Puros Birriel may be a brand you are not familiar with, and I can appreciate that, as neither did I until I received some samples of the company’s craft to review. The young Chicago based company was founded by Jose Birriel, a passionate man whose mantra is:
“I work to make myself a better person, but I also work to play hard. I have made myself with hard work and good family values.”
Jose, did not just jump into making cigars, he had a vision, and that vision was to taste, enjoy, and smoke every cigar he possibly could, so he knew what he wanted in a blend that would carry his name. The result of a two year journey was the creation of the cigars that carry the Birriel family name. Jose sent me three different blends that he described as the most important to him and he describes as:
- Don Jose – named after my father. Hardworking, blue collared with strong family values.
- Don Jose Segundo – is named after myself. I took my fathers strong family values and added entrepreneurship
- El Abrazo – is the hug between a father and son. My father passed away almost 29 years ago and I chose these names as a tribute to us both.
For this review, I am focusing on the Don Jose Segundo which has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Broadleaf
- Binder – Puerto Rico (Aguada PR)
- Filler –
- Puerto Rico Criollo grown in Aguada Puerto Rico
- Habano Viso
- Dominican Seco
The cigars are expressed in a (6 x 60) gordo vitola and come packaged in 20-count boxes. MSRP is set at $9.00/cigar.
The Puros Birriel – Don Jose Segundo is a beautiful dark brown gordo that has a fine oily sheen and a deep marbling throughout. The barrel is light on veins and fairly smooth to the touch. Though the bunching seems good there is a slight give midway up the barrel when gently squeezed. The presentation is finished with a simple cap.
A single band adorns the cigar that is is not flamboyant or bold, in fact it may well represent the Birriel’s blue collar family. It uses a simple black and silver motif with the company’s logo on the side and the name “Don Jose Segundo” printed in script along with the phrase “Hecho A Mano” and the company’s website “PurosBirriel.com“.
As I ran the Don Jose Segundo along the nose, I detected a mild spiciness along the barrel while the foot exuded a savory BBQ meaty note.
I was enticed at this point to give it some cold draw puffs, so I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and took some unlit puffs that offered a delicate natural tobacco sweetness in addition to fruit with an additional peppery note on the lips. A few more cold puffs and I was ready to set the heat tot he foot and start the journey.
With this being a larger ring gauge cigar I reached for my triple flame torch to warm the foot, which took to the heat well, and pull in the first puffs of a sweetness and cedar notes. Follow along a I burn the Don Jose Segundo to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Cedar notes with a natural tobacco sweetness starts the journey
- Solid white ash forms on a thick char line
- Mineral notes set the palate off a bit only to be enticed with rich caramel notes near end of first third
- Smoke has been thick and chewy from the first puff
- The ash fell after a decent run revealing a well formed ash cone
- Bitter dark chocolate notes enter moving into the second third
- A slight off burn develops that eventually required a mild touch up
- Light spice notes join the profile deep in the second third
- Barrel starts to get squishy
- Mild nut begins to build moving into the final third and lingers nicely on the palate
- Finishes with a mild spice and nut
- Medium in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 50 minutes
The Puros Birriel Don Jose Segundo was a decent cigar from this young company. Though not complex in its profile it did offer some enticing notes from pre-light to completion. There was a off tasting mineral component early on that took a while to fade but then the flavor found its way with cedar, chocolate, caramel, sweetness, spice, and nut notes. The burn was fairly pristine till after the ash dropped and then it developed a small off burn that did require a mild touchup to keep it burning right. I rate this an 89.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mineral Notes; (-1) Off burn; (-1) Touch-Up Required; (-1) Barrel gets squishy; (-1) Might Pick up another