Hey Guys! First time review here so be nice!
Today I'm reviewing a cigar that many of you probably haven't tried before. It's made by Tesa Cigar Company, a boutique brand of cigars that has it's own storefront in Chicago near downtown. Apparently these are blended by a 24 year old guru, Chicago resident Chris Kelly. They are made in a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. They make several different blends and here is one of their most popular ones.
Blend: Cabinet 312
Vitola: Series R
Size: 4-3/4 x 52
Wrapper: Criollo '98 Maduro
Filler: All Nicaraguan
The Cabinet 312 (named after Chicago's most famed area code) has a pigtail cap. The cigar feels packed very tight and very firm (think LP Feral Pig). The wrapper has a couple lumps here and there but nothing distracting. However one leaf had a jagged cut to it (see pic below). I don't think a $10 smoke should have something like this but it didn't affect anything. Otherwise it's a very attractive cigar. Like other Tesa cigars there are no wrappers on them. This is unfortunate because they have a pretty sweet tiger logo.
Throughout the whole cigar it pretty much burned evenly. I never had to touch up the cigar or relight it. The smoke was plentiful and thick. The draw was nice and easy especially for such a tight rolled cigar. The ash was a white/grayish in appearance. I was able to get a consistent 1-1/2" of ash on there and probably could go longer if I tried.
The first 1/2 of the cigar had a very woodsy and peppery taste to it. The second 1/2 half of the cigar the pepper taste became more pronounced but I never felt overpowered by the cigar. Bits of sweetness like cocoa or mocha kept popping up from time to time. Not an overly complex flavor but rather quite enjoyable. Never at any point did I get that "gutcheck" feeling when smoking this cigar like other full bodied Nicaraguans. (Then again I just ate some ribs beforehand)
A very nice cigar. However at that price point I'm expecting just a tad bit more. Overall I enjoyed it and would not hesitate to purchase more Tesa cigars.