Cigar of the Month #10

Pinar del Rio Oscuro

Liga Cubana No. 2 Torpedo

Pinar del Rio cold

Here is a stick I knew next to nothing about.  I have never had a Pinal del Rio cigar before.  It does look interesting!

Statistics

        • CotM: November 2012
        • Chosen by: avrus
        • Shape: Torpedo
        • Size: 6.5x 52
        • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
        • Wrapper: Brazilian Bahia Oscuro
        • Binder: Dominican Havana 98 Criollo
        • Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
        • Color: Oscuro
        • Strength: Medium-Full
        • Price Paid: $2.00
        • Smoke Date: 6/30/13
        • Age: 6 weeks

Accessories Used

Pinar del Rio Accessories

Cuban Crafters Perfect Cutter (Silver & Carbon Fiber), Bugatti B-2002 lighter with “pyramid” double-flame  torch, Handmade English walnut ashtray made by wedgewoodrings.

Pairing

Pinar del Rio Pairing

Jade Tips Mao Jian Chinese green tea in an Adagio ActiviTEA tumbler.  The vegetal, nutty quality of the tea was an excellent contrast to the dark, chocolately cigar, and helped to cleanse the palate.

Appearance/Nose

Pinar del Rio in Hand

This was a nice looking torpedo with a chocolate-brown wrapper (a good deal lighter than what I think of as “oscuro”).  There were a few tiny beige speckles.  The double-band was black and gold with a blue feature.  Apparently, some of these come with a blue ribbon around the foot, but mine did not.  A good sniff revealed chocolate, with a dash of black pepper at the foot.

Construction

There were no soft or hard spots.  The only veins are at the head, running into the torpedo.  The stick felt a little light but solidly constructed. The ash was firm and long-lasting at first, but in the second half it was a bit flakey and only stayed on for about 3/4 of an inch at a time.

Cold Draw

Chocolate and spice. It had a nice even draw after taking off “just the tip” of the torpedo.

Smoking

First third

Pinar del Rio Smoking 2

From the first light, this stick started producing a ton of smoke. The first flavors were coffee, wood, and spice. Very full-flavored.

Pinar del Rio Smoking 4

The retrohale revealed more spice, and a healthy burst of chocolate. The finish was pure chocolate. After an uneven light, the burn line magically corrected itself and became razor-straight.

Pinar del Rio Smoking 6

Towards the end of the first third, I noticed a sweet, raisin flavor.

Second third

Pinar del Rio Smoking 7

Not a lot of change in the start of the middle third. The chocolate dominated, but there were hints of earth, coffee, spice, and dried fruit. As it progressed, the earthiness became more prominent, wiping out all traces of the chocolate and spice.

Pinar del Rio Smoking 8

The burn began to get a bit lopsided as it neared the halfway mark. The underside (not pictured) burned about a half-inch faster than the top. By the time the second band came off, the difference was an inch, and I decided to give it a touch up.

Pinar del Rio Smoking 9

Final third

Pinar del Rio Smoking 10

The chocolate and spice completely disappeared by this point, leaving earthiness and a touch of bitter coffee. A bit of black pepper began to appear towards the end, especially on the retrohale.

Pinar del Rio Smoking 12

However, the earth continued to completely dominate and not much else came through.

Pinar del Rio Smoking 13

Notes

        • Draw: Medium
        • Body: Medium-Full
        • Smoke Output: Full
        • Primary Flavors: Earth, chocolate
        • Smoke Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Overall

Pinar del Rio Aftermath

At the start, I was convinced that I was going to love this cigar,  The first third was wonderful: thick smoke, sweet chocolate and spice, firm ash.  But by the second third, the sweetness and spice began to dissipate, and the earthiness that dominated the latter two thirds of the stick wasn’t that great.  I’m not a huge fan of earthy taste in cigars, but I do enjoy it when that earth is balanced out by sweetness and/or spice.  After a promising start, the burn had issues, the flavor waned, and I was left with a mediocre smoke for the bulk of the experience.

Rating

CONFLICTED

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s