It’s not everyday you get to smoke a cigar that’s nearly as old as you are. (OK, so I’m not quite that young, but hey, it’s not that far off!) So when we were offered the chance to review a cigar that was born in 1982, I jumped at the offer. The catch was that these cigars were ones I’d never heard of before.
The story behind these cigars is pretty interesting. They were created in 1982 by Caribbean Tobacco Co. and spent 16 years aging in “a bonded warehouse in Switzerland,” where they were abandoned by their owner. (They know they were from 1982 because of the newspaper that was used as padding in the crates.) Then sometime around 1998 they were auctioned off by the warehouse to a cigar shop in the Florida. And then sometime in the last 10 years, the remaining stock of these cigar was sold to a fan. But wait, the trail doesn’t stop there, this kind fellow provided me with the cigars for this review, and is now selling them from his website, VintageCerdan.com.
It’s almost a sad tale of the Cerdans nobody wanted, shuffling from warehouse to warehouse waiting to be smoked. Well, I set a few free for this review, let’s see if they were the cigars I wanted.
Size: 7 1/2 x 42*
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Price: $40 a box
*Listed as 6 3/4 x 46
The first thing that struck me about the cigars was the amount of plume on the wrapper, especially on and near the had of the cigar. At least I really hoped it was plume while I sat there inspecting it. After some careful evaluation, I determined it was.
The band rests a bit higher on these cigars than is common, though due to the looseness of the bands, it’s possible they slipped during their prolonged storage. And I gotta say, that powder blue band deer emblem screams 1980’s to me. Or smurfs. But I guess that’s pretty much the same thing.
The wrapper itself looked a little on the dry side, a little veiny, but free of any significant imperfections. (One cigar did have a minor wrapper nick, but I almost feel petty mentioning it.) The cigars were nicely firm, and had only the faintest smell of compost on the wrapper.
All three cigars I smoked for this review burned beautifully. The ash formed a solid, light gray column as the cigar burned, and generally ashed at a respectable length. The draw was also excellent, and each puff provided a good volume of smoke. In all, the burn doesn’t get much better than this.
It did seem like the cigar burned quickly, but clock told a different story.
Though I have smoked some vintage cigars before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this cigar. Well, I’ve had a puff or two off some vintage smokes, that is. One thing I expected was for this cigar to be pretty mild and probably a little sweet, given the plume. It turns out my expectations were pretty accurate for once.
The cigars flavor started out very sweet. The initial puff was had a creamy, slightly dusty, sweet nutty flavor that was very enjoyable. The initial nutty flavor was dominated by sweet, syrupy vanilla for a while, but returned by the end of the first third. The second was similar to the first third, though the nuttiness was present throughout. Nutty, sweet vanilla and then nutty again.
The final third was a little more interesting. It started off with the sweet, creamy nutty flavor, but instead of following the sweet vanilla arc, it took a detour into pronounced cinnamon, a bit of mushroom before getting back to pronounced nuttiness. In this final third, the body moved up into the medium range.
One of the biggest difference between three smokes was that the first was more dusty than creamy. Each smoke was a little less dusty and more creamy, which makes me think that I should have let these sit in the humidor a week or two longer than I did before light them up.
By my calculations, these are going for $1.60 a stick. I love it. And I hope it catches on: 26 year old cigars for less that two bucks a stick!
There just isn’t anything about these cigars to find fault with. The flavor was great, the burn was perfect, they’re vintage, and they’re really inexpensive. I think these things are definitely worth giving a shot, but keep in mind, whatever they may have been like when they were new, they are pretty mild at this point. I will definitely be smoking more of these in the future.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: I really am tempted.
Recommend It: Yes, but only if you enjoy mild cigars
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.