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Cigar Review: Sindicato Affinity Belicoso

7 Oct 2013



Officially launched in January, but formalized at last year’s convention, Sindicato is a new company founded by a group of veteran retailers. The group starts with a customer base that’s the envy of any new cigar company.

Affinity BelicosoHeading up this “syndicate” is Abe Dababneh of Smoke Inn. He is joined by Dan Jenuwine (of Quality Fresh Cigars in Michigan), Gary Pesh (of Old Virginia Tobacco in Virginia), Robert Roth (of Nice Ash Cigars in New York and Pennsylvania), and Jeff Borysiewicz (Corona Cigar Company in Orlando). Their stores alone would be top targets for any new cigar line looking for quality retailers.

Three brands comprise the Sindicato lineup. Casa Bella is a “premium bundle” smoke from the Dominican Republic with prices around $2 per cigar. Hex, my favorite, is sold as “a refined medium- to full-bodied cigar”. And Affinity is an Ecuadorian Connecticut-wrapped blend with a mild profile. (StogieGuys.com was also told an eponymous “Sindicato” cigar is currently in the works.)

Affinity comes in six formats: Churchill, Gran Toro, Belicoso, Toro, Corona, and Robusto. The Belicoso measures 6.1 inches long with a ring gauge of 52 and a price of about $7. It’s a pale cigar with a clean, delicate wrapper that’s prone to tiny cracks if you aren’t careful. The sharply pointed cap clips uneventfully to reveal a smooth draw, and the foot boasts pre-light notes of sweet hay and caramel.

Setting an even light across the wrapper, the Nicaraguan binder, and the blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos, a buttery profile of cream and nut emerges. The finish is short, tangy, and just a little spicy with a slight bitterness. Each puff coats the palate with silky, oily smoke. The body is decidedly in the mild spectrum.

I won’t call the flavor “papery,” though some may find the Belicoso to be too mellow. I’ve always enjoyed milder smokes as long as they back up their lack of power with creaminess and complexity. To be blunt, while Affinity may have character, the samples I smoked for this review were on the verge of being too mild for my personal taste.

That said, the Sindicato Affinity Belicoso brings a decent flavor to the table along with perfect combustion qualities—straight burn, solid ash, good smoke production, and consistently easy draw. Fans of mild-bodied cigars will find it to be a solid buy. In my book, it earns three stogies out of five.

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

-Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate