Brand: Casillas Cigars Zebra
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Cameroon & Maduro
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, and Ecuador
Website: Cassila Cigars
Casilla Cigars were, at one point, rolled here in the United States. They are the house blend of Casilla Cigars in Citrus Heights, CA. These cigars were originally rolled by Macario Casillas, a Cuban native with over forty-five years of experience. Due to the increased cost of producing cigars in the United States, production was moved to Nicargaua.
After removing my cigar from its cellophane sleeve, I gave it a good looking over before clipping the head. The most obvious characteristic of this cigar are the dual wrappers. Because both leaves are medium brown in color, the color variation doesn’t pop really as much as other cigars with this feature.
There was a single large vein at the mid point of the stick, the remainder of the veins were medium in size and did not add any negative texture to the cigar when handled. When pinched, I found the cigar to be constantly packed with tobacco but a little on the soft side for my liking.
After the initial inspection I opened up the head with a pair of cigar scissors. The pre-light draw had some resistance to it but did not cause any concern. The flavors at this point were mild and fruity.
After a quick toast and lighting session, I had my Casillas Cigars Zebra evenly lit and producing smoke. The first couple puffs provided little smoke volume with a stiffer draw than I would have expected from my pre-light inspection. The cigar starts off mellow and mild bodied with a finish that was not creamy nor dry.
The flavor department was a bit confusing, as I find many barber pole style cigars. Something seemed a bit off and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. It almost seemed as though there was a slight aggressive quality about the smoke that stood out among the soft core flavors.
I found that the flavor was very difficult to place as it was very mild. At times I thought that I tasted the same mild fruit like flavor that I found in the cold draw, while at other times I thought I could taste wood, specifically cedar. On occasion it seemed that both flavors were washed away and replaced by a salty taste.
After about fifty-minutes of puffing, I was just about through the second-third of my Casillas Cigars Zebra. Due to the mild experience of the first-third, I was really hoping to see a progression in body as the cigar burned along. Unfortunately, the body continued to be mild and the finish remained in limbo between creamy and dry.
I found the flavor profile of this cigar to be frustrating due to the mildness of it all. Struggling to pick out flavors, on occasion I could pick out a mild fruity flavor that reminded me of apples, while at other times I could taste a woody flavor that reminded me of cedar.
Throughout the second third the smoke was becoming aggressive on my tongue, despite the mildness of body and flavor. The draw was a little on the firm side and produced a smoke that was not very dense. The ash was fairly light in color while holding a compacted shape. Without much effort the ash could be quickly removed from the foot of the cigar.
After ninety minutes of smoking, I was into the final third of my Casillas Cigars Zebra. The body remained very mild while the finish continued on the same path as the first two-thirds. Aside from a mild aggressive feeling across the tongue, I was getting virtually nothing from this stick, even at this late stage in the game.
With a mild headache setting in and a tingle I the back of my throat, I decided to call it quits. With the constant focus placed on this cigar to pick out nuances, it simply was no longer enjoyable to smoke. There were very interesting flavors of apple and cedar from time to time, but they were simple to few and far between to keep my interest.
The burning characteristics of the cigar were good. The burn line was thin and even while producing a very attractive room aroma. The burn rate was good, however, the smoke volume was light and the draw was slightly stiff. The ash was light in color while being compact.
Simply put, this was a well constructed cigar that did not suite my preferred tastes at all. Being a medium to full kind of smoker, the mildness of this stick was like going through the motions as far as smoking it was concerned. I found it difficult to steadily find interesting flavors throughout and thought that the intriguing tastes were too sporadic.
This cigar may have possibly been better early in the day, but I would be concerned that having it with coffee would wash out what it had to offer. If you find yourself smoking a lot of medium to full bodied cigars, you may want to pass on this Casilla Cigars Zebra. It is interesting to look at but simply does not to provide the type of body or flavor that I look for in a cigar.
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