Pudge, 4.5" x 56 ring gauge / MSRP $7.20
Fat Boy, 6.5" x 60 ring gauge / MSRP $8.70
Pedro Gonzalez founded Don Gonzlaez cigars in 2007 and while the distribution of his cigars is not extremely wide, he does have a faithful following. I looked at 3 varieties of his "Special Edition" back in March (Connecticut, Corojo, and Maduro) and enjoyed them, so I was very interested when I saw the "Signature Series" on the shelf at Burns a few weeks ago. I bought a Corojo in the Pudge vitola, and a few days later received a Fat Boy Corojo from Mike at Leaf & Ale (Knoxville). I decided to compare the two vitolas for this review. I was able to find no information about these cigars online as the company's website has not been updated to reflect their existence yet, but I e-mailed Pedro Gonzalez and he let me know that these two sizes would be available in 3 wrapper varieties (Connecticut and Maduro along with the Corojo I got) and that all 3 cigars are Nicaraguan puros. I smoked one of each vitola for this review.
The Pudge was rather rather "Nub-like" in appearance, but anymore it is hard to avoid that comparison when you make a relatively fat, relatively short cigar. The band was nicely done and the wrapper had a nice oily sheen and a decent amount of oil to the touch. The color was consistent top-to-bottom, although the Pudge was lighter overall in color than the Fat Boy. I got barnyard scents from the wrapper and a sweeter chocolate with some earthniess on the foot. The wrapper of the Fat Boy was not only slightly dark but rather toothy. Aroma notes were very similar between the two. After cutting the Pudge, I got nice prelight flavors of natural tobacco and a bit of pepper spice. The Fat Boy had much the same prelight flavor with maybe a touch more sweetness.
On the first puffs of the Pudge, I got some rather bitter, dark-roast coffee flavor. The next thing I noticed was a nuttiness on the retrohale and a healthy dose of pepper. The draw was excellent, but already it was threatening to canoe--I would give it some time to self-correct. It seemed to do better within about 5 minutes. I noticed that the bitter notes started being better balanced with some sweetness around the same time--mostly just a natural tobacco sweetness with a bit of cedar mixed in.
The Fat Boy started off very bitter on the first few puffs, too, but it mellowed rapidly into a nice earthiness with plenty of chili pepper spice and an undertone of black coffee.
By the time the second third of the Pudge rolled around, I was thoroughly enjoying this fine medium-bodied smoke. I was starting to get a little more pepper on the palate and at the back of the throat, but mostly I tasted very pleasing tobacco flavor along with dark coffee and roasted nuts. By the end of this third I was also getting that nice distinctive Corojo flavor--cedar, hints of cinnamon, and more pepper spice.
The Fat Boy started a little tight and got tighter as I went despite a couple remedies attempted. It was still smokeable, but not nearly as easy as I wanted. The second third was peppery--like the Pudge, but with more cedar flavor rather than the coffee.
The last third of the Pudge was very nice as well, continuing the "corojo" flavor profile that ended the second third. The Fat Boy saw the draw finally open up quite nicely during the last third, making it much easier to enjoy. I still got a nice amount of spice, although I was getting more coffee and earthiness.
I liked both of these cigars, but I have to give a definite edge to the Pudge. It not only had better draw and construction for me, but allowed the Corojo wrapper to show off a bit better as well. I will smoke the Pudge again and am going to make it a point to pick up the other two wrapper varieties when I see them and schedule them for review as well.
Agree, disagree or have your own thoughts you would like to share on this cigar? Please leave a comment and speak your mind!