When Pinar Del Rio first burst onto the cigar scene a few years ago they weren’t met with a lot of love. The cigars had a cult following but general acceptance among cigar smokers was slow to come, at least in my neck of the woods. Well over the last year or so Abe Flores has slowly taken Pinar Del Rio to the next level. Having run into him at Cigar Expo held by Famous Smoke Shop I remember how happy Abe was about his new products and he gifted me with a few smokes including my first ever culebra.
Fast forward from May to August and again I ran into Abe Flores down in New Orleans in his home shop of Don Leoncio cigars and I fell in love with the 1878 Capa Madura. So a few weeks ago when Abe reached out to me to smoke his new cigars I was all for it. Today is the Natural version and next week we will review the Oscuro. The blend of the Capa Natural is the same as the Capa Madura with the exception of the wrapper.
Cigar: PDR 1878 Cubano Especial Capa Madura
Size: 5 x 52 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut (Aged 3 Years)
Binder: Dominican Criollo ’98
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican Criollo
Facebook: Pinar Del Rio
Official Site: http://www.pdrcigar.com/
Appearance and Construction: First let me state I smoked two of these cigars prior to getting sick with mild pneumonia, but I held off posting the review til I smoked the 3rd which I did for today’s review. I was able to use the results in comparison to say I am healed enough to get the cigar. The Pinar Del Rio Cubano Especial Capa Natual has a nice Ecuadorian Connecticut shade grown wrapper with a nice amount of oils visible to the eye. The cap features a pig tail which is exquisitely placed. Upon close inspection the stick has minimal veins, feels slightly light in the hand and no soft spots.
Flavor & Notes: Once I clipped the cap with a scissor cut the prelight draw served up a nice firm oak note that reminded me a lot of some cask strength scotches. While I am not ready to drink after my cold, this cigar would pair up nicely with a nice single malt. The foot of the cigar had some faint oaky and peaty earth to the nose. Once the cigar is lit notes of oak, peat and a slight sweetness are easily identifiable. As we progressed through the first third of the cigar the oak and earth slowly moved to the background as a nice vanilla moved to the foreground. As we progress into the second third of this buttery smooth cigar the notes are deliciously sweet. Vanilla, nuts and a slight wood that begins to border on cedar make up the second third. The final third the strength begins to turn up ever so slightly with continued notes of vanila, peaty earth and a slight leather on the finish.
Smoking Characteristics: Perfection. The Pinar Del Rio Cubano Especial Capa Natural smokes perfectly. The medium to dark gray color ash while a bit lightweight held on well, and I never wound up with a lap full of ash before I chose to ash. The burn was crisp and clean and the stick had a nice volume of smoke. The nose of the smoke was a particularly enjoyable vanilla oak.
Conclusion: The one negative about the cigar is how fragile the wrapper is and in smoking one of the samples in the cold air I had issues cracking. While I am willing to attribute this to the weather I was surprised by how fragile it was. The Capa Natural is a nice compliment to the Maduro and the cigar leans toward medium bodied but just barely. The cigar was incredibly flavorful and the price is definitely worth a box purchase.
Disclaimer: We received these cigars compliments of Pinar Del Rio and as always all spelling, typographical and grammar mistakes have been left in place for you amusement and/or to annoy my good friend Gary J. Arzt.