By now, most of you have probably seen the top ten portion of the annual Top 25 list published by a major cigar “lifestyle” magazine that shall remain nameless. As usual, there are a few surprises. Coming in at number 7 was the Cabaiguan Guapos, made by Pete Johnson from Tatuaje. This was a bit unexpected (at least by me), since there are several other cigars in the Tatuaje portfolio that are generally considered to be better than the Cabaiguan line.
However, I thought to myself, maybe I was missing something here? Perhaps the Cabaiguan Guapos was a diamond in the rough that I had overlooked. I knew I had one resting in my coolidor that I received as part of my Saints & Sinners membership kit. Before I lit up, I checked the Stogie Review Cigar Review Index to see what our guys had to say about this stick. To my surprise, I discovered that none of us had done a review of this particular cigar (although Jerry reviewed the maduro version in 2009). So, in order to make sure all of our great readers would have a second opinion available before they rushed out to buy the “#7 Cigar of the Year,” I recorded a first impressions video as I smoked my Cabaiguan Guapos.
Cabaiguan Guapos by the numbers:
Vitola: Toro Grande Natural
Wrapper: Connecticut Ecuador Sol
Factory: My Father Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua
No. smoked for review: 1 (first impressions)
Duration: 1 hour
Source: purchased by the reviewer (part of the Saints & Sinners membership kit)
(Video length: 11:48)
Soundtrack: “Josh Woodward – Let It In (Abbey Road edit)” by stellarartwars (courtesy of ccMixter.org)
The Cabaiguan Guapos started off with some really nice woody, nutty, and creamy notes, together with some twang and just a bit of spice. Quickly the draw became far too loose, as some tunneling developed apparently caused by a soft spot. After I smoked past that point, the draw improved significantly, however the burn then became uneven requiring a few touch-ups. Towards the end of the cigar, I picked up a buttery sweetness with some natural tobacco flavor, and the wrapper started to crack-up on me just as I was nubbing it.
Overall, the Cabaiguan Guapos was good, maybe even very good, but not great. It’s definitely a solid cigar, but nowhere near Pete’s best cigars, some of which (in my opinion) are among the best cigars money can buy. In any event, such a high ranking in the most famous Top 25 list might leave a few of us scratching our heads, but it’ll certainly lead more people to try a cigar that they might not have picked up otherwise. And who knows — for some it might just become their favorite smoke of all time.
Charlie has been enjoying cigars since 2000 and generally prefers a medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke. A USAF vet, he is currently pursuing a PhD in computer science, focusing on artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. Originally from Connecticut and now residing in Delaware, Charlie is also a fan of football, science fiction, political philosophy, and single malt scotch. You can contact Charlie on Twitter @greenbacker