Just like the Cuban Crafters robusto i recently reviewed, tobacco from the JL Salazar range of cigars also comes from the Cuban-Seed Habano Tabacalera Esteli in Nicaragua. Based on past experience with this tobacco, i expected a full flavoured, robust smoke from the JL Salazar. What i was particularly interested in would be the difference in the blend – two cigar brands from the same tobacco source with a different blend. This was going to be interesting.

JL Salazar robusto, 5.5 inches, 52RG

What thing both cigars have in common is their excellent wrappers. The JL Salazar is just as oily, but perhaps slightly more veiny – no matter, the wrapper felt very good under the touch. The pinch test revealed a firmly spongy construction, just the way i like it.

Nicely bunched tobacco

The scent test didn’t reveal too much about this cigar, in fact it was very mild, almost disappointing. If i didn’t know any better, i would have said the scent of this cigar belonged to a mild-bodied cigar. Just a slight tickle on the nose, a light but refreshing tobacco aroma.

(Image was lost) Nice band, eh?

A few quick strokes of the torch lighter brought this cigar to life. The first few draws were quite difficult – a slightly tight draw took some effort overcome. If it wasn’t for the excellent flavour this cigar surrendered, this cigar may have been put aside before reaching half-way. But i’m glad i didn’t, since the problems with the draw subsided just past the half-way mark.

A well-even burn accompanied a truly tasty cigar. Full-bodied, rich and very, very creamy. Large doses of dark chocolate, wrapped with hints of cedar and coffee personify the flavour of this cigar.

(Image was lost) Well-formed, fine white ash

What i really liked about this cigar is that it burns VERY slowly. Very even, and very slowly – for just 5 inches, this cigar lasted the better part of 90 minutes without requiring any relights. An excellent option for as an after dinner smoke with friends where time is not a consideration.

Verdict: A good smoke, a favourable example of what Tabacalera Esteli can deliver. Very full bodied, though perhaps less so that the Cuban Crafters robusto. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t pack too hefty a punch for something so rich. Highly recommended if you enjoy full-bodied smokes.