Size 132mm x 41 ring, figurado/ double perfecto

A very special cigar to me personally – a Cuaba was my first – which I’ve never had again. That was 12 years ago. I’ve been curious to revisit it and see whether they’re still as enjoyable as they were the first time. A box of five with light bloom/ mould on some of the sticks arrived in the mail this morning…I managed to hold my curiosity all the way until late afternoon.

Construction/ draw 4/10

Very tightly packed, and so solid I thought they were dry. (See photo; note the small opening and the sheer number of leaves packed in there!) The prelight draw was extremely tight, requiring the help of a toothpick to loosen it enough just to draw; possibly a consequence of the shape. Overall, a very rustic looking cigar – rough wrapper, firm, not particularly uniform color. Even after burning the foot off, it was surprisingly difficult to draw with not much smoke; was actually difficult to get even enough initial heat into the foot. No touching up required later, though. Ash was reasonably tight and held for about an inch. The smoke volume improved considerably in the second half, but still a lot of work to draw, to the point of leaving my mouth feeling tired.

I honestly don’t know how to rate this section. While rolling a double perfecto this small is tough, rolling a smokable one is even tougher. The wrapper eventually developed cracks through my squeezing to try and loosen the draw up; my fault but arguably this shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place on a well rolled stick.

Flavor 7/10

The tobacco initially smelled of peanuts and tea. Very first (and very tight) puffs reveal honey roasted peanuts. Very pleasant indeed. Hints of wood and something vaguely like the kerosene taste of a partagas D4. Not hugely complex or strong. Transitions to slightly bitter peanuts with hints of fruit. The aroma of the smoke remains consistently pleasant throughout, though there isn’t that much of it. In the second half the taste developed into notes of something more vegetal, underscored by barbecued meat and the omnipresent peanuts. Hints of coconut occasionally showed through too. This cigar is the most food-tasting I’ve ever smoked, and prompted me to go eat immediately afterwards.

The last third was a triumphant resurgence of peanut with hints of tea. It and burned hot; with an inch to go I had trouble holding the cigar and had to call it a day.

Conclusion 5.5/10

Despite tasting absolutely nothing like I remember, and being a lot of work to light and draw, I enjoyed this cigar immensely. Perhaps it’s the historical connection or nostalgia invoked that made it so enjoyable. However, due to the shape of the cigar, this is not one for novices or beginners. It requires some technique to light and maintain, is very tough to draw – nearly impossible without poking it with a toothpick first – but the taste is surprisingly rewarding. With better draw, this would be an excellent smoke indeed. Would I buy another box? Probably not right away, but maybe in another 12 years…