Robusto, 5" x 54 ring gauge / $7.99, Maxamar's
A couple months ago I did a preview of this cigar, in a different size, from a show sample. You can read it here. The cigar I smoked for review was the sixth I smoked in this size.
Once I took the cigar out of the wrapper I was again impressed with what I saw. The wrapper was a black brown in color with a good amount of oils and tooth to the wrapper. The wrapper also had some medium and fine veins to it. The band is very classy in my opinion. I really like how the colors of it contrast with the wrapper. When I gave the cigar a squeeze I wasn't able to find any soft spots and it was fairly firm. Putting my nose to the wrapper I was able to detect the aroma of barnyard with chocolate coming from the foot. After clipping the cigar and taking a cold draw on it I noted the tastes of chocolate and leather with a very good draw.
After I lit up the cigar the first tastes I got were of dark chocolate and red pepper spice. After taking a few more puffs on it I started to get a wasabi like burn on the retrohale. The one thing I've noticed about these, and pretty much all Ligas, is that it has a lot of resting smoke. That smoke had the aroma of grilled meat. It is weird as I didn't get any of those flavors while smoking it. I did start getting some earth and leather coming through with a sweet finish. The draw was perfect and it produced a large volume of smoke. The burn was slightly wavy, but nothing that needed correction. The almost white ash fell off in three quarter of an inch chunks.
Moving on into the second third the spice definitely toned down quite a bit. The flavors that were present in the second third, chocolate and earth with a sweet creamy finish, weren't that different than the first third.
The final third saw this cigar finish off strong. The spice starting building back up especially on the tongue and I got a slight nicotine hit. The flavors changed to chocolate, leather, earth, wood and cinnamon. The sweetness went away almost completely. The burn evened itself out and the draw was perfect and it continued to produce a lot of smoke.
In my opinion this was a great cigar. I was very happy to see that some of the issues I experienced with the pre-release sample, specifically draw, wasn't a problem in the cigars I smoked for the review. To me this reminded me of a Liga No. 9 but with a bit more oomph. I think that if you like the Liga line you have to give this cigar a try. I would also recommend it to anyone out there that enjoys a chocolaty rich cigar that doesn't mind there being a little strength behind it. The price of it being 50% less, here in California, might make me like this cigar even more than the No. 9.