A few weeks ago I was contacted by Reno M Bayó, the purveyor of RB Cigars. This is a small, boutique cigar company, based out of Houston, Texas. Reno asked me if I would be kind enough to review his cigar on Stogie Press. I cordially agreed and he sent a sample of his latest blend in a Toro and Lancero for review.
Before I get into the review I would like to introduce you to the man behind the company. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Bayó is a disabled Vietnam Veteran who is now a philanthropist and cigar maker. Reno has been blending cigars for 15 years and he described this latest blend as his best yet. here is an exceprt that Reno sent me from a review of his Houston, TX shop on Facebook:
“Sure, there are a lot of tobacconists around town who have nicer stores and more selection than Reno Bayo, but the man wins out because of the little things. His shop is nestled in a strip center between a pedicure place and a tattoo shop, making la-di-da pretension an impossibility. Inside is a small humidor with stogies that are all Cuban seed, all long filler, all hand-rolled and all good. Or if you’d rather roll your own, Bayo will be happy to show you how it’s done. Hell, even the surgeon general would be impressed with this man’s skills.”
The blend I am reviewing today is the RB Cigars genuine Maduro. Reno explained to me:
“This cigar is wrapped in a genuine Maduro, Prieta de San Andres – not fake maduro. The binder and filler are my secret, that’s why it’s so different and delicious.”
The RB Cigars genuine Maduro comes in two vitolas; Lancero and Cañón (6 x 56). Each retails for $15.00 and he offers free shipping on 4 or more. You can contact him through his Facebook page, Reno M Bayó, if your are interested.
Reno also noted that he will be releasing a new blend in the June time frame which will be the same binder and filler, but will incorporate a Habano Rosé Wrapper. That new blend will come in two vitolas; torpedo and a 5 x 56 robusto.
For this review I sampled the RB Cigars genuine Maduro Cañón. I have the Lancero also, and will sample that and provide updates to this article when that happens.
The RB Cigars genuine Maduro is a dark brown cigar that is light on veins and finished with a double cap. There is a light grit on the San Andres wrapper. Holding it in the hand the cigar felt solid to the touch and had a nice weight to it indicating a good packing.
There is a single band that adorns the RB Cigars Maduro. It uses a black, grey, and white motif with the company’s logo (RB Superlative Cigar) centered in the middle and the words “Hand Made”on either side.
Running it across the nose, my smell sensors picked up a delightful fruit and fermented leaf aroma and there was a sweet malt coming from the foot. Malt is something I don’t always pick up but I do enjoy that aroma.
Once I sliced the cap, i gave it some cold draw puffs that had a good restriction and delivered an even more enticing almond note. Wow, this is one for the books so far! The pre-light passes all the muster with honors so it is time to hit the foot with some heat and get the journey started. Based on the pre-light I have set the bar in my mind high on the smoking experience.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial puffs had a bold start with some spice, pepper, and floral notes
- It did develop a slight off burn that eventually fixed itself – gotta love that Mexican leaf!
- Medium grey and flaky ash developed on thick char
- Dry cocoa powder notes complete the early profile
- Ash fell after first third revealing a slightly off centered burn cone with a small tunnel hole
- Woodsy aroma begins to fill the air around me
- Cocoa powder maintains into second third with a touch of bitterness that lingers on the palate
- Spice picks up as the bitterness begins to fade towards the half way point
- The pre-light almond notes join the profile now with an evolving sweetness
- Burn is getting much better and is solidly centered as I tap the ash
- A light sweet fruit finishes the profile along with a lingering almond and spice
- Clocked in as a medium strength cigar
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
Overall, I was not familiar with the RB Cigars brand, but Reno told me this was his best blend so far. Having not smoked any thing he previously crafted, I have no comparison. I will say, the cigar spoke for itself, with some rather unique flavors that blended well through the journey. I especially enjoyed the sweet almond and cocoa notes that were wrapped with a gently growing spice component through the second half. I was a bit concerned about the early burn, but it corrected itself with no touch ups and the small tunnel hole was a little disturbing but eventually dissipated.
UPDATE – Lancero Notes
Another RB Cigar that I sampled was the RB Lancero. A well formed and constructed cigar that started with some of the same Pre-light almond notes of the Cañón. Once Ignited, it delivered a mild spice and sweetness to coat the palate followed by a touch of dry fruit early in the burn. You can certainty taste more of the San Andres leaf on the lancero.
Spice becomes more of the core as it burns into the second quarter. It is at this stage a woody aroma develops. Near the midway point the almond notes start to appear and there is a black pepper note on the tongue. The strength ratchets up as it closes in on the final, where a sweet spice finishes the journey.