Benchmade Toro

I remember that close to a decade ago people were raving about the new La Aroma de Cuba, blended by Don Pepin but owned by Ashton but back then the cigar wasn’t available in Europe. When it finally got released, under the name La Aroma del Caribe due to copyrights, Ashton simultaneously released their budget medium filler Benchmade, also made at the My Father Cigars factory and I remember that I didn’t dislike them, which is rare for a budget cigar. But I haven’t smoked them in years, time to revisit the cigar for this budget month.

The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, from filler to wrapper, everything comes from Nicaragua. There are 5 sizes, a 5×50 robusto, a 5 1/2×54 gordo, a 6×50 toro which I’m smoking, a 6 1/2×46 cazadores and a 7×50 churchill. And even though it’s a budget cigar, they don’t come in bundles but in boxes, which make them look worth more than what you pay for.

The cigar has a dark wrapper with some black smears and spots, it looks very tasty. The construction feels good and I like the little pig tail. The broken white ring shows a bunch of drying tobacco leaves and the name benchmade in golden letters. The aroma is faint, I smell a bit of a barnyard aroma.

I just twisted the pigtail off and the cold draw is good, it’s quite spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste spicy strong leather. The leather remains with a little sweetness yet the spice never disappears. After a third I taste cinnamon with still some leather. Halfway I taste some French toast with leather and pepper. The final third is peppery with a hint of sugar and cinnamon. The finale has the leather flavor again.

The draw is good, as can be expected from a mixed filler cigar. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, it has a brownish color. The ash, with wide rings, has that same brown color. The burn is nice, the cigar isn’t boring due to the evolution. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice snack cigar.

Score: 87

Categories: 87, Benchmade, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Benchmade churchill

The Nicaraguan puro Benchmade is made by Don Pepin Garcia with a very consumer friendly price tag. I found boxes of these churchills for less than 70$ at some online cigar shops, which is a steal for these beauties. I got this churchill from a close friend who knew I had never smoked these and that I dig most Pepin made smokes.
This 7×50 Churchill comes packed in cellophane and once released I can smell a mild sour barnyard aroma. The cigar looks good with a nice, dark and oily wrapper that feels silky. The cigar has a tiny pigtail on top. The cigar feels a bit soft, but it is evenly soft so I don’t expect construction errors. The predraw is fine and tastes like peppery raisin.
I taste a strong coffee flavor with black pepper. After an inch I also taste a strong wood flavor, the coffee becomes the supporting flavor, the pepper tones down a bit and I also taste some chocolate. These flavors continue to be present, although the coffee fades away until I can’t taste it anymore.
Halfway the chocolate gains some strength but that only lasts for about an inch, after that the chocolate is back to the previous weaker strength. At ⅔ the flavors change to toast with chocolate on the background. Near the finish the cigar gets spicy.
Even though this is a 7 inch churchill, the cigar only lasted me 75 minutes, but during that time I got plenty of medium thick smoke. The draw is fine, but the burn was a bit crooked. The ash is dark colored and quite firm. If you would ask me about the strength of the cigar I would tell you that it is definitely full flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I liked it a lot

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Benchmade, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Benchmade gordo

I’ve smoked the Benchmade robusto recently and liked it a lot, especially considering the price. Today I had the pleasure of smoking another of these Don Pepin made Ashton cigars, the Gordo which is the latest addition to the whole Benchmade line. It measures 5½x54 and is a Nicaraguan puro, just like the other Benchmades. In The Netherlands it has a € 3.00 price tag.
I like the cap, you can’t really call it a pigtail as the tobacco sticking out isn’t curled, but it comes close. The cigar has a strong barnyard smell and a simple band. The wrapper is nice, dark and oily and has a few veins. The construction feels good. The predraw, that has a peppery flavor to it, is good.
I taste pepper with some coffee on the background and some sweetness. The pepper is strong and dominant. After half an inch the pepper gets a bit milder while the coffee grows in strength.
After two inch the cigar loses some of its power and strength. The coffee has gone and instead I taste wood, pepper and something sweet. The pepper slowly loses strength until it almost disappears but it returns after two thirds and keeps growing in strength until I have to dump the nub in the ashtray.
The smoke time of this cigar is about an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw and burn are good and I got a decent amount of smoke. The smoke is a bit thin though. The medium gray ash is firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love this cigar and you can find it dirt cheap.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Benchmade, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Benchmade robusto

These Don Pepin Garcia made cigars just arrived on the Dutch market and this 5×50 robusto has a very nice price tag of €2.75 which makes it one of the most affordable longfillers out here. The Benchmade are made for Ashton and are a Nicaraguan puro with a small pigtail on top.
The dark brown Nicaraguan wrapper is quite oily and has some thin veins. The construction feels good and the predraw after punching is good and tastes like black pepper. The cigar has a firm barnyard smell.
I taste coffee with lots and lots of pepper. The coffee disappears quickly and turns to wood. I also taste a sweetness on the background. After an inch and a half the pepper tones down a little bit and the wood gets stronger but the pepper is still strong.
After ⅔ I also taste some hay, the wood gets a little less strong but the pepper is still strong. Near the end the wood gets dominant again with a strong peppery aftertaste.
This 5 inch cigar lasted me 50 minutes. The draw and burn are good and I got a lot of thick white smoke. The ash is firm and is light colored with some dark spots. This full flavored and full bodied cigar packs a lot of ‘Pepin’ pepper and gave me a decent flame while purging.
Would I buy this cigar again? For this price? No doubt!

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Benchmade, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

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