Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Box-Pressed Maduro | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan (Cuban-Seed)
Binder: Nicaraguan (Cuban-Seed)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Cuban-Seed)
Size: 5 x 54 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $8.50 ($1 to almost $2 less online)

I forced myself to spend a few minutes on Facebook yesterday and I saw this ad in which Tobacco Business Magazine announced their best cigars for 2021. In June. ??

At the top of the list is today’s review cigar. There is no shortage of reviews for the 10th Anniversary Maduro online. And you’ve probably smoked your share. So, what I’m saying is that my review is basically worthless. Still, that’s never stopped me before.

I’ve had this cigar for months…many months. I reviewed the Sun Grown version in 2020 and it rated #3 of my top sticks for 2020 with a rating of 95. I also did the seemingly sane thing and waited til the end of 2020 to make my decisions. There is no explanation as to why they chose to pick a list in the middle of the year. Maybe they use the Martian calendar? The only thing mentioned about how the cigars were picked is that they blame it on you, the consumer, who got to vote. If this is really what American smokers see as their favorite cigars, all is lost. And online reviewing is a total waste of time.

But if you go to Tobacco Business Magazine’s website and check out their top 24 sticks for this year, my mind goes into Bozo Crazy mode. Check out the other cigars accompanying the Perdomo stick. I scratched my head as I read their list. I mean, really? I know many smokers say my list sucks…but I pale in comparison.

Regular Production
Factory: Tabacalera Perdomo S.A. (Nicaragua)
From the Perdomo Cigars website:
“The Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Box-Pressed Maduro is a medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan “puro” blended with a dark, oily 6-year-old Cuban-seed Nicaraguan wrapper that has been bourbon barrel-aged for an additional 14 months and is paired with 6-year old Cuban-seed Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos to create naturally sweet flavors with hints of dark cocoa and espresso on the finish.”
Cigar Aficionado rated the Churchill a 91.

Figurado 4.75 x 56 $7.50
Robusto 5 x 54 $8.50
Epicure Toro 6 x 54 $9.00
Super Toro (Gordo) 6 x 60 $10.00
Torpedo 7 x 54 $9.75
Churchill 7 x 54 $9.50

The very dark Maduro is actually a mottled batch of different shades of blackness. A nice oiliness appears on its skin. Veins are noticeable but tight. Like my vagina…didn’t I mention my surgery? Veinage is minimal but what is apparent is basically hidden by the dark wrapper. The cigar is not heavy in the hand. I’m not saying it’s underfilled because the Sun Grown was just fine. Still, it feels like feathers in my claws. The triple cap is a nicely done affair. I had to scrutinize it before I could see the third cap. And the box press is crisp with soft corners.

This is another Nic puro, so I expect no surprises on the aromas. We have floral, dark chocolate, raisins, nutmeg, lots of malt, black pepper, cedar, caramel, licorice, and a hint of apples.

The cold draw presents flavors of barnyard, black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso, malt, raisins, cedar, and licorice.
Yep. It’s a Nic puro.

The draw is a tad bit too airy for my special desires so I will not need my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for this baby.

A few puffs in, I get black pepper, creaminess, espresso, malt, and licorice. The spiciness is leaning in too much but it’s early.

The cigar begins with a potent medium strength. It’s going straight for my ‘nads. Thankfully, the blend will never think of looking for them lying on the floor.

Immediately, I get a burn issue; a run. I grab an oxy fuel cutter and go to work. I’ve tried to dry box my cigars, but the humidity has been brutal. I will give the cigar the benefit of the doubt and blame the weather for keeping the stick a bit moist.

The cigar is pleasant, but it doesn’t match up to the Sun Grown blend. I’m not receiving complexity to crow about. Transitions are non-existent. The finish is merely spicy pepper. Tobacco Business picked the wrong 10th Anniversary. It should have been the Sun Grown.

I’ve burned nearly an inch and the blend is going nowhere fast. It tastes like a million other Nic puros. Nothing special seeks attention. Bummer, Moon Doggies.
I’ve had a fiver of these sticks for 4-5 months and something should be stirring in the cauldron of blender’s intent. Ain’t nothin’ impressive sparking my brain.

In fact, if I had blind taste tested this cigar, I couldn’t have picked it out from the 32 million other Nic puros on the market. It is a simple blend with no redeeming values.

Maybe the second half will do me a solid. Still, the Sun Grown exploded out of the gate. Mr. Quale, you are no Jack Kennedy. Ever wonder what happened to V.P. Dan Quale? I read he has a taco truck in Utah. The Nixon Quesadillas are a big hit. And the LBJ Tortes are right behind.

The black pepper obscures every flavor that might be hiding out. A touch of creaminess fights its way into the picture. But mostly, I’m experiencing a burning sensation in the back of my throat.
A sip of water and everything goes blank. Fucking A.

The first third was faster than a tall building, able to leap bullets…

Some real character begins to emerge. A hint of complexity. The spiciness calms down a bit and allows the licorice, espresso, nuttiness, creaminess, and malt to peek through the confused haze of this blend.

The burn has maintained an even keel since the early horror of it going bat shit crazy on me.

For the life of me, I have no idea how this became a number one cigar for 2021. The blend should be in protective custody hiding from the mob.

The cigar is strictly linear. The forward momentum is zilch. Transitions are a blur. And the finish is still just black pepper.

Now I have smoked 3 of these sticks in the last 5 months and I remember hoping that more humidor time would fix the problem. Clearly, time has no influence on this fakakta blend.

While the cigar is not expensive, there is a reason it can be had for as much as $2 less than its $8 price online. This was a huge misstep by the Perdomo people. I wonder who blended the Sun Grown and who blended this piece of drek. I really can’t believe it was the same folks.

Strength becomes a weak medium/full.

Flavors live in a cave full of bats. Bat guano can be tasty if prepared correctly.

Read my Sun Grown review here. Night and day.

No, I’m not in the cigar industry. But who the hell is Tobacco Business Magazine? Not a single advertiser on their site. Probably Albanian communists who fled the Balkans.

I’m mind melding the cigar to do better. It lays in a pool of its own excrement while claiming to be a hedge fund manager.

The blend does a bit better with indulgences in the aforementioned flavors.

Not a smooth blend. No nuances or subtleties. No balance. What a mess.
The black pepper is annoying as fuck. The minimalist flavors the cigar struggles to produce are masked nearly totally by the all consuming spiciness.

The second half arrives. My tiny brain finds something that is slightly pleasing. I just don’t have the vocabulary to describe it. Mustiness appears. Perfect.

And so does the nicotine…just in time. Maybe I can hallucinate flavors.
The mustiness increases. Naturally.

My hopes for this blend to be a decathlon winner are dashed. It lays at the starting line writhing in agony and considering seppuku.

Naturally, the cigar takes its time…torturing me like Dr. Torquemada would if he found out I wasn’t a Christian.

I met this mid-60’s guy when I was still at the store. He immediately told me he was a minister. No church. Just was an ever spewing Disney animatronic proselytizing the Good Word. He showed me his texts how important people thanked him for his prayers. My eyes began to roll up in their sockets. I finally told him I was a Jew. Of course, he then proceeded to tell me he has helped other Jews find Christ. He went on his way eventually. But…a couple days later, he returned and we were off to the races. He asked if I knew that a guy got run over by a car in the parking lot just the day before? No one had mentioned this to me. He said he prayed over the guy but never found out his condition. I interrupted and told him if I found someone run over, the first thing I would do is go for his wallet. Then the zinger: “I guess people like you would do that.” Oh lord. “You People.” I mentioned that I was miles away during the crucifixion and then I told him to fuck off. As he did, I could hear him praying for me.

The cigar. Really? Must I continue? I’m being considered for a Reviewer’s License so I must be careful what I write. They are watching.

Zero changes in the blend. It’s a bland and unbalanced piece of drek. I truly was not expecting this.

I wonder if Tobacco Business Magazine will release their top 24 cigars for 2022 in September?

You know this will get back to them and I fully expect a nasty comment on the horizon.

I skipped to the last third because I ran out of insults.

The cigar absolutely refuses to improve. It is like three pretty nurses trying to stick a catheter up my weeny…but don’t know how.

The burn wonkifies but no golden ticket.

The stick is wandering in the desert for 40 years and then Moses breaks the third tablet over its head.

The cigar is a perfect example of sex change gone bad. Or getting your hand slammed in the door of a Nash Rambler. Or discovering that Cialis no longer works on you. Or eating a PB&J sandwich and discovering a mouse tampon inside…yes, mice do menstruate.

I’d love to keep this cigar burning but I checked the Geneva Convention Rules and I have become exempt.

I only found three reviews of this cigar…all occurred in 2020. Two were heads over heels about this cigar. The third, not so much. But I find it odd that the number of reviews is so low. What would you, dear reader, make of this conundrum?

Now you might have a completely different experience with this cigar. I hope you do.

RATING: 60 (But Number 1 in my heart)

And now for something completely different:

If you’re not a musician; specifically, a bassist, this tome will not interest you one bit.

I am writing about my 1974 Dobro electric upright bass that I bought in the late 80’s.

A good friend, Jason Williams. (I am using his real name because, when I checked, there are 7.3 million Jason Williams in just Rhode Island…so his name is generic enough not to find himself harassed by the trollers). And he doesn’t live in Rhode Island.

Jason is a fellow bass clef man. Nearly half my age but a good egg anyway.
He saw the photo below taken in 1994 in Phoenix. My band was competing in the yearly best blues band competition. Back in the 90’s, Phoenix had a vibrant and thriving blues scene. I know, crazy, huh? Now, it’s as dead as my career.

I was living in La Habra, CA. I picked up a Pennysaver at lunch and saw this ad for an electric upright for only $60. The ad said some parts were missing. I ran over there and ‘some parts missing’ was an understatement.

There was a body and a neck. That’s it. No hardware. No bridge. No strings. And the pickup was a piece of foil underneath a thin wood plate.

It had a pre-amp run by battery. I always had to keep a spare 9 Volt battery in my bass case because if the battery died, so did my bass. I’d then need to unscrew the 6 screws on the cover plate and change out the battery. I had the bass for over 20 years, and it only went out on me twice while playing a club.

Back in the late 80’s, Dobro was based in Huntington Beach. The company has changed ownership so many times that I never kept up with its locations. Still, what are the odds that the home base was just miles away?

I called Dobro and told them what I had. The owner was put on the phone with me, and he invited me over.
I drove like the wind so the cops wouldn’t see me.

The owner was a man in his 60’s. I was 38. Doesn’t seem that old to me now.

He scratched his stubbly chin and said that he thought he had some parts for the bass. Off he went into the factory.

10 minutes later, he returned with a dust laden untouched Dobro bass exactly like mine. Except his had all the shit on it.

He gave me new tuning pegs, two sets of bass strings, a brand-new German bridge, and it had the retractable leg inside so I had something to set it on when I played.

“I tell ya what, sonny. Give me your bass and $80 and it’s yours.”
I crapped myself right there.
I told him I needed to run to an ATM. He said go for it.

There was about an inch of dust covering the entire bass and neck. I pleaded with him not to wipe it off…”I’ll gussy it up myself.” I was afraid he’d just take a rag and rub the dust off leaving scratches everywhere.

I was back at Dobro in less than 20 minutes. And there stood my Dobro…minus all the dust and scratched to hell. I kept my mouth shut.

We exchanged money, and my bass, for the new bass. And then he even threw in a second German bridge. I was kvelling.

Now I grew up in Long Beach, CA. The home to the famous guitar shop, McCabe’s Guitar Shop on Anaheim St. Small shop but a real hangout for me and my buddy Skip in the mid 60’s. You name the artist and they either bought something there (The Stones bought some dulcimers there)…or they used the service of some of the finest luthiers on the planet.

We hung out there so much in the 60’s, that the owner of the shop allowed my band to rehearse in the little room with just acoustics hanging on the wall.

This is the place I also took my 5 string banjo lessons from John McEuen. He told me in 1966, I believe, that he could no longer continue giving lessons as his new band, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, was in high gear.

One day while rehearsing in the guitar room, the entire Dirt Band showed up to hang out. We were practicing The Beatles’ “Back in the USSR.” One of the guys said we were playing it wrong, so everyone grabbed their own instruments and played with us for an hour. Jimmie Fadden was their blues harp player. He was a year ahead of me at Millikan High School. I remember when he got expelled because he had long hair (1967) and because he had a double bandolier of harmonicas he always wore at school. He was always cool to me, even though I was a musician nerd…and because he saw me at McCabe’s all the time.

I handed over my Dobro to the guy at the counter and he took it back to the workshop. Moments later, a man in his 40’s came out. He told me a story about the bass. He worked for Dobro in ’74 and was one of the developers of this bass. But every suggestion he made got shutdown. His suggestions were too pricey. It really pissed him off because he felt the end product was a piece of shit. Only 12 basses were manufactured, and Dobro gave up. I don’t know the reason.

I told him I wanted a brilliant luthier to work on the neck and I needed state of the art electronics. He gave me the name of a good guy in Hollywood that would fix me up with the electronics…but his eyes lit up when he told me he would now make the bass he designed, that Dobro rejected. My eyes lit up brighter than his.

As he walked away with my bass, he looked back and smiled. I was pissing myself.

Two weeks later, I returned and the neck and action was a product of the gods. It played like greased lightning.

The Hollywood guy had it for a week and did his thing.

What I ended up with was a thunderous bass that was as light as a toothpick. Which caused problems later.

I spent $60 for the Pennysaver bass. I spent another $80 with Dobro. I spent $400 at McCabe’s. And another $300 in Hollywood. Remember, this was over 30 years ago.

I loved that bass. I played it at gigs all the time in conjunction with my 1980 Schecter fretless 4 string. I remember countless club managers asking me to turn the bass down. Why? It was so deep and powerful, that the sprayed-on ceiling was falling into customers’ drinks. I always told him no problem. And then I ignored him.

It had one problem though…It was so light that I had only two choices. The first was to play it on a bass stand so it didn’t move. The other choice was to pull the bass against my left side and play it without a stand. Eventually, it gave me Sciatica. I found out that was painful and not very much fun.

Off to a luthier in Phoenix this time. He added two studs to the bass so I could attach my gorgeous, and expensive, Costa Rican custom made guitar strap. I began wearing the bass like a guitar or bass guitar. The Sciatica disappeared but oh my aching back. It wasn’t quite as light as a toothpick. It still weighed 25lbs.

The photo above was taken while I was in the Todd Hart Blues Band. It is the only photo that shows me playing it like a guitar. Always got strange stares when we played clubs and customers would walk in and be mesmerized by the strange thing hanging around my neck.

I had to sell the Dobro in 2010 after the 2008-2009 Wall St. meltdown that caused me to lose my job at 60. The max amount of unemployment was only $365 per week. Yeah, you bums getting an extra $600 per week. Stop your whining.

I had to sell it to keep us afloat. Up on eBay it went.
It sold quickly. The man who bought it paid $250 for the shipper to build a solid wood coffin for it. He chose Fed Ex for shipping and of course, they lost it.

Weeks later, the bass showed up, minus the coffin…in pieces on the buyer’s porch. The Fed Ex guy didn’t even knock. He took insurance out on it, and I helped him a bit but it was his bass now so I let go…and to this day have no idea of the outcome.

Still, I had this wonderful instrument for over 20 years. I wish it hadn’t been brutally murdered, but I had to let that go too.

Lastly, the guy at McCabe’s told me that jazz bassist Ray Brown had one too. He fixed his bass like he fixed mine. Even had a photo on the wall of Brown playing it.

See Jason…I said the story was too convoluted and long to add as a comment on Facebook.


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20 replies

  1. Hey Katman,
    Fellow bass guitar player here. Loves the story. Really cool!

  2. Hey Mike,
    Thank you, brother.

  3. Mike – Ditto! Phil – more bass-geek anecdotes!

  4. Thanks for another great review. You have saved me so much time and money over the years, not to mention the added benefit of avoiding some truly wretched sticks. Our taste in cigars is uncannily similar so I always refer to your reviews before buying something new. Your hilarious and insightful stories and anecdotes are a very welcome added bonus. Just wanted you to know how appreciated you are. Where can I send you some cigars for your enjoyment and review?

  5. Sex change gone bad. LOL!

    I will avoid letting one of these sticks get anywhere near my lips.

  6. Hi Dave,
    I can do that.

  7. Monketeeth? I’m either afraid to see you in person or boy do I have a job for you with Barnum & Bailey.
    Thanks for absolutely insightful compliments.
    It makes me happy to know there are others out there whose lives have led them to where they taste everything I taste. My apologies.

  8. Hey Mark,
    Or anywhere near a natural opening.
    You know, I could be wrong. It might be a wonderful cigar.
    I just don’t taste it.
    I voted on the Cigar Journal annual best of everything cigars list.
    The choices were so bad and narrow, I can’t give credence to any of it.
    Except when Dr. Rod won for best cigar accessory.

  9. Mr. Kohn, thank you kindly. Mgmt. has been crowing about this cigar since the last shipment of ‘product’ from Perdition brought it in. Told to try it, often. Personal feeling is, I’d rather sample (and sell) Kralot, Red Knight, or some other stuff that’s been hiding in the walk-in unloved for a year or two. What if ‘there was no tomorrow?! Do I want to waste today on a Perdition stick?

    I am being unfairly mean, that’s not just a ‘damned autocorrect’ reference. But I don’t care, I just haven’t loved the profile much, ever. I can say the same for Padroney, whose inherent quality I admire but whose taste profile leaves me ‘Meh.’ Though that’s why there are more cigar brands than cereal brands: a flavor for every taste.

    Hope you and the Mrs. are well. Peace.

  10. Mr. Baker,
    If you’re going to be funnier than me, which is not difficult, at least post a picture of your tushy on fire.
    I do agree that Perdition Cigars are the best cigars on the planet…if you live on Vogsphere.
    Love and kisses to your wife…oh wait, she is right here. (I told you to go home. John isn’t going to believe you’re getting a colonoscopy again).

  11. Now that I’ve read the review, I’m a little unsure whether I should smoke the Perdomo or not. I have one in my Tupperdor for nearly a year. Perdomo actually does a pretty solid job and has some really good cigars on its roster. Makes my head scratch thinking what went so horribly wrong with that cigar.

    I wish I had your palate and could recognize all the differences in flavor like you do, but I also believe that this requires a lot of time, and with time comes experience. I’m about 700 cigars in and still struggle to find these exotic aromas you describe so beautifully in your reviews, although I’m getting better.

    As always, great review and great story. Keep on smoking.

  12. Hi Markus,
    Look, I’ve been smoking cigars for over 50 years. Let’s do the math. Say I smoked 2 cigars per day for that time period…that equation comes out to 36,500 cigars in my life. So, I’ve had a bit of practice.
    Again, the palate is no different from a fingerprint. There are certain flavors we pick up instinctively that are usually the main flavors as described in the cigar manufacturer’s bullshit press release.

    The additional flavors are left up to the individual to find. You might never find the flavors I experience that are considered exotic. But you will pick up your own exotic flavors. Because you are you and I’m not you but would like to be you unless you’d rather not.

    Plus, I make my review cigar the first one of the day with no interference from food or drink.
    When I smoke an after dinner cigar, I rarely pick up the nuances I do in a review. The main thing is you can appreciate a good blend. You can taste the complex nature, the nuances, the character, and the balance. No reason you must pick up watermelon seeds with a touch of ferret liver.

    If you want to get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice.
    One day the light bulb will illuminate above your palate.
    An AH-HA moment. Or maybe you’ll be destined to have a palate like the richest cigar manufacturers; which is apparently minimal at best. Look at the crap they approve for sale. Greedy bastards.

    I’ve picked out a casket. It is a huge cigar. And smoke will perpetually emit from its cherry red end.
    Someday, that casket is waiting for you. I’ll lay on my side so there is room for you.

    Be well and auf wiedersehn,

  13. Wow I had no idea Phil! That’s my kind of luck with gear, complete with the sad ending…hopefully it’s still alive somewhere…

  14. RIP 1974-2010 Dobro electric upright. One of twelve made by Dobro.
    The body was damaged. The neck was ripped from the body.
    The neck was broken. Just split like a log.
    I hope I go better than that.

  15. All I read at this late hour was the score, and I agree 100%. I bought this stick thinking that it would be as good as the Sun Grown, and I was massively disappointed. I love the Sun Grown. I keep a few in stock at all times. They are that good. The Maduro was just blech.

  16. Bryant,
    We should have our DNA’s compared.
    Although, I have used frog DNA to fill in my broken strands…
    Still, close enough…

  17. Oh great and powerful exalted Katman,
    Thanks for another honest review and great story! I do have to ask… that lovely picture of you with the electric pink pants is that a seersucker jacket? Back when I was a wee lad I had one very similar that was of the seersucker variety. And yes; I know that you are old enough to know what that is just like I am. Live long and prosper!

  18. Hi Kerry,
    I bought the getup at a Goodwill. And that was nearly 40 years ago. I must apologize for not remembering much about the pedigree of my jacket or those good looking pants. I wore them once. The chicks at the party loved the pair. I got way more attention that a bass player deserves.
    I appreciate you identifying yourself as an old fart. Music to my ears.
    “May the Schwartz be with you.”
    Big Helmet Phil

  19. The Katman may sing praises and bestow his velvety approval or wipe his wrinkled tuchus with the smoldering remains of the unworthy….you just have to tune in each week to find out my friends. One thing he won’t do is bullshit you about his experience and it’s never boring. Keep up the good work Uncle Katman!

  20. I don’t understand all the love for this cigar. It’s like smoking tree bark I’d imagine. Only Perdomo worth the price of admission for me is the 10th Anny Sungrown. Everything else is bonfire fuel.

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