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Stogie Reviews: Benchmade Cazadore

11 Aug 2008

This brand could lay claim to the title of bargain cigar royalty, combining, as it does, the Don Pepin Garcia/Ashton duo with a price tag under $3 per stick. And the Nicaraguan puro isn’t even a bundle cigar. It’s packaged in cedar boxes of 25.

Sure, it’s mixed filler. Sure, the pigtail cap isn’t particularly attractive. Sure, physical characteristics and construction vary some from cigar to cigar. And did I mention it’s less than $3 a stick?

I’ve smoked a few and sampled all four sizes. The Benchmade begins with a little spice and soon settles down to being a tasty, straightforward, medium-strength cigar. You won’t confuse it with one of Pepin’s top-flight creations, but you also won’t mistake it for some bargain-bin castoff either.

I enjoyed the Cazadore most, but that’s primarily because I feel the 46 ring gauge and the 6.5 inch length make for a comfortable smoke. I paid $2.60 for it.

I have been impressed and, frankly, a little surprised at the relative consistency between smokes. One key to making low-priced cigars is looser quality standards for the tobacco. That inevitably leads to greater inconsistency. My guess would be that quite a few sticks were rolled at the same time for Benchmade’s recent introduction. Consequently, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that consistency varies more in the future.

I’ve been told the filler is from cuttings from the San Cristobal made at Pepin’s Nicaraguan factory. I don’t know if that’s true; my guess would be it’s made from leftovers of numerous cigars made at the Tabacalera Cubana S.A.

The cigar is made with a mixture of long- and cut-filler at the foot to limit tobacco falling out and at the head to keep bits of tobacco out of the smoker’s mouth, according to a June Cigar Insider web posting. Again, that’s the kind of effort that makes it difficult to keep prices this low, so I won’t be shocked if I find tobacco on my tongue in the future.

Still, it would be hard to complain too much at these prices. If you’re looking for a value smoke, give the Benchmade a try. Taking everything into consideration, I give it three and 1/2 out of five stogies.

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

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Benchmade Cazadore”

  1. Padronnie Monday, August 11, 2008 at 3:37 am #

    I really need to try this cigar…

    Ashton/Don Pepin + under $3 = must try!!!

  2. Chris V Monday, August 11, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    They're truly winners in my book.

  3. berthastrik Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 4:15 am #


    It makes me happy to come here


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