73

Gasparilla Pirate

Now this is a mystery cigar to me, I don’t know where its made, who makes it (although I have an idea), what year it’s from, what the blend is and what the msrp is since I can’t find any information online about this cigar. Another mystery is how I got this cigar, I really have no idea. But all the mystery makes reviewing this cigar extra fun, since I don’t know what to expect, my opinion can’t be tainted by reading other reviews or people telling me about this stick.


All information I have is from the cigar ring, which says ‘henco a mano’ so it’s a handmade cigar and ‘Florida’ and that throws me off the trail on the manufacturer since a sticker on the glass tube mentions S. Plasencia Tobacco 1885 so I would have guessed Honduras or Nicaragua and as far as I know Plasencia doesn’t have a factory in Florida. The sticker also mentions “Gasparilla Pirate Fest, official collectible premium cigar” and on that info I did find that this cigar must have been given out or sold in Tampa at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest that is held there every year. And I have been in Tampa a few times, but never during the Pirate Fest, and that will probably never happen either, and I know for sure I haven’t bought this cigar during my visits there so its still a mystery how I got it.


The cigar comes in a glass tube, as mentioned before, with a transparent sticker with golden print that makes it hard to read. The size is 7×48 and the vitola is called Pirate. The cigar feels good although the triple cap shows some curves. The wrapper has a chocolate color and has a lot of tooth, it feels a bit like sandpaper. The ring is gold with a black circle and a white pirate ship in the circle. Under the black circle it says Gasparilla in black letters. Above the black circle there is a cutout in white with some green, red and golden party decorations. On the back the ring is red, green and gold with golden letters honcho a mano Florida. To be honest, the whole color scheme makes the cigar look tacky. And then the aroma, have you ever been to the toilet of a pub or venue at the end of the night, or the next morning before the cleaners did their job? If you have, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s strong but not pleasant.


I cut the cigar with my xikar cutter, the cold draw is good. I hardy taste anything, just a little dry tobacco. I lit the cigar with my soft flame and taste an acidic coffee. After three puffs I also taste a little sweetness. After half an inch it’s lemon with some honey and that’s it. After a third I still taste the lemon but now with a faint chocolate and some musty cedar. The final third is wood with a little bit of pepper.


The salt and pepper colored ash is not firm at all. The smoke is thin and medium in amount. The burn is good though, just like the draw. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is a boring hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No! Boring! This is a typical event cigar for tourist who normally don’t smoke cigars. It’s not a bad cigar, just boring.

Score: 73
number73

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Categories: 73, American cigars, Gasparilla | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Macarena Big Robusto Natural & Maduro

So I was at the office of a cigar distributer in The Netherlands and he shows me a few bundles of cigars and asks if I know anything about these sticks. I didn’t, and I actually didn’t know anything about them at all. It’s a brand called Macarena and they come in a natural and a maduro version. Only thing I know is that they are made by A. Turrent in Mexico, so I was surprised to see these bundles at their office since A. Turrent has another distributer in The Netherlands. The only thing I had to say straightaway was “Oh, I hope its better than the song”. Then the question came up, are these medium fillers or longfillers, a sharp knife brought the answer: longfiller and pretty well constructed too I might add.

Now I got a Big Robusto, 5 1/2×54, of both the natural and the maduro version, to try and give my honest opinion about these cigars and I must say, i’m a bit scared since I was told that the general opinion of the test panel wasn’t too positive, add that to my previous experiences with Mexican cigars, I don’t think I will be in for a treat. Don’t get me wrong, some Mexican tobacco used in a blend is great but all Mexican cigars I smoked so far didn’t fit my palette . But I have to keep an open mind, forget the prejudice and smoke it anyway. Maybe thinking about the times I met Alejandro Turrent, who’s a nice guy, and the Mexican parties they hosted at the Intertabac trade show for years can counter effect the negative associations.

To get more info on the cigar I decided to turn to google but that didn’t help me either, except more confusion. It turns out that there’s also a company on the Canary Islands that has a cigar names Macarena but I could only find a registry and information on the Mexican Macarena in English still wasn’t to be found anywhere. I did find a few Romanian web shops that sell this Macarena from A. Turrent but my Romanian isn’t what it used to be, and it didn’t use to be much anyway so that wasn’t really helpful either. So basically, except the size of 5 1/2×54 and the producer I have got nothing to tell about this cigar.

Macarena Big Robusto Natural


Back to the cigar, which looks aren’t very appealing. The color of the cigar is a milky chocolate, thats fine, but its a rough looking wrapper, with big veins and the cap isn’t glued nicely so it frayed. The construction feels good enough though. The ring is very old fashioned, it could be a ring from the 40’s. It has a yellow and gold lining with a white circle. In that circle is a portrait of a woman wearing a pearl necklace. Underneath the woman there is a red banner that says Macarena. On the sides the backdrop is red with the golden lining and on both sides a yellow banner with red letters that says “henco a mano”. The quality of the printing is very good though, sharp lines and the gold really pops, too bad that the image is so old fashioned in a boring way. The aroma is medium strong and is a mixture of hay and licorice.


Due to the not so pretty cap I decided to use my straight cut on this cigar instead of punching it. I get absolutely no air through the cigar, the wrapper gives me a little pepper on my lips and I also taste raw tobacco. To be able to smoke the cigar I use a draw poker and it’s not just a plug somewhere but the whole cigar is one big plug and I have to use force to get the draw poker through. Even after the draw poker the draw is still tough. I light the cigar with a soft flame.


I taste coffee and wood, slightly bitter. After a centimeter I taste wood with some sweetness that comes close to a low quality honey. After a third I taste a mild bitter wood with only a little bit of milk chocolate. Halfway I draw 4 more holes in the cigar, finally the draw gets a bit better and I taste a nut flavor that pleases me. After two thirds a minty aftertaste shows up. Slowly I also taste some pepper with the nuts and the mint and it’s actually nice near the end.


The draw is horrible and because of that the smoke is thin and poor in amount. The ash is salt and pepper colored. It’s quite firm. The burn is good, not straight as an arrow but good enough. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe one to see what the cigar is like with a better draw, but pure out of curiosity and not because I like the cigar. But truth be said, it wasn’t as bad as I expected and the issue with this cigar is more on the technical side as it is on the tobacco side.

Score: 73

73

Macarena Big Robusto Maduro


The ring of the maduro version is exactly the same as the natural version, a well printed but old fashioned image of a lady on a white oval, a yellow background with golden lining and a red banner with the name of the brand, and red banners with henco a mano on the sides. The wrapper isn’t very pretty, dark, rugged and just from the looks I would guess its Brazilian. The cap looks a bit better than on the natural version though. The construction feels a little hard, I’m hoping the draw is better than last weeks Macarena. There isn’t much of an aroma, but what I smell is urine drained hay.


I cut the cigar with a straight cut by Xikar and test the cold draw. It’s a huge difference with natural version, this cigar has a good draw with a spicy taste. I use a soft flame to light the cigar. The taste is woody with a mild bitterness. After a few puffs all I taste is a mild bitterness with sweetness. The flavors do feed my thoughts on the wrapper being Brazilian. After a centimeter I taste licorice, I like the candy since I’m Dutch so I don’t mind but it’s not good enough to love the cigar. Slowly I start tasting a little pepper too. The licorice gets a little salty. In between halfway and two thirds I taste licorice with a rotten wood flavor, salt and a tiny bit of pepper but it’s not very nice. Then the flavor changes to paprika flavored potato chips and perfume with a peppery aftertaste, this is the most weird tasting cigar I ever smoked, and I smoked a lot.


The draw is reasonable but the smoke is very thin and there isn’t a lot of it. The ash is pepper and salt colored and reasonably firm. The burn is good, straight and I didn’t have to touch up or correct. This cigar is medium bodied and mild to medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.


Would I buy this cigar again? No, it’s not worth to give it another try.

Score: 75
number75

Categories: 73, Macarena, Mexican cigars, Nueva Matacapan de Tabacos | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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