Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

11/9/16

Cubariqueno Protocol - Cigar Review

B”H
INTRO
Poor, poor Bill Clinton. 
I'd hate to be that fella to-day.

THE CIGAR
Cubariqueno Cigar Co.
Protocol
5 5/8 x 46 Corona Gorda
w. Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
b. Nicaraguan Habano
f. Quadruple Nicaraguan Ligero
La Zona SA, Nicaragua (Erik Espinosa)
PRE-LIGHT
Evenly-done seams, mayhaps a tick shy of tight. Veins, but none prominently so, and no potential threat to redirect burn. Smooth leathery espresso bean brown with a chocolatey under-hue, oily sheen over-top. What looks to be a triple cap is finely affixed. At the other end is much brunette tobacco locks with some dark auburn lilt and even a dirty-blonde tick or two. Eyeballs to a -full density of packing.

Charmin Squeeze test results in a medium+ and evenly distributed pinch. No soft/hard spots. Sheen transfers to fingers. Shaft is a smooth leatheriness, bordering on short-haired suede. Nose along the top-leaf is a heady touch of biological driven spicy barnyard... poopy and pee-pee, gentlepersons. Compost. Meat. A baking chocolate backing. At the foot, there's a peppery spice addition with a deeper darkness to chocolate. Nutty woods are sensed in nuances. 

A quick clip via Xikar Xi2 frees a smooth flowing and medium+ tensioned cold draw. Notes there are a rare smoky pre-light of woods, black pepper, leather, nuts. Cold finish sees an input of delayed chocolate sweetness with impressively lengthy chilly chili legs. Another pre-light puff or two shows an unaltered draw and additional dollops of a now creamier chocolate up-front.

LIGHT
[Pause to hear Hillary's concession speech]
Toasting the foot releases an aroma of pepper alongside roasting espresso beans. First hot tug is an up-front black pepper with a subtle toasted cream underbelly. Smoked hardwoods are a slightly trailing shotgun to the driving pepper. Underbelly is barnyard, compost and a dark Ligero somber bit with a bittersweet lilt. Second hot pull is retro-haled to a blast of black pepper with a dark chocolate foreground. Espresso beans are ground and grounded in a topsoil compost barnyard richness. Finish gets a caramelized brown sugar. Woods rise up from earth and keep on a-rainin' in a smokey toasty manner. Third hottie is all about dropping more chocolate into the profile. A peppery tingle sets into the mouth-feel; perfect moisture level there thus far.

No softening of pack off toast and light. Seams hold fast. Line is a tick wavered, but self-correcting as I nit-pick. Ash is a somewhat loose sheath of heather grey coloring. Draw is same as ever and leads to a fully satiated smoke-hole. Already a profile which flirts with chewy like a drunk Han Solo. Medium+ outta the gate and since we are out on the gate, I suppose we are now in --
ACT I
Cedar is added to the woods -- spiced yet too creamy 'nuff note to be softly delivered. Very smokey. Beef jerky vibe. That cedar pulls in a sweetly tart citrus note, my grandfather's daily half grapefruit with spoon of sugar. Mulling spice firms up behind the black pepper front. Lots of complexities twixt the nuances of chocolate/earth/woods. 

A bit of top-leaf requires a slight wooden match touch-up. Ash darkens a shade and aerates some. Draw holds, as doth seams. Room note is a campfire thing straight from a Louis L'Amour novel. Finish, as the opening act winds down, is a dialing back of sweetness in favor of smokiness and a lengthening of legs. Ends cleanly on the back of a citrus tick. Woodcentic blend, toastfully so. Very meaty and well-rounded. Balance is achieved in a straight-forward manner. Cream lessens. A crema sets atop espresso nicely. -Full.

ACT II
Chocolate gets delivered more closely on the palate to the earthiness which sharpens via the aforementioned crema addition to espresso. Roasts. Beef jerky dalliance heads to a smoked meat. Verily a heady stick, if a non-smoking pal wants to try a cigar -- save this one for after he smokes a few connies. Read: this Protocol ain't a beginner's offering. For all the Ligero strength, it gentlemanly avoids being throaty or tendencies toward palate fatigue. Strength is enough to keep ya tuchus'd by the campfire, but not unsettled there. The first person to reach for an acoustic guitar gets asked to leave. Woods toast more. A dark grain flows in. Leather firms and lays out over the earth under-belly. Black pepper sautes in leathery oils and the tingle dials back a tick.

Burn is a bit curved, but no touch-up is nigh necessitated. Density of pack still ain't budged. Tobacco darkens and sharpens a bit. It begins to border on a pipe tobacco with hints of vanilla and citrus, verily toasted with a wooden lilt. A far-away black cherry roasting. My upper lip schvitzes under my Movember 'stache. My heart mayhaps flutters a tick.

ACT III
Pace of combustion continues to be ideal. Landscape narrows a bit and is earthy earthy earthy, I say thrice. Toasted roasted. Citrus enhances a bit. Spices over-take pepper, warmly. Smoke out-put up-ticks and cumulus clouds hang in my morning porch.

Grains flex and I sense a nutty black bread. Texture is that and yeasty. Robust to say the yeast... least. I meant least. Leathery oils flood in. A story told on the back of a minimalistic dialogue one man hath with himself. I suppose I meant monologue. Meditative but not gloomily so. Contemplative. Full.

Pack softens a half-tick. Dark chocolate Dove bar. Smoke mounts and mounts in a cool fashion. I pull the brim of my Stetson down over my eyes and reach into the wood-pile for a toothpick for my Protocol's nub.
PAIRINGS
Cherry Manischewitz

SMOKE TIME
80mins

FINAL GRADE
****A-****

OUTRO
My grandfather lived under the Bolsheviks prior to coming to Warren G. Harding's America. He'd tell his son, my dad, that life was no different under each -- he always just ate a lot of potatoes and very little meat.

The trick, methinks, is to eat potatoes with yer brethren.
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EDITOR'S NOTE
I originally mis-titled this post using Grande instead of the correct Gorda. Unfortunately, due to the platform, my mistake may continue to appear in links as the title. My bad, gentlepersons. I apologize.

L'shalom