Tarazona is one of those cigar companies that have been around for quite a while, but just hasn’t crossed my path until recently. I got a chance to meet with owner Eddie Tarazona, and talk to him a bit about the brand. One of the interesting hooks about the company is that five dollars from every box of Tarazona Cigars is donated to the Humane Society of Greater Miami, this is done out of the love that Eddie has for his dog Khan.
Tarazona has three lines the Classic, the XTC, and the 305 which I am reviewing today. The Tarazona 305 is named after the Dade County area code and features a Costa Rican Maduro wrapper and Nicaraguan binders and fillers.
Below is a picture of Eddie with his pit bull Khan.
Size: 7 x 50
Wrapper: Costa Rican Maduro
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The band on the Tarazona 305 is fairly simple. It is white with black writing and some red tracings. On the top in small letters it says Tarazona, in the middle 305 (the Miami area code) in large letters with a bird in the middle of the zer0, and below that it says Est. 1975. The wrapper is a dark brown, which is slightly mottled with some reddish brown spots. The wrapper has some fairly apparent veins and a nice little bit of oil to it.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Tarazona 305 has notes of coffee, oak, and leather. The foot has the scent of earth, hay, coffee, and chocolate. To prepare smoking the Tarazona 305 I use a straight cut and on the cold draw there are flavors of spice, leather, earth, oak, and a little coffee.
Smoking Characteristics: The Tarazona 305 kicks off with a slightly tight draw but still provides a decent body of smoke. The first third has notes of oak, spice, earth, leather, and a little coffee. The flavor is mostly dominated by the the oak and leather with the spice and coffee working as undertones. The overall flavor has a slight sweetness to it, but it is not very pronounced. The finish on the palate is very clean, but mostly flavor neutral with just a little coffee lingering. The strength in the first third is in the medium range, but the spice in the blend seems to allude that it will build somewhat.
Into the second third of the Tarazona 305, the sweetness starts to build a little and takes on a nice milk chocolate flavor. The notes of oak, earth, leather, and spice still dominate the flavor profile; the coffee and chocolate work as pleasant undertones. The strength does pick up a bit into the medium to full range during this third, but the finish on the palate is still a bit muted for my preference. The construction is doing quite well, the draw has opened up and become very ideal, easily providing a nice full body of rich, cool, semi sweet smoke. The ash holds firm to about the inch point without flaking at all, and the burn is quite sharp.
During the last third of the Tarazona 305, the coffee and chocolate start to really amp up along with a new note of black licorice which start to dominate the flavor profile. The notes of oak, earth, leather, and spice all remain, but are now just undertones. The construction remains ample, the ash holding firmly past the inch point, the burn requiring some small corrections, but nothing major. The draw is still quite agreeable now, each puff providing me with a nice full body of rich, cool, semi sweet smoke. The Tarazona 305 performs well to the nub, without warming or becoming bitter towards the end.
Conclusion: The Tarazona 305 Churchill took a while to hit its stride with the flavor profile. The final third of the cigar was really quite enjoyable, and easily my favorite third, but it seemed like the first two thirds were simply building too it. It isn’t that the first thirds were unpleasant, they were just a little uneventful. Yet, the final third did make up for it quite a bit. Overall the construction was excellent, the ash very firm, the draw performed nicely after the first third, and the burn required almost no touch ups. The Tarazona 305 Churchill is worth checking out.