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Cigar Review: Pinar del Rio Clasico Exclusivo Robusto

7 May 2012

Abe Flores reinvented Pinar del Rio Cigars (PDR) in 2010 by re-blending his standard lines, dropping his prices by 10%, and introducing some new creations. Prior to this company re-launch, many cigar enthusiasts had not even heard of PDR. After, PDR grew a solid base of loyal fans who appreciated the value and craftsmanship of Flores’ offerings.

I fall into the camp of folks who became PDR fans once I was properly exposed to the company. Smokes like the Cubano Especial Capa Natural, Sun Grown, and Selección have been regular visitors to my humidors for a couple years. And I’m also enjoying newer offerings, like Small Batch Reserve—both Habano and Maduro.

But my exposure to the PDR portfolio has not been comprehensive. The Clasico Exclusivo line, for example, has somehow flown under my radar since it was released about three years ago. This blend has an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, a Dominican criollo ’98 binder, and a filler blend of tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. It is available in nine sizes: Robusto (5 x 50), Corona (5.25 x 44), Corona Gorda (6 x 46), Toro (6 x 52), Torpedo (6.5 x 52), Churchill (7 x 50), Lancero (7.25 x 38), Magnum (5 x 60), and Double Magnum (6 x 60).

The Robusto retails for around $5 per single or $90 for a box of 20. Underneath its double bands and yellow ribbon is a silky wrapper with minimal veins and seams that are barely noticeable. The exterior leaf gives off hardly any aroma but, at the foot, the exposed filler tobaccos smell of sweet hay and honey.

After clipping the cap to reveal an even draw and toasting the foot, the initial flavor is peppery and a bit more intense than traditional Ecuadorian Connecticut-wrapped cigars. Dry spice is concentrated on the tip of the tongue, on the lips, and on the finish. Notes of oak and grass are evident if you smoke through the nose.

As flavors of nuts and cream come to the fore, it becomes clear that this smoke has outstanding physical properties. Light up the Clasico Exclusivo Robusto and, like me, you’ll surely be admiring its perfect burn line, sturdy gray ash, and smooth draw. These attributes aren’t to be overlooked. It’s a lot easier to find a $10 cigar with poor construction than it is to find a $5 cigar with excellent construction.

In the end, while the taste isn’t remarkably complex or astonishingly unique, this Pinar del Rio creation is a fine choice if you’re looking for a morning coffee companion. It goes equally well with a glass of wine in the evening. It seems to forgo my least favorite characteristics of mild smokes—a chemically aftertaste or a papery finish—while exhibiting the best traits of the breed—light on cost and oozing with creamy nuttiness. You can’t complain with that. And I also don’t think you’ll object to my rating of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

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    […] by maggie7299 Tweet Cigar Review: Pinar del Rio Clasico Exclusivo Robusto Abe Flores reinvented Pinar del Rio Cigars (PDR) in 2010 by re-blending his standard lines, dropping his prices by 10%, and introducing some new creations. Prior to this company re-launch, many cigar enthusiasts had not even heard of PDR. Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine […]

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    […] Cigar Review: Pinar del Rio Clasico Exclusivo Robusto Smokes like the Cubano Especial Capa Natural, Sun Grown, and Selección have been regular visitors to my humidors for a couple years. And I'm also enjoying newer offerings, like Small Batch Reserve—both Habano and Maduro. But my exposure to the PDR … Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine […]