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Cigar Review: Tabacos Baez Serie SF Robusto

9 Feb 2012

Short-filler, mixed-filler, “Cuban sandwich.” There are many names for cigars that don’t use 100% long-filler tobacco (tobacco that runs the entire length of the cigar), but the selling point for such cigars, no matter the name, is always the same: more bang for your buck.

In theory at least, it makes plenty of sense. Cigar factories are always trimming tobacco leaves down to the sizes they need for their premium offerings. If instead of being tossed, those trimmings are used in mixed-filler cigars, the price of the raw materials goes down even though the quality of tobacco is the same as a cigar many times the price.

But I’ve always been skeptical. Are cigar makers really going to make a $3 cigar taste the same as their $8 line? Plus, doesn’t the short-filler (and the looser draw and quicker combustion that goes with it) mean that it isn’t even possible to create the same flavors? With that in mind, I thought it was it was time to try a mixed-filler cigar again. After all, there was a time, back when I was just out of college and my budget was extra tight, when they were regulars in my cigar rotation.

For the task, I chose Don Pepin Garcia’s Tabacos Baez Serie SF, made at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua. The green secondary band says “Serie SF” for short-filler, although technically it’s mixed filler with 70% long-filler and 30% short-filler.

The Nicaraguan puro features a Habano wrapper that, while hardly flawless, seems of high grade. The cigar isn’t particularly soft, although once I began smoking it I found a loose, airy draw and an unpredictable ash, both features characteristic of mixed-filler cigars. As for flavor, it’s medium-bodied and dominated by cedar flavors that, while hardly unpleasant, certainly aren’t all that interesting. There’s a hint of pepper at the start, and coffee and nut notes as the cigar progresses.

So is it going to dazzle an experienced smoker? I doubt it. But priced around $2.50 each, it’s at least as good as I’d expect and maybe even better. Sure, the bits of loose tobacco that end up in your mouth are annoying, but using a punch cutter instead of a guillotine helps.

Though it’s been awhile since I most recently had them, I think two of Pepin’s other mixed-filler cigars, the Ashton Benchmade and Tatuaje Series P, are just a bit better, and certainly this smoke doesn’t compare to most of Pepin’s long-filler premium cigars. Still, if you’re on the golf course or mowing your lawn, the Serie SF wouldn’t be a bad choice. That earns the Tabacos Baez Serie SF Robusto a rating of two and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: Tabacos Baez Serie SF Robusto”

  1. El Duke Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Cheap and decent… I think that sums up this cigar.

  2. dmjones1009 Friday, February 10, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I had this one a while back and liked it pretty well, especially for the price. Regarding your thoughts about whether or not a mixed filler made with the same leaf as a long filler would give the same experience: I think the problem here might be consistency. When they roll with long filler I think it's probably easier for the buncher to control the exact amounts of each leaf and how they are placed in the bunch. Seems like that would be more difficult to keep consistent with short filler. Not that this is a real problem since the cigars end up being half the price of the long filler equivalent…I wouldn't expect them to have the exact same experience. But being close for much cheaper is good enough for most people (including me on occasion).