The second blend in the Cubariqueño Cigars Protocol Sir Robert Peel introduction is known as the natural. Introduced at this years PCA trade show, the Protocol Sir Robert Peel Natural blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Rosado
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
Like its sibling the maduro, it is expressed in a single 6 x 52 box press format and packaged in 10-count boxes, with an MSRP set at $119.50 per box. ($11.95/cigar). It is produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
For this review I sampled three Protocol Sir Robert Peel Natural cigars which I received from the company for the purpose for reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Protocol Sir Robert Peel natural is a soft box pressed cigar that has a silky smooth and dark tan wrapper. The wrapper is light on veins and the cigar is nicely capped. Pressing along the barrel reveals no pre-light soft spots.
Similar to the maduro variety, three bands adorn the cigar, but you may not notice that until you remove the primary band which uses a reddish brown, gold, and cream motif and features an image of Sir Robert Peel in the center. There are three gold medallions on each side of the image and the name “Sir Robert Peel” printed on the bottom. Once you remove this band it reveals a secondary band that uses the reddish brown and gold motif with the date 1829, printed on the bottom. The date represents the year Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police Force. The presentation is finished with a golden yellow footer band.
Running the cigar across the nose, I picked up a pungent note along the barrel and a slight cocoa and butter aroma off the foot.
Once I sliced the cap with my double blade cutter, the cold draw was decently restricted and offered some peppery notes and a touch of butter. Like the maduro, the pepper reveals itself as red pepper flakes and grows the more I cold puffed it.
I used a double flame torch lighter to ignite the foot and took in the first few pepper laden puffs of smoke. Follow along as I break down the Protocol Sir Robert Peel Natural.
Cigar Review Notes
- Fine peppery burn off the first puffs
- Light grey ash develops resting on a medium char line that has a small wave in it
- Butter and herbal notes are delivered through a thick creamy smoke
- Touch of almond enters after an inch of burn
- As the somewhat flaky ash falls it reveals a centered but flat burn cone
- Touch of sweetness fills in the background
- Slight off burn develops
- A hint of spice and coffee greats the palate as cocoa nuances further entice it
- Almond nuance shows up again
- The early of burn self corrects with no need to touch it up
- Spice increases deep in the second third
- Mild bitterness begins to show in the background
- A pleasant nut aroma wafts off the foot
- Touch of sweetness finds its way in the final third
- Spice builds through the final
- Bitter notes seem to come and go
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, I found the Cubariqueño Cigars – Protocol Sir Robert Peel Natural to be a better and more enjoyable smoking experience than the maduro. The burn was fairly well behaved with just a mild wave and a short off burn that self corrected itself. The flavors and aromas transitioned well, although they were not full, the notes were more nuanced, with a core of spice and herbal notes. I especially enjoyed the almond notes that appeared a few times in the journey. This is certainly one I suggest picking up a fiver of. I rate this a 91.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in Burn; (-1) Off-Burn; (-1) Bitter notes come and go; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-1) Flat Burn Cone