Sinistro Mr. Red | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, USA
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $6.95

Today we take a look at the Sinistro Mr. Red
The cigars have been marinating naked in my humidor for two months.

“Sinistro Cigars is a Glendale, California brand of Dominican cigars manufactured at the prestigious La Aurora factory, under the supervision of master blender, Manuel Inoa.”

This is all the info I could find on the company and this blend.

Belicoso 6.25 x 52 $7.95
Presidente 7 x 58 $8.95
Robusto 5 x 50 $6.95
Scala Perfecto 4.5 x 48/60 $11.95
Toro 6 x 54 $7.95

The cigar feels good in the hand. Like a wild chimp playing with himself. It is solid throughout without a single hard or soft spot. I dry boxed the cigar for 3 days.
Seams are all visible but tight. Lots of freeway map veinage permeates the stick up and down. The triple cap is a little skewed but is still nicely done. The toothy wrapper glistens with oil that shows off an attractive mottled design that goes from motor oil to a gingerbread house.

Running neck and neck are floral notes, black pepper, and dark chocolate. Creaminess and cinnamon become a Cinnabon. Notes of sweetness appear as banana, caramel, and root beer. This is getting interesting. There are also hints of malt, cedar, cloves, and rich espresso.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark Swiss chocolate, black pepper, creaminess, malt, licorice, cinnamon buns, banana, cedar, and root beer.

The draw is first rate so I can put away my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for a poorly constructed stick.

The cigar just pours smoke over the room and wafts up to the rafters as if my toupee caught fire…it’s the hairspray that makes the beast volatile.

Right away, the blend delves into seeking out its mission. An immediate complexity gets a grip on my palate. This is such a good sign. I tire of cigars in which the blender decides the first third is just a warmup for a better cigar experience to unfold in the second half.

I get an oddball Sangria flavor that I’ve never tasted in a cigar before. The spiciness is a combo of both black and red peppers; not overwhelming or distracting, but rather working at a nice even keel to give the cigar some oomph from the start.

Strength is medium and holding.

There is a nuttiness that is more like peanut butter or almond butter. Very distinct. Flavors are beginning to transition now with some surprising speed. Whizzing by like the cop car you were sure was going to stop you but zooms by to catch some other chump.

The char line burn gets a little wonky but then self corrects very quickly. A self-healing cigar. I can get behind that.

Creaminess just leaps like Giannis Antetokounmpo and slams it home. It kicks the complexity into high gear. The cigar is impressing me at a very early stage. The last couple reviews egged me on to hang myself. Not David Carradine hanging; rather, one that is less fun.

I smoked one a week in and it didn’t come close to what I taste now. Let ‘em rest.

Still hanging at medium strength. It seems stronger because the blend is busy with elements swirling at once giving the impression that the stick is stronger than it really is. Typical Penn & Teller trick.

Dudes, this is a good cigar. What I’m having serious trouble with is that this is a $7-$8 cigar pretty much across the board in the different sizes.
If this was a better-known boutique manufacturer, the cigar would be $12 and only 435 available.

But this is a regular production cigar. I can taste the passion of the Sinistro gang and the blender, Manuel Inoa. This was not a blend made in a hurry or found in some obscure farmer’s loft, long forgotten about and while once lost, is now found. (Not very subtle…I know).

Instead of the review dragging on for millennia, this one is doing Formula 1 across my palate.

Balance is tight. Nuances aplenty with little bits of flavor moments that come and go like the first moment you realize that the acid you took is now kicking in.

I’ve got the Jimi album “Songs for Groovy Children” playing, recorded at the Fillmore East in 1970. Perfect. My head is bopping up and down to the beat with extreme prejudice.

Chocolate surges along with the espresso. The creaminess grabs both by the balls and whips them into some kind of exotic dessert that will send you into diabetic shock.

The cigar is constructed beautifully. No burn issues. A slow roll that my greediness for more appreciates. My palate does a reach around and puts a big smile on my puss.

I believe the blend wants to go medium/full and does as I write this…I’m getting a little buzz now. It’s only temporary blindness.

The richness the blend brings to the table is fucking delicious. You do not have to be a smoker who bothers with dissecting flavors…this is the perfect cigar for those who know what they like and don’t care about the rest. It is a full buffet…without standing behind the 300lb women piling their plates full of mac and cheese.

Ever notice that your local buffet TV advertisements always show skinny people eating at the tables of the restaurant? A real misrepresentation…skinny people are often eaten by mistake in the frenzy when new crab legs are placed out.

And ladies and germs, may I introduce you to the Mr. Red flavor profile: Chocolate, cinnamon bun, extreme creaminess, peanut butter, malt, root beer, cedar, a touch of black licorice, banana bread, potent espresso, and a hint of butterscotch. Savories include smoked meat, French fries, and oatmeal. I am now beginning to wonder if being hungry is influencing my palate. I don’t remember a cigar I’ve reviewed lately that has this mosh pit of such interesting and pleasant flavors.

Our governor issued a new mask mandate a few days ago for the state. It has everyone confused. Customers that come into Prime Cigar wear their masks while smoking and drinking. Luckily, we have lobster bibs we provide to those who don’t have the dexterity to remove their masks during the sacred ritual of getting sloshed while smoking a cigar.
My dear readers…this is a must try. I can’t think of another $7 stick that has this much going for it. (Hang on, I gotta empty my colostomy bag).

A sip of water and my head caves in. I’ve led a good life. I want to be buried next to Hunter S. Thompson.

This is a high-quality smoke. I believe that Sinistro Cigars is really under valued by the smoking public. They are consistent from blend to blend.
Strength has settled on medium/full as I enter the last third.

This is a good cigar for cigar wusses to try. Time to step up to the plate and explore. It is by all accounts, a medium strength cigar that is a steppingstone for the inexperienced smoker. And at this price point, you won’t have buyer’s remorse.

My part time job at Prime Cigar has gone from part time to 5 days a week. Customers are beginning to see me a lot. Nothing gives me more pleasure than helping cigar newbies to choose something that fits their palate. Yeah, I get off on it. More and more smokers are using me as their Yoda in the walk-in humidor. May the Schwartz be with them.

It seems apparent now that the blend is not going to go full tilt in the last third. It remains at a healthy medium/full that is easy to take. It’s about the flavors, bubelah.
Everything has morphed now into a ride on the Matterhorn.

Know what I like best about this cigar? Little flavor elements pop up for a few moments and then passes the baton to the next onslaught of flavor nuances. This is the kind of thing that can only be documented when smoking and writing contemporaneously. I’d never remember to notate the horn o’ plenty elements if I smoked a few over a week and then made my notes.

Not a lick of harshness or bitterness as the cigar goes into its death throes.
God damn the Pusherman…what a spectacular blend.

My diet is going swimmingly. I’ve lost 34lbs in 9 weeks. Nothing fits me. But I want to lose another 10-12lbs before I spend my Hanukkah money on a whole new wardrobe.

The finish on this cigar is one of the best I’ve encountered. It is so rich and thick with depth of flavor. Just outstanding.
I plan on nubbing this baby.

I’m happy to sit here and smack my lips indulging in the character of this blend. Actually, I’m never really happy. But I want you to think I’m well adjusted.

With less than an inch to go, the cigar is going bat shit crazy pumping out more and more complexity. Wow.

And the dreaded nicotine level is barely noticeable…or maybe I should say, it is manageable as not much attention is given to this distraction because the cigar is so fucking good.

If my car wasn’t in the shop, I’d buy a box right now.
You take it from here…


And now for something almost completely different:

My band, Curved Air, was scheduled to tour Ireland back in 1975. The relationship between the British government and the IRA in those days was beyond brutal. The winter of 1974 saw indiscriminate bombings in downtown London every day for 14 days during the Christmas holiday. It was the scariest thing possible.

Bombs were placed in waist high trash bins, on main drags, and if you happened to walk by one when it went off, well…bye-bye. I remember two photos in the newspaper after one bombing. It showed a bobby bending over to look at a package on the street. Next photo showed him blown apart about 30 feet away.

This following incident will stick with me til the day I die.
I had been fired from Curved Air. This guy, Andy Morris, contacted me telling me he was associated with Ringo Starr and he was putting a band together and they would rehearse in L.A. Ringo wanted me as his bassist. I was thrilled so I called and told all my friends back in SoCal.

The guy’s name was very familiar. But I just couldn’t place it.

Our first meeting was to take place at the London Hilton lobby at 1pm on a Monday. We met, had coffee and discussed details. He even asked me to join him as he had an appointment with his lawyer. I thought I’d be invited in on the discussion. Instead, I sat in the lobby cooling my heels for an hour. This was the first red flag.

Exactly 24 hours later, almost to the minute, a huge bomb went off in the Hilton lobby killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds. I was in shock. For the grace of God, I could have been there.

A week passed and this guy was giving me excuses about meeting with Ringo.
He told me that he was an original member of the English band, “Badfinger.” These guys were big for a while but had broken up before this guy contacted me. The Beatles discovered them and even wrote a hit song for them.

I needed to check out his story.
I went to record stores trying to find Badfinger records, but they were out of print. I couldn’t verify this guy.

So, I made a bold move and called Apple Records and asked to speak to Derek Taylor. He was The Beatles’ press agent. He was their guy for the entire time the Beatles were together. Everyone knew who this guy was. I was thrilled just to talk to him, but I had business to discuss with him.

Derek took my call, because I was in Curved Air, and I asked about this guy. Derek said this guy was never in Badfinger. And then we chatted. He told me some inside Beatles stories and I was on Cloud 9. He confirmed to me the names of some of the famous musicians that played on their albums but were never given credit.

I now realized I had been had by this Andy Morris.
I got on the phone with the guy and called him a fraud and it was the last time we spoke.
A month later, I was listening to records at my Edgeware home (a suburb of London) and I grabbed a CA album that I played on. On the back of the Curved Air “Live” album, I noticed something. Down at the bottom were credits. And here was this guy’s name as a production assistant. The fucking fraud! A music assistant’s duties were merely being a go-fer. He got us tea and coffee. And if necessary, cleaned the toilets.

I had bragged to all my friends about this project. I was about to live a dream come true: play with a Beatle.

I did, for a moment, run into a Beatle while in London. The only big guitar shop was on Tottenham Court Road called the Fender Sound House.

I was leaving when I grabbed the glass door to open it. On the other side was McCartney grabbing his side of the handle. I was in shock. He rattled the handle a couple times motioning to let him in, but I was frozen in time.
I finally let go and he entered and as he passed, he said, “Thanks mate.” I wanted to go back in and talk to him, but I was too sheepish.

My final analysis of the music business is everything you imagine it is. Corrupt and full of bullshit artists. Being naïve is the death knell for any musician. Especially, young ones.


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5 replies

  1. Wasn’t Hunter launched into space by Johnny Depp?

  2. From Wikipedia:
    “On August 20, 2005, in a private funeral, Thompson’s ashes were fired from a cannon. This was accompanied by red, white, blue, and green fireworks—all to the tune of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”. The cannon was placed atop a 153-foot (47 m) tower which had the shape of a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button, a symbol originally used in his 1970 campaign for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado. The plans for the monument were initially drawn by Thompson and Steadman, and were shown as part of an Omnibus program on the BBC titled Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision (1978). It is included as a special feature on the second disc of the 2004 Criterion Collection DVD release of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and labeled as Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood. According to his widow, Anita, the $3 million funeral was funded by actor Johnny Depp, who was a close friend of Thompson’s. Depp told the Associated Press, “All I’m doing is trying to make sure his last wish comes true. I just want to send my pal out the way he wants to go out.” An estimated 280 people attended, including U.S. Senators John Kerry and George McGovern; 60 Minutes correspondents Ed Bradley and Charlie Rose; actors Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Sean Penn, and Josh Hartnett; musicians Lyle Lovett, John Oates and David Amram, and artist and long-time friend Ralph Steadman.”

  3. I am on my second fiver. Love the Red. The candela and thieves are tasty too. Thanks Yoda!

  4. You are welcome young Skywalker,

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