A majority of individuals reading this review probably had no idea who Hamlet Paredes was before he began working for Rocky Patel and releasing his cigar, Tabaquero. Don't worry, it's fine that you didn't know who he was. The truth is that a lot of cigar bloggers had no idea who he was either, there was probably less than ten who actually did, and I would bet that of those ten, not all of them had ever smoked a cigar that he rolled. You see, Hamlet Paredes is a well known Cuban roller who for years now has been traveling the world, rolling customs at LCDH's while also rolling regularly at La Casa del Habano in the Partagás Factory in Habana. His customs are well known and he was considered one of the best rollers in Cuba before coming to the States. At the beginning of 2015 though, Hamlet left Cuba with his family and began a new life in the United States with the help of Rocky Patel. It was with Rocky that Hamlet was able to create his own cigar brand under the Rocky Patel name, and that cigar was showcased at the 2015 IPCPR. The cigar is called Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes, and it recently hit shelves in stores across the nation.
Cigar: Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes Toro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binders: Brazil and Mexico
Ring Gauge: 52
The cigar has a nice dark maduro wrapper and it has that San Andres Maduro coloring to it. There are a few veins present throughout, and the veins present are medium in size. The wrapper is slightly oily in texture, and overall fairly smooth. There is a decent triple cap placed on the cigar and it is firm throughout. The wrapper is giving off an aroma of rich earth, spices and a smoky character profile, while the foot has an aroma of rich earth, tobacco and cherries.
There is a great start to the cigar and you can pick up all the tobaccos in the blend. There is that heavy and rich Mexican flavor profile that is showing rich earth and chocolate notes, and there with that is some sweetness from the Brazilian binder. There is a nice earth and black pepper present in the blend as well, and you can get that Nicaraguan strength. I would classify the cigar as being medium-full to full in body, and the strength and flavor level is at an easy full. The construction thus far has been terrific and it is producing a solid burn line with a nice firm ash on the end. The draw is cool and there is a great bit of smoke with each puff.
I am in the second third of the cigar now and I am finding that it is continuing to deliver those rich earth and chocolate notes with a nice bit of spice and black pepper. It is very filling and a flavorful cigar, and there are some nice tobacco notes present as well. I would say that it is smoking at a medium-full level for the strength and body, and the flavors are at that level also. It is not overly complex, but it has a nice bit of depth present in the blend. The construction remains top notch in this third and it is showing an even burn line with a firm ash on the end. The ash has a dark gray coloring in this third and the cigar itself continues to produce a nice bit of smoke.
The final third delivers a flavor profile that is on par with the first and second third and the cigar delivers a flavor profile that revolves around strong tobacco, black pepper notes, rich earth and chocolate cake. It is a filling flavor profile that has depth, but it is not overly complex. It's an enjoyable blend, and there are some nice core flavors, but nothing overly complex. The cigar remains at a level that is between medium-full and full, and it is a great afternoon to evening cigar. The construction remains top notch in the final third and it is delivering a cool draw to the nub that is producing a lot of smoke. The burn line is fairly even and on the end and it is a nice dark gray colored ash that is holding on firmly to the end.
Tabaquero is a nice new release and an exciting one from Hamlet Paredes. It is his first release and I am eager to see what else he has in store for us. When you go from rolling cigars strictly with Cuban tobacco to rolling cigars with a great selection of tobacco from multiple countries, there are a lot of options and it can be overwhelming. Hamlet overcame these challenges though and created a great blend with a lot of different tobaccos from multiple countries. The cigar had depth and is incredibly rich from beginning to end. While it is not overly complex, it does have a nice level of complexity which helps the blend out greatly. I have smoked the brand in a number of offerings, most of them fairly similar in what is delivered, and I believe it is a blend that will do well with the American market. It has a nice level for strength and body, and the flavors work with that perfectly. On top of that, the cigars are rolled well and present no problems with construction. Overall, the cigar gets an 88 in my book and is an exciting Mexican offering for this year.
Rating: 88 AKA "5 Pack"