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Stogie Review: Mercer Pinar del Rio Custom Cuban Sublimes

31 Mar 2011

If you were to judge a cigar solely on its ability to win the game of cigar shop one-upmanship, then it would be hard to beat the Mercer Pinar del Rio Custom Cuban Sublimes.  You know, that never-ending competition to have the most impressive answer to the question of “what have you been smoking lately?”

Sure, the other guy may be able to say he’s smoking that vintage limited edition Cuban but, if you’re smoking the Mercer Pinar del Rio, you’ve probably still got him beat. After all, your cigar is a custom-rolled Cuban with an impressive story.

Offered exclusively by Mercer Cigars (La Casa del Habano) in Merida, Mexico, the Mercer PdR Custom Cubans are reportedly made completely from tobacco from Pinar del Rio’s most prominent cigar family (an apparent reference to Robaina family). The cigars are made exclusively for Mercer in three sizes (Canonazos (5.9 x 52), Piramides (6.5 x 52), and Sublimes (6.75 x 54)) and notably are shipped from inside the U.S. un-banded.

For this review, I smoked two of the Sublimes (and I also sampled one Canonazos). The large cigar has some serious heft in the hand and in the mouth. The Colorado brown wrapper has plenty of oil and the excellent construction is accented by a closed foot.

The cigar is well-balanced with quintessential Cuban sweet earth notes, in combination with coffee, toast, nutmeg, and dry cedar. The long finish shows some red and black pepper spice.

It’s an extremely harmonious smoke that’s firmly in the medium- to full-bodied range, though it trends towards the fuller end in the final third. While all around I am very impressed with this Cuban, the earthy sweetness of the cigar’s flavors really strike me.

The Sublimes smokes for a full two hours with a notably solid white ash. And, unlike many Cubans I’ve smoked, there are no burn or draw issues. That, coupled with complex, earthy sweetness, an excellent draw, and a not unreasonable price of around $15 each, makes this a fantastic cigar. That’s why the Mercer Pinar del Rio Custom Cuban Sublimes earns a most impressive rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

9 Responses to “Stogie Review: Mercer Pinar del Rio Custom Cuban Sublimes”

  1. Charlton Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    I have smoked six of these, mercer cigars has some of the best selection of custom cuban cigars. Try some of the handsome jimmy custom rolls, they are even better. Cubans have been getting better, I smoked a Partagas 898 last night and it was great, the production is down and if you buy from quality sources you have good sticks. I smoke more non cuban cigars, but the cubans as of late are great. Go to, Rob is excellent and a great reference for cuban cigars.

  2. zo Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    “not unreasonable price of around $15 US each,” really?!?!? Tack on the ridiculous 23% GA tax iv gotta deal with and it’ll come out to a 20 dollar stick! Regardless, you make it sound almost worth it.

  3. Padronnie Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 6:07 am #


    Interesting stuff. It's certainly possible that these are not from Robaina's farm as claimed. Also possible is Hirochi isn't supposed to be making these (I don't think the Cuban Government/Habanos SA would be happy about it) and so he denied it.

    Your skepticism is probably the same reason that Patrick used the word "reportedly" when talking about PDR and Robaina.

    Either way, it seems the cigar is good on its own. The story surrounding the cigar may be BS, but the cigar isn't.

  4. Brooks Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    They are great sticks, no doubt…great review 🙂


  5. Guy Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Dear Stogie Guys Team,

    I’m sorry to break everyone’s bubble , but these guys from Mercer Cigars are BS-er’s, only months ago, they were claiming to sell the custom rolled “El Padrino” farm cigars from the Robaina farm with permission from Alejandro Robaina himself and his grandson Hirochi Robaina, but since then, that claim has been disputed by the Robaina family plus other claims that they have stated that were not true; also, since then, they’ve changed their site to say something different,” Sublimes ? ” but it’s all the same BS. Here is a link to Nino’s site,

    Nino knows the Robaina family very well and others, so, on his last trip to Cuba, what better way to know then to ask about all this to the persons concerned.Have a look and see how fast your bubble will blow. It’s very easy to say what you want when cuban cigars are a forbidden fruit in the USA and no one to verify.
    Also it’s very easy to go to Cuba, have rollers make you a ton of “your” cigar for very cheap and then sell them at outrageous prices. Sorry for being so long but I hate when cigar smokers get screwed without knowing.


  6. Todd Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:19 am #


    Considering it is illegal in the US I seriously doubt that you would pay Georgia sales tax on these. Frankly, with US cigar taxes getting higher and higher it is only making contraband (tax free) Cubans more affordable in comparison.

  7. Guy Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I'm not saying that the cigars themselves aren't good, I'm sure they are great cigars, any custom rolled in Cuba with Cuban tobacco espescially these, are always great, for me, even peso cigars are good, I'm saying that I don't like the way that they're being sold and passed on to the American consumer with the Blah Blah BS around them by saying that they are EXCULSIVELY made for them and the whole marketing network built around it.

    Aside all that, great review, you guys do a

    a fine job. Thank you.



  8. Aizuddin Danian Friday, April 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    IMO, these cigars are good, very very good even. But the quality of a vendor needs to be judged beyond what he sells. Integrity is important and honesty is vital. I was one of the first to receive and review the PdR Sublimes:

    Back when the story was "this cigar comes from the Robaina farm" (i still have all the emails from the vendor to prove it). Of course, the tune has changed today (better late than never i suppose), but the deceit in the early days does leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

    A good cigar can be had anywhere, at the end of the day, you just need to draw the line somewhere and say, "Doesn't matter if you were selling the best cigars on the planet, i don't appreciate being lied to."

  9. Taqim Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    Where can purchase custom rolled cubans similar to the PDRs? I tried the customs from CoH (good but still need more time) PuroExpress (good) finest cuban cigars (good flavor but construction terible) and finally Mercer (PDRs are great, Handsome Jimmys good, Dragones ok) can you provide a listing of sources where I can obtain good customs.