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Cigar Review: Intensa Tabacon

12 Mar 2012

Winter is a season for short cigars. Unless you have an indoor cigar sanctuary to call your own, smoking bans likely force you outside to enjoy premium tobacco. And no one wants to stand out in the cold for hours on end.

As spring approaches here in Chicago, we start to get warmer days from time to time. And on rare nights when I can sit comfortably outside, this time of year I find myself reaching for larger smokes that have been patiently resting in hibernation—not many of which are larger than the Intensa Tabacon.

This hefty cigar weighs in at six inches long with a ring gauge of 60. It is one of four sizes available in the Intensa series, the others being Gran Robusto (5.24 x 54), Toro (6 x 50), and Belicoso (6.25 x 54). They are all the result of a partnership between Casa Fernandez and the Corona Cigar Co. to “create a cigar that would not only be a full-bodied powerhouse, but a cigar with rich, decadent flavors.” Arsenio Ramos is said to have blended this line using nothing but Angosura tobacco from Nicaragua. It features a reddish ’99 corojo wrapper with a maduro binder and filler comprised of corojo viso and corojo ligero leaves.

I was weary of lighting up such a huge cigar that is intended to “push the limits of the palate” and reportedly “had our entire tasting panel reeling,” according to the Corona Cigar Co. website. A smoke of this size is a time commitment, and I’ve never understood the concept of power for power’s sake. So it was with some trepidation that I clipped the Tabacon’s pigtailed cap and set an even light on the foot.

I was surprised when the initial flavor was balanced and anything but overpowering. The profile consisted of dry wood, nuts, and creamy notes with a somewhat spicy aftertaste. I was even more surprised when there was hardly any increase in boldness towards the midway point. In the final third, I started to feel the strength of the cigar as all of the flavors started to intensify and the nicotine kick ratcheted up to the next level. At no point, however, did I feel like the Intensa Tabacon had the boldness that’s advertised. That’s a good thing, in my book.

With excellent physical properties—including a straight burn and a smooth draw—this two-hour smoke is better and more balanced than I was expecting. It may not have loads of complexity or nuance, but the per-cigar cost of $6 to $7.40 is a fair price given the amount of tobacco and the time it takes to plow though the Intensa Tabacon. That earns it a fair rating of three stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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