Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Rafaeli's Cigars Maduro Robusto (5x50)
I was contacted by Rafaeli's Cigars about doing a review of the brand for the site and a possible giveaway. That being said, I jumped at the opportunity. The back story to the brand is very interesting and involves a miraculous diamond. You know me, I don't get too deep into brand information but it is very interesting and I recommend checking the story out. On to the good part and the reason we read reviews, you want to know how these smoke. I removed the cigar from the cellophane and rounded up my tools to get started. I got my water to pair it with, torch, stinky jr ashtray, and cutter... wait... That's the great thing about theses cigars, you don't need a cutter. Each cigar come pre-punched making it easier for the consumer. I can't remember how many times I have been asked, "How much do I cut off? About an inch?" This feature makes it great for someone who travels a lot and doesn't want to pack a cigar tool box, or for the new smoker who isn't super comfortable with clipping their caps just yet. I couldn't find much information on the blend. The wrapper is maduro with a Dominican binder and the filler is a blend of Indonesian, Cuban, and Dominican seed long-fillers. The wrapper has a rustic look to it with a couple of decent sized veins, but not large enough to cause a burn issue. The wrapper offers notes of hay and barnyard and the foot offers some cocoa and sweetness. I didn't need to clip the cap, since it was already punched, so I checked the draw. The cold draw was spot on with notes of hay and dark chocolate. I had no problems toasting the foot and getting it started with a single flame torch.
The initial third opens with notes of coffee and toasted nuts. There is a mild and pleasant sweetness that jumps out front. The retrohale has a nice amount of spice to balance out the sweetness. As I progress through the first third some notes of honey pop in and out and there is a caramel-type flavor to the smooth nutty finish. Going into the second third the coffee notes really start to gain some depth as the honey notes come in more often. It is producing billowing clouds of tasty smoke for my enjoyment. For me the midway point was were the sweetness and spice found their perfect balance and all was well with the world. As made my way into the final third some leather notes joined the coffee and toasted nut flavors have faded into the background. The sweetness calmed a bit in the final third as the honey notes became more subtle.
The construction was excellent as the ash held to just over an inch at a time. The burn required no touch-ups and body remained somewhere between medium-full and full. This was a pretty straightforward cigar but still very smooth and flavorful. I could honestly see me stuffing a box of these in robusto size into my humidor, especially to take on trips or to work. The convenience of not having to carry a cutter, which I have lost a few at work, is a serious plus. They do not currently offer singles but offer boxes of 50 for 90-110 bucks depending on the size. I have had 10 dollar sticks that couldn't hold a candle to this 2 buck gem. Thanks to Yeron at Rafaeli's Cigars for providing the samples for this review and the prizes for the upcoming giveaway. I will be getting a box of robusto as soon as I clear some space in the humidor, or convince the wife I need another one. You can find more information on Rafaeli's Cigars and order directly from their site at www.Rafaelis.com and find them on twitter at http://twitter.com/RafaelisCigars I hope you will check out their site and read the story behind the brand and the diamond on the cigar's band.