Olor Del Cibao: Meet A Dominican Staple

Olor Del Cibao CigarsAs I teased in an earlier post, today I’m reviewing a line of cigars that has recently been introduced to the United States. That’s right, I’m reviewing the entire line. So what you’re reading right now might be the most ambitious cigar review ever done. Or it could turn out to be a huge mess. Only time will tell.

Olor Del Cibao (“Scent of Cibao“) cigars are created in the Dominican Republic by Tabaccars Corp, and have been a popular cigar among the locals for a while now. But up until recently, these cigars were unavailable in the United States. That all changed when Tex Cigars discovered them on a trip to the island. Impressed by their quality and excited by their lack of exposure in the United States, they decided to be the first to introduce them to the American market.

That pretty much brings us up to the present time. These cigars are now available in the United States, and I’ve been asked to review them. But before I get to my experience with the Olor Del Cibao cigars, I need to send out my sincere thanks to Jarrod of Tex Cigars. I really appreciate the opportunity to try out a new line of cigars, and am flattered that I was one of the people you selected to review them.

Now down to business. To make things interesting, I’m going to work from my least favorite to the best of the line. A cigar countdown, if you will. And the list begins with…

Olor Del Cibao King RobustoThe King Robusto
It’s truly unfortunate that the King Robusto comes in last in my ranking. Reportedly, it was this cigar that put the wheels in motion to bring Olor Del Cibao to the United States in the first place.

What makes it even more unfortunate is that it’s here in last place not because it lost in a fair fight with the other cigars. It lost because of a flaw in the cigar. And unfortunately, I only had one of these King Robustos, so I couldn’t give it an opportunity to make up for it’s flaw.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrappers:
Sumatra
Binder:
Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: ~$3.40

The Pre-Smoke
Since this is the first cigar to be reviewed, and the band is the same on all the cigars, we’ll take a look at it now. As you can probably see in the pictures, it’s predominantly black with gold outlines and decorations surrounding a large white shield bearing the line’s name. In spite of the decorations on the band, it doesn’t come across as overly ornate. It’s a straight forward band made for a value priced cigar. It gets the job done, and looks pretty good in the process.

Over all, the King Robusto was a pretty good looking cigar. I had a light oily sheen to it’s slightly lumpy Sumatran wrapper and it was mostly firm to the touch and nicely packed. Well, that is until my fingers hit one spot midway up the cigar. Noting this I figured I might be in for a bit of a problem. (I was right, but we’ll save that for another section.)

The Burn
I was a bit surprised not to experience the burn issue I expected. For the most part, the King Robusto has a nice, even burn line. I had thought that I’d have a tunnel, or a some canoing, but that wasn’t the case. The ash was nice light color, and seemed reasonably solid. I did notice that the cigar seemed to burn a lot faster than I would have expected, and it didn’t hold an ash much longer than 3/4 of an inch.

The Flavor
This cigar started out with a nice array of flavors. I tasted a great deal of creamy nuts, coffee and even some sweet toffee and berry in the first third of the cigar. I don’t mind telling you I was impressed at this point. But then something happened. The cigar started to develop a pungent buildup in the head, and the flavors I enjoyed were over taken with a chemical taste, very sharp cedar and bitter hops.

I was caught off my guard, I had no idea what was happening. And I puffed through a good portion of the second third with a sour look on my face. And then I noticed a tarry buildup in the leaves at the head. In a desperate attempt to reclaim the cigar from the evils that had overtaken it, I dabbed the buildup away with some tissue. It did help, and the cigar was once again fairly good. But it was only a pale shade of it’s first third glory from that point forward.

The Price
Assuming my experience was the result of one terrible leaf or some other rolling problem, I think this cigar is probably a good buy at this price. Weighing in at under four bucks, you’re entering daily smoke territory for a lot of smokers.

The Verdict
If this is the cigar that inspired the import, I have to assume that I got one bum smoke. So if I were to judge it on the first third, I’d say it’s definitely a cigar that’s worth picking up. But if I stick to evaluating the cigar based upon this one smoking experience, I have to say I’d pass on it in the future. So it all rests on the next King Robusto I try!

Liked It: Loved the 1st third, suffered through the rest.
Buy It Again: Yeah, I’d buy one again just to see if it performed better.
Recommend It: Yes. I think at this price, it’s worth exploring.

Want to try the King Robusto? You can order them from Tex Cigars here.

Olor Del Cibao Dark MaduroDark Maduro
The next cigar in the hierarchy is the Dark Maduro. This almost oscuro colored cigar gets the bronze metal because it also had some issues. Fortunately, these issues where no where near as significant as those suffered by the ill-fated King Robusto.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 46
Wrappers:
Dominican Republic
Binder:
Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: ~$3.40

The Pre-Smoke
As soon as you see it, you know this cigar is properly named. As I wrote in my notes, this cigar looks like it spent some time working on an oil rig. The wrapper has a dark, mottled, oily look to it that just says tasty to me.

In spite of having some large veins in the wrapper, it was actually a pretty smooth cigar to the touch. The veins were mostly flush with the rest of the wrapper. I also found the cigar to be nicely and consistently firm, without any of the soft spots that were present in the King Robusto.

The Burn
This cigar started off with an even burn line and a great looking solid white ash, but sadly that wasn’t the story for long. By the second third, the burn line got a mind of it’s own and I began to notice a pretty heavy amount of smoke coming off the lit end. And it wasn’t long before the ash developed problems with flaking and splitting.

Early on in the burn, I was actually impressed with the volume of smoke I was getting with each puff on the cigar. Without much effort I was getting huge, billowing clouds of coffee flavored smoke. The room quickly filled with it’s tasty aroma. Usually you can’t smell the smoke from your cigar. That wasn’t the case this time.

By the time the cigar entered the final third, the story changed. Suddenly the cigar that had been a tasty smoke bomb became a slow burner with a very light volume of smoke. There was never a build up of tar, and the cigar seemed to give up on the idea of burning. I gave up on it too when I had to relight it each time I went in for a puff.

The Flavor
The Dark Maduro opened up with rich, dark cocoa that was quickly dominated by a good coffee flavor. As it progressed through the first third I detected some caramel, some more cocoa and then a great nougat flavor. In the second third and into the final third that nougat flavor continued, and was joined by sweet wood and raisins. The cocoa and coffee flavors were present at points through out the rest of the smoke.

I also noticed the cigar wasn’t as oily as was visually implied. Initially there wasn’t any noticeable oiliness, but it did appear in the final two thirds.

The Price
As with the King Robusto (they’re the same price), I have no complaints about the price.

The Verdict
Though the issues with the burn were irritating, there’s just no getting around the fact that this was a very tasty cigar. I suspect the problems I had with this cigar might be avoided by letting it spend a little time in the humidor to make sure it’s properly and consistently humidified. (I think the head was more humidified than the foot, hence the vastly different burns.) And a little bit of aging never hurt a cigar.

Liked It: Yes, in spite of the somewhat erratic and obnoxious burn.
Buy It Again:
Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Want to try the Dark Maduro? You can order them from Tex Cigars here.

Olor Del Cibao Double Shade PresidenteDouble Shade Presidente
It was a tough decision deciding which cigar would be awarded the Silver medal. Unlike the previous two cigars, the remaining two cigars were considerably more behaved and consistent. But before I give too much away, let’s take a closer look at this large dos capas cigar.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 8 x 50
Wrappers:
Connecticut & Sumatra
Binder:
Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: ~$3.80

The Pre-Smoke
The first two things you notice about this cigar is it’s considerable size, and the great barber pole effect of the wrapper. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I’m a sucker for a good looking cigar. And this is a pretty good looking cigar.

On closer inspection, I noticed that the double wrappers appeared to be lacking the normal oily sheen you see in many cigars. The wrappers had some fine spidery veins, and were without noticeable blemish. In testing the firmness of the cigar, I found that it was a little soft at the foot, and firmer as you progress to the head. I was a little disappointed when shortly after clipping the head, the cap fell off.

The Burn
Almost immediately after lighting it, the Presidente let me know who was in charge with a burning end that reminded me of an incense stick. Or maybe a brush fire. Either way, it was one smoky cigar. And as a result, the cigar burned a lot faster than you’d expect from a cigar this size and ring gauge. But the good news about it is that it was consistent. I never experienced the issues at the end of the smoke that I did with the Dark Maduro.

Another thing you look for in a doubly-wrapped cigar like this is inconsistencies in the burn between the two wrappers. They’re two very different leaves, with different compositions, so it makes sense that a problem might arise here. Well the Presidente had no such issues. The burn line was nice and even the whole way. And it produced an attractive ash that was probably the longest and most solid of the bunch.

The Flavor
In the first third of this cigar, I tasted a pleasing array of flavors including creamy peanuts and almonds and some faint caramel. As it blazed into the second third the nuttiness continued and was joined by faint thistle, cinnamon and sweet wood. And in the final third some of the nutty flavor remained, but it became more earthy and leathery with a lot of cinnamon in the mix.

Though the size of this cigar is a little intimidating, don’t worry. This cigar has a light body and will be gentle on you.

The Price
As you might expect, this gargantuan, double-wrapped cigar is more expensive than the rest. But what you probably wouldn’t guess is that it’s only going to cost you about 40 cents more a stick. The only way that isn’t a deal is if you prefer fuller-bodied cigars, or if you just like smaller quicker smokes.

The Verdict
You can probably tell by now that I really enjoyed this cigar, even with it’s chimney-like volume of smoke. And it was hard decision giving it the silver, because I can see myself picking up more in the future. Based on my inspection of the cigar, and the way it burned, I’d say it was a little dry. I have high hopes for an even better performance in this cigar with a little time resting in the humidor.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It:
Yes

Want to try the Double Shade Presidente? You can order them from Tex Cigars here.

Olor Del Cibao Churchill Cuban SeedChurchill Cuban Seed
And that brings us to Brian’s gold medal winner, the Churchill Cuban Seed. And to get to this spot, you gotta figure that it not only performed well in the burn, but had a great flavor profile as well. Well, let’s see how it did.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 7 x 50
Wrappers:
Dominican Republic Cuban Seed
Binder:
Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: ~$3.40

The Pre-Smoke
As I was looking the Churchill Cuban Seed over, I noticed something odd about the band. If you take a close look at the picture to the right, you’ll probably see what I’m talking about. Yep, the band was misprinted! You know how I said I really enjoy a great looking cigar earlier? Well, I also don’t get that hung up cosmetic flaws in a cigar that performs well.

So I chuckled and continued my inspection. I noticed that this cigar has a lot of veins criss-crossing the wrapper, which resulted in a slightly lumpy feel and a rugged look. I tested the firmness and happy to find it nicely and consistently firm from head to foot.

The Burn
By now you’ve noticed I’ve had some interesting burn experiences with the Olor Del Cibao line. Well this cigar broke out of that mold, smoking nicely and evenly the whole time. The only issues this cigar had was a little bit of unevenness in the burn line in the final third, and a flakier quality to the ash as it progressed.

The Flavor
The Churchill Cuban Seed opened up with a nice creamy coffee flavor, and as I smoked through the first third I noted a wide variety of other tasty notes. Earth, almonds, creamy peanuts, and some spice greeted me on my way through. In the second third the nuttiness continued, and a very enjoyable subtle spiciness was present throughout the continued flavor transitions. As I smoked into the final third, the spiciness was joined by cinnamon and leather. At one point I had the distinct impression of a graham cracker flavor.

The Price
Same low price as before, but for a better cigar. If it was a deal before, it’s a steal now! :)

The Verdict
I think the cat’s out of the bag on this one. You know I enjoyed it. The flakier ash and uneven final burn doesn’t come close to discouraging me. It had just too good a flavor profile. If I could only buy one of these cigars, this would be the one.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Want to try the Churchill Cuban Seed? You can order them from Tex Cigars here.

Whew, we made it. We got through the entire cigar line. I hope you’ve enjoyed my monster cigar review as much as I enjoyed doing the research! I encourage you to leave a comment and tell me what you think of the cigars and the review format!

[UPDATE: I've just been informed that Tex Cigars has a sampler deal for these cigars. You can get one of each for $9.99. At $2.50 a stick, these are a steal!]

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