Last month I took an opportunity to stop into the Don Kiki Cigar Superstore in Daytona Beach, FL. As you may have read in that article, it is one of the nicest shops I have been to. During my visit there, I picked a Don Kiki Gold Label cigar to enjoy and review when I got home. Since then, I have been to the IPCPR in Vegas and back and while the new blends I received at the show, rest and breath in their new home, I decided it was time to enjoy the Don Kiki Gold.
The Don Kiki Gold Label is a cigar that was blended by the late Kiki Berger and debuted along with the Don Kiki Silver Label cigar, at the 2015 IPCPR in New Orleans. They were the last blends before his passing. This is a cigar that has been aged well and as the Don Kiki website notes:
“A full bodied cigar that aged to perfection. From the first to the last puff your taste buds will tingle and dance from the hints of leather and cedar, the spices that enhance all flavors on the back of your palette. It’s a perfect balance of all that Estelí has to offer.”
As I prepared to enjoy the Don Kiki Gold Label, I settled into the Stogie Press lounge, and tuned in game 2 of the Red Sox – Yankees series on Saturday afternoon. I completed all yard chores for the day and it was time to relax. Little did I know that this game was going to last for more than one cigar, damn it took almost 3 cigars to complete the game. I am glad I chose the Don Kiki Gold Label as the first, and I have to say,the cigar was as well-balanced as the game. Actually, the cigar turned out better for me than the end result of that 16 inning marathon which the Sox eventually gave up to the Yankees, but that is another story – the Red Sox are still in first place.
The Don Kiki Gold Label
The Don Kiki Gold Label cigar is Nicaraguan puro with a well aged dark brown and marbled wrapper. It has a slightly rugged look to it with some noticeable veins, and like we all know, veins are not bad if the cigar burns well. In fact, veins bring in flavor, as they are the life blood of the leaf, carrying the nutrients of the rich soil.
Packaged in 20-count boxes, the Don Kiki Gold Label is available in 3 different vitolas:
- El Gordo – 7×70
- Toro -6×56
- Robusto – 5×54
The blend is simply defined as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
Besides having a dark and marbled wrapper, the Don Kiki Gold Label is nicely capped and has a decent weight in the hand, especially for the Robusto which I am sampling. The packing is tight and the seams passed the Stogie Press palm test – no leaks. Pre-light aromas were sweet fermented leaf along the barrel and enticing fruit and spice off the foot.
The cigar is adorned with two gold bands. The primary is has the Don Kiki Logo embossed in the center and the secondary footer band has the words Don Kiki and the date 1957 embossed repeatedly across it.
Once the cap is sliced, with my double blade Colibri cutter, the cold draw brought a deep earth and sweetness mix to the palate. There was no pepper or burn on this cigar to start, which was a welcome treat from the many pepper bombs I have smoked.
For this review I sampled the Don Kiki Gold Label Robusto
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial puffs provide a tangy fruit
- A mild pepper burn on the retro-hale gently tantalized the nasals
- Sweet cocoa enters after an inch
- Fairly solid medium grey ash rests a straight char line
- The air around me fills with a nut aroma
- Ash fell after a an inch and half
- Flat and centered burn cone
- A touch of leather moves in the second third
- Very smooth and balanced smoke as it moves through the half way point
- The aroma has become sweeter
- The start of the second half brings a soft pepper burn on the lips
- Spice begins to build at the start of the final third
- Cedar accents the profile
- Sweetness fades near the nub
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was just over 1 hour
Overall, the Don Kiki Gold Label was a balanced and refined smoke with palate pleasing notes of Cocoa, Sweetness, Spice, and Cedar. It had an error free burn from foot to nub. As their slogan states, it takes Passion, Loyalty, and Courage to maintain in the cigar business, and the Don Kiki Gold Label is a perfect example of this.