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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Cordoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca Robusto Extra
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Brlesq (Brlesq)
87
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Vendor sponsored Geek Critique.  Up for review this time is the Cordoba & Morales Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca Robusto Extra.  The Clave Cubana Etiqueta Blanca is a limited edition production of 1,000 boxes and comes in three sizes - Robusto Extra (5 1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 54) and Toro Grande (6 x 60).  It comes with a five year old San Andrés Maduro wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan Esteli Ligero, Ometepe Viso, and Jalapa Seco fillers.  This critique has been generously sponsored by Jonathan of  Ol' Times Cigars.

Length:
5.5
Ring Gauge:
52
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Mexico
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Robusto

This cigar was enjoyed with Water

Pre-Light: 17 Points of 10 Possible

The first thing you notice is that this is a box-pressed cigar with sharp corners and a rectangular shape.  The wrapper is dry looking with minimal veins and has a well-applied cap.  The cigar is firm to the pinch with no discernible soft spots.  The band is a bit hard to read as the words are longer than one side, so the letters “drop-off” around the ends of each corner.  The pre-light aroma, as strange as this may sound, reminded me of an elementary school art room.  (Olfactory sense memories can be peculiar things, but they stay with you a long time. So that is what I smelled!  Not bad, just weird!)

Light & Burn: 12 Points of 15 Possible

The cigar lit easily but burned a bit quickly due to what I perceived as some loosely packed filler tobacco.  It produced huge volumes of smoke, but the ash only held on for about ½” at a time.  This sample required no corrections throughout the journey. The ash itself was almost black, but this might have been due to the rainy day and humidity in which I tried it.

Construction: 26 Points of 30 Possible

The construction of this cigar is quite clean, with a nicely rolled wrapper and no soft spots.  The corners of this box-press were rather sharp.  As I mentioned earlier, the filler tobacco was loosely packed, making the draw wide open and too easy for my liking.  This also likely contributed to the vast quantity of smoke produced during the burn.

Flavor: 32 Points of 45 Possible

During the first third, the cigar immediately opened with flavors of dark-roasted espresso, a touch of sweetness, and blast of pepper.  It had a creamy quality, and the smoke in my mouth had a very light, airy feeling.  At this point it was somewhere around medium in both body and strength.

During the second third, I am getting more of that nice, dark espresso, and some earthiness begins to develop.  There is now a ton of creaminess, and the smoke feels much heavier and denser in the mouth.  Retrohales produce strong pepper notes.  The cigar is becoming medium-full and is much more enjoyable now than the first third.

By the final third, the pepper in a retrohale is too strong for me, and I have to put the cigar down for 5 minutes to recover.  The cigar remains lit, and when I start puffing again, the espresso is gone but some citrus emerges as well as notes of leather.  The earthiness is quite creamy and enjoyable, and this cigar is definitely full strength at this junction.  My head is now spinning from the nicotine!   Unfortunately the cigar finishes with a little bitterness at the end, and maybe I should have finished it at the 1” mark rather than trying to nub it.


Summary

Total smoke time was 50 minutes due to the quick burn rate.  This cigar probably has one of the longest names in our database!  I liked the complexity of this cigar.  If you enjoy a cigar that builds in strength throughout its journey and then kicks you in the seat of your pants, then this is one for you to try!

Special thanks to Jonathan Adamski at Ol’ Times Cigars for sponsoring this Geek Critique and giving me an opportunity to try this new cigar.




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