Review: Blind Cuban Cigar Tasting Contest - Cigar #1

This cigar was part of a 5 cigar sampler pack that I ordered from an online Cuban cigar supplier.   They run a contest each year where you buy a sampler of cigars, smoke them blind, and then have to make a guess as to what they are.  If you get all 5 correct you get a significant gift certificate through them. 

Unfortunately I don’t have as much experience smoking Cuban cigars as most of the other members, but it sounded like a fun contest so I signed up.



Lots of cedar, with some hints of pepper.   I think the nose is already giving me clues as to what this cigar is.   



All of the 5 cigars in the taster pack are robusto vitola, measuring 4.9” by 50 ring gauge.    They’ve clearly been carefully selected to either be as similar or possible, or for the slightly longer ones to throw you off the hunt (I’m guessing one offs that are longer than they should be).    An industrious person might use the CubanCigarWebsite to narrow down the possible production choices to 10 (4 of which I have in my current inventory). 

However after lining up the Bolivar Royal Corona, Ramons Allones Specially Selected, Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2, and Partagas Series D No. 4 (why oh why did I smoke my only Cohiba Robusto?) I’m no closer to solving the identity crisis that before.




First Third

Sweet and creamy to start off.  The cedar that I was picking up so strongly on the nose is extremely light here.  There is a white pepper present but it is delayed on the tasting.

A few minutes in and my brain is screaming at me which cigar this is.   I’m going to be laughably embarrassed I’m sure when I find out I’m wrong.

The pepper starts to fall off not too far into the first third.   There’s a very subtle mixture of hay and grass that starts to break through at the end of the draw.

Middle Third

Some leather notes going into the second third.  It’s subtle and it plays nicely against the creaminess that is still present.  

At about the middle of ‘Cigar #1’ I start to taste some light mineral flavors.   As the cigar continues to develop there’s some nutty flavors that start to develop complexity.   It stands out against most of the other flavors as they are all quite subtle.


Last Third

Still quite nutty with the creamy notes not far behind going into the final third.   The pepper that fell off in the first third comes back, again as a delayed flavor on the draw.



I’ve been doing more v-cuts, especially with Cuban cigars.   The v-cut was too tight so I did an x-cut and it opened up, although still a bit on the tight side.   Burn was decent, total smoking time was 1 hour and 35 minutes.



This is absolutely a case where value is going to be subjective.    The 5 cigar selection tasting pack was $85, which works out to $17 a stick.    This can either be a good value or a bad value depending on what exactly was included.   The real win for me here is the chance to participate in a fun experiment, not to mention the chance to win a $500 US Cuban cigar shopping spree.


Final Word:

This was overall an enjoyable cigar.  The flavors were quite light, but overall they were balanced.  Generally I prefer the flavors to be more pronounced and complex, however I’m reasonably confident that I’ve already smoked quite a few of these.   Only time will tell whether I’m a winner or just a wiener. 


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Comment by Cigar Surgeon on April 9, 2014 at 7:21am

Sadly I guessed Bolivar Royal Corona and this cigar is the Partagas Serie D No. 4.  I should review the No. 4 this week.

I took my review and searched for reviews of the PSD4 and they mirror the key tasting profiles from my notes.  I think I'll have to change my strategy.


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