Charatan Colina Robusto. The name Charatan might not be known to many cigar smokers unless you are familiar with the British market. Charatan is a brand founded in Britain, and only available there for now. The brand was founded by Frederick Charatan in 1863 as a pipe brand. He carved Meerschaum pipes and briar pipes. Frederik’s son Reuben took over the business and until 1960, it was a family business. Dunhill Tobacco of London acquired the brand and launched Charatan pipe tobaccos, which were a success. And in the early 21st century, Charatan cigars came on the market. These cigars were blended specifically to the preferences of the British cigar smokers. The brand quickly became the best selling new world cigar in the United Kingdom.
Fast forward, 2 years ago, the British tobacco distributor Tor Imports acquired the brand. The production was moved to Joya de Nicaragua and the blend was tweaked to attract a new generation of cigar smokers. Ministry of Cigars reviewed the new blend last year. Tor Imports also released a limited edition to commemorate the ownership. The Charatan Colina. And that name has a meaning. Colina means hill. Tor means hill. Add that Tor Imports is located on top of a hill in Devon, U.K., and you will see the significance of the name. The cigar is made in one size only, 5½x52, in limited production. The filler is all Nicaraguan. The binder and wrapper are Indonesian. Besuki for the binder, and shade-grown tobacco from Java as a wrapper.
The wrapper is dark for a shade-grown wrapper. The ring looks very much like a Davidoff ring, white with golden dots, but not as high quality as Davidoff. The logo has a unicorn, which embodies the craft and heritage of Charatan. It is a symbol of mythology, individuality, and as the national animal of Scotland – of quintessential Britishness. The wrapper is dark, Colorado Maduro colored with beautiful smudges. The triple cap is gorgeous, and the cigar feels well constructed. The cigar has a strong aroma. Green spices, stock cubes, that kind of aroma.
The cold draw is great. And once lit, the cigar is earthy, spicy with a little salt. The cigar remains slightly salty, with herbal flavors, a little coffee, and soil. There is a little bit of grass and sweetness too, that show up in the retrohale. The flavors are smooth, mellow, and balanced. The cigar slowly develops more of a spice flavor palate. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice., but with some earthiness, leather, and pepper. The sweetness becomes stronger, with a citrus sourness. There is also a slight nuttiness. The cigar gets more character, without losing the smoothness. More dry flavors, such as hay and dried wood. But still with the pepper, the spices, and the nuttiness. The final third starts sweet with nuts, pepper, and spices. The sweetness is like liquid sugar. The sweetness slowly evolves to marzipan though. With nuts, spices, pepper, leather, and wood.
The draw is great. The ash is like a stack of white and gray dimes. The smoke is good, blueish, and decent in volume and thickness. The burn is quite straight and slow. The cigar starts smooth, mellow, and well balanced but lacks character at first. That character shows up later, without losing the balance and smoothness. This is a medium-bodied cigar, medium-full flavored with an interesting evolution. The smoke time is three hours
Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box