Everyone loves a good mystery. Except for cigar smokers. Brothers and sisters of the leaf want to know everything there is to know about the dried plant leaves that they’re about to smoke. Who blended these leaves? Where were these leaves rolled? Did the leaves’ mothers play Beethoven to them while they were in the womb?
Unfortunately, there is no such information in existence about the Herederos de Robaina. All that we plebes know is that the cigars were rolled in Esteli, Nicaragua. For all I know, this cigar is made of palm leaves and I’m about to have an experience not dissimilar to frolicking in a forest fire.
The only hint at what we might expect comes from the name: Herederos de Robaina. Herederos means heirs and Robaina was a producer of Cuban tobacco (one of the few who did not accept Castro’s offer of state sponsored ownership–ballsy). The Heirs of Robaina–could they be going for a Cuban-esque smoke?
Not much to pine on about, and no fjords to pine for, so let’s get to smoking…
Herederos de Robaina Cigar Review
Not quite sure what to say here. These cigars left Esteli with no accompanying details. Emilio Cigars paired with American Caribbean Tobacco to distribute these cigars to select stores throughout the United States around 2013.
Coming from Esteli, I expect these cigars to be a Nicaraguan blend of some sort, but what exactly? Who Knows.
Pairing, Cutting, and Lighting
Drink Pairing: Coca-Cola.
Lighter: Xikar single-flame butane
Cutter: Xikar guillotine
Cutting and Cold Draw
Easy cut, mild cold draw with no hint of spice. Sweet tobacco.
The First Third
Uncharacteristic of a Nicaraguan blend, the Herederos de Robaina starts off creamy and sweet and melds into strong woodsy notes. Heavy on the cedar. Anyone want to light a humidor on fire? Don’t bother–find this cigar instead.
The burn is lightning fast and a bit all over the place with a loose draw and ash that varies from dense and white to flaky and gray. I’m having a hard time pin-pointing exactly what is going on–it feels like I’m watching the Republican and Democratic debates (except I’m not disillusioned or drunk quite yet).
The Second Third
The aroma is the winner so far: floral notes that remind me of classic potpourri (not the potpourri that’s really just cheap perfume and cinnamon sticks, but the kind of potpourri that you stumble upon when going through your recently deceased grandmother’s possessions–too real?).
The woodsy notes continue. I’m feeling rustic, almost cabin-like. Put me in the woods and visit me twice a year when you need to “get away from it all.”
Spice dances on the back of my palate but never really comes to the forefront, so I’m not sure what I’m tasting. It’s there, but it’s not there. It’s like Nicolas Cage in Hollywood–you know he has to be doing movies still because he has some gargantuan tax bills to pay, but you haven’t seen him in anything in a while except for a strange Japanese commercial or two that happened to make the rounds in your office.
The Final Third
Not much change as we enter the last legs of the Herederos de Robaina. I can’t quite call this unfortunate though, as a good robusto, in my opinion, is consistent and pleasant. And I can’t really call the cream and cedar and floral aroma anything but consistent and pleasant.
And just as I’m thinking that, I get a lovely blast of black pepper–there’s the Nicaragua that I know and love. Unfortunate that the pep disappears faster than I can say per. Pep. Per. That was weak–I’m sorry.
A return to normalcy.
The Last Inch
No acridness or tar taste, but I don’t have an overwhelming urge to nub this cigar. Putting it out with a little over an inch to go.
Final Impressions and Rating
For a mystery cigar, the Herederos de Robaina could’ve turned out a lot worse. Hell, promising cigars turn out a hell of a lot worse than this cigar did. That being said, it didn’t wow me.
Rating (Seek out and buy again, Smoke if I happen to find one, Avoid at all costs): Smoke if I happen to find one
I’m curious if the larger vitolas of this blend might produce more of the black pepper that I’m craving. Unfortunately, my local shop only had the robustos and they were on the 4 for $20 rack, so I doubt they’ll last long. I have 6 left, so maybe some additional age will do them well. Or perhaps two years ago the spice was more prevalent.
Anyone have the opportunity to try this blend? If you get the chance, I suggest giving it a shot. Who knows, the Herederos de Robaina could be just what you’re looking for.