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Cigar Review: Patina Habano Bronze

25 Feb 2019

I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of Patina before wandering into Casa de Puros, a retail tobacconist and lounge near my home in Forest Park, Illinois. Despite the shop’s well-appointed selection, the Patina Habano caught my eye almost immediately. Something about the beautiful, uniform, milk chocolate-colored wrapper—and the way that wrapper is contrasted by the classic, understated band of white, bronze, and mint—helped differentiate this cigar from its competition.

I used a double-guillotine to neatly clip the head off one of the Patina Habano Bronze specimens I bought for $12.95 apiece and settled into one of the chairs in the lounge. Notwithstanding the cigar’s firmness, the cold draw was fortunately smooth. I took note of the pre-light aroma of green raisin before setting a wooden match to the fragrant foot.

Once fully lit, the combination of the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Pennsylvania yield a spice-forward, full-bodied profile of leather, macadamia, and black pepper.

There’s a gentle sweetness—especially on the aftertaste—that I’m tempted to call cherry-like, but that’s not quite it. Maybe it’s more like cream soda? It’s a tough flavor to put my finger on. I enjoy it nonetheless. The taste adds balance and complexity to what might otherwise be a somewhat monotone cigar.

As I work my way towards the midway point, I read up on the brand. Mo Maali, currently national sales manager at Mombacho Cigars, partnered with Mombacho to launch Patina back when he was the store manager of Casa de Puros. Patina is handmade at Mombacho’s Casa Favilli factory in Granada, Nicaragua. (The staircase on the band is at Casa Favilli.)

Patina’s two lines, Connecticut and Habano, debuted in May 2017. Both are offered in four sizes. In the case of the Habano line, those formats include Rustic (5 x 52), Copper (6 x 46), Oxidation (6 x 56), and the toro-sized Bronze (6 x 52) I’m smoking for this review.

Around the midway point, the sweetness recedes as earth, hay, and a bready texture emerge. While the smoke production, solid white ash, and draw are all excellent, the burn leaves something to be desired. I had to touch-up and re-light a few times to keep things even.

The Bronze is a slow-burning cigar. It took me two hours and twenty minutes, to be exact. And that marathon comes despite puffing with a greater frequency than usual to ward off the need for more re-lights—a practice that renders the smoke a bit hotter than I would normally like. That probably contributes to the intensification down the home stretch. In the final third, the flavors don’t change much, save for the introduction of cayenne heat and peanut, but they do become spicier.

I don’t regret purchasing a few Patina Habano Bronzes. That said, I can’t see myself going out of the way to buy more in the near future. I will give the Connecticut line a try, though. If you’d like to experience this (or any other) Patina, you don’t have to travel to the Chicago area; a full list of retailers is available here.

In my book, the Patina Habano Bronze earns a 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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