40, 5.25" x 40 ring gauge / $20 for a pack of 5, Leaf & Ale
My continuing quest for the best small cigars--especially suitable for a quick, quality smoking experience when the mercury has fallen--has led to me Dion Giolito's entry into the small cigar field: the Cuchillo Cubano. These are a blend of long and medium-filler tobacco, all sourced in Nicaragua and all handmade. They are available in a variety of sizes, but I chose the 40 ring gauge version since it's very close to lancero girth.
There is absolutely nothing to knock about the appearance of this stick--it looks like a mini-Illusione, by which I mean medium-brown in color with medium-veins and an overall great construction in evidence. The wrapper had a grassy, earthy smell to it and I got some cocoa powder on the foot. The cold draw was smooth and open, with flavors of sweet natural tobacco and just a little mild coffee. After lighting, I got more of those natural tobacco flavors on the tongue and a nice peppery retrohale.
If you pick up the Cuchillos Cubanos thinking you are getting a mini-MJ12, you are probably going to be disappointed. To me, this stick did not exhibit the same Corojo flavors of a typical Illusione, and since "Corojo" is not specified on the website...well, that could be a reason why. What you will get, though, is a superb, medium-to-full bodied smoke with a rich natural tobacco flavor sprinkled with hints of creamy coffee, cocoa powder and black pepper. Overall, an excellent choice for a relatively short smoke--I say "relatively" because this still lasted close to 45 minutes for me.
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