Cheap Ash: Cuban Crafters Cabinet Selection

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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

Pre-light

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.

First Third

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.

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Second Third

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.

Last Third

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.

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Final Thoughts

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.

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Comments

I’m a huge fan of the Cuban Crafters line of cigars. The taste and complexities across their cigars are varied but flavorful.
I have found the burn to be an issue across all of their cigars. Sometimes it’s not an issue, sometimes it is. I would say 1 out of 4 cigars has a burn issue. However, with the unbeatable prices and great taste, I can live those with percentages.

Thanks for the review – always appreciated.

Try the Don Kiki Browns and/or the 1959 Medina Miamis – both great cigars.

Wow! Padron qualities. I’ll give them a try if I can find them.

That’s a rough looking stick but sounds like you really enjoyed it, I’ll add these to the watch out for list.

Thanks!

Nice review and I have to try one now, Padron’s are one of my favorite cigars.

Heard alot about the Cuban Crafters lines but have yet to try any of them. May have to start with this one.

Thanks for the review Chris!

I ORDERED A BOX OF THEIR CAMEROON BUT THEY SENT ME CABINET SELECTION. I AM HAPPY FOR THE MIX UP. I GOT THE ROBUSTOS. VERY NICE SMOKE. I WOULD SAY THE THE SPICIEST CIGAR I HAVE EVER SMOKED. VERY FULL FLAVORED. ONE CHARACTERISTIC ABOUT A TOP OF THE LINE CIGARS IS THEY WILL GIVE YOU A BUZZ BUT YOU DO NOT FEEL LIKE THROWING UP UNLIKE THE OLIVIA SERIES V. THE CABINET FOR ME WAS SIMILAR TO THE CAMACHO 11/18 BUT JUST SPICIER. LIKE THE CAMACHO IT WAS A VERY CREAMY SMOKE. I WOULD RECOMMEND IT.

I have been smoking the Cuban Crafter Cabinet Selection for the last 5 years or so and have gone thru approx. 10 boxes per year. The burn issue is something that has always been somewhat of an issue. To me, all of the positive things that this cigar offers more than makes up for the burn issue. Every ones taste is different, but this one has everything that I am looking for. The complex Padron like taste, gorgeous prelight aroma, great finish and incredible value. Let them age as long as you can. Very good out of the box, but to die for with a year of aging on them. This is the first time in all these years I have commented on them as I hoped they would stay somewhat of a secret and always be available. I have tried all on the sizes and prefer the Toro and the Churchill.

I am very dissapointed by Cuban Crafters client service team.
I’ve bought months ago, 2 bundles of Don Quijote Robustos and the transaction went smooth and with no problems.I’ve delivered the cigars within a month and I must admit I enjoyd this Don Quijote very much.I’ve placed a new order,this time a much more expensive one and this time, after 2 whole months,my package is nowhere to be found.The CC client service didn’t respond to any of my 4 e-mails,so I’ve called them to speak directly with somebody,only to get informed that they’ve send the package by Global service,meaning they can’t track it.No “sorry”, no cigars,no refund,no compensation.Thancks for nothing CUBAN CRAFTERS.You’ve just lost my buziness…

I am very disappointed by Cuban Crafters client service team.
I’ve bought months ago, 2 bundles of Don Quijote Robustos and the transaction went smooth and with no problems. I’ve received the cigars within a month and I must admit I enjoyed this Don Quijote very much. I’ve placed a new order, this time a much more expensive one and this time, after 2 whole months, my package is nowhere to be found. The CC client service didn’t respond to any of my 4 e-mails, so I’ve called them to speak directly with somebody, only to get informed that they’ve send the package by Global service,meaning they can’t track it. No “sorry”, no cigars, no refund, no compensation. Thanks for nothing CUBAN CRAFTERS. You’ve just lost my business…

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