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Stogie Reviews: Pinar del Rio Habano Sun Grown Robusto

7 Jul 2010

“I’ve been able to come up with a good product at a price that people can afford,” said Abe Flores of Pinar del Rio Cigars when he talked to us at the 2010 Cigar Expo. “I wanted to do a premium cigar that wouldn’t hurt the average guy. People still need to be able to buy tobacco…Tobacco has been part of American and Latin American culture for many, many years.”

Pinar del Rio Habano Sun Grown RobustoAside from his desire to create high-quality, affordable smokes, one thing about Flores became abundantly clear during our interview last weekend: He has a keen enthusiasm for tobacco. “Tobacco is part of my background. My grandfather grew tobacco and coffee,” he says. “It’s probably in my veins. This has always been a passion for me, and people who smoke my cigars they feel the passion and the time I put into this. And the company has been growing every year.”

With a loyal following and a base at the Tabacos Don Leoncio factory in the Dominican Republic, some anticipate that Pinar del Rio is on the verge of becoming the next big thing. But it is still a young company, launching only a few years ago with two inaugural lines: Oscuro and Habano Sun Grown.

The latter is a gorgeous cigar with two intricate bands and a red ribbon across the foot. While these features enhance the cigar’s presentation, the Robusto’s (5 x 50) real beauty lies in its oily, reddish, Dominican-grown wrapper. Impressive, especially for a stick that sells in the $5-6 price range.

After clipping the triple cap and establishing an even burn across the blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos, the Habano Sun Grown’s pre-light aroma of pepper and hay transitions into a bold taste of leather, herbal spices, and creamy sweetness. Flores was right when he told me this cigar has “leathery tones to it” and “spice on the nostrils and the tip of the tongue.”

With plenty of balance and subtlety, I don’t count the Robusto’s consistency in flavor as a shortcoming. I find myself interested—and at times captivated—by the full-bodied profile, especially the interplay between spice and sweetness. The only drawbacks of the two Robustos I smoked for this review were wavy burn lines and occasional bitter flavors toward the end. But this is still a very easy cigar to enthusiastically recommend.

I realize I’m arriving late to the Pinar del Rio party, perhaps too late to be fashionable. I suspect many of you are already dedicated fans of Abe Flores’ work. As for the rest of you, consider this review your invitation to join in on the fun. For its charismatic, old school Cuban flavor and approachable price tag, the Habano Sun Grown Robusto earns four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Pinar del Rio Habano Sun Grown Robusto”

  1. Fernando S Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    I picked up a box of the Habano Sun Grown Churchills from Famous after I saw your interview with Abe. It just sounded right up my alley…and it is. What a terrific smoke for the price!

    This review is spot-on. I suspect they’ll get better with a little age as well.

  2. JMadison Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Agreed. This stick rocks, packs flavor like a cigar twice its price. Haven’t made a box purchase yet but am strongly considering one…

  3. Brent Perkins Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Incredible tasting smoke. The aroma was very good as well. However the burn issue you stated was a little beyond acceptable for me. I have passed on buying these on 5 pack reduced price deals b/c of it. I mean, bad burn.

  4. Chris V Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I'm smoking one now and have already fixed the burn twice it got so bad… and I'm not really enjoying it that much either. I'll be passing… or letting the other 4 sit for a review months from now.

  5. BillK Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I smoke these quite often. I've never had any kind of burn problem worth mentioning,

  6. Anthony Monday, October 17, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I bought a 5-pack in toro size and had a few torpedos besides. I wound up giving most of them away. Just seemed kind of unremarkable. I thought the Classico and Seleccion were a little better. You can get these on the web for a song and a dance.