 52
Price: $8.00 MSRP
Today we take a look at Cucubano from Southern Classic Cigars.
From Southern Classic Cigars web site:
“To many cigar smokers, the name Southern Classic Cigars may not ring any bells. Which is understandable, as the brand operates in a very exclusive, ultra-boutique manner. Their factory, which is located in Estelí, Nicaragua, consists of a mere four cigar rollers! This, of course, limits production, which is a solid “plus” for cigar enthusiasts – allowing the utmost control over each cigar’s quality. But it is Cuban-born Juan Alberto Gomez-Pacheco that Southern Classic Cigars touts as their claim to fame. Training directly under “Cuban legend” Alejandro Robaina, Juan is a master in cigar blending and craftsmanship – he has poured his soul into each blend at Southern Classic Cigars.
“Southern Classic Cigars consists of four cigar lines, each focusing on different elements of traditions held by the native Taíno Indians of Cuba. Each cigar is blended in only one size, showing the optimum performance of the blend created by Master Blender Juan “Papito” Alberto Gomez-Pacheco. All blends are Nicaraguan, showing what can truly be accomplished when a classic Cuban approach is applied to the rich soils of Nicaragua.”
You can get a list of retailers on the Cucubano web site.
Nice looking cigar. Tight seams. Not a lot of veins. A solidly packed stick but with the perfect amount of give. Nicely done triple cap. The wrapper is seal brown in color with a bit of tooth. I have to tell the truth. I have a chart with a gazillion named shades of brown so I find these oddly named descriptions from it.
I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cocoa, cinnamon, leather, and cedar.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are spicy, sweet, citrus tart, russet potatoes (?), cocoa, savory notes, and full of wood.
I want to thank Eloy at Southern Classic Cigars for kind sampler box sent to me. In it, were 3 sticks of all four blends: The line is made up of: Cuey 6.25 x 58 ($12.00), Dujo 6.5 x 56 ($11.00), Coabey 6 x 54 ($10.00), and the Cucubano 5.5 x 52 ($8.00). These are all MSRP prices.
At this early standing of the cigar, I am leaning towards the Cucubano as my fave between this cigar and the Coabey.
The Cucubano from Southern Classic Cigars is muy flavorful from the get go. It has that taste of a cigar given lots of humidor time. I’ve only had these cigars for a few weeks.
There is an oily faction that seams to leave a residue on my lips. Like dunking fine crusty bread in olive oil.
In fact, there is a nice Italian spice element. But it is the super creaminess, cocoa, and coffee that are the winning components.
The savory flavor is something else. Meaty. Almost smoky.
The strength is medium body.
The ash has the need to continually fall into my lap at the half inch mark. I have my Swifter.
To really appreciate this cigar, it must be the first of the day. I smoked one previously and it wasn’t like today’s cigar. My palate was crispy from chain smoking.
I reach the second third.
While there isn’t a lot of complexity, the Cucubano from Southern Classic Cigars is a true flavor bomb. It is blasting away with these flavors: Creaminess, cocoa, coffee, spice, sweetness, butterscotch, citrus, smoky, savory, roasted nuts, raisins, wood, Italian spices, and a touch of mushroom.
Now if that is not the largest kitchen sink of flavors, I don’t know what is.
I know everyone is laughing at me right now.
Nothing makes me happier than to convey to my readers how good a somewhat obscure new cigar is. And nothing bums me out more than reporting that a cigar is a dog turd like the Montecristo Relentless.
The finish is extraordinary.
Did it again. Ash falls into my lap.
A new aggravation. My daughter gave me a kitten. Sammy is now about 7 months old. He is a teenager. Constantly getting into trouble. He has broken two of my photographic lights…so far. He loves knocking stuff over. I’m too old for this shit. I can’t even begin to list the things he’s broken.
Now that the weather is nice, I leave the window open in the dining room. It is where I take my photos. And the damn cat likes to sit on the sill. Blocking my sun. I try to take a photo and jumps up. I toss him down. He jumps up. I toss him down. He jumps up, etc.
I think I am in sensory overload from all the flavors.
No changes to the flavor profile. Everything is exactly as I described earlier.
The strength reaches medium/full.
The Cucubano from Southern Classic Cigars is on cruise control.
Haha. The ash falls of into the ashtray for the first time. No Swifter required.
I still have two Southern Classic cigars to review: Dujo and the Cuey. These are big honkers. So I want to wait a bit.
The Cucubano from Southern Classic Cigars has performed beautifully. Not a single criticism.
The spiciness returns.
The last third begins.
I’ve figured it out. This cigar came in a sealed box. It seems that this mode of transport helps protect the cigars from the bitter cold during transit. The cigars that come to me in plastic bags are the ones that give me trouble.
I love the 60’s cable music channel. I am living my youth all over again. Each song takes me back to a particular place and time.
The Cucubano from Southern Classic Cigars hits full body with a touch of nicotine.
Damn. Ash on my lap again.
The definition of stupidity is that you do the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
And now for something completely different:
I did a lot of bass session work for a man named Gary Gladstone. (He has since passed away) He had his own studio in Beverly Hills and engineered and produced a lot of acts. His most famous was the all African American rock band called The Bus Boys. This was circa 1982.
Gary had this weird saying that, at first, put me off. When we would do multiple takes, he kept telling me I was approaching “average.” I felt insulted.
And then he explained that in his mind, average was perfect. Go figure.
Gary got lots of calls to engineer big acts at other studios. He began to recommend me and I got work through him.
It was during this time that I did a crash study of sight reading notes on charts.
Gary got the call to engineer a Streisand gig. The recording was done with a 12 piece band playing at once instead of the tried and true method of recording the rhythm section first and then layering.
Outside of doing big commercials in the studio, with the assistance of drummer Hal Blaine giving me the thumbs up to the producer, this session was not rock n roll. And so far, all the sessions I’ve done were rock music.
The point being is that Streisand’s music was out of my comfort zone. Very complex tunes and I had to read every note written. It was hard at first but I quickly made the adjustment and kept on chooglin’.
It just so happened that that night was the first night of Passover and I was supposed to be with the family for Seder. But the Streisand gig was good money. Hal got me into the musician’s union without much trouble.
I think I got around $440 per song. But I had to sign away my rights for royalties. Standard procedure.
As we were finishing for the night, Streisand walks in. She was supposed to put down vocals to help the rest of the band while they recorded. She was late. These were not her final vocals.
It was around 7pm. Gary introduced me to Streisand and when she heard my last name, she asked why I wasn’t at someone’s Seder?
I schmoozed her and told her I would rather be here.
I said that I was going to try and get to my dad’s house for leftovers and was packing my gear quickly. I was in Hollywood and had a good hour ride home.
All of a sudden, she proclaimed to everyone that she was coming with me. Everyone laughed. She had a big entourage who laughed on cue.
I grabbed my gear and headed to the parking lot. It was 1982 and I was driving a beat up 1971 Datsun station wagon.
She followed me out to my car. She opened the passenger side and got in. “Let’s go, hon.”
Her manager was right behind her screaming that they had time booked and she needed to get her ass back into the studio.
He went over to her side of the car and she rolled up the window. They screamed at each other for a couple minutes and I sat there like a schlump.
Finally, she leaned over and gave me a kiss and winked.
She had no intention of going with me. She just wanted to fuck with her manager.
When I got to my dad’s, I told everyone what happened. My evil step mother went nuts. She was from Brooklyn, just like Streisand, and that’s all she talked about. For years, she would tell people this story whenever she had a get together and I was there.
It was sort of crazy and lots of fun. Imagine Streisand sitting in my 1971 Datsun and you can’t help but laugh.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS