Many of the cigars Chris Gwaltney and I review and discuss on our blog posts are the new selections we pick up along with a wide variety of assorted topics. I thought this week I would step back in time a few years and look at some cigars we’ve carried for a long time. Ones that, between trips to exotic locales and the never ending influx of new smokes, tend to get overlooked. We currently carry over 300 different cigars and some of these labels have been with us for over 20 years! So while we sometimes seem to ignore certain labels, there are a few that deserve our attention!
I’m going to look at a relative new comer here,the Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne lineup. We carry this line in 3 different vitolas; Corona Extra, Churchill, and Epicure (Toro). Epicure has been in our portfolio for 7+ years and sells really well in many stores. This past week I thought I would try it again since I can’t recall the last time I smoked one!
We could go into a long discussion here on the Perdomo family and all that they have been through with Cuba and where they are today but let’s just say they are extremely well-respected in the cigar world and currently have the second largest cigar making facility in Nicaragua. They create many cigars under their own label along with cigars for other companies.
So what about the Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne? First off, the “Champagne” tag basically describes the wrapper. And this is a beautiful wrapper that is champagne in color. The wrapper is a 6 year old, triple fermented Connecticut Shade wrapper grown in the USA. Definitely one of the best wrappers one will find on a cigar. Within this wrapper lies a Nicaraguan binder and a filler of a variety of Nicaraguan tobaccos. This blend of stronger Nicaraguan filler surrounded by a mild and extremely smooth Connecticut wrapper is what I found to make this cigar special and a real joy to smoke.
I received some nice notes of light cedar and a bit of grass and hay prior to lighting this beauty. A quick cold draw gave me some coffee and a little bit of spice. Upon lighting, the flavors of cedar and grass were evident and I was expecting the mildness of the wrapper to overpower the filler flavors. But I was pleasantly surprised when a variety of other flavors quickly kicked in. Espresso, all-spice and even a few hints of pepper from the Nicaraguan filler were definitely present and kicked this cigar up a notch from mild to nearly medium in strength and flavor. The Connecticut wrapper performs as it is supposed to by imparting creaminess to the smoke and mellowing any possible harshness from the filler. What could have been a mild cigar without a lot of flavor, turned into a very complex smoke with a vast array of different flavor notes. It had a great draw with just the right amount of resistance and the burn was nearly perfect. This cigar smoked cool almost down to the very end where it then picked up just a bit of heat. The creaminess and the complexity of flavors maintained right to the very end of this delicious smoke.
If you have not tried one of these cigars yet you definitely need to give them a try. Most beginning cigar smokers begin with a mild cigar which is a great start but too often it results in a very one dimensional and bland smoke. This Perdomo Champagne is a great next step for the novice as well as for an experienced smoker. The mildness and creaminess are very evident in this cigar but the rich tobacco flavors and complexity that define a great smoking experience are also evident and that is what makes this superior cigar.
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Category Manager: Premium Cigars and Craft Beers
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