4 Nov 2008
It seems that Dominican puros have been all the rage of late. Certainly the trend can be traced back to the introduction of the Fuente Opus X in the mid-90’s, which busted the commonly held notion that top-quality wrappers couldn’t be grown in the Dominican Republic.
Recently a host of Dominican puros (cigars with Dominican wrappers, binders, and fillers) have come to market, including cigars by La Flor Dominicana, Davidoff, and Cuvee. This year at the IPCPR trade show, the two largest premium cigar makers—Altadis and General Cigars—introduced their first Dominican puros, the Mi Dominicana and the Cohiba Puro Dominicana, respectively.
The Cohiba Puro Dominicana is the fourth line in General’s “Red Dot” Cohiba brand whose name has been the subject of much litigation. The blend comes in four sizes: Corona, Churchill, Toro, and the 5.5 inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto that’s the subject of this review.
The cigar features a Colorado brown wrapper with dark, almost black veins that’s grown in General’s own fields. According to the cigar’s promotional materials, the “tobaccos have been aged in tercios and charcoaled wooden barrels to enhance their natural flavor.”
Pre-light, I find a unique blend of musty earth, sweet molasses, and pepper. It is very firm to the touch, the same as most of General Cigar’s Dominican-made smokes. One feature I’ve found in all of the Dominican Cohibas, including this one, is a head that is noticeably rounded for a parejo.
Once lit, I find a burst of full flavor with lots of chewy leather and spice on the lips. Soon the spice fades and the cigar becomes more toasty and medium-bodied. From time to time, some bitterness works into an otherwise smooth flavor profile.
The draw is noticably tight, but only occasionally difficult to draw from. The burn is even and the ash steady for half an inch.
Overall, the Cohiba Dominican Puro is a nice smoke, but hardly sensational. Given that the robusto sells for $17 each, I would hope for better. At half that price, I would give it a strong recommendation, but considering the host of tremendous cigars available for considerably less, I have a hard time believing that this will be a regular smoke for most people.
Between generally pleasant flavors, average construction, and an overly high price, the Cohiba Puro Dominicana Robusto earns a rating of three and a half stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys