In 2014 a new cigar came to the market, amongst many others, but this one had a story that made cigar aficionado’s very excited and the cigar was highly anticipated. Why you might ask? Well, for two different reasons, first of all it was a cigar from the Meerapfel family, a well known and respected family in the cigar industry with a 140 year old history. If you smoke Cameroon tobacco, it is most likely grown by the Meerapfel family and they also distribute brands like Padron and Fuente in Europe for decades now. The second reason to be excited was the tobacco used. The Meerapfels are not just tobacco growers but also tobacco traders and since they are not an American business they have been able to buy Cuban tobacco not bothered by the embargo, and they did! The older generations of Meerapfels stored the tobacco to sell once the embargo was lifted but the new generation, Joshua & Jeremiah, decided it was time to use that tobacco.
They found a Honduran factory, undisclosed to the public, and created a blend of a Nicaraguan wrapper and filler tobacco from Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and aged Cuban tobacco, dating back to the 1970’s. Now call me a cigar geek, but just that fact makes me excited and curious. Jeremiah Meerapfel did state that they used a Nicaraguan wrapper instead of a Cameroon wrapper from their own farms because of the price of Cameroon tobacco, which is much higher than Caribbean tobacco.
The box is cubanesque, styled after the Partagas boxes but just a little nicer finished, and the ring is also very Cuban inspired with the same star you find on the Cuban flag on the ring. If you look further you will see a drawing in the style of old maps of Cuba and a picture of Havana, add that to the text ‘Tabacco Cubano’ and you almost forget that this is in fact a Honduran cigar with some Cuban tobacco. The ring is very detailed though and much nicer than you think at first glance. The wrapper is medium brown, mild shiny and not the best looking wrapper ever with the long veins but it’s also not an ugly wrapper. The construction feels good, no hard or soft spots. When it comes to aroma this cigar scores bad, I hardly smell anything.
I decided to go with a straight cut with my Xikar x2 cutter and use my Ronson soft flame to light the cigar, I prefer a soft flame over a torch except when smoking outdoors. Right from the start this cigar is spicy with espresso, all quite dry tasting though. After a few puffs the espresso turns to coffee with pepper. The pepper is getting a little stronger but after a centimeter the aged Cuban tobacco shows up and a very subtle flavor you only find in Cuban cigars shows up. It’s not easy to describe it, but it’s something I only tasted in Cuban cigars.
Soon after the coffee is replaced by some chocolate. Halfway I taste oak with a little chocolate, pepper and a citrus aftertaste but still with that Cuban touch. Slowly the pepper is getting stronger. After two thirds the proper slowed down again and that aged Cuban tobacco shows up again. At the end I taste a nice nutty flavor.
The smoke is ok, white and plentiful but it could be a little thicker. It was too much for my cat though, she was sleeping on my lap, saw the smoke and went outside. The ash is pepper and salt colored and beautifully layered. The burn is good but a little crooked. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time was about 80 minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? No, I really liked these when they just came out but age didn’t do the blend good.