Puros de Hostos

Puros de Hostos Comendador Lancero

A few years ago I was asked to join a tasting for the Belgian magazine El Gusto, that targets both the Dutch and the Belgian market. I accepted the invitation and drove to the beautiful old distillery of Rutte in Dordrecht, a town 20 minutes south of Rotterdam, where we were shown how the Rutte jenever was distilled and how they made their liquors (if you can find it: get their Cuban Coffee liquor, its amazing!) before we were divided into three groups, each group got three different, unbanded, cigars to review and one of them really confused us, it was a fantastic cigar but it none of us could identify where the cigar came from, it was clearly not a Cuban cigar but other than that we were lost. It turned out it was a Dominican private label, Puros de Hostos, made by the Reyes family for Gustavo de Hostos and the tobacco used was fermented four times instead of the regular two fermentations.


Now the cigar had no representation in The Netherlands so I took a few samples for my then employer to try and the international price list that was available. I told my employer about the cigars, calculated the prices on them and he immediately said “No, too expensive, unknown brand, not worth my time and effort” until I cut a cigar for him, lit it and made him smoke it, he was sold. Soon after we got the first shipment in and they sold like hot cakes even though it was an unknown brand (even up till now you hardly find information online) and the price was tough. But unfortunately after a year the sales dropped and the second shipment was of a lesser quality, still good though but not superb anymore. I liked hanging out with Gustavo de Hostos, a very jovial and energetic gentleman, proud to be Dominican and thats why all his lines are Dominican puros.


I still have a few 6 3/4×40 Puros de Hostos Comendador lancero cigars in my humidor and I’m lighting one to review today. As I said, the tobacco has been fermented four times, usually tobacco gets two fermentations, Habanos claims that they ferment the Cohiba tobacco three times but this tops it. The Habano criollo 98 wrapper is dark and oily but also rustic, it isn’t the smoothest cigar you have ever seen. The construction feels good and the cap with the tiny pigtail is placed perfectly. After all these years in my humidor, out of the box and without cellophane most of the aroma has disappeared and I only smell a faint barnyard aroma. The cigar comes with a regular and a foot band, both black & gold. The bottom ring is black with thick golden outlines, golden details and golden letters Comendador while the top ring is black with a thinner golden outline and the Puros de Hostos logo in golden letters. For such a small brand they made nice rings of a good quality.


Due to the small ring gauge punching the cigar is no option so I grabbed my xikar cutter. The cold draw is perfect with a mild raisin and stronger pepper flavor. Once lit with my Ronson varaflame I taste a nice, full coffee that lacks bitterness. After a few puffs I taste coffee with terroir, a little bit of nut and a hint of salt. There is also some wood, the flavors are all very balanced, the cigar has a unique profile. After an inch it’s terroir, vegetable flavors, wood, a little bit of salt, some citrus and a hint of cocoa sweetness. After a third the cocoa sweetness disappears and the citrus grows a little stronger. Halfway I taste nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cedar and a little bit of lemon. After two thirds the flavors don’t change but they do intensify.


The smoke is thick and full. The ash is white, dense and firm. The burn is razor sharp. The cigar is medium bodied, medium full flavored and very balanced and subtle. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I need to hunt down a box.

Score: 93
number93

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Categories: 93, De Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Puros de Hostos | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Puros de Hostos Churchill & Box Pressed Toro

I’ve not written about the Puros de Hostos Lancero before and thats a surprise. This Dominican boutique brand that I came across while being part of the tasting panel for the Belgian/Dutch cigar magazine El Gusto blew me away. It had such an amazing palate that I brought a cigar to my then employer and even though the price was relatively high we decided to start carrying the cigars, and for a while they sold like hotcakes. For this review I will smoke two cigars, the Churchill and the Box Pressed Toro.

The unique thing about the Puros de Hostos Commendador is that the tobacco is fermented four times, while usually tobacco is fermented twice and Habanos prides themselves for fermenting the Cohiba tobacco three times. Yet Gustavo de Hostos, who’s also a crooner, diplomat and businessman, wanted to ferment to tobacco four times before the cigars were made and so it is done. As a proud Dominican he wanted a Dominican puro, so all tobacco used is Dominican.

Puros de Hostos Comendador Churchill

I just love the look of a Churchill sized cigar, long and du to the length the cigars look thiner then they are. This one measures 7×48. The wrapper is a milk chocolate brown with hardly any vins, it looks thin and fragile but it isn’t. The rings are very busy with a lot of patterns in gold on a black label and the foot ring has the same, a nice golden lettering but the decorations make it information overload. The construction has the right amount of sponginess and a beautifully formed cap. The aroma is very mild and is a mixture of mild chocolate and mint.


Since it’s a Dominican puro I decided to cut the cigar with the xikar cutter from the procigar festival 2014, that came with the gift box. The cold draw is great, a perfect amount of resistance. I taste spicy raw tobacco and a hint of mint. After lighting I taste a mild acidic earthy flavor. Slowly the lime like acid gets a bit stronger, with the earthy flavor and some black pepper. After an inch the lime fades a bit and is replaced with a little bit of honey. After a third I taste a beautiful, well balanced, mixture of citrus, pepper, wood, earthiness with a hint of spices and if I snowed this cigar blind I wouldn’t have guessed it’s Dominican. The flavors grow in strength without losing the smoothness. The pepper turns to white pepper and is predominant. Suddenly the honey returns, with some fresh wood, dill and the white pepper. The final third starts with chocolate with wood, honey and pepper. Then the flavor gets nutty for a bit with a lime and pepper aftertaste. Near the end the cigar turns woody with a nice sweetness.


The draw is just perfect, nothing less. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume but it’s getting thicker and thicker along the way. The light gray ash is beautifully layered and quite firm, but it’s crooked though. The burn is pretty straight. I would call this cigar medium full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? I want more, the flavor profile is unique.

Score: 91
number91

Puros de Hostos Comendador Box Pressed Toro

Now this cigar didn’t made it to the market in The Netherlands if I remember correctly, but I might be mistaken. Box pressed, some love it, some hate it and I am impartial to it as long as its a good cigar. This Puros de Hostos looks great, intimidating because of the length and ring gauge of 6 1/2×54 and the dark brown colored wrapper with a lot of oil. I see one vein on the left side of the cigar but that doesn’t make the cigar less of a looker. The construction feels good, well packed and most importantly, evenly packed. The ring is the same as the Churchill and the aroma is medium strong, its like standing in a hay stack.


Because of the 54 ring I opted to punch the cigar. The cold draw is a bit loose, I taste black pepper and raisin. After lighting I taste coffee and oak, with a little hint of pepper. After half an inch I taste spicy oak with cinnamon and a little sugar. After a third I taste lemon, oak, spices and a little white pepper. At the end I taste minty chocolate.


The draw is a bit on the loose side. The smoke is great, thick, white and a lot in volume. The ash is light gray and beautifully layered. The burn is pretty straight. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied, yet smooth, complex and has depth. The smoke time is exactly two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Del Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Puros de Hostos | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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