Brand: Pinar del Rio Oscuro
Ring Gauge: 52
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Origin: Dominican Republic
Pinar del Rio cigars are a product of the La Fabrica factory, owned and operated by Abe Flores and Juan Rodriquez, in the Dominican Republic. Aside from the Pinar del Rio, several other cigars are within the factory walls which include; Devils Weed, Don Leoncio, Flor de Cesar, Top Shelf Signature Select White Label, and a few others.
The pride and joy of the La Fabrica factory is the Pinar del Rio line. The Oscuro variety is available in four sizes including a Robusto (50 x 5.00), Toro (50 x 6.00), Torpedo (52 x 6.50), and a Churchill (50 x 7.00). Cigars come packaged in high quality boxes of twenty-five.
Within this cigar you will find a blend of fillers from both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, Dominican Binder, and a Habano Oscuro wrapper grown in the Dominican Republic. The wrapper leaf gets its dark color due to a completely natural aging and fermentation process. When rolled, the leaf is stretched in such a way to force the natural oils to the surface, leaving an attractive sheen.
Having a bit of a craving for a rich cigar to go with a cup of black coffee, I reached for a familiar Pinar del Rio Oscuro. After having met Abe Flores at my local cigar shop a few weeks ago, I’ve been smoking these cigars off and on to get a feel for them prior to this review. When it finally came time to officially light one up, I felt comfortable enough with it to pair it up with a cup of coffee.
After pouring myself a cup, I removed my Pinar del Rio from its cellophane sleeve and gave it a looking over. The first thing that grabs my attention is the wrapper leaf and its oily sheen and rich color. The shade was consistent from head to foot with some slight variation in between.
There were several medium sized veins, none of which protruded enough to make the cigar feel lumpy in the hand. When pinched, I found the stick firmly packed with tobacco and was unable to locate any soft, or under filled, spots.
The aroma on the wrapper and exposed foot reminded me of damp earth. This aroma was more pronounced at the exposed foot. After clipping the head, I checked the pre light draw and was happy with the result. The cigar had an easy going draw with just enough resistance to keep me from over-puffing.
After a quick and painless toasting and lighting session, I had my Pinar del Rio Oscuro evenly lit and producing a good amount of smoke. The first couple of puffs left me with the feeling that the smoke was a little on the thin and airy side, but after a few more puffs the smoke seemed to thicken right up.
As I settled into the first third, the body worked its way into the medium range and stayed there. The finish was interesting early on, in this portion of the cigar, and was a quick and sharp spiciness. As I got a little deeper into the first third, it turned to a slower and more deliberate spiciness.
The flavors started off slow and only came across as earthy. The slow start lead to the flavor being overshadowed by the spiciness of the finish. After several minutes the cigar slowly began to come into its own and began pouring on the flavor. The most noticeable of those flavors was oak., followed by a rich natural tobacco flavor. These two flavors hung around for a while before fading and being replaced by ,much milder, coffee and bitter chocolate flavors.
The burn line was a little problematic at times but corrected itself before becoming anything I would concern myself with. The volume of smoke was pleasing while the draw offered just enough resistance to keep me from over puffing. The ash was light in color as well as firm and compacted.
After a little more than an hour, I was into the second third of my Pinar del Rio Oscuro. Just like in the first third, the body stayed put in the medium range. I did not notice any progression in the body and as a result, the flavors and finish seemed to stand out more. The finish was slow and steady, leaving me with a nice spiciness through the sinus.
As the cigar became shorter, the flavors became more and more complex and exhibited a richness that I found very enjoyable. The primary flavors of Oak and Nicaraguan Tobacco stayed the same in terms of intensity, while the more subtle flavors of coffee and dark chocolate began to develop a bit more. The flavor combination made an excellent companion for a cup of black coffee. The slight bitterness of the coffee seemed to accent the richness of the smoke nicely.
The few burn problems I experienced early on corrected themselves just as I expected. After the self correction, the burn line was fairly straight while leaving a medium colored ash which was firm and compacted. The burn rate seemed very slow to start but seems to be speeding up a bit as the cigar grows shorter.
As the two hour mark approached, it was about time to remove the band on my Pinar del Rio Oscuro and prepare to wrap up he cigar. The body remained firmly planted within the medium range and had virtually no progression to anything fuller. The finish remained the slow and steady spice that I have come to appreciate over the course of this stick.
The flavors didn’t change much in terms of defined tastes, but they did become more rich and complex as I moved along. The previous flavor of Oak, that dominated earlier, switched places with the natural tobacco flavor. Both remained heavy but the tobacco flavor picked up a bit more at this point. The secondary flavors of coffee and dark chocolate picked up a bit as well and lingered on the palate a short while longer.
The burn rate seemed about average for a cigar of this size, while putting off plenty of dense and flavorful smoke with each puff. The draw was free with slight resistance while being cool on both the palate and fingers.
Overall I was very happy to have smoked a number of these Pinar del Rio Oscusro Cigars. In all, I think I have smoked about five and all were consistent and enjoyable. The medium body and rich earthy flavors seemed to have been built for pairing with coffee. While I don’t know that I would want to smoke one of these first thing in the morning, I definitely enjoy them early to mid-afternoon with a nice cup of black coffee.
With a MSRP that starts off in the $5.50 range, I would definitely recommend giving them a try. I think that the value, in my eyes, exceeds the modest price of this boutique cigar.
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