Arandoza Cigars is a “family owned and operated company, is founded in the belief that through hard work and dedication, applying our knowledge of tobacco and passion for cigars, we would bring to market, a product that would honor the tradition and history of the cigar industry and for those that enjoy them.” The Blue Label line is their high end line and is hand made in Estelli, Nicaragua at “La Zona” (Erik Espinosa’a factory).
Cost: $6.20 (at Charmed Leaf Cigars)
First Looks: A very good looking cigar that has a fairly firm feel to it. It had one small soft spot below the band, but it was very minimal. The band is eye catching with white lettering, a blue back ground, with gold and black scrolling. Its not a very complex band, but easy on the eyes and stands out versus some of the other bands out these days. The medium brown Habano wrapper had a few veins, tight seams, and a very small amount of tooth. The foot had a very strong cedar aroma to it that was pretty pronounced. There was a hint of a cocoa aroma on the foot as well. A straight cut revealed a thicker draw with the cedar flavors I detected in the foot. The taste of the cedar is not as strong compared to the strength of the foot aroma. I think the thicker draw is possibly limiting the cold draw flavors.
Construction: Although it had a slighly thicker than milkshake thick draw, it still produced a fair amount of smoke. A nice tight white to off-white ash that lasted for about an inch or more formed from the somewhat even burn line. The burn wasn’t dead on straight, but wasn’t way off. It did need a few touch-ups after the halfway point. After halfway, the ash had a very slight flake to it. Shortly before the halfway point, the thick draw almost caused it to go out. I could barely get any drawn smoke and eventually needed to revive it with my lighter and a few heavy draws.
Flavors: I got a bit of pepper and hints of earth on the first few draws of it. A bit into it, I got some flavors of a dark roasted coffee note to the smoke. The room note was an amplified version of dark coffee flavors in the drawn smoke.
Into the second third, the dark roasted coffee & earth notes overpowered the pepper slightly. This is where I needed to give it a slight revitalization to keep it going. After this, the smoke and flavors picked back up some and I continued on. Around the halfway mark, the flavors mingled well together in equal and proportionate strengths. This was an improvement after the needed revitalization.
Working into the final third, I started to taste a bit of a cocoa note and a very slight hint of leather undertone along with the pepper. The retrohale in the final third had some nice earthy and leathery notes. Ending the cigar, the flavors mellowed some and got somewhat creamy and very pleasurable to me. Over all, the flavors were consistent, yet had a bit of complexity to the smoke.
Final Thoughts: A cigar that is definitely for an experienced cigar smoker. This isn’t for a once in a while golf course cigar smoker. Only due to its medium-full body and flavor strength. The flavors mingled very well after halfway and made for a very enjoyable smoke. Its worth the $6.20 price tag, if you ask me. If the draw would have been lighter it would have been well worth it. I liked the flavors and the consistency of them, yet still had some complexity to it.
The only real “issue” I had from this cigar, was the fairly thick draw. Most of the cigars I have had from the La Zona factory had a pretty good draw. So, I am somewhat puzzled as to why this cigar had such a thick draw. Maybe I needed to dry box it some more. But I think the thick/dense rolling may have affected the draw & burn in the long run.
I would like to try the Trabuco (6 1/8×60) size in the blend. Yes, I know, I don’t care for many 60rg cigars. But, I think the larger ring gauge may help on the draw issues and produce more smoke. Then I could possibly be able to get the full aspect of the flavors presented in the smoke.
These cigars were provided to me, unsolicited, from the company for this review. Many thanks to Arandoza Cigars for the opportunity to review this cigar.
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