When you make as many cigars as Don “Pepin” Garcia makes every year, the premium tobacco scraps really start to pile up. And what do you do when you have a surplus of short filler? Some put those scraps to use in other tobacco products. Of course, Pepin produces cigars exclusively, so he uses that remaining leaf to make more cigars, like the Tabacos Baez Serie SF and the Ashton Benchmade.
Accordingly, the “SF” part of the name stands for “Short Filler”, differentiating this cigar from the original long filler Tabacos Baez. However the name is a little misleading. The Serie SF is actually a “Cuban Sandwich” or mixed filler cigar, with the vast majority of the mix favoring long filler leaf (70%). And when you take into consideration the wrapper and binder, there’s really not all that much short filler in the stick! So it seems appropriate to me that I keep the filler in this short, and get to smoking. Let’s burn this sandwich.
Size: 6 x 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaragua (70% Cuban-Seed Long Filler)
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $3.20 (Elf costume sold separately)
To visually differentiate the Serie SF from the original Tabacos Baez, Pepin has added a large green section to the band that states plainly, “Serie SF”. Looking the cigars over, there isn’t much to report, it’s an average looking cigar. There was a little oiliness to the natural wrapper leaf and some fine tooth. There were also a few large, but not unattractive veins running the length of each cigar, and I didn’t find any damage or imperfections on any of them.
Examining the cigar with the other senses was a little more interesting. To the touch the cigars were firm, though a little inconsistent. The wrappers had an unusually sweet aroma, and the cold draw was also a little sweet, tasting like cocoa.
Given the short filler component of the Tabacos Baez Serie SF, my expectations in the burn department were a little lower than they would be for other long filler cigars. It probably had something to do with the high amount of long filler, but the Serie SF consistently outperformed. The ashes were surprisingly durable, the draw was good, and the burn line never needed a correction to burn evenly, though it was often a little jagged on closer inspection.
The only thing that gave away that this cigar is a cuban sandwich was the unpredictability of the cigar’s ashing. From one ash to the next, you could never be sure if that half inch on the end was about to go, or if you could burn another half. (If I weren’t smoking these for a review, there’s no way I would have risked the long ashes depicted in the Tower of Burn below.) This is to be expected with mixed filler, and I’m mentioning it here not as a point of criticism, but as a warning to keep that ashtray close at hand.
Initial puffs of the cigar provided a sweet, creamy cocoa and coffee combination, but in no time cedar began to make its presence known. Faintly at first, but it grew in potency as the initial third progressed.
Around the end of the first and through the early portions of the second third, the cigar became a little sweeter, offering up more cocoa and coffee flavors and even a bit of toffee. At around halfway through the cigar or a little beyond, the cedar flavor once again began to assert its dominance and had some pepper reinforcement. From this point until the cigar finished, the profile was peppery cedar, with occasional coffee notes.
What a great price for a cigar! With so many new and limited releases coming out priced well above ten bucks, it’s great to be able to still find a decent smoke you can buy with your pocket change.
The Tabacos Baez Serie SF isn’t a particularly complex cigar. There is a little development in the flavor department as it burns, but let’s be honest, nobody’s going to buy it looking for nuance. What you’re looking for is a cigar you can enjoy when money is tight, or anytime the conditions aren’t conducive to the appreciation a higher-end, more complex smoke. And for either situation, the Serie SF is a great smoke. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s a really enjoyable cigar in general, which is why I’ve been known to grab one even when time and money aren’t tight. It really is one of the best value buys out there, and if you haven’t tried one yet, by all means pick up a few.
Liked It: Yes, box-worthy
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.