I was recently contacted by a cigar distributor about a small Dominican cigar company that is looking to break more into the US market. The company is Caoba Cigars, a name I was totally unfamiliar with prior to a Facebook text message. They asked if I would be willing to review some of the company’s cigars and I politely said sure. I also noted, if they do not meet my standard for a quality cigar I would not post the review because the company doesn’t have a real footprint in the US. Obviously, since you are reading this, that was not the case and I was intrigued by at least the first cigar I sampled from company.
That intrigue led me to do a little research about Caoba Cigars and reach out for some more info. I learned a smidgen more about this company that has been established in the Dominican Republic since 1992. Wow 27 years, and I just heard of them. Just goes to show how much we can learn every day. Even more intriguing, is the company is completely vertically integrated, they own everything, so they control the entire process from growth to finished product.
A Little Background on Caoba Cigars
A little google search and some Spanish to English translation and we learn from the company’s website:
“The history of the brand goes back to its founder and to the year 1992 when Don Julio Pérez Gonzáles, a Spanish immigrant who lived 66 years in the Dominican Republic, started the production of his original brand Caoba, in the small factory called Tabacalera Caoba, located in Villa Faro. Don Julio was a lover of wood and had a workshop of mahogany figures, for what he considered that he honored our national tree, putting the name of Mahogany to his cigars. His last years he spent in front of his cigar factory, and he has left the legacy of only producing the best cigar, with the best leaves.”
Headed by Joaquin Cambiero Oreiro, the company goes on to state:
“The new generation of entrepreneurs of the family, decided to move the factory to its current location in Santo Domingo (Ciudad Conde 101, of the Colonial city, in front of the Primada Cathedral of America). Maintaining the original philosophy, ‘Quality is Our Main Objective‘.”
As far as farms, Caoba has their own tobacco fields in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. I wish I had more info but we can dig deeper for some of the other reviews of their craft. I did note that people who visit Santo Domingo speak very highly of this small factory and shop.
The company sent me 5 different blends ranging from Connecticut to Maduro. As I looked over the various vitolas, it was one of the Maduro blends that caught my eye, with its toothy San Andres wrapper and waxy dark brown color. This is the Caoba Diamante.
The Caoba Diamante blend is described as:
- Wrapper – San Andres Maduro
- Binder – Dominican
- Filler – Dominican
The company website shows that there are 3 vitolas in the Diamante each available in 12 and 24-count boxes and even a 6-count sampler:
I am told the Torpedo I received has an MSRP of $10.00 USD and currently it is only available in a few shops in the New York area. Their site does allow you to order on line but I am not sure how it all works with shipping and tax and such, so I will leave it at that for now.
The Caoba Diamante Torpedo (6 x 52) has a waxy, dark brown wrapper that is a tad veiny and has a decent amount of tooth to it. The cigar has a well finished cap that is bit more rounded than most torpedos you see on the market. Rolling through my fingers I would say it is solid to the touch.
There is a single black and silver band that adorns the cigar with the Caoba name proudly presented across a figure of a diamond. The name ‘Diamante’ is identified at the bottom of the band.
Running the Diamante across the nose I picked a pungent fermented leaf aroma and notes of chocolate and red wine off the foot.
I sliced the cap on a 45 degree angle, as I do with all torpedos, just about an ¼ inch down from the tip, and gave it some cold draw puffs. The draw was nicely restricted and offered earth, pepper, and tangy notes.
My triple flame torch was the fire of choice to ignite this one – to get the combustion going just right. A warm orange glow and a few early puffs offer me initial notes of graham cracker and citrus. Intriguing taste for sure.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light offers graham cracker and citrus notes
- Solid white ash evolves on a thick burn line
- Gently tapped ash as it seemed ready to fall, revealed a flat but well centered cone
- Coffee notes enter transitioning into the second third
- Earth and spice begin to develop
- There is a mouthwatering citrus tang finish
- Slight wave in the burn starts
- Tang begins to fade as a sweeter fruit enters
- Dry leather notes enter deep into the second third
- Mild spice and a touch of bitterness opens near the end of the second third
- Starts to burn a bit hot to the touch
- Cocoa aromas are wafting off the foot
- Ash falls a second time in the final third
- Spice increases slightly
- Slight off burn starts again
- Aroma shifts to a toasted caramel
- Fruity citrus still on the finish
- Spice grows on the nasals down to the finish
- Medium plus in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Overall, this cigar was a worthy candidate to review on Stogie Press, even thought there is little presence currently here in the states. The citrus notes were fairly dominate through the journey with intriguing nuances of other flavors and aroma including chocolate, coffee, spice, earth, and graham cracker. The burn was pretty decent, though it did show some signs of burning off in a few spots but no touch-ups were required. The burn cone was flat but centered and the ash was solid and white throughout. I look forward to sampling the other cigars in the Caoba line and letting you know what my thoughts are. But for this Diamante, it is a solid cigar that rates a 92. Maybe some shops will find interest in the line and bring them in to the US. Until then you have to take my word for it. If you find them, pick a 6 pack sampler.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-1) Hot to the Touch in Final; (-1) Touch of Bitterness midway