15 Apr 2009
Combining the talents of master Cuban cigar blender Don Pepin Garcia and Pete Johnson, the man behind Tatuaje, the Cabaiguan (pronounced kah-bei-gWAHN) comes to the table with high expectations. With such a pedigree, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it retails for around $10 per smoke.
The Cabaiguan was the first cigar made by Johnson’s Tatuaje company that didn’t bear the Tatuaje name. Instead, the cigar, which is made in Don Pepin’s El Rey de Los Habanos factory in Little Havana, was named after the the town of Don Pepin’s birth in Cuba. It features a Connecticut seed shade-grown Ecuadorian wrapper, which surrounds Nicaraguan binder and filler leaves.
The wrapper, which is almost completely vein-free, is a classic representation of an attractive Connecticut leaf. Of the three Robusto Extras (5.25 x 50) I sampled for this review, one had a few spongy spots, but otherwise they were firm. Each cigar had excellent construction.
While there was no distinctive pre-light flavor, this long robusto provided an abundance of flavor once lit, most notably a rich, creamy taste of what seemed like roasted pecans. Underneath were some toasty notes and subtle bread flavors.
Later, some subtle spice creeps in (particularly when smoked through the nose), but it doesn’t overwhelm the Cabaiguan’s excellent balance. The finish is long and toasty.
Overall, this medium-bodied cigar has none of the chemical flavors that sometimes plague Connecticut-wrapped smokes. And nothing in the construction of the cigar—with its even burn and easy draw—distracted from its complex flavor profile.
With bold, rich spice being the trend (a trend led by Don Pepin himself), I must say the Cabaiguan impressed me most for its subtlety. It’s plenty flavorful and complex, but also nimble and refined. I’ve heard the Cabaiguan compared to the Partagas Serie D No 4, but I think another top Cuban, the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill, might be a better comparison.
Either way, that’s high, well-earned praise. That’s why the Cabaiguan Robusto Extra earns our highest rating of five out of five stogies.
photo credit: Stogie Guys