Sinistro Cigars Mr. Candela | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican Candela over a Mexican San Andrés wrapper
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $8.08

Today we take a look at the Sinistro Cigars Mr. Candela.
Bought these at Prime Cigar in Brookfield, WI (262) 754-5220 (They ship)

Factory: La Aurora Cigar Factory in the DR
From (10-30-2019):
“Mr. Candela is an offshoot of the Mr. Red line, using that cigar’s blend and adding a Dominican candela wrapper to it. That means that under the candela leaf sits a wrapper from Mexico’s San Andrés region, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and fillers from all four of Nicaragua’s growing regions as well as broadleaf from Pennsylvania.

“The company has released 200 numbered boxes of each size, and said that the cigar will return, though the decision as to whether it will be an annual or biannual release has not yet been decided.”

Robusto 5 x 50 $8.08
Toro 6 x 54 $8.90

Not a bad looking cigar. Firm but with a nice resistance when squeezed. Seams are clearly visible. There is no shortage of Frankenstein monster veinage up and down the shaft. The wrapper is very toothy. Topped off with a triple cap on a lumpy and bumpy top hat. There are places on the stick that the color of the underlying Mexican wrapper shows through giving the Kermit color a darker shade. There are two separate cigar bands enveloping the cigar.

First up is the aroma of fresh cut grass. Following that there are nostril filling notes of milk chocolate, caramel, malt, salty pretzel, cedar, barnyard, charred oak, black pepper, and a touch of baking spices.
The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, grass, cedar, and nuts.

The draw is free and clear so no need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.

A blast of black pepper starts the journey. A whirlwind of smoke pours from the foot. Strength immediately hits medium.

I’m not sure how many photos I will take as nothing shows slobber as much as a Candela wrapper. I don’t want to cause dry heaving and gagging for you folks.

There is a quick step to some complexity. A good sign.
Transitions find the spiciness, some mysterious sweetness, espresso, cedar, and malt.
The burn starts off a little wonky.

Candelas were very popular in the 1800’s. Not so much in the 21st Century. I adore the Nomad GB-19. RomaCraft makes a nice Candela. So does Illusione. But most smokers are wary and don’t tread down this lane. I believe the color alone puts some smokers off. Others believe it will be too mild of a smoke…but the good Candelas are anything but mild. While Sinistro calls this stick out as medium, my gut tells me it will go further than that by the second half.

Charlotte and I are going to see Joe Bonamassa tonight at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee tonight. I am wearing a body condom for protection against the Corona Lite Virus. Bonamassa is on a mission to produce the most crap to sell with his name on it than any other musician on the planet. You want a tampon with the letters ‘JB’ on, you got it; and for only $19.95. His ticketing is almost as expensive as McCartney. Where is Springsteen when you need him?

Balance arrives early. I’m a fan of savory v. sweet and this blend has nailed it. Those sweetie factors I could not identify earlier are now butter brickle, honey roasted peanuts, and vanilla creaminess.
This baby is quickly becoming an excellent cigar.
But I need to adjust the burn. Done.

The bit of overwhelming black pepper calms way down. Like I said, the balance is formulating a plan.

I like Sinistro blends. They are a solid boutique brand. Their Last Cowboy Scala made #12 on my best of 2019.

Sure as shit, the ash falls off and lands on my lap. This morning, I’m wearing sweats instead of going commando; so, no harm done.

This is a very hearty blend. Very satisfying. My palate is digging this pony.

While there is little info I could find on the aging of the tobacco, it must have been done right as I only have had this cigar for 24 hours.

The flavor profile is spreading out. The finish is coating my teeth with a myriad of influences: Creaminess, spice, baking spices, and coffee.
And hey, the price is right. Only $8 per stick. Good on ‘yer, Sinistro.

My last review was of Cigar Aficionado’s number 1 cigar of 2019…the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua. At this early juncture, the Mr. Candela has already surpassed that over hyped stick.

The stick keeps making leaps and bounds to further its goal in life. To go to school and get a law degree…wait, that was my dad’s dream for me. I mean, really…who the hell wants to be a lawyer?

The blend becomes very smooth. I taste banana cream pie. This blend keeps changing flavor profiles that definitely keeps the cigar very interesting.

I get some lemon grass. The spiciness does a turnaround and goes from black to red pepped., meaning, the spiciness has moved from the back of my throat to the tip of my tongue.

A shame only 200 boxes of each size are available. I’d love to see this as a regular production cigar. It matches the quality of the Nomad and the Illusione. And it is less expensive. I can see snagging at least a fiver if not a box. It’s rare a good Candela hits the marketplace.

Then another big shift occurs…the spiciness goes Thai on me. But the creaminess tames it. Lemon zest appears. This just may become a flavor bomb by the last third. I can only imagine what this blend will produce with some humi aging. Some of the finest blends can’t be smoked right out of the cello; but this one can. Color me impressed.

Strength inches towards medium/full. This stick ain’t no regular Candela. It has zip and pop. And a constant ever morphing flavor profile that makes time disappear.

Nest shift I work at Prime; I plan on just stealing a box.

It has now exhibited what seems like the zenith of its capability for being complex. It is rich and nuanced beyond my expectations. Transitions are whipping by.

My buddy, Paul Windle from Nottingham England sent me a Curved Air photo I’d never seen. Based on my eyes being closed, I’m guessing I am really into the song…or I’m semi-conscious from hashish. This was 1975 and I can only remember as far back as 2017…that was last year, right?

When I removed the secondary band, a bit of green disappeared leaving the Mexican plain to see.

I love the Robusto size, but now I want a Toro.

I was talking to the owner of Prime Cigar yesterday. His name is Joe. And he is 82. A colorful character who is Italian…so I asked if he was capo di tutti capi in his family? He nodded yes. I cut the palm of my hand with a knife and pledged allegiance to the family. I can never be made but I am allowed to clean the dirty ashtrays and scrub the toilet. He is arranging for my first hit on my shift next week.

Call me Mister Candela. I can see Sidney Poitier saying that.
This is a great cigar.

My first sip of water…my palate sees colors like an acid trip.
The burn has self-corrected and no issues.

See all you fancy schmancy boutique brands…a wonderful blend can be sold and still not be in the double-digit category. Shame.

OK. Flavors. Creamy, lemony, smothered with sweetness and a nice savory contrast…milk chocolate returns…malt is gaining steam, the lemon grass is right up front, caramel, a perfect level of spiciness, baking spices, espresso, vanilla, cardamom, still very Thai, cedar, and that floating, fried in butter and brown sugar, plantain element. Nice.

I’m playing Russian roulette with the ash which has grown to 1-1/2”. Since it is a delicate flower, I worry about my genitals if the ash falls once again on my lap. Do I disrobe it or go for the money shot in my next photo? Only my girly scream will tip you off.

The stick is now very medium/full. Nicotine kicks in. I put on my Coke bottle eyeglasses so I can see the laptop screen.
I’m doing the time warp. I’m so engrossed in this cigar that I’m partying like it’s 1999.

Subtleties and nuance are the Sesame Street words for the morning.
I make it to this point without the ash falling and setting my nuts on fire.
I should add that I do taste earth, wind, and leather. No cigar review worth its weight does not forget to include these components.

Did you see the rock doc about David Crosby on ASXTV? Apparently, the guy has always been the biggest dick in the world and the rest of S, N, &Y will have nothing to do with him. When I interviewed The Byrds in 1966, Crosby showed me how to use my Polaroid to take double exposures. He was very nice to me. Not a dick.

Savory is all black coffee, Brazil nuts, lemon grass, a new smoky meatiness, and malt.
Complexity is through the roof. Very intense.
This baby shot out of the gate from the first puff…and never looked back.

I found my new favorite Candela blend. Charlotte will kill me but I must buy a fiver. Any more than that and she will personally light my nuts on fire and shove Sammy the cat where the sun don’t shine. I’ve already reached my cigar budget for the month. I plan on calling Prime and asking them to put it away for me.

The blend is nearly full tilt now. A bucket of ice for my face dunk is mandatory.

I know you guys are laughing at me. But I have never smoked one cigarette in my life. This is why I’m so gorgeous…in a Cro-Magnon sort of way.

I’m now just kicking back and enjoying. We don’t need no stinkin’ photos any longer. I tried to make it sound like the character in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Futile attempt.

The cigar has reached a perfect balance. Savory v. sweet is on point.

“The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi is playing. Soothing.

I’m trying to decide whether Charlotte and I should snag a couple of $225 Bonamassa tee shirts tonight. I do believe that Joe wants to take it with him when he meets the Cosmic Muffin.

With such a limited production, this is a must have. This cigar, by any other manufacturer, would be at least $12-$14.
Sometimes you get a cigar that whisks you away. This is that cigar blend.
It is easy being green.


And now for something completely different:

Way back in 1973, I played with a drummer named John and a guitarist named Tim. We would jam at John’s house all day long. Smoking doobs and playing. Strictly woodshedding. This had an enormous positive effect on my chops. We recorded the entire time and would take breaks to listen.

John played out in a couple of country bands. I was a rock and roller. Country did not interest me.
One day, John invited me to come record with him at a small studio in Newport Beach, CA.
Only film nuts and old guys will remember this name: Chill Wills. He was a cowboy movie actor. And in just about every western made in the 1940’s and 1950’s. And almost always in every John Wayne movie. They were buddies.

I was star struck when I met Mr. Wills. His venture was strictly a vanity project. He got some good players together to record songs he had written on guitar. And they needed a bassist. I got the gig.

I was nervous but at the end of the night, Chill took me aside and told me, “You did good, kid.”
I was invited back once a week.

Now these fellas could drink. I mean really drink. Strictly whiskey. I’ve never been a drinker and disappointed everyone. But John always brought some weed and we all imbibed, including Chill.

This man looked exactly like he did in the movies: scruffy, unshaven and never combed his hair.
I did this for a year. And then I left for Europe.

But you would not believe the people I met while hanging with Chill Wills. All the cowboy movie stars of the time.
John Wayne even showed up a few times to sing with Chill. It was hilarious. Neither could hold a note. But they got drunk and they didn’t care.


I was never allowed to keep a cassette copy of what we played. Chill was adamant about that.
Wayne always showed up without his toupee. And I never got used to looking at him this way.
Once, Wayne invited all the musicians to board his yacht docked in Newport Beach. He bought a Navy mine sweeper and converted it into the biggest yacht I had ever seen. This was one cool boat.

I met a lot of stars that night as Chill introduced me to everyone. They were polite but I was just a musician and therefore, beneath them…plus I was only 23-24.

On the last night we recorded in April 1974, Chill Wills gave me the biggest bear hug. He wished me well on my journey to Europe. And we both shed a couple of tears.

I never saw him again. But it was certainly one of those once in a lifetime experience.

The only bummer about the experience is that this big group of good ol’ boys were bigots and racists. Hollywood bigots. You know…the damn Jews run everything and we hate them all. Wills knew immediately I was a Jew by my last name. John Wayne did too. But they got used to me because Wills liked me playing bass for him…and I was pretty low key. In fact, I was in shock most of the time being around these icons.

Sometimes we’d be sitting in the control booth and they would all be dissing the Jew film company owners, Jew agents, Jew managers, Jew accountants, etc. They completely forgot I was there, but I think they just didn’t give a shit if I heard it or not. I never said anything; though occasionally I did speak up when they started using the ‘K” word. They would laugh and knuckle me in the shoulder.
I was pretty affable at 23. And they recognized that and since I was there to play, not horn in on their clique, they accepted me…eventually. The Duke called me “Jew Boy” a couple times and I gave him the serious stink eye. He would erupt in laughter and of course, his own Cowboy Rat Pack would join in.
Of course, that was a different time and being politically correct was not in their nature.

Interesting note about John Wayne. Back in the day, the Orange County Airport was named John Wayne Airport. But the guy lived under one of the flight paths of the jets landing and taking off. He constantly complained to everyone that would listen. It pissed off all the pilots. So, the pilots stopped calling it John Wayne Airport and only referred to it as Orange County Airport. It stuck.


Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. Great review!

    I’ve never tried a candela, so might have to get five of these….

    Just curious, what are the points off for, looks? burn? “leather”?

    Keep up this great service to cigar smokers everywhere.

  2. Great story. Must have been cool hanging with the Duke and Chill Wills. Everyone remembers John Wayne. Maybe not so much Chill Wills. Another thing though, I think we have gone too far with the being offended these days. Back then it was accepted to joke with . Me: Irish. I had all kinds of friends. Guys always kid each other, and like making fun of each other; it was just funny. I never took offense, nor did I mean any offense. We were friends and we loved each other. If somebody hates you, you will know it, whether they call you a name or not.

  3. Great read, thank you.

  4. Hi David,
    Thank you…

  5. I have my own system for scoring. But basically all of the above of what you mentioned…but most importantly is flavor and complexity.

  6. You are right. Time and place makes all the difference. But I don’t allow people I just met to diss me when they think it’s funny.
    My friends? They get to call me anything they want. But turnabout is fair play.
    You have no idea how many comments I’ve deleted and not posted because some idiot I don’t know makes disrespectful remarks thinking that they know me based upon my style of writing. I don’t truck with that B.S.

  7. Is there av candela you’d rate as 100? 99?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s