If there ever was the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” of cigars, the Almirante Torpedo would be it. It looks like crap — a veiny wrapper, an uninspiring band, and a general inconsistency from cigar to cigar in the single box. No doubt about its poor construction, but does it have any redeeming values? A bit, just a bit: its aroma and flavour.

(Image lost) The Almirante Torpedo (Nicaragua)

This is a cheap cigar, just a couple of US bucks per stick; the brand is being discontinued from production and the last stocks were subject to a fire-sale at the Cuban Crafters website. Upon receiving the cigars, i can see why they don’t want to manufacture this brand anymore.

(Image lost) A very veiny wrapper

The visual test is a complete and utter disaster. The wrapper is very, very veiny, the heads of the torpedos are twisted and uneven, and there is not a hint of consistency between the different cigars in the same box. Abysmal this box even got past quality control (if any existed in the Almirante factory).

(Image lost) A peculiar dark silver ash

The scent test went better – there is a certain floral freshness about the Almirante Nicaraguan tobacco that is pleasing and quite calming to the olfactory senses. Rolling it around in my fingers, i found the cigar a bit tightly bunched, thus it was a bit hard. I prepared myself for a difficult draw.

(Image lost) The long filler tobacco holds its ash well, but you can see
incomplete combustion by the dark unevenly burned tobacco mixed in the ash

And a difficult draw i received when i lighted this little lady. It was perhaps at the limits of my draw tolerances — any harder and it would have been impossible to smoke. The immediate reaction from this cigar is that it produces very little smoke for very much effort. A puff and puff and puff, and just a whisper of smoke. A bit unusual for such a large cigar, but perhaps not too surprising considering the relatively poor quality of the tobacco.

Does this cigar have any redeeming traits? Yes, just one. Its aroma and flavour provides a very pleasing experience. You won’t get much smoke volume, but what is produced is quite tasty in a mild, floral kind of way. Not strong at all, very mild, very sweet, a brief tickle of the upper palate.

(Image lost) Tunneling after ash is tapped off – mark of poor burning tobacco

Verdict: In the world of cigars, more often than not, you get what you pay for. The Almirante is an example of that principle: a cheap, bargain cigar providing a cheap, bargain experience. If you can look beyond the poor construction and poor draw, you may be pleasantly surprised with the mild floral aroma that’s quite unique to the Almirante. If not, then just give this cigar a miss.