24 Jun 2014
Launched less than 18 months ago, the Sindicato Cigar Group had a lot of things a start-up cigar brand could only dream of. In addition to industry veteran Jim Colucci as CEO, the company had the backing of of a handful of the best-known cigar shops in the country right from the outset.
Sindicato has been busy in its first year launching three lines: Affinity, Hex, and their “premium bundle” Cassa Bella. Now the company is following up with its eponymous lines: Sindicato and (coming this fall) Sindicato Maduro.
I received two samples of the Sindicato blend when it began shipping to stores in early May. I smoked the Corona Gorda (5.5 x 48), one of six box-pressed sizes (MSRP $10.95).
The cigar is made by Casa Fernandez in Nicaragua under the direction of it’s master blender Arsenio Ramos. Although the press materials don’t say it, it almost certainly is made completely of Aganorsa tobacco (one of the premier Nicaraguan tobacco growers and suppliers, owned by Casa Fernandez owner Eduardo Fernandez.)
The Nicaraguan puro blend uses a shade-grown Corojo wrapper grown in Jalapa, dual binders from Estelí, and a combination of Jalapa and Estelí filler tobaccos. The wrapper is slightly mottled and reddish-brown in color.
Sindicato features classic woody spice that fans of Casa Fernandez will recognize; it’s a quintessentially Nicaraguan profile. In addition, I picked up flavors of roasted nuts, black coffee, and some graham cracker towards the second half.
It starts out very full-bodied but eases back towards medium in the second half when a little creaminess reveals itself. Construction was excellent throughout.
I smoked an early prototype of this at the IPCPR Trade Show last year given to me by Jim Colucci, and whether it’s a tweaked blend or just time, it has improved greatly since then. Back then it was very strong and harsh. Now it’s far more balanced, and only medium- to full-bodied.
It’s a good cigar, and fans of Casa Fernandez lines will certainly enjoy this one (although I do wonder if they provide slightly better value given the similarities). Still, there’s plenty to like in the Sindicato cigar, and I think it may continue to get better with time. Even in it’s current state, it earns a rating of four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys