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CIGAR REVIEW–Perdomo 20th Anniversary

October 30, 2013

NOTE: I wrote this some three months ago and forgot to post it.

BACKGROUND:

Tabacalera Perdomo turned 20 in 2012 and celebrated by introducing the Perdomo 20th Anniversary line of cigars—Nicaraguan puros featuring bourbon barrel-aged wrappers and thick ring gauges.

The cigars use mostly high-priming tobacco grown on Perdomo’s farms in Estelí, Condega and Jalapa, and come in two wrapper varieties: Cuban-seed sun grown or Cuban-seed maduro, both of which are made at Tabacalera Perdomo in Nicaragua.

The Perdomo 20th Anniversary cigars are rolled with the finest tobaccos grown exclusively at Perdomo’s farms in Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa Valley, Nicaragua to exemplify how a true puro should taste like with all “Home-Grown,” tobaccos. The cigars are then aged for a minimum of 6 years and then fermented an additional 14 months in bourbon barrels to add richness and help bring out the natural flavors of the tobacco.

REVIEW:

Last night I rode the Aprilia to North of Havana for their Perdomo night.  My intention was to smoke a Habano Gordo and hear about new Perdomo products.  I rolled the Aprilia Futura from the cool shade of the garage and into the late July sunshine.  The weather tonight was perfect for riding.  I grabbed my SPIDI Gara leather jacket, buckled my Shoei helmet, put the key in the ignition and hit the starter button.  The bike exploded into it’s signature lumpy mechanical idle.  Tossing a leg over I let the bike warm slightly before clicking into first gear and riding away. 

I love what the DOT has done to the New Haven area highways and a huge assortment of on and off ramps.  Tar snakes, broken pavement, merges that merge, well, into nothing.  The bike handled it without complaint and I merged onto 91 north and grabbed a big handful of throttle.  

North of Havana is a short thirty minute ride and very quickly I was in the parking lot and putting the side stand down, and removing my gear.  Walking inside I saw a few familiar faces and made my way towards the walk in humidor. I was intercepted in the walk in by the Perdomo brand ambassador and after a quick chat he recommended the sun grown 20th anniversary cigar.

I’m not a fan of “sun grown” tobacco.  I find the leaves to be ugly and the veins very pronounced.  Often times the tobacco offers a bitter taste.

Also, Perdomo is laying some nonsense into the mix by claiming to “barrel-age their wrappers in bourbon barrels”. 

Ok, let me get this right.  “Aged in bourbon barrels for 14 months”  Nick Perdomo claimed cigar production targets in 1998 to exceed six million cigars.  It’s 2013 and I’m fairly sure they are punching out cigars at a fairly good pace. 

Again, “aged in bourbon barrels’”  Let me see if I get this right.  You stuff wrapper leaf in old whiskey barrels that you’ve imported from Kentucky?  Then what?  You pop the lid back on and let them absorb the leftover aromas?

Unless they’ve purchased hundreds of barrels I can’t see this claim as making economic or logistical sense – you can’t put that much product in an old whiskey barrel.  Also, after a certain point, there has to be cross contamination of the tobacco into the wood of the barrel.  What – tobacco aged bourbon barrels?  Yikes. 

Also, I love the “slightly box pressed” claim.  What does slightly mean?  Dr. McCoy never told Capt. Kirk “He’s SLIGHTLY dead Jim”.  You are either dead or not.  You can’t be slightly dead.  So it’s a box press or it’s not.

So with those claims aside, let’s talk about the cigar.  It cut perfectly and offered an excellent draw.   For the first few minutes after lighting it, I hated it.  It was peppery and hot, offering all of the typical gack usually associated with sun grown tobacco.

However, after a few minutes, it settled down and became less harsh and noticeably smoother.  From there to the last bit of the cigar it was pleasant.

image

Verdict – fine if you can find this cigar for $8.00 or less.  Not spectacular.

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