8 Sep 2008
From Cupido, J.L. Salazar, Don Kiki (Brown and White), La Carolina, and Cameroon, Cuban Crafters makes some excellent, under-priced cigars. And, as you probably know, we have not been shy about providing honest reviews of these wonderfully blended, expertly constructed lines.
Cuban Crafters’ modus operandi has thus far focused on value. But, in the coming weeks, the Miami-based boutique manufacturer will introduce its “crown jewel”: the new Medina 1959 blend. We’re told the idea is to create a pre-Castro stogie (hence 1959) made by masters who have cigar experience from the forbidden island nation. The five vitolas in this premium line, therefore, will be handmade in Miami by Cuban expatriates under the supervision of Manuel Medina, formerly of the H. Upmann and Davidoff factories in Cuba.
Our friends at Cuban Crafters were nice enough to send us a pre-release box of 25 Robustos (5 x 50), which has an MSRP of $200. The presentation is brilliant; the finished maroon and gold cedar chest won’t be one of those cigar boxes you toss once the sticks are gone.
You’ll also want to hang on to at least a few of the ornate double bands. They rest perfectly atop the clean Cuban-seed Sumatra wrappers, which exude prelight hints of sweet hay and field grass.
I tasted about eight Robustos for this review and found that my V-cutter works best. You only need to carefully puncture the tip of the cap to reach the Cuban-seed Habano long-filler and establish an even draw—a strategy that preserves more tobacco for smoking.
The most prominent flavors are of toast, cream, and butterscotch, but careful cigar enthusiasts will also find an onion-like spice when smoked through the nose. The whole effect is mild yet tasty with interesting flavors weaving in and out as the straight burn progresses. While the smoke becomes spicier and richer in the final third, I think the cigar is accurately labeled as mild- to medium-boded.
My understanding, according to Cuban Crafters’ marketing materials, is the tobacco in this fine cigar is already “extremely aged.” That may be, but I have a feeling what remains from my box will benefit significantly from an extra six months or so of humidor time.
Still, these are great cigars now. And although you don’t need me to understand that you can get some fine stogies for $8 apiece, this new line is undoubtedly worthy of your attention—especially for fans of creamy, toasty cigars. The Cuban Crafters Medina 1959 Robusto earns four and a half stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys