Today I am reviewing the Estilo Cubano by Ventura Cigars, and pairing it with a Keurig Starbucks Sumatra Dark coffee. Ventura Cigars is a new company owned by Kretek Innternational and has made a splash with their lines the Estilo Cubano, Pura Sangre, and Las Ramblas.
Also today marks the first contest of A Cigar Smoker’s Journal 4th Anniversary. Four years ago, near the end of April, Barry Stein, who founded acigarsmoker.com, posted his first review of the Nub Cameroon which you can read here. We will run a few contests this month to celebrate it. Each will have a different prize and a different way to enter, so make sure to stop by and check it out.
For this contest we will be giving away 5 – Ventura gift packs which include a beautiful cutter, and 3 cigars! The 3 cigars will be one of each of their lines, the Las Ramblas, Pura Sangre, and Estilo Cubano, plus as a special bonus if you have a Keurig Machine I’ll throw in one of the pods I used while doing this review so you can try out this pairing for yourself!
You can enter this contest three different ways, each will will gain you one entry. All you need to do to enter is suggest a cigar with a beverage pairing. This pairing can be either alcoholic, or like this post, non-alcoholic. It’s completely up to you. Our favorite five submissions will win the prize packs, and we will even do a review of our number 1 pick! The first way to enter is by posting the suggestion as comment on this post. The second is by liking our Facebook page and posting it there. The final way to enter is by tweeting the suggestion including @acigarsmoker. Good luck to everyone who enters and I’m looking forward to reading all of the different suggestions. The winner will be chosen on April, 16th, 2012.
Size: Toraso 5¾ x 54
Wrapper: Viso Habano Maduro
Filler: Seco Habano and Ligero Habano
Strength: Medium to full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction: The Estilo Cubano has a very dark Viso Habano Maduro wrapper, nearly black in color with nearly no veins. The cigar is very solid, and has no soft spots or visible construction flaws. The cigar is capped with a pig tail, and has a slight oil gloss.
Flavor and notes: The wrapper, unlike many maduros, has a very deep charred wood scent, with notes of oak and almost a dark roasted coffee bean. The foot has the same notes and an added earth note, and makes the nose tingle slightly when you smell it. The coffee, oddly enough, has almost the exact same scent as the wrapper of the Estilo Cubano. On the cold draw there are notes of earth, hay, and charred oak.
Smoking Characteristics: The first draw produces a rich oak spice, along with white pepper, and some roasted flavor. During the first third the flavor profile consists of the rich spices, mostly oak and white pepper, as well has roasted flavors. The black dark roasted coffee works wonderfully with the white pepper and the roasted charred flavor profile of the Estilo Cubano. The draw was slightly tight until I opened up the pig tail punch a little bit. Once I made the slight correction the draw was perfect, each puff producing a full body of the smoke. The burn was also good, the tight salt and pepper ash clinging to a perfect burn line. The smoke of the Estilo Cubano seemed slightly warm until I took the first sip of the Sumatra blend coffee, after that it was very cool and rich.
Into the second third the notes of oak spice, roasted flavors, and earth are joined by dark chocolate which makes a great addition to the flavor profile. The Dark Roast coffee now kicks this experience to another level with the bitterness of the coofee complimenting the dark chocolate notes that become more prominent in the smoke.
During the final third the flavor remains mostly the same, the roasted flavor and dark chocolate intensifying slightly. The burn and draw have remained perfect and required no attention aside from the slight correction to the pigtail punch. It should be noted how well the ash holds on this cigar, I can easily smoke it to an inch in length with no worry of it dropping off on its own accord. This third of the cigar also continues to be complimented well by the coffee.
Conclusion: The pairing was a success without a doubt. The cigar has very deep roasted flavors with notes of dark chocolate which were well blended and appealed to my palate, especially in the morning. This combined, with a great dark roasted coffee, made for a good smoking experience. Yet, if you like blonde roast coffees or sugar and cream in your coffee, I don’t think this paring would work out nearly as well. That being said, if anyone tries it, I would love to hear what you think!