Review: Rodrigo La Fortaleza Absoluto

So, Tuesday I decided to take it easy after work and not go straight into my remodel work. Figured I would relax and have a smoke and a Jack & Coke instead. Gotta do it at least every now and then, right? I chose this Rodrigo, the La Fortaleza Absoluto, which is a smaller cigar at 5.12x43.

The construction is very nice and the band is eye catching, without being too flashy or busy. The foot smells strong of tobacco and earth, which isn't always an indicator of how it will smoke. I clipped the cap and on the cold draw I picked up a slight black pepper spice and it just felt 'thick'.

I toasted the foot and after I had it fully fired I took a puff. Wow....The leather, tobacco and earthiness dominate. The smoke is thick and white and the flavors are 'heavy'. It doesn't leave any film or harsh flavor in the mouth, but flavors are just that heavy to me. Probably be great with a heavy meal, like steak and potatoes. The first third burned perfect, straight, long ash and no relights.

You have to go slow with this one, or else it starts to get harsh & bitter. But that's a good thing, it'll make you enjoy it. I started having issues with this cigar staying lit in the second third, though. I was taking my time between puffs, so as to keep the flavors smooth, but in doing so I kept having to take multiple puffs to keep it lit, and had to relight once. So, I ended up playing a thin line between too harsh and not burning fully, which led to it canoeing on me once.

Just as I started the last third I had to relight again. The rest of the last third burned well and the smoke production throughout this cigar was amazingly thick. I love a good, thick smoke production, by the way. But to be honest, the flavor profile was just not for me. I don't think it was the cigars fault, I think there was just something about the flavors that I did not like.

In the end, this particular cigar was not for me. Some burn issues, coupled with (and maybe caused by) an undesirable flavor profile, just didn't make a great experience for me. Not bad, I've had bad. Bad I throw out in the first third, this one I smoked to the band. :)

As I write this, AFTER smoking & reviewing, I read the description on the Rodrigo website and see that this cigar is touted as both FULL body & FULL flavor. I would have to agree, very full, which I am going to have to assume is what did it for me. Full earth & leather flavors just must not be up my alley...at this point in time at least. ;)

Vitola: Corona

Size: 5.12x43

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

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