PDR Dark Roast Robusto

Coffee flavored cigars are popular. Several popular brands have a coffee infused cigar line in their portfolio. Drew Estate even has two with the Tabak Especial and Isla del Sol. Plus they produce the Java for Rocky Patel. The Nub Cafe from Oliva is a popular coffee infused cigar, but there are more. And last year, PDR decided to jump on the train as well. But their coffee infused cigars are different.

Where the other brands choose to sweeten the wrapper, PDR decided not to do so. So their ‘roast series’ are natural cigars, just infused with coffee. No other techniques, no sweetened wrapper, pure cigars, and coffee.

The PDR Roast series come in three blends, just like the Nub Cafe. The Natural Roast has an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. Then there’s the Medium Roast with a Sun Grown Claro wrapper from Ecuador. The version that Ministry of Cigars is reviewing is the PDR Dark Roast. That one has a Brazilian Maduro wrapper and is supposedly the strongest of the blends. There are three sizes available. There are a 51/4×44 Corona, a 6×52 Toro and the 5×52 Robusto that we are reviewing.

The cigar looks amazing. A dark oily wrapper. Closed foot and a knot on the head. A dark glossy ring, simple and clear. A huge glossy foot ring with the PDR logo. This cigar stands out. There are a few veins on the wrapper, but for a Brazilian Maduro wrapper, it looks smooth. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice bounce when you squeeze it. The cigar has a strong aroma of dark chocolate and coffee. More chocolate than coffee, which is quite surprising.

The cold draw is great, even with the closed foot. There is some artificial sweetness but it’s not on the lips as with other infused cigars. Once lit, there is dark roasted coffee as expected, with some artificial sweetness. The bitterness of the coffee is quite complex. Soon the artificial sweetness takes over, with coffee and chili pepper as supporting flavors. After a few puffs, there’s coffee with mud. That artificial sweetness does not do the cigar any favors. But at least it’s not stuck on the lips, something that happens with for example the Nub Cafe lines. Halfway the cigar gets spicier, the artificial sweetness is less. There’s coffee, pepper, herbs, leather, and wood. The mouthfeel is mild creamy. In the final third, the cigar turns a little bitter. With pepper, coffee and that artificial sweetness again. The pepper is strong. Near the end, there’s wood with the pepper. The sweetness disappears just like the coffee.

The draw is good, a bit loose maybe. And the smoke is fantastic, thick and white. The burn is wonky and had to be corrected. The light-colored ash isn’t very firm. This cigar is medium-full bodied. The flavors are medium. This cigar would have been better with less artificial sweetener. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I don’t think so


Categories: 89, Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

PDR 1878 Capa Oscura Lancero

Abe Flores and his partners, the Rodriguez brothers, started their company on the Dominican and the first time I heard of them was with the PDR 1878 line, the Habana and the Oscura. I liked both lines and met Abe years later when the company I worked for back then started to distribute his cigars. And for some reason, unknown to me as my then employer hates lanceros, we gotten a few boxes of lanceros in, of which I still have a few single cigars.

Now I don’t think the lancero is a regular offering, or maybe it’s discontinued since it’s not listed on the PDR website. I do see the robusto, toro, torpedo, Churchill and double magnum listed but no lancero. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Sun Grown Oscuro with a Dominican Habano binder and two different Dominican Corojo tobaccos as a filler.

The wrapper is dark, as oscuro should be, shiny and oily and smooth to the touch. The simple rings, bright red with white letters and silver outlines, really pop and look good. Just like the cigar itself with the little pig tail and the closed foot. The construction feels good. The aroma is medium strong, a bit like dusty wood.

After cutting the cigar I get an awesome cold draw, herbal and spicy. After lighting I taste a strong coffee with some sweetness. Quickly the cigar turns to dark chocolate, creamy and bitter, with herbs. After a third the cigar is earthy, the bitterness from the cocoa is still there, just as some pepper. After a third I taste an earthy, peppery flavor but now with some peanuts instead of cocoa. Halfway I taste a salty bitter chocolate with some pepper, but salt is the dominant flavor. The finale is very peppery with a hint of floral.

The smoke is so thick that it could be vape smoke, white and voluminous. The draw is almost perfect. The dense ash is white. The burn is straight as an arrow. I would call this a medium full bodied and flavored cigar. The smoke time is seventy five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box.

Score: 92

Categories: 92, Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

PDR 1878 robusto madura

These Pinar del Rio cigars own their name to the year 1878 when the Cuban government created the provinces, and thereby creating the province Pinar del Rio, what is now known as the best tobacco growing region of the world. The cigars are made from Nicaraguan and Dominican filler with a dark Brazilian wrapper. I smoked the 5×50 robusto.
The wrapper is oily and dark with some thin veins and the weirdest looking pigtail I have ever seen. The cigar has a tasteful double band and a mild smell of straw and barnyard. The construction feels good, and so does the predraw. I taste raisin with pepper.
I taste coffee and pepper with far away on the background some maduro sweetness/chocolate which slowly becomes a bit stronger. The coffee morphs into wood after a quarter of an inch. After half an inch the pepper loses a lot of its power, the wood becomes dominant with pepper and chocolate on the background.
After a third I taste wood with a tiny bit of pepper. The sweet chocolate flavor has disappeared. After two thirds I taste cedar with a lot of pepper again. The last few puffs are black pepper only.
This cigar lasted me an hour and twenty-five minutes. I got a lot of thick smoke. The draw was good and the ash is frayed, salt & pepper colored but very firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I see a box of these in the near future

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: ,

Pinar del Rio oscuro robusto

Pinar del Rio cigars are rolled at the La Fabrica Don Leoncio on the Dominican Republic and recently all their cigars were reblended, repacked and got a price drop. Not for sale in Europe, I was lucky to get my hands on a fiver in a box split that one of my American friends did on Cigar Asylum. The new Pinar del Rio Oscuro is made with a Brazilian oscuro wrapper, a Dominican criollo ’98 binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The robusto has the classic 5×50 size.
The cigar has a classy double band and some black cloth on the foot of the cigar to protect it from damage. The wrapper is dark, shiny and oily. The construction feels good and I smell a strong straw and barnyard smell. The predraw is fine.
I taste pepper with some coffee and after a quarter of an inch some musty wood. After an inch I taste herbs and wood. After a third I get a lot of leather with some pepper and herbs, but the pepper slowly fades away.
Halfway I taste leather only but that changes into wood with nuts. The nut flavor fades to the aftertaste. After two thirds I taste wood with herbs and pepper.
This cigar lasted me ninety-five minutes, which is extremely long for a 5 inch robusto. I got a lot of thick smoke. The draw is great and the burn is good. The ash is light gray, dense and firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? I still have a few left from a box split, once they are gone, I won’t get more.

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

Categories: Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: ,

Pinar del Rio sun grown robusto

I got this cigar from an American friend in a trade or a bomb, I can’t remember, and this whole brand was unknown to me as it is not for sale in The Netherlands. Ofcourse I heard of the name, but I had never seen or tried one myself. I smoked the Pinar del Rio Habano Sungrown 5×50 robusto, a cigar with a Dominican Habano Sun Grown wrapper, a Dominican Criollo ’98 binder and a Nicaraguan and Dominican filler.
The cigar is nice and dark and the wrapper is very shiny, oily and has a few veins. The cigar also has a pretty strong barnyard aroma. The construction feels good. The predraw is good and I taste raisin.
I taste a peppery coffee which is mild sweet and I even taste some dark chocolate, I like this. After an inch the coffee disappears and I taste dark chocolate, some herbs and at a third even a hint of nuts.
Halfway I taste chocolate, wood, herbs and still some nuts. The chocolate gets less dominant and the wood slowly takes it place, with the herbs and the chocolate still on the background. After two thirds the herbs are getting stronger while the chocolate keeps fading away.
This cigar lasted me an hour and twenty five minutes. The draw is good but gets a bit harder along the way, so I drilled a hole in the cigar which helped a lot. The smoke is good, I get enough smoke and it is reasonably thick. The ash is dark but firm. The burn is ok, I had to correct it a few times and at one point there was even some tunneling. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? I might, depends on the price.

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

Categories: Dominican cigars, PDR, PDR Cigars | Tags: ,

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