Rich Meade from the Stogie Review Fan Forums
Hello hello hello,
Well, lately I have been on a bargain cigar kick. I’m sure the 13 days of Christmas contests are influencing it a bit, but nonetheless I’m having a great time saving money, and discovering some hidden gems. I have made it a personal goal to smoke every brand my local B&M has. Naturally, it occurred to me to start at the bottom, which as most of you know holds mostly bundled cigars and “cheapys”. One of these bundled cigars that my shop carries is the Primos by Los Blancos.
I personally enjoy the Los Blancos signature line, and reading some literature lying around the shop inspired me to pick this one up.
Los Blancos is marketing this cigar as a “Premium Bundle”, challenging the pre-conceptions or more bluntly, the stigma, bundled cigars carry with them. That bundles are sub par smokes, typically relegated to the “Moochador” or to being the “Yard-gar”. Los Blancos has chosen to use a Habano Criollo Rosado wrapper that has been aged for 3 years, “the only bundles to use an aged wrapper”. It is also made in a Maduro, the blend of which is identical with the exception of the wrapper leaf being fermented into a Maduro. They come in 5 vitolas ranging from a Robusto (5×52) to a Double Corona (7×52). Lets see if it really does set a new standard for the bundled cigar.
On to the review!
Primos by Los Blancos (Natural)
Wrapper: Habano Criollo Rosado (aged 3 years)
Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru
Size: Toro (6×52)
Price: $3.00 (in shop)
Drinking: Sweet Tea / Water
Location: Office.. (its cold outside)
The cigar is well made, tightly packed with zero soft spots. and is a nice golden brown. The wrapper shows a lot of veins, but they are all very smooth to the touch, and is fairly oily. There isn’t much of a scent from the wrapper, but the foot has a barnyard aroma, and slightly grassy. The cold draw is slightly firm and gives light milk chocolate flavor, mixed with some oats.
The first puffs are smooth, showing mostly woody flavors, with some nutty notes in the background. Retrohaling is easy, and gives me some fruitiness, and hints of coffee. The finish has a slight spice on the tip and middle of the tongue, and lingers with a nice tobacco flavor. Starting off this cigar is firmly in the medium body range. The cigar has a nice room aroma, that is sweet and buttery.
The body has smoothed out even more. Its still in what I would call the medium range. It has a subtle sweetness, and the prevailing flavors is a nice hodge podge. I get some nuts, and woody notes, along with that I pick up some florals which in combination with the slight sweetness gives the impression of honey. The finish turns more savory, and continues as the first bit did with a slight spice and subtle tobacco flavor. Through the sinuses, I pick up more woody notes. The fruitiness is fading now, but the coffee notes are hanging in there. The ash is pretty strong, making its way nearly through the first third, and has a very cool looking zebra stripped pattern.
The flavors remain fairly consistent, tho the florals seem to be becoming more prominent, and the woodiness is fading a little more now while the fruit has made its way back in to play. The finish is still much the same, but the spice has all but faded. The overall body of the stick seems to have moved up a notch to a Medium-full. Up until this point the strength of the stick was negligible, but now I am feeling a pleasant little buzz. This is the first stick today, which I’m sure is a factor, because the others I have had didn’t seem to have much kick at all.
The ash again, is quite stellar, holding through the entire 2/3rd. As for the burn, you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned it, thats because its really a non-issue. Its not razor sharp, but it is chugging along just fine with no touch-ups needed.
Last bit (1hr15):
The smoke has slowed up a bit. The first couple thirds were faster than I normally prefer, but this last bit was right on pace. The flavors have given way to a more floral, almost soapy flavor. The flavors previously found are still present, but are harder to distinguish. I probably could have slowed down a bit, to let the cigar cool off, but oh well.
The Primos is a fine smoke. I liked the flavors presented, and they worked well together. It was a surprisingly complex stick (for a bundle). The flavors are not overpowering, and neither is the strength, but both are easily found when looked for. It didn’t quite have the Nicaraguan kick, It really lent itself more as being Honduran’esque. Sligtly sweet, and woodsy, but had a little bit of an edge to it. I wish that it carried a little more spice on the palate, to give it a little more punch, but for a $3 stick, I can’t really ask too much more. For a Bundle stick, this is easily the best one I’ve had. The construction was perfect, very strong ash, and a great burn. The draw was slightly firm, but not difficult at all to handle. To me this stick stands out as a great buy because it didn’t perform like a run of the mill bundle. Most bundles I have had, are fairly mundane, not bad, but just not interesting. As an early in the day smoke, this stick gave me a lot to pay attention to, but the price allows me to have one and not feel a pressing need to finish the whole stick if something comes up. I’m glad I stumbled upon these.
Liked it: Yes
Buy it again: Yep, will probably get a bundle when a little more room opens up in my humi.
Recommend it: As a budget smoke… you can’t pass this one up. Even the experts should give this one a test drive, it may surprise you.