Brand: Pinar del Rio
Blender: Abe Flores
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Habano / DR
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Origin: Dominican Republic
The Classico Exclusivo is the newest addition to the Pinar del Rio line. The blend was created by Abe Flores and the intention was to craft a cigar which covered the milder side of the spectrum. With the Pinar del Rio Oscuro and Habano Sungrown covering the Medium to Full range, this cigar helps the line encompass the preferences of those who smoke milder cigars.
Cigars come packaged in boxes of twenty-five sticks and are available in six sizes which include; a Churchill (47 x 7.00), Double Corona (46 x 6.00), Robusto (50 x 5.00), Toro (52 x 6.00), Torpedo (52 x 6.50), and a Lancero (38 x 7.25).
After removing my Pinar del Rio Classico from its cellophane sleeve, I gave it a quick once over. There were a couple of veins on the wrapper leaf, all of which were visible but not pronounced enough to easily feel while handling. The color was consistent from head to foot with a pleasant oily sheen throughout.
When pinched, I found the stick to be firmly packed with just one soft spot near the band. After a quick and easy cut with my cigar scissors, I discovered that the pre light draw was good with a slight bit of resistance to keep me from over-puffing. The cold draw produced very little flavor and was difficult to distinguish.
Once my pre-light inspection was complete, I set flame to my Pinar del Rio Classico Exclusivo and got things underway. This cigar got out to a good start right out of the gate and did not require a bit of smoking for it to get warmed up and show what it had to offer in the body and flavor department.
In terms of body, the first-third maintained a consistent mild to medium level that changed very little. The slight change seemed to take a long time to develop and was a smooth transition. The finish was unique in that it seemed to leave me with a patch of dryness on the center of my tongue while my palate and walls of the mouth were left with an enjoyable creamy sensation.
Each puff of my cigar produced a dense smoke that was full of flavor. At the center of the flavor profile was a natural tobacco taste that is very clean and rich. I hate to describe this flavor as “natural tobacco” but I’m at a loss for words on how to describe it any other way. After the core flavor settles and I pass some smoke through my sinuses, I notice a mild oak like aroma. As this aroma settles and the residual smoke leaves my mouth, I get a very mild buttery flavor across the palate.
After about forty-five minutes of smoking, I reached the second third of my Pinar del Rio Classico Exclusivo. The generous length of the lancero, paired with its relatively slow smoke time was making for a long drawn out morning smoke. The balance of flavor and body made that long drawn out smoke a positive experience and managed to keep my attention along the way.
The body continued on its slow progression throughout the second-third but never got out beyond what I would call mid to medium. The finish continued to provide a creamy texture on the walls of my mouth but still left my with a patch of dryness on the center of my tongue, although it was lessening as the cigar burned shorter.
The flavors remained very consistent into the final third and nothing new was introduced. The only change that was apparent was the richness of each flavor and how much more enjoyable they became. Each puff produced a dense supply of smoke that allowed these rich flavors to linger on the palate for a minute, or so, before fading away.
The burn line was thin and even for most of the cigar. I had some occasional blistering on one side of the stick, but this did not cause any burn problems along the way. The ash was a medium gray in color and held a tightly compacted shape with no flaking or flowering. My only complaint at this point was the strength of this ash. By the time it developed to a half inch in length, it would suddenly drop from the foot of the cigar.
As I closed in on the two hour mark, it was about time to wrap up the final third and think about going into overtime (burning it to the nub). The body of the Pinar del Rio Classico Exclusivo picked up a bit more throughout the last third and finally reached what I would call medium. The progression was just as slow and smooth as in previous thirds. The finish was smooth and easy on the palate while leaving me with a creamy sensation on the walls of the mouth and tongue. The patch of dryness I was getting on the center of my tongue dissipated shortly after entering the final third.
The flavors, just like the previous thirds, were very consistent and didn’t change outside of becoming richer along the way. Even without explosive flavor changes, the richness of the smoke was more than enough to keep me focused on the cigar. The balance of body and flavor made this stick very easy to smoke, even with its slow burn rate and drawn out smoke time.
The burn rate was slow and steady, only requiring a single touch-up when I allowed it to sit too long in the ashtray between puffs. The ash remained medium gray in color and held a tightly compacted shape. The draw had a slight resistance but provided plenty of dense smoke which was easy to passed through the sinuses.
After having smoked 6 Pinar del Rio Classico Exclusivos in all (4 Lancero and 2 Robusto), I have come to really enjoy this stick. I find that it compliments my morning coffee very well and ranks high up on my list of morning smokes.
Of the two sizes I have had, I think that the Lancero is the clear winner. It seems to have a more dynamic taste while the Robusto is a little wishey-washey. With an MSRP of $5.90 I think that this stick will fall into the comfort zone of many mild to medium bodied smokers.