At the time I’m writing this review Wall Street has seen their 3rd straight day of gains. That might be good news for the future, but my 401k is still struggling. So, I bring you the Cuban Crafters Cabinet Selection, a budget friendly cigar produced by Tabacalera Esteli and Henry “Don Kiki” Berger.
Company: Cuban Crafters
Made in: Esteli, Nicaragua
Made by: Tabacalera Esteli
Size: 5 1/2 x 60 Pyramid
Wrapper: Ecquadorian Habano
Filler: Sun-grown Habano
Binder: Habano 2000
MSRP: $3.40 each/$84.99 box of 25
The Cuban Crafters Cabinet Selection comes dressed in a dark brown wrapper with a small collection of unobtrusive veins and a pigtail cap. The cigar has a hard box press Pyramid, which looks more like a small slice of pie than a cigar. The cigar was exceptionally constructed: it felt firm in the hand with a silky smooth wrapper. Pre-light aroma was heavy with classic tobacco and barnyard scents. I clipped the cap with my Palio cutter and got a slightly tight pre-light draw, but that’s not uncommon for this vitola.
Immediately following the light my mouth was filled with an abundant amount of thick flavorful smoke. Initial flavors were robust with leather, almonds and hay. The draw was much better following the light and the cigar seemed to smoke slowly. Within the first half inch the leathery flavors faded away and made room for a richer wood component with hints of spice, not black pepper. The cigar burned fairly straight and I tapped the rigid ash at approximately 1 ½-2 inches.
The core flavors of wood, nut and hay remained consistent into the second third. I could begin to taste hints of chocolate in the background, which was a nice compliment to the earthy flavors. At this point the burn did begin to go a little ragged, and required a couple touch-ups. I think this has to do with the extremely rigid corners of the box-press.
In the final third the Cuban Crafters Cabinet Selecton did pick up a richer chocolate taste with a heavier nuttiness. The hints of spice continued to dance on my tongue, and the earth flavors remained the core for this cigar. I tried to rotate the cigar regularly to correct the burn, and had some success, but the hard corners made a straight burn difficult. I laid the cigar to rest with no more than a ½ inch remaining and enjoyed over 1 ½ hours of smoking.
The Cabinet Selection was a great full-bodied complex smoke, that made my mouth water with every puff. Construction was nearly flawless, and with the exception of the burn issue (probably my fault) there is not a single complaint I can make. This is just a solid cigar. When I initially picked this cigar up for review I had no idea it would be another Cheap Ash selection. After smoking the first sample I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that this cigar would come in at the $3-4 dollar price point. I can’t pick out what characteristics make me draw this comparison, but the cigar displayed a Padron quality that makes this cigar even more attractive. The Cuban Crafters Cabinet Selection comes with my full endorsement. At this price point I can’t think of a better full-bodied cigar.