Chris Arolfo of Cabal Cigars has released a Limited Production cigar named after his late mother, Linda. She passed in 2013 after losing the battle with a rare brain disorder known as frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. This cigar commemorates her memory and will be a yearly release. It's also really neat that the name on the band is Linda Arolfo's actual signature. Only 500 boxes of 14 cigars will be made.
Linda by Cabal Cigars
Size: 6 x 40
Vitola: Petit Lancero
Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Peru
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Cigars for review provided by Cabal Cigars
Note: For this review we used CigarFederation's rating system
Pre-light: The wrapper on the Linda is a really light brown with very small veins and just the lightest of an oil sheen. The pre-light aroma has some kick to it, with a spicy cedar & tobacco note and a barnyard/manure scent. The cold draw is different though. It has lots of dry wood notes and a semi sweet, natural tobacco note.
Beginning: The first third of the Linda really shows those cold draw notes. It’s a dry, woody note with just a touch of pepper flavors, but no spice. The retrohale is VERY nice. Really opens up the woody notes and has just the right amount of spice/burn. Delightful. The smoke production is medium, the burn is razor sharp and the ash is solid. Halfway through this third the flavors changed up and I start to get what tastes like a peppery wheat flavor, as well as an increase in smoke. It’s a low-medium across the board, with a nice but short finish.
Middle: The ash doesn’t break off until the very beginning of the second third. Amazingly great and solid construction. In the middle third, the black pepper note really tries to push to the front, but it never really breaks through, except in the retrohale, where the spice starts to dominate. Still mostly wood notes, but now with the occasional doughy note popping out. It remains in the medium range, with a dry, almost chalky finish. Honestly, I can not believe how dead on the burn is and how solidly the ash is formed.
End: In the final third of the Linda, the wood finally displays it’s dominance. A strong oaky note is definitely in the forefront and the pepper has switched over to a white pepper spice. The retrohale is now a nose burning, cedar spice, that while it has bite, is very good. The Linda is a solid medium now. The smoke is really pouring off this cigar now, which is always enjoyable. But what about that construction? Without a doubt, one of the best burning cigars I have ever had.
Final Thoughts: Something else that surprised me? I got a little carried away at times, and just puffed away pretty quick, but the Linda never once got hot, bitter or sour. It was very tasty from start to finish and required absolutely zero maintenance. Two things kept this out of box territory for me. I needed some more flavor notes, maybe some more sweetness & cream. Also, $14 a cigar is tough to swallow for me, even though I understand the reason for it.
John's review: 88 AKA "5-Pack Purchase"
"The Cabal Linda is a great petit lancero that you will enjoy smoking right down to the nub."
The nose on the Cabal Linda is sweet barnyard, fresh hay with earthiness on the wrapper.
I used a single v-cut and found the draw to be right in the ideal zone. Sweet on the first few draws with a touch of the fresh hay I picked up on the nose. Some really great spices on the retrohale hale which evolves to a spicy earth combo at the 20 minute mark. The sweetness on the draw also evolves into a caramalized sugar, punctuated by a light hay finish.
In the middle third sweetness falls off in intensity, but blends in with the spicy earth combo from the retrohale for a great balance. A woody flavor starts to dominate halfway through until the last third.
A sweet, spicy, woody combination marks the last third. A great flavor combination to finish it out.
Total smoking time 1 hour 55 minutes.
The Cabal Linda is a great petit lancero that you will enjoy smoking right down to the nub.
The pronounced spice and wood has me wanting to reach for a sweet beverage to balance it out. Root beer, sweet tea, cream soda, ice wine, or a delicate scotch would be some great choices here.
Cigar Federation Group Rating: 90 AKA "Box Split"