Pinar del Río Small Batch Reserve Maduro – Cigar Review

In January a buzz was generated about two new lines coming from Pinar del Río. The first line to be released is the Small Batch Reserve which is offered in a Maduro and a Habano wrapper. Today I am doing a review of the Pinar del Río Small Batch Reserve Maduro. PDR will be also releasing the Flores y Rodriguez line during the 2012 IPCPR in Orlando, Florida in August. These are the first cigar lines from PDR to come out of their new factory, PDR Cigars, in Santiago, Dominican Republic, their current lines were produced in the Tabacalera Don Leoncio, also located in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Size: Robusto ( 5 x 52 )
Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra Habano Maduro
Binder: Dominican Criollo ’98
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican Corojo
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Flavor: Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

Construction and Appearance: The wrapper on the Pinar del Río Small Batch Reserve Maduro is a very dark brown, the color of dark chocolate. This is one of the firmest cigar’s I’ve held, a light squeeze gives they type of resistance I would expect from a tree branch. There are no soft spots at any point, it is a very well packed cigar. There are noticeable veins, and a light oily shine. The Pinar del Río Small Batch Reserve Maduro has a very generous triple cap, coming down a little further than expected.

Flavor and Notes: The wrapper has a very sweet scent, close to molasses or raisins, and a slight hay note. The foot has the same sweet molasses and hay scent combined with a light earth note. On the cold draw I can taste sweet dates, hay, and earth.

Smoking Characteristics:  The first draw produces a very rich sweet date flavor with a bit of cocoa. There is a slight undertone of oak spice, but it is well blended into the flavor. During the first third the notes of cocoa, sweet dates, and oak continue, the oak becoming a bit more present in the flavor profile. Between draws I’m left with a light sweetness, and a rich oak spice on my palate. The draw starts out a bit tight, but not overly so. The smoke is smooth, slightly creamy, and rich. The burn is perfect, a tight line at the end of the stick, and the ash is snow white in color, a very sharp contrast to the dark wrapper of the Pinar del Río Small Batch Reserve Maduro.

During the second third the oak spice eases slightly, the sweet cocoa and date flavors start to take over the smoking experience. During this third there are notes of hay, and a deep earthiness present in the undertones of the smoke.  The draw also opens to become full and even. The smoke is still cool, creamy, sweet, rich, and full. It is holding a great ash, very tight, but a slight correction was needed to even out the burn.

During the final third the strength starts to creep up on me. A nicotine buzz starts to set in I’d put the Pinar del Río Small Batch Reserve Maduro at a medium strength, but starting to head towards the full side of things. In this part of the smoke the sweet cocoa, and oak flavors are the most intense. The oak isn’t spicy, but very sweet and pleasant to me. There are notes of dates, earth, hay, and bittersweet chocolate as well working as undertones. The flavor is well blended, and full, a real pleasurable experience. Between each draw the bittersweet chocolate and oak flavors linger lightly on the palate. The draw is still even, and each puff produces a cool, creamy, full body of smoke.  The burn is even now, requiring no additional corrections.

Conclusion: The new PDR Cigars factory does good work, this was a great Maduro cigar. The flavor was rich, full, and well blended. The notes in this cigar completed each other perfectly.  There was exactly as much strength as I desire from my smokes, and it wasn’t the type of medium to full cigar which punches you in the face, but rather settles on slowly. The draw, while starting tight, opens up and becomes even. The burn, while requiring some attention, did not really sour the experience in any way. If you see this cigar near you, pick one up and try it out I think you’ll find it an enjoyable smoke.

Rating: 90

MSRP: $7.08 (Boxes of 20, $141.06) and limited to 100 boxes for each size.