Cubariqueño Cigar Company burst on to the cigar scene in 2015 with their freshman release called Protocol. It was met with rave reviews (including that of our own Cigar Surgeon). On the heels of that success, Juan and Bill are set to release the Protocol Probable Cause in July at this year's IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas, NV... Where the elite meet to eat... My old college roommate use to say that all the time. I have no idea where he got it from, but it pops into my head every time someone mentions Vegas.
Anyway, the Protocol Probable Cause and the Protocol Lancero (review coming next week) are two of the releases expected from Cubariqueño Cigar Company at IPCPR. Both cigars have been made available early to loyal local shops and good customers. In fact, the CigFed store still has a bundle or two of the Lancero.
We recently had Juan Cancel and Bill Ives of Cubariqueño Cigar Company on CigarChat and they gave us the straight dope on the Lancero and PC. They also hinted at a few other potential releases. With the FDA watching over the cigar industry like a nun with a ruler, we can probably expect to see a TON of releases come July.
Protocol Probable Cause
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Factory: La Zona - Esteli, Nicaragua
MSRP: $9.69 - available in 10-count boxes
Samples smoked for review: 2
Cigars for review were provided by Cubariqueño Cigar Company
Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System
Pre-Light: The Protocol Probable Cause features the same band design as the original Protocol, but this time they used red instead of blue. There are a LOT of law enforcement corollaries in the Protocol line.
The wrapper on the samples I smoked was super dark and smelled strongly of peppercorn. The construction was solid and the cigars were packed with a ton of tobacco. They felt so solid that I was worried about the draw. Luckily that was not an issue on either smoke. I used a .009 punch on each and found a prefect draw. The cold draw tasted of cool sweet cream and cocoa with a mild black pepper sting on the lips.
Beginning: The Probable Cause started out nicely with notes of dry chocolate cake. There was a mild black pepper spice on the retrohale and on the tongue. The spice started out quit mild and picked up strength as I progressed through the initial third. There was a nice balance of sweet (chocolate cake) and spice (black pepper and peppercorn) as first third came to a close.
Middle: The flavor profile in the middle third took on the persona of a Mexican hot chocolate. The chocolate smoothed out and became a bit more creamy while the spice settled in the background. This was the best part of the smoking experience, but unfortunately it was short-lived.
The party was broken up by a smokey and earthy note that elbowed its way into the forefront of the flavor profile. The flavor had a burnt hickory quality to it and it managed to throw everything out of balance. This happened with both samples, but it was much more prevalent in the first Probable Cause that I smoked. It was far less pronounced in the second sample. This gives me hope that some rest will allow that Mexican hot chocolate note to regain it's dominance and bring this cigar to much higher heights.
End: The final third was much of the same. The burnt hickory note continued to dominate.
Final Thoughts: The Protocol Probable Cause got off to a really strong start, but took a nosedive in the middle. I am hopeful that it will get better with a bit more age on it. With that in mind, I would pick up a few of them and see how they are smoking in August.
Rating: 86 AKA "I'd buy a couple"
I'll pick up a few in the hopes that some rest will do the trick. There were glimpses of a great cigar in the first half, so I am hopeful.