23 Feb 2009
Regular readers will recall that Cuban Crafters, one of our favorite boutique manufacturers, has a knack for turning out excellent cigars that won’t put a dent in your wallet. The relatively newly released Cupido Tuxedo is a departure from that model—in price not excellence.
Ranked atop the boutique world in 1999 and 2000 before a hiatus, this Cupido Tuxedo incarnation is Cuban Crafters’ take on a super-premium maduro. Unlike the Estelí-made J.L. Salazar, Don Kiki (Brown and White), La Carolina, Cabinet Selection, and Cameroon blends, this line is handmade in the Dominican Republic by Cuban torcedores.
Tuxedo bears no resemblance to the criollo-wrapped Cupido line (of which the Corto viotla remains one of the best sub-$3 cigar experiences I’ve ever had). With a naturally cured habano maduro wrapper and a Dominican and Nicaraguan long-leaf ligero binder and filler, the Tuxedo looks more elegant and powerful.
Each signed and numbered cedar chest of 25 Churchills sells for $180 and prominently features a “Puff the Magic” slogan. Fairly oily with plenty of toothy texture, these seven inch by 52 ring gauge cigars are firm with no soft spots.
The expertly applied cap makes for a clean and easy cut. Once lit, rich prelight notes transition into a hearty taste of coffee beans with a little sugar. The first inch includes a unique sour finish that sets up the taste buds for the sweetness that follows. From there, the flavor wavers from cocoa and coffee to leather, pepper, and cedar.
Of particular interest is that, across the dozen Churchills we smoked for this review, several—those that we smoked immediately after receiving them—had brief periods of biting bitterness. But a few weeks in the humidor completely cured that flaw and improved the taste dramatically.
Regarding physical properties, the draw is good (especially for a cigar of this length) and the burn is exceptional. Don’t let the white ash build off the foot too long, though, or you’ll end up with a lapful.
In the end, while the price isn’t nearly as friendly as other Cuban Crafters creations, we enjoyed this cigar immensely. Given the complex, well-balanced flavors and the obvious quality of craftsmanship, we give the Cupido Tuxedo Churchill four stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys