Aladino Corojo Reserva | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Honduran Corojo
Filler: Honduran Corojo
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Full
Price: $12.00

Today we take a look at the Aladino Corojo Reserva.
I got a couple (Pre-release ~ July) from Havana Lounge and Cigar in West Allis, WI. Remember…Havana Lounge has a huge selection of boutique and hard to find brands and blends. You ever find yourself at wit’s end not finding what you are looking for, call Tyler and he will take care of you.

BACKGROUND:
Released: August, 2018
Regular production
From Halfwheel.com:
“During the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show last month, JRE Tobacco. Co. officially released another cigar in that vein: the Aladino Corojo Reserva, a single vitola puro that—as the name suggests—is composed of 100 percent corojo tobacco from Honduras. The new cigar debuted in just one size—a 5 x 50 robusto—that is packaged in a unique diamond-esque shaped box that features a piece of art printed on the inside of the lid.

“While it is an ongoing production cigar, brand owner Justo Eiroa told halfwheel that only 400 boxes are being made per month, all of which are being shipped to “stores by exclusive allocation only.” Each cigar carries an MSRP of $12 and they are being produced at the Las Lomas Factory in Honduras.

APPEARANCE:
Extremely rustic looking stick with huge veins permeating the cigar but clean seam lines. And a nice triple cap. The chocolate brown wrapper is alternately toothy and smooth. I am surprised that this $12 cigar isn’t consistent in the filler department. The bottom third is too soft while the top third is hard as a rock.

NOSE AND MAW:
Aromas are subtle with elements of milk chocolate, barnyard, coffee, salty pretzel, cedar, malt, black pepper, and a generic sweetness derived from a touch of fruitiness and honey.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, mud, cedar, dark chocolate, espresso, malt, black cherries, coconut, black pepper, and wheat.

FIRST THIRD:
Once again, now three reviews in a row, I find that the draw on the cigar is on the money so I don’t need to ream the intestines out of the stick with my PerfecDraw cigar poker tool.

The Aladino Corojo Reserva starts off with nuanced flavors of chocolate, cinnamon, nuts, black pepper, creaminess, coffee, cedar, and malt. Atta’ boy.

There is a leathery component. Not being sure what leather tastes like, I lick my Milt Sparks gun belt. Yep. Leather.

Strength is an easy going mild/medium. The cigar is billed as full strength so this may be the eye of the hurricane.

With only a tad burned, the char line needs a touch up. I’m guessing that this cigar could have been constructed better; especially at $12 a pop. I reviewed the Aganorsa Connecticut 2018 yesterday and it was beautifully constructed to the point that it required not a single touch up or saw any issues. AND…the cigar goes for $6.70. And I rated it a 91.

With less than an inch burned, the complexity kicks in with both feet. Transitions are sleepy but my gut tells me there is a gold pot awaiting. Nice finish that is chewy and refreshing.

I expected this to happen; or at least, hoped it would…a $12 stick must show off its goods immediately. None of this bullshit of waiting to the second half for the blend to strut its stuff. I know lots of critics say you should never consider pricing but that’s horseshit. If you’ve got the goods to delve into double digit pricing, I expect a great cigar and an OK B.J.

Strength remains at medium. I read somewhere that this is a super potent cigar. So far…not so much. I’ve had it a couple months or longer. I should be swatting away vultures attempting to feast on my carcass.

There is a nice unique quality to the flavor profile. At this juncture, I’m not really sure I can put my finger on it. The complexity attacked so early that the individual flavors morphed together to provide the blender’s intent faster than my brain could process what was happening. Must be dementia.

As I mentioned earlier, the bottom half of the cigar was soft. And therefore, it has burned a bit too quickly. By the time I get to the second third, I would have only spent 20 minutes smoking. At $12 for 5”, that’s $4 for 1-5/8”. Don’t ask. I just felt like doing some math.

SECOND THIRD:
Strength has surged to medium/full.

The first sweet spot is upon me. Methinks that the Aladino Corojo Reserva is a little Old School in its blending techniques. Unless I’m off the mark, I believe this cigar needs months of humidor time…not just two months as I have allowed. And I always remove the cellos to enhance the humidor aging process to facilitate a quicker result.

Still, the flavor profile continues its upward trajectory of improving and impressing…even if the Corojo isn’t kicking my arse.

Black pepper is on the verge of being overwhelming and wiping out the subtlety of the flavor profile. What was just nuanced and balanced is now off kilter. Transitions are halted. The finish is nothing more than pepper. Bummer.

I’m sure everyone will rate this cigar in the 90’s but I’m not so sure at the moment. Thankfully, I am able to discern the blender’s intent and it’s a fine cigar given the right amount of humidor time. And remember, this is the first cigar of the day for me. So my palate is fresh.

I found two reviews from a couple of the Big Guys. One gives the cigar a 95 and the other an 88. I read both and tend to agree with the latter’s description of the blend.

From reading the press release, I’m guessing that Eiroa is harkening back to his days producing the good Camachos. Not the current Davidoff versions which are basically drek. And yes, there is a similarity. This being a Honduran puro makes that comparison a no brainer. So different than most of the Nicaraguan based blends we now smoke.

The pepper calms down. Flavors return, transitions right themselves, and the finish is pleasing once again. (What was that interruption caused by?)

The inconsistency might be one more piece of evidence that this cigar needs plenty of time before lighting up. Both of the Big Guys got their sticks before the release of the cigar and I have no idea how long they allowed it to marinate…but it couldn’t have been any longer than what I allowed and yet the totally opposite reactions are a mystery to me.

The big sweet spot just landed. Now we’re talking.

But as I read Halfwheel’s final summation of the cigar experience, I find myself in complete agreement:
“I had been told by a couple of people before I smoked it that this was a strong blend, and while it certainly features some significant strength to it—especially in the final third—the idea that it will knock you on your ass as one person put it, is not totally accurate. In terms of profile, the flavors that are present are bold and distinct, but not overly complex at any point other than the blast of cinnamon on the finish that was very apparent to me on each sample around the halfway point. Having said that, the strength does get strong enough to throw the balance off in the final third and this will go to the top of my list to do a redux review on in six months to see how it has changed and to see if the strength and flavors in the blend have melded a bit more.”

My feelings exactly…

The Aladino Corojo Reserva is a nice cigar. At this point, not a $12 stick. Time will cure it…I think. So the bottom line is I reviewed it too soon. Go figure. Just once…just once…I’d like to see a label on a box of cigars that gives the smoker some good advice on how much humidor time the blend needs to be able to appreciate what the passion created. But then, you don’t sell as many cigars that way because not everyone has the stellar palate of my readers.

LAST THIRD:
The final third becomes bombastic in its spectrum of flavors: Creamy, chocolate, malt, nutty, cinnamon, leather, black pepper, black cherries, lemon zest, and cedar.
Balance is spot on.

And “Whoa Nelly.” Strength leaps into full mode with extreme prejudice. And heeere comes the nicotine. Oy.
My brain is swimming. (I know I’m a wuss).
This is the part of the 3 act play that discovers what the blender wanted you to experience…a few more humidor months and it will probably start off this way.

I’m getting my first burn issues that need correction.
Each time I glance at the main cigar band, for an instant, it looks like the old Camacho band.

OK. The Aladino Corojo Reserva is now a fine fucking cigar. Everything is pouring from the cap to my palate causing little explosions.

I’m curious to read other reviews coming shortly. It’s going to be a variety of impressions I look forward to imbibing.

The cigar is now so strong that I don’t know if I would be able to survive it 6 months from now. Fresh palate and no prior meal works just great unless I have a cigar so strong that delirium becomes one of the main components.

My chin drops to my chest and I begin to hallucinate that I’m Burt Lancaster in “The Crimson Pirate.” Better than finding myself thinking I’m a drunken Munchkin.

The inconsistency issues mar the cigar’s influence but I’m sure it will be remedied by time. So, don’t be a moon calf when you purchase a few of these sticks. Put them away and forget about them for half a year. Don’t smoke one two weeks after receipt and bitch and moan like a prom queen at a 4H festival…”I smell like a prize pig.”

RATING: 88

And now for something completely different:

An old trusted musical partner from the 90’s lives in Naples, FL. He and I played together in a power blues trio in Phoenix. The Todd Hart Band (Website).

Todd is a brilliant vocalist and even became lead vocalist for the iconic British blues band Savoy Brown for a while.

Todd lives in Naples, Florida. And got slammed by Hurricane Irma.
I saw him on MSNBC in that photo op that Trump did showing him and Pence feeding the homeless. They showed Todd being civil and accepting a banana from the VP. Melania wasn’t as kind.

He is OK but continue reading:
“Hey Phil, great to hear from you, pal…
“Yeah it’s pretty rough here at Ground Zero for Irma, and you’re never ready even though you think you are. It was real crazy yesterday, I met the whole Chelou: Trump, Melania (wouldn’t shake hands), Pence, his wife, Governor Scott, and his wife. I shook hands with Trump and he said “man you got a hell of a grip there”, I said “I know.”

“Just there for the 20 minute photo op. Trump handed me a sandwich and Pence handed me a banana, and they were gone. Very surreal to meet the whole crew especially like that, and especially since I loathe (redacted) and always have publicly.

“Anyway my girlfriend and I are doing fine, sorta. This park that I live in is all pre-fab or what’s called manufactured homes, or site built homes. People call it a trailer park but there’s no trailers in here – my house is 1400 ft.² and there’s a lot bigger ones too.

“Most houses around me are devastated, but my house just got a couple little bumps from flying crap. We’re on a generator since the storm hit, no electric, no water, and one gas station in the whole town with a 6 mile line behind it because everybody’s running on a generator. I have a really cool rain barrel that I rigged up for just such an occasion and we have plenty-o-flushes and we do shower-can showers and stay delightfully fresh. I literally smell “rain water fresh” while I’m dictating this email to you, and will soon be going for “confident and secure”! Forecast the same again today: 92° – 100% humidity – there is a price for paradise.

“OK so it’s great that you were thinking of me, and hope we get to see each other again someday. Take care and I’ll try and stay in touch a little bit better after the cleanup. I do read your cigar page every once in a while though. My favorite cigar is an A. Fuente “short story”. I like them very mild. All the best old friend, stay safe.”


“PS. My street the day after the storm. My house is the one on the left with the crunched top corner.”

One of my favorite Todd Hart stories is about the time we became the official blues band for the Arizona Hell’s Angels:

Todd’s main income was the music so we played out a lot…3-5 times per week. Forcing me to go to work the next morning bleary eyed. I would drive like a maniac after gigs to get home, shower (smoking was OK back then in bars), try to calm down, and then sleep for a solid 2-1/2 hours before I had to be at work at 6am. Lovely.

We had moved to Arizona in 1991 when California experienced a recession and construction went into the toilet. We stayed in Arizona until 2000 when I got a great job in the bay area of northern California.

I was working 3 jobs: my main gig as a construction project manager, my music gigs, and a contractor as a structural draftsman working out of my house. I was in my 40’s so I was healthy and fit, and while this was tiring, it kept my wallet filled and my stamina seemed unstoppable. Plus it allowed my daughter and wife to steal from my wallet without abandon.

I played with Todd for a little over 2 years. We went through drummers like Spinal Tap. I believe one or two disappeared from spontaneous combustion. And one died choking on vomit…Not his.

Todd had a neighbor that was high up in the chain of the “board of directors” with the Hells Angels. He often came to see us play.
Soon thereafter, we were hired to play Hell’s Angels gigs. They loved us. But I didn’t love them. These were some nasty fellas. They scared the hell out of me. No pun intended.

Within a couple of months, we became the official Hells Angels band of Arizona. Just great. Something I always dreamed of.

They had moved into Arizona in the mid 90’s. Other outlaw biker clubs were given the opportunity to join or disappear.
This was truly an outlaw gang of thugs. Selling drugs and guns and making sure no one got in their way.

Now as you probably know, Arizona is the Wild West when it comes to guns. You can carry openly and you can carry concealed. A young kid can carry a gun as long as a parent is with them.

For the gigs, I always wore a Blues Brothers-type black coat. In the small of my back, I carried an IWB holster with a .45 caliber Glock 30. A subcompact. 13 +1 Rounds.

Whatever club we played, the Angels would take over the club for the night and the parking lot saw hundreds of bikes.

A coterie of Angels took turns guarding them…with guns in plain sight. It became horrifyingly apparent that none of these guys knew anything about guns. They just liked carrying them, looking badass. A lot of them wore the “Miami Vice” Don Johnson-type shoulder holster.

One night, during a break, I walked outside and began talking to a few of them; each with the Miami shoulder-holster-carry. I asked them to show me how they would draw the gun. And every one of them did it wrong.

If you pull the gun from the holster horizontally, you sweep the area in a partial arc as you bring the gun around towards your target. Not good.

Studies have shown that in an adrenaline situation, you pull the trigger 2.5 times before it is aimed at the target. So sweeping the gun means you shoot innocent bystanders in that 90 degree circle sweep.

So I showed them how to do it properly by pulling the gun out, immediately dropping the nose; first to the ground, then in a twisting motion, bring it up to the aiming position without sweeping it.
They all slapped me on the back and thanked me.

And then it hit me.
These guys are famous for drug and gun running. There had to be at least one undercover ATF agent in the bunch. And he had just watched me show the Angels how to shoot their adversaries properly.

Christmas came around and we played their annual event in which they supposedly collected toys for disadvantaged kids. They rented an upscale restaurant in Scottsdale.

There was a huge box for the members to place their new toys. I looked into the box and there was nothing in there that cost more than $2. So much for taking the drive seriously.

I made the mistake of bringing along my wife, Charlotte, and our 12 year old daughter, Katie. I don’t know what I was thinking. Stupid me…I thought it would be a semi-wholesome atmosphere with all the families there.

We came early to set up and do a sound check. I remember as huge hordes of bikes arrived shaking the ground with a rumble equal to 6.7 Godzillas wiping out thousands of Japanese civilians. Mothra picked up the pieces.
The kid started crying from the noise, holding on to my leg with dear life, and begged for us to leave. Great.

We had to sit through the entire meal and then the giving away of gifts through the use of lottery tickets bought by the folks arriving.

The MC had the foulest mouth I had ever heard. There were a ton of kids at the event but this mattered not.
His language would have made Richard Pryor blush.

I don’t remember what we were paid, but it wasn’t enough.

This went on for well over an hour. We had now been in this place for hours and hours and all we wanted to do was play and get the hell out of there.

We sat at a table with 8 other Angels. I swear not a single one had an I.Q. over 40. And having teeth in their mouths was strictly optional.

We played a set and then took a break and oh my lord, they started doling out more gifts which sidelined us another hour.

It may have been the longest day in my musical career. Of course, the best part was all the biker chicks taking their tops off while we played in front of all the kids.

That was enough for Charlotte and she took the car and left for home; with the kid in tow.

We had a lot of Angels gigs booked but I just couldn’t do this anymore.
Shortly afterwards, I quit the band. Thankfully, Todd is doing great with his music and playing out all the time. He is a big hit in Australia and they treat him like a rock star whenever he travels there.

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