Monday, June 22, 2009

The name doesn't lie: Cu-Avana Intenso robusto

The Cu-Avana intenso robusto lives up to its name: It's a hearty, strong, effulgent cigar that delivers a consistent if somewhat uneventful performance. If you like deep, earthy flavor with a mineral or even charcoal undertone, this cigar will probably satisfy you. It reminded me of blends such as 5-Vegas Series A or Monetcristo Media Noche, only stronger. The smoke is so thick it almost has a chalky consistency, which I find rather pleasant, especially because it never veers into bitterness (often a drawback of strong cigars).

By the time you get to the end of this stick, you are either cheering for more or ready to hang it up. I was in the latter camp, the way you might feel after gulping down several slices of pizza or chocolate cake. Great in the beginning but a bit stultifying in large doses. This cigar does not "develop" at all - it maintains the same texture and flavor from beginning to end.

I was lucky to win a 5-pack of these on cigarbid for only $7.00. For that price it is a wonderful cigar, and at its normal box price of $60.00 it is still an excellent value. A little too heavy and one-dimensional for my taste, but it just might be up your alley if your preference is a notch higher on the strength-o-meter.

It takes a lot for me to call a cigar "strong." This one truly is, and it earns the name "intenso."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ITC 10th Anniversary robusto

Just a brief note while it's still fresh in my mind:

The Rocky Patel ITC 10th Anniversary is an excellent mid-strength robusto, and not deserving of the lackluster reviews I've seen by others on the web.

If you like Indian Tabac and Rocky Patel blends in general, you will probably like this cigar. I myself am definitely in the target market.

This cigar tastes great from the get-go, like a cross between an Indian Tabac "classic" corojo and the earthier, stronger blends from the Vintage and Super Fuerte series. It has subtlety, body and a smooth, long finish. Flavors are a nice balance between wood, incense, and earthy spices. It has an easy draw and a warm richness not quite as dense as the super-expensive Olde World corojo, but softer and just as satisfying in its own less intrusive way.

Another way to think about it might be: Indian Tabac maduro with extra silk and cream stirred into the mix.

My only complaint was that about halfway through, the wrapper started to flake and unravel near the head. This might have been because I set it too close the grill while barbecuing. However, a little shaggy-head is not enough to bring this cigar down: I smoked it to the nub. Sometimes I welcome a little warmth and loosening towards the end.

I won a this robusto for $3 on cigarbid singles. I would love to smoke more and will probably bid on a five-pack soon. In any case they are worth their list price, which is about $100 per box.