Earlier this year, El Artista, one of the largest cigar producers in the Dominican Republic, announced a number of new and revamped products in their cigar lines. In the announcement, the company noted that one of their oldest brands – Puro Ambar – was being re-blended due to the fact they could not obtain the original materials. In addition to the re-blending they also introduced new vitolas and updated packaging.
According to Ram Rodriguez, President of El Artista Cigars:
“Puro Ambar has been part of our original line-up since 2011, however recently we have had a difficult time getting the original materials. So, we had to make a decision about the future of the brand.”
The re-blended Puro Ambar features a blend described by the company as:
El Artista’s own premium Habano wrapper with a proprietary blend of Artista-grown Criollo tobaccos and Dominican Olor leaf.
The El Artista Puro Ambar is expressed in three vitolas and come packaged in newly branded and attractive white 20-count boxes with gold and bronze accents.
- Corona – MSRP $6.00
- Robusto – MSRP $6.80
- Toro– MSRP $7.00
For this review I sampled two El Artista Puro Ambar Robustos which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The El Artista Puro Ambar is finely constructed cigar, sporting a dark tan wrapper that is fairly smooth to the touch. The barrel is light on veins and has near invisible seams. Solidly packed and with a decent weight, the Puro Ambar is finished with a simple cap.
A single band adorns the cigar using a white and bronze motif. The name “PURO AMBAR’ is printed in bronze using a retro-modern style and the on the back of the band the company’s logo is emblazoned in the same bronze color.
I ran the cigar along my nose to see what pre-light aromas it had to offer. There was not much aroma along the barrel but the foot exuded notes of fresh cut hay., which I found enticing.
Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and proceeded to take some cold draw puffs that had a nice restriction and offered notes of earth and black pepper.
With the pre-light quite acceptable, I reached for my Bugatti Mirage, dual flame torch and warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of thick and creamy smoke. Follow along as I break down the re-blended El Artista Puro Ambar and burn it to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial puffs offer a mouth filling blast of thick creamy smoke
- Charred Oak notes greets the palate first
- Earth notes join the oak
- Sweetness and cocoa notes round out the early mix and peak my interest
- Solid light grey ash forms on a medium char line
- A mild wave forms in the burn
- Cookie dough aroma wafts off the foot (I had to think about that, and yes it was cookie dough!)
- Ash is excellent
- Cedar notes join the mix
- Ash falls after a long burn and reveals a well defined burn cone
- Spice notes midway to add to the enjoyment
- Slight bitter notes appear deep in the second third
- A light almond note breaks through, near the end of the second third
- Cocoa notes re-enter in the final
- Mild to Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 25 minutes
Overall, El Artista proves that you can make a fine premium cigar for under $7.00 retail. The Puro Ambar is a welcome re-blend from the company on this classic line. With a mild to medium strength and medium body of flavors and aromas this is one that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. At an MSRP less than $7.00 this is most certainly an easy box buy. I rate this a 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Wave in burn; (-1) Slight Bitter note deep in second third
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Extreme Solid Ash