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Stogie Reviews: Alonso Menendez Robusto

24 Oct 2006

The Alonso Menendez is not your average cigar. It is a Brazilian puro made from the highly aromatic Mata Fina tobacco (unlike the Honduran-made CAO Brazilia, which employs a Brazilian wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler).

While Stogie Guys readers may be familiar with Alonso Menendez, it is unlikely many American cigar smokers have heard of the cigar, which is from a lesser-known line by the Menendez Amerino Company that also makes the still relatively unknown Dona Flor line. The cigars are top sellers in Brazil, but are only now making their way into the American market.

This thick robusto (five inches by 52 ring gauge) has a dark brown wrapper that is considerably looser than most premium cigars. But the attention to detail in the construction – such as the Cuban-style triple cap – suggests this characteristic is not a oversight, but a conscious choice.

Pre-light this cigar gives off a rich aroma with sweet chocolate notes. It lights easily and the smooth, easy draw becomes immediately apparent. The smoke is not at all hot or harsh despite the quick burn. Coffee and milk chocolate notes abound, but as the cigar progresses a slight peppery spice develops. Hints of clove were noticed when smoked through the nose.

The stogie is very balanced on the palate and falls somewhere between a medium and full bodied cigar. It has a sturdy white ash, although the burn was bit uneven – a problem that developed in multiple cigars. Thankfully, this flaw was never a problem that interfered with the cigar’s complex, rich flavors.

Overall, this robusto had a strong showing. It won’t be everyone’s favorite, but it is well worth trying to see if a Brazilian puro is just what you’ve been looking for…That is, if you can find it! (You may have to ask your local store to help you locate the cigar.)

Rich balanced tastes and a unique flavor profile earn the Alonso Menendez Robusto an impressive four out of five stogies.

Note: The cigar pictured has a classic white band. We like the look, but we’ve been told that it will be changing. You may find this cigar as “Alonso Menendez by Dona Flor” with a gold Dona Flor band. Fortunately, the cigar itself will remain the same.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

Tags:

Drew Estate

22 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Alonso Menendez Robusto”

  1. Anonymous Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 10:56 am #

    I've never heard of this line (or this company) before, but I'm going to have to look into it now. Thanks for the review.

  2. Anonymous Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 1:26 pm #

    What does one of these babies retail for?

  3. Patrick S Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 1:39 pm #

    Expect to pay in the $5-7 range (plus tax) for this stick.

  4. Cartman Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 11:59 am #

    Any idea why they are changing the band?

  5. Paul Arneson Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 4:57 pm #

    StogieGuy readers desiring a sample ALONSO MENENDEZ cigar, please e-mail:

    parneson@cigarsofbrazil.com

    Please include your name, mailing address, age, and name of your favorite local tobacconist. Our only request is that if you LIKE IT, please ask that tobacconist to also send me an e-mail for information on becoming one of our retailers.

  6. Patrick A Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 3:55 pm #

    It’s my understanding Brazil Cigars wants to distinguish this band from other white bands, such as Davidoff.

  7. The Stogie Guys Monday, October 30, 2006 at 11:03 am #

    For more information about this Free Cigar Offer see our Friday Sampler

  8. 3Case Sunday, November 5, 2006 at 6:43 am #

    This cigar rocks! A friend brought me a stick from last year's NYC Big Smoke. I have been hunting it ever since I smoked it.

  9. Ron Beam Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    Along with the Garcia brothers, Cuban born Alonso Menendez was the founding force behind the Monte Cristo. This namesake cigar is my standard and I put the maduro robusto in the category of Partagas SP #2, but at a third the cost.

  10. Joe Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm #

    A great Cigar with great taste.

  11. Mario Monday, March 23, 2009 at 5:04 am #

    Hola: Soy de San Francisco, Pcia. de Còrdoba, Repùblica Argentina, y he probado este habano en Villa Carlos Paz (Pcia. de Còrdoba) y no pude volver a encontrarlo. Por favor necesito me informen donde puedo hallarlo o bien como puede hacer para contactarme con alquien que me lo pueda enviar. Gracias

  12. vpw Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    My local tobacco shop sells these. They have the same band, but the wrapper looks quite different and is not what I would describe as "dark brown". In fact, I'd call it "light brown". I wonder if something has changed? Even in the photograph the cigar looks much darker than the two I have had so far. The white band is the same.

    I wasn't impressed with the first one, but I'm going to give it another shot today. The cigar is so beautifully constructed, aromatic, and the band is classy and understated. I want to like this cigar… still wondering if something has changed as it looks a completely different colour…

  13. vpw Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 1:54 am #

    Just in case anyone Googles this review (like I did when looking for a review on this cigar), I should update my comment above.

    I smoked the second one today and it was much better than I remember the first one to be. I couldn't say I found it to be full flavoured or strong though; and as I mentioned above the wrapper is quite a lighter colour than what appears in the review. The taste was smooth, creamy and mild and was enjoyable down to the last quarter. I'll definitely be trying a third.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie Guys Friday Sampler XVI - Monday, December 18, 2006

    […] 1) We want to point out a generous offer made in the comments section of Tuesday’s review of the Alonso Menendez Robusto. Paul Arneson, the Mid-Atlantic rep for Brazil Cigars, is offering StogieGuys.com readers a free Alonso Menendez! As long as you live in the Mid-Atlantic region (DC, MD, VA, DE, PA, or WV), you can email Paul for a free stick. What’s the catch? Paul simply asks that, if you like it, please ask your local cigar shop to carry the line. Sounds reasonable to us! Click here for details and Paul’s email address. […]

  2. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie Reviews - Tuesday, February 6, 2007

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    […] While it is true that in the beginning, noticing more complex flavors is difficult, but its far from true that the flavors aren’t there. I would challenge the author to try a Carlos Toraño Exodus Gold or an Alonso Menendez and say that there aren’t chocolate flavors in cigar. […]

  4. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie Reviews: CAO Brazilia Gol - Thursday, March 1, 2007

    […] Which brings me to an important point: Contrary to a common misconception, CAO Brazilias are not puros. If you’re looking for the 100 percent Brazilian tobacco experience, I’d suggest trying a Dona Flor or an Alonso Menendez. […]

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    […] for a minute that only Cuban cigars will pair with this single malt.  I would also recommend the Alonso Menendez, Arturo Fuente King B, Ashton VSG, Padilla Miami or a San […]

  7. Quick Smoke: Alonso Menendez Robusto - Saturday, December 20, 2008

    […] stash—long before Dona Flor changed the band to give it a more colorful appeal—but this last Alonso Menendez performed even better. The delectable mata fina tobacco gives the cigar a taste akin to moist […]

  8. Stogie Spirits: George T. Stagg Bourbon - Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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  9. Alonso Menendez Robusto « myBlog - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    […] It maybe a small detail, but I also quite like the simple and understated, yet classy white band. According to the Stogie Guys, the cigar now comes with a different band, and although I haven’t seen what that new band […]