Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro Robusto Review
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Brazilian Habano Maduro
Binder: Dominican Criollo 98
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Background: Small Batch Reserve is a recent release that will only be produced on demand rather than continuously like PDRs core line. They are a bit unique as they are rolled Entubar style and ship without cellophane (old Cuban style.)
Prelight: This cigar had an attractive dark brown wrapper with an oily sheen. The construction was very good on all three I smoked for this review. They were all well packed, consistent, had minimal veins, triple cap, and a perfect draw. A cold draw revealed notes of earth and spice.
Burn: The burn on this cigar was very good and no touchups were needed. I even smoked a couple with wrapper damage at the foot and it burned and corrected itself without help or issue. I think that is a testament to how well these are rolled. The ash held for well over an inch with a tight brilliant white ash. Total burn time was about an hour and a half.
Taste: Initial flavors after lighting was a heavy blast of black pepper and spice with a little bit of woodiness in the background. After a few puffs the flavor became a full body wood and spice affair with hint of sweetness in the background. Heading out of the first third the wood became a bit stronger, the spiced became a bit muted, and I picked up hints of espresso. Around the half way point the finish became an earthy leather. I also started noticing a respectable nicotine kick. The last third was pretty much a heavy earthy wood and leather with strong but muted spice. I would call this cigar medium-full in flavor and full in strength.
Conclusion: I think this was a decent cigar but it was a bit of a letdown compared to the Habano. The maduro added very little sweetness to the mix but muted the spice and coffee flavors that I enjoyed the most out of the blend. That being said these seemed to be smoking a bit young and I think they might become quite good with a bit more time.
Review Notes: The cigar reviewed was generously given to me by PDR for review. Thank you again Abe and Ekert. It was in my humidor for two weeks cello off at 65% rh. For the review I smoked one drinking only water, water and coffee, and water and scotch. The water and scotch pair very well, the coffee not so much.