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Stogie Reviews: Benchmade Cazadore

8 Feb 2011

When I reviewed this bargain smoke shortly after its introduction in 2008, I wondered whether Don Pepin Garcia’s operation would be able to maintain consistency and quality in a mixed-filler cigar. Based on several recent examples, I needn’t have worried.

The latest Benchmade is every bit the cigar its predecessors were and still manages to come in with a price tag under $3. Frankly, I found no more difference in this line over time than in most long-filler cigars that cost two or three times more. Mind-boggling.

For those who haven’t tried this cigar, here are the basics: It’s a Nicaraguan puro made in five sizes by Pepin for Ashton. The Cazadore is 6.5 inches with a ring gauge of 46. All have pigtail caps and are said to utilize some long-filler at the head to minimize tobacco bits on the tongue common to short-filler cigars.

As you’d expect, the burn is fairly quick, the draw is loose, and the ash doesn’t hold particularly well. You’ll need to smoke slower than with a long-filler cigar or you’ll almost certainly overheat the tobacco and spoil the taste. The Benchmade has some of the taste and pepper found in many of Pepin’s sticks, but lacks the complexity, smoothness, and depth of his top lines.

This isn’t the cigar you’ll reach for when you want to sit quietly and luxuriate in a great smoke or celebrate a milestone in your life. But if you’re looking for one to enjoy on the golf course or to get you through watching the fourth quarter, you could hardly do better.

As I did before, I continue to recommend you give it a try, and give the Benchmade Cazadore three and a half stogies out of five.

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

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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