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Stogie Reviews: Ambos Mundos Sumatra Robusto

18 Feb 2010

In our December interview, when we asked Pete Johnson to tell us what would surprise even his biggest fan, he said something we weren’t expecting: “I know my way around a sewing machine.”

Ambos Mundos Sumatra RobustoHe seems to know quite a bit about making cigars, too. A former buyer for the Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills, Johnson launched his own cigar brand in 2003 called Tatuaje (Spanish for “tattoo”). The rest, as you probably know, is history. Tatuaje is now a sought-after fixture in the industry with too many rave reviews to mention.

Many of Johnson’s creations—from the Black and the Havana VI Verocu to the L’esprit de La Verite and the Reserva—command prices in excess of $10 apiece. Hoards of cigar enthusiasts are more than willing to fork over the requisite cash. But, recognizing the economic downturn, Johnson launched a cheaper-priced Tatuaje offshoot called Ambos Mundos in early 2009. This long-filler blend of Nicaraguan tobacco makes use of grade B and C leaves—whereas Tatuaje uses grade A. Its two sizes are offered in two different wrappers: an Ecuadorian Sumatra (red label) or a Nicaraguan Habano (white label.)

I smoked two Sumatra Robustos for this review. Measuring five inches long with a ring gauge of 50, this cigar doesn’t make a particularly good first impression. The wrinkled wrapper has numerous splotches of discoloration, the pre-light notes are extremely faint, and the feel is inconsistent with several soft spots.

While I hope for more from a cigar that retails for about $5, the true test is in taste. And the Ambos Mundos gets off to a fair start with a subdued flavor of leather and dry wood with hints of sweetness. There may be some peppery spice on the finish, but the intensity is half of what you’d find in the average Tatuaje. Maybe that’s an unfair comparison.

Still, it’s appropriate to note how the Sumatra Robusto leaves a sour taste in the mouth, especially down the stretch. The sensation isn’t necessarily unpleasant; some may even find it a welcome uniqueness.

All, however, should be impressed with the Ambos Mundos’ construction. Both of my Robustos exhibited superb burns, effortless draws, and quality ashes.

So I’m torn on a final verdict. On the one hand, this cigar offers decent flavor and excellent combustion qualities for a fair price. On the other, I can think of many sticks that I’d rather purchase in this price range. That ultimately leaves the Sumatra Robusto with a rating of three stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Ambos Mundos Sumatra Robusto”

  1. mighty Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I have tried to get into these stogies but they just don't ever click with me. At the same time I have thoughts of, "well these aren't terrible, not a bad price either."

    I second the 3 stogie rating. Decent, but not great. I'd rather pay more for La Riqueza, El triunfador, or many others of Pete's lines.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. Tim Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I always thought they were mixed filler. Are they?

  3. Patrick A Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Ambos Mundos, to the best of my knowledge, is a long-filler blend. Please leave a comment if you have evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Most importantly, though, it smokes like a long-filler cigar. Outstanding burn and ash.

  4. Patrick M Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Ambos Mundos is long filler. The Tatuaje P (white label) is a mixed filler cigar. I have enjoyed the Ambos Mundos that I have smoked. A nice smoke for the price but I would rather have a La Traviata or Casa Magna at this price point. I find the Ambos Mundos a bit too one-dimensional for my liking.