Today I would like to offer another Don Rafa cigar review. Don Rafa Cigars is a family-owned business operated in the Chicago-land area and the company’s premium line cigar include a Mexican San Andres Maduro blend and a Ecuadorian Habano Blend. We recently did a review of the Habano Robusto and in that review we noted the blend is expressed in seven different vitolas:
- Robusto (5 x 50) MSRP $6.99 packaged in box of 20
- Toro (6 x 54) MSRP $8.99 packaged in box of 20
- Corona Gorda (6 x 56) MSRP $9.99 packaged in box of 20
- Torpedo (6 1/2 X 52) MSRP $9.99 packaged in box of 20
- Gran Toro (6 x 60) MSRP $9.99 packaged in box of 20
- Wild Hog (5 x 70) MSRP $10.99 packaged in box of 24
- Fat Back (4 1/2 x 60) MSRP $11.99 packaged in box of 12 limited release
Today’s focus is on the Don Rafa Fatback Habano limited release of which I smoked two samples.
Like the other vitolas in the habano line, the Fat Back blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano DesFlorado
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
Cigar Aficionado defines Desflorado leaf as:
…tobacco that has been topped, or removed of its flower, seeds, and sometimes the entire upper portion of a tobacco plant. This causes the tobacco plant to redirect its energies from creation of the flower (which contains tobacco seeds) to the tobacco leaves. Topped tobacco is stronger than tobacco that has not been topped.
The Don Rafa Fatback Habano is a beautiful figurado that has a toothy, dark brown wrapper that is light on veins. It is finished with a well applied pigtail cap. The cigar is solidly packed and firm to the touch.
A single ornate band adorns the cigar using a black, gold, and red motif. The name Don Rafa is boldly printed in golden script on a black background and the word Nicaragua in white on the bottom. The band is affixed across the center of the figurado.
Unlike the robusto, I did not pick up much pre-light aroma along the barrel or the small tapered foot.
I sliced the pigtail to open it up and took some cold draw puffs that had a decent restriction and offered a peppery sensation on the lips along with a savory note with a touch of hickory.
I used a double flame torch to ignite the tapered foot and was greeted with a solid pepper shot, especially on the nose. With the nasals cleared it was time to burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper shot to nose right off the first puff
- Early profile has some citrus peel notes
- White ash develops on top of a wavy char line
- Smoke volume is medium as it starts the journey
- Profile settles in with notes of dark chocolate and an Oregon cherry nuance (bitter cherry)
- Toasted cracker aroma wafts off the foot
- Ash fell midway revealing a decent burn cone
- Touch of espresso enters
- Burning a bit hot to the touch
- Sweetness and woody notes enter midway
- Still has a dark chocolate nuance
- Smoke volume remains medium
- Cedar notes join the mix with tasty cherry background
- Smoke is a tad harsh at the end
- Lingering nut on the palate
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Don Rafa Fatback Habano was a decent cigar that offered a quite an array of unique and flavorful notes. It was a slow burner and offered just a medium volume of smoke. Construction was solid and strength was a solid medium. It did have a bit of harshness near the end and it burned a bit hot to the touch from the midway point on down. This is one you may want to grab a five pack of and experience the flavor it has to offer. I rate this a 89. You can purchase these online at Frontline Cigars.
Point Deductions: (-1) No Significant Pre-Light Aroma; (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Burned Hot to the Touch after Midway; (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke; (-1) Smoke gets harsh in the final