Here is a brand that may not be on your radar screen currently, but I am here to say that you should be looking for this. Barreda Cigars is a vertically, integrated, boutique cigar company, based out of Nicaragua that has made their name in the European market and were showcased at the 2019 IPCPR here in the United States. The history of the brand actually goes back to the 1970’s when Don Francisco Barreda, a native Nicaraguan, acquired a taste for tobacco when the Cuban farmers settled in the Estelí, Nicaragua.
As told on the company’s website:
“He dedicated his small farm to the planting of the leaf and with time he learned how to roll and wrap the cigars, quickly making it his favorite hobby. Smoking one of his creations and sipping on a cup of coffee while watching the sunset over the plantations was how he liked to end his days.
It was his grandson, Oscar Barreda, who converted that passion into a business, giving rise to Barreda Cigars. For more than five years, Barreda Cigars has been one of the few 100% Nicaraguan companies that offers a variety of the finest cigars to the world while also contributing to the generation of employment for inhabitants of the area”
Barreda Cigars reached out to me and sent some samples of their craft to evaluate on Stogie Press. The full line includes the 021, Cocktail, and the Don Chico. Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing each of the cigars in the Barreda lineup. Today I will focus on the Barreda Don Chico Habano. This is one of two blends in the Don Chico line, which are a tribute to Don Francisco.
The Barreda Don Chico is offered in two blends, a Maduro and a Habano. Today I would like to focus on the Barreda Don Chico Habano.
Before we get into the review, here is a short video from Oscar Barreda Lazo, President of Barreda Cigars.
The Barreda Don Chico Habano
As noted the Barreda Don Chico is offered in two blends, a Maduro and a Habano. Today I would like to focus on the Barreda Don Chico Habano. It is manufactured at the company’s factory in Esteli Nicaragua and has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Habano
- Binder – Indonesian
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Don Chico Habano is expressed in three vitolas and come packed in 20-count boxes:
- Robusto (5 x 50) – MSRP $7.90
- Toro (6 x 52) – MSRP $9.70
- Chairman (6 x 60) – MSRP $10.57
For this review I sampled two Don Chico Habano Robustos which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Don Chico Habano is a smooth to the touch, medium brown cigar that has a few veins running through the barrel. The wrapper has a nice oily sheen. It has a solid feel to it and seems to be well packed. A well applied triple cap finishes the presentation.
Three bands adorn the cigar. The primary band uses a cream and brown motif that displays a picture of Don Francisco Barreda and the name “DON CHICO” and “BARREDA CIGARS”. A secondary band using the same motif declare this as the “HABANO” blend. Finally, a white satin footer band completes the adornments.
Running the Barreda Don Chico Habano along the nose, I picked up a spicy note along the barrel and notes of malt and fruit off the foot.
Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the cap, straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that had a fine restriction and offered notes of buttery spice, pepper, and a light hickory.
With the pre-light examination much to my liking, I used my triple flame torch to warm the foot and draw in the first preview of the pleasant complexity this cigar has to offer. Follow along as burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Rather pleasant start with notes of light pepper, dry fruit, and a touch of cedar
- White ash forms on top of a slightly wavy, medium thick char line
- Full volume of smoke production
- Coffee notes join the mix
- As the ash fell in a nice chunk revealing a centered but pointed burn cone
- Cocoa aroma wafts off the foot
- Delicious cream and natural sweetness blend in to continue the ongoing pleasant profile
- Light spice enters midway
- Dry fruit nuances join the profile moving through the second third
- Spice increases entering the final third down to the nub
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 25 minutes to the nub
Overall, if you are a fan of well balanced and flavorful habano cigars, the Barreda Don Chico Habano is a must try. The complexity of this showed up early in the burn and stayed through the journey down to the nub. Construction was quite decent with just a mild wave in the burn and the draw was spot on. This is certainly a box buy in my book and I rate it a 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Pointed Burn Cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Consistent Across Multiple Samples