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Stogie Reviews: Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas Churchill

10 Dec 2007

Is there anything trendier in the world of cigars than the new barber pole phenomenon? The fad, characterized by two diagonally-woven, contrasting wrapper leaves, seems to be cropping up everywhere from CAO and Don Pepin to Arturo Fuente and Arganese.

Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas ChurchillBut is this technique a sincere and creative attempt at new flavor combinations, or just a mere marketing gimmick? There’s only one way to find out: one at a time.

With Dos Capas, loosely translated as “two capes,” Felipe Gregorio is the manufacturer of one of the most recognizable barber poles. It sports a Connecticut-Sumatra wrapper combination with Dominican binder and filler tobaccos. (The company also makes Tres Capas, which brings a Nicaraguan candela wrapper into the mix.)

I recently tried my luck with a few Dos Capas Churchills. They weigh in at seven inches with a 50 ring gauge and sell in the $4.50 to $5.50 range. I am told they can be had for $3 or less at times on Cbid.

Made at the Tabacalera Real factory in the Dominican Republic, these sticks are a bit bumpy and uneven with some large veins. Like most barber poles, the seams are less than perfect.

After an even light, I found well-balanced, light flavors of oak, straw, and black tea. With two contrasting wrappers, I guess it’s no surprise that these earthy and woody notes – which aren’t quite mild, but aren’t quite full either – produce a taste that’s complex and even on the palate.

Once the first few inches are turned into a solid, well-layered gray ash, the flavor leads into a big, warm tobacco taste that’s familiar and inviting. I experienced a clear draw and a very even burn.

That good fortune turns sour towards the end, however, when heavy bitter notes kick in and the construction begins to suffer. I am also perturbed by the brown and gold band’s tendency to tear the frail wrapper when it is removed.

For me, this cigar demonstrates how barber poles are double-edged swords. While two or more wrappers will often yield a balanced, noble taste, they can also pose troubling construction issues. So, for a promising start and a disappointing finale, I’m giving the Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas Churchill three out of five stogies.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Felipe Gregorio Dos Capas Churchill”

  1. Chris V Monday, December 10, 2007 at 6:20 am #

    Hey, shoulda told me you were doin' these when I mentioned I liked them the other night. I've got a buttload of them that I got for under $2 a stick that you would have been welcome to!


  2. Geoff Monday, December 10, 2007 at 5:52 pm #

    Great review. For the record, in my humble opinion, barber poles are more of a "marketing gimmick" than anything…

  3. csbrewfisher Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 3:58 am #

    I just picked up a fiver of these from the devil site for $7. I hope some rest will loosen up the glue hold on the wrapper enough to get it off without tearing. Great review!

  4. Jay Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Good Review…I personally think that this is a great cigar regardless of the Gimmick aspect of the barber pole and the construction flaws that you point out. One last thing…I don't know who told you that Dos Capas translates to Two Capes but they were very wrong. Dos cabos is two capes. Dos Capas means two layers.