Isabela Cigars kicked off 2019 with the introduction of a new blend known as the Sparkle Robusto. The company defines this blend as ‘a journey of multiple transitions of sparking ever changing profile’. The company further notes:
“Our intent was to create a blend that actually comes alive in your mouth, with multiple flavor undertones and wispy spice and peppers ebbing and flowing throughout the journey. “Johnny Piette
Isabela Cigars sent me some samples of the Sparkle to review on Stogie Press and after smoking 3 of them I am pleased to present a review today.
The Isabela Sparkle Robusto utilizes multiple small farm sourced tobaccos, each of which have different seasons of aging before production. The final production has been aged another eight months to marry the tobaccos. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Des Florada
- Binder – Double Aged Nicaraguan
- Filler – Multiple Varied Priming Nicaraguan
The Isabela Sparkle Robusto is a 5 x 50 vitola and has an MSRP set at $7.95/cigar or $79.00 for a ten-pack. You can purchase the ten packs on the company’s website along with free shipping.
The Isabela Sparkle Robusto is a medium tan cigar that has a few veins and bumps along the barrel. It has some noticeable seams, is well packed, and solid to the touch. A well applied triple cap finishes the construction.
The cigar is branded with the standard Isabela band that is used on their other products, incorporating the company’s logo. Like other products in their portfolio, there is no identification that it is the Sparkle variety.
Running the cigar across my nose, I detected rich cocoa notes off the foot along with a pungent fermented leaf note off the barrel.
I did a straight cut across the shoulder of the cigar, like I do with most all cigars I review, and proceeded to give it some cold puffs. The pre-light draw was snug but not plugged, and I detected a sweet dipped note on the head of the cigar. This sweetness is a signature of Isabella as they use the old Cuban method. As I continued to draw on it, there were developing notes of pepper, cocoa, nut, and a bit of sweetness.
With the pre-light exam out of the way, I warmed the foot with with my double flame torch and started the journey from leaf to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initially notes of pepper, a hint of nut and some exotic floral spice start the journey
- Fruity grape aroma wafts of the early burn
- Light grey ash develops resting on top of a medium char line
- Full volume of smoke
- Vegetal notes add to the interest factor
- A mild wave forms in the burn line
- Ash fell revealing a flat but centered cone
- Full volume of smoke once combustion got going
- Spice builds and becomes the predominant note moving into the second third
- Vanilla nuances lay in the background
- Aroma shifts to more of a cocoa note
- Dry leather notes enter midway
- A sweet honey note enters brightening the profile
- Grape-nut entered just shy of the band
- An off burn developed and continued into the early part of the final third
- With a touch up from my single flame torch it corrected the burn
- Things finish with a gentle sweetness and fruit moving through the final third
- Mild to Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 25 minutes
Overall, the 2019 Isabela Sparkle Robusto was a flavor filled gem that represents the care and aging of tobaccos Isabela Cigars uses in their craft. This is a complex flavor bomb that hit all parts of the palate and kept my interest from foot to nub. From a construction perspective, there was a slight wave in the burn early on and when the ash fell it had a flat but centered cone. It also developed an off burn deep in the second third that required a touch up. I rate this a 92. I would consider purchasing a fiver of these before they are gone.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in Burn; (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-1) Required Touch-up; (-1) Off Burn end of Second Third