It should come as no surprise that I am a big fan of Francisco Almonte and Dominican Big Leaguer (DBL) cigars.Heck, even tripped down to Tomboril earlier this year to visit his factory and get the inside view of his operations. One of my first stops at this years IPCPR was DBL to say thanks to him as a firm supporter of Stogie Press. That is when I met Javier Ceron, owner of Ceron Premium Cigars which happens to be produced at Tabacalera DBL, S.A.
As a new company to the industry I asked Javier how he came to start a new brand in the wake of all the deeming regulations here in the USA. Here is the story of Ceron Premium Cigars.
The Ceron Premium Cigars Story
Javier lit his first cigar back in 2012 (he had no knowledge of the industry). He said his thinking back then was “The most expensive cigar is the best cigar!” He quickly learned that was the farthest from the truth and was very disappointed.
“In fact it was so bad I almost turned my head away from cigars for good. But for some reason I decided to give it another shot but this time with a less expensive stick (between $10-$12). It was a different yet enjoyable experience after that I was hooked and in love with cigars and the industry.”
He quickly became very good friends with the owner of a local cigar shop in Corona, CA. Javier convinced the owner to let him spend time in his shop to help the customers pick the right cigar for their specific needs and taste. After listening to many different people, discovering their needs, and Javier’s passion for cigars, a dream was born. Deliver a great cigar using only the highest quality tobaccos as possible that could satisfy every cigar lover’s palate.
“After several months of research I connected with Fabiola Lora in the Dominican Republic through social media Owner of “Fabiola Custom Cigar Services” which helped her clients start up cigar lines by connecting them to different manufacturers.
Fabiola had a background in the tobacco industry she worked for Davidoff for over 3 years where she discovered her passion for cigars.”
Javier and Fabiola had several meetings with cigar manufactures in the Dominican Republic but he was not satisfied with their terms and minimum purchase orders. It seemed almost impossible for him to make one of his biggest dreams come true. After almost three years of traveling back and forth to the Dominican Republic he was ready to quit, but Fabiola never let him do so. She spent all her time and effort to focus on the Ceron project.
One day, at a local cigar box factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic, someone referred them to the DBL factory. They mentioned it was a small new cigar factory that was rapidly expanding due to their quality cigars and as Javier further explained:
“That’s where Fabiola and I met Francisco Almonte. Our first day at the factory we felt something special – we were treated like family. Francisco saw the passion in me and decided to help, but he was only willing to help if this was really a true passion.
Time went by and I learned a different side of the industry that I never imagined; from the seed, primings, curing, fermentation to the blending and rolling.”
Javier and Fabiola were able to develop 2 amazing lines: one of them features a dark rich Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper and the other, a well aged Ecuadorian Sun Grown Sumatra wrapper.
“Thanks to Francisco Almonte one of my biggest mentors, the beautiful people of Tabacalera DBL S.A. and Fabiola Lora, who is now my wife; Ceron Premium Cigars was born.” – Javier Ceron
Ceron Premium Cigars made its debut at the 2016 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas with the help of business partner Kyle O’Shea. As of today they have been slowly growing, distributing their products from their home state of California across the US and hopefully, very soon, to Canada.
The Ceron Premium Cigars Maduro Review
It now two months after this years IPCPR and I just spent a long weekend here in Central, FL dodging a bullet of a hurricane and cleaning up the aftermath. I needed to smoke something good to relax. So I reached into my collection and took out the Ceron Premium Cigars Maduro to sample. It was time to relax!
The Ceron Maduro blend uses the finest aged tobaccos from Tabacalera DBL, which they grow themselves for Binder and Fillers.
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andres (3+ Years of age)
- Binder: Dominican
- Fillers: Piloto Cubano, Criollo 98, San Vincente. (All aged for 2+ years)
The Ceron Maduro is available in 5 vitolas and packaged in 10 count boxes:
- Limited release Lancero (7 x 38)
- MSRP: $13.99
- Toro Gordo (6 x 60)
- MSRP : $13.50
- Toro (6 x 54)
- MSRP: $11.99
- Box Pressed Belicoso (5, 1/2 x 54)
- MSRP: $11.50
- Robusto (5 x 50)
- M.S.R.P $8.99
For this review I sampled the Escudero
Cigar Review Notes
- Rugged dark San Andres Maduro
- Light sheen to the wrapper
- Spice and sweetness on foot
- Raisin and cinnamon spice on the cold draw
- First puffs delivered a short burst of peppery spice
- Settles into a spicy buttery smoke after a half-inch
- Solid medium grey ash rests on a medium char line
- Coffee notes hit the palate at the end of first inch
- Touch of raisin on the finish
- Well centered burn cone
- Smoke is full body
- Flavor blends well into second half
- Burn is perfect
- Spicy nut aroma develops end of second third
- A hint of red wine (maybe cherry) into the final
- Medium Strength
- Just over an hour of smoking pleasure
Overall the Ceron Premium Cigars Maduro Escudero was a well constructed and flavorful smoke. It was not overly complex, but gave the palate enough to consider. The burn and ash were impeccable. If I was to pair this with a beverage i would select a nice aged sipping rum. I look forward to sampling the Sumatra next.