Wednesday, June 17, 2015

PROTOCOL Corona Gorda Review

by: Cubariqueno Cigars
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size:  5 5/8 x 46
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Factory: La Zona

You may have not heard of Cubariqueno Cigars before, however I guarantee if you are anywhere connected to cigar social media, you have heard of the founders, Juan Cancel and Bill Ives! I first got to know Bill way back in the early days of Cigar Dojo. I don't know Juan quite as well but see him all over the place in the cigar realm and probably had first contact with him in the DE fan facebook page known as CATS. Both of these dudes are very passionate about the cigar industry, and have become friends with many manufacturers, blenders, torcedors, shop owners, etc...... basically any and everyone in the industry. I knew it was just a matter of time till I saw a blend with their names on it.

This cigar has a beautiful Oscuro shaded Ecuadorian Habano leaf wrapper. This was one of my favorite wrappers last year. It just seemed that all the good new smokes were wearing the EH as a wrap. The Protocol has a Nicaraguan binder holding in all Nicaraguan long fillers from both the Estelli and Jalapa Valley regions. I was told that there are 4 ligero leaves in the Corona Gorda, and after smoking it, I believe it. The cigar had a nice solid feel to it and slight veins and seams on the stick. I'm not going to explain the band......just look at the damn pictures. However it is a masculine band that goes along well with the "Protocol" name if you ask me. Reminds me a lot of a shield you may see Bill or Juan dawning on their chest while at the 9 to 5!  Time to light this baby up!

Right out of the gate there is a nice blast of pepper and spice to the back of the throat. The smoke production is nice, peppery, and heavy, however I wouldn't call it a "creamy" smoke early off anyways. The retro has a nice touch of black or maybe even red pepper and is accompanied by a  nice spice I can't put a descriptive finger on. The bad boy burned beautifully through the first third and held an ash for about 2 inch increments, while I am waving my hands around and talking so the construction is rockstar solid, which honestly I wouldn't expect any less out of La Zona. I would put Erik and Co up against any of the big boys in the world when it comes to constructing a cigar! Getting around the 2nd third to middle of stick a nice Anise/licorice note came in to accompany the pepper and rich tobacco flavor that you expect from Nica ligero priming. This little baby is packing a punch!

<------- See that right there?  That my friends is called a razor sharp burn! And remember this is a CG vitola! Not a robo, or a toro, or other 50+ ring guage, and the ash stays on for 2+ inch segments, and I was waving my hands around like a damn banshee the whole time the cigar wasn't to my lips! About the 50 yard line of the stick I really lost most of the licorice and anise flavors and was left with the traditional richness and power you come to know if you smoke many Nicaraguan sticks. This baby opened up and definitely is letting you know it is a full body and flavor smoke! It isn't an over the top face peeler that necessarily NEEDS to have rest but it is a nice ride that will let you know you have been there. It is definitely a full body and strength stick, but even more full in flavor. 

Getting on into the home stretch of the smoke the strength picks up a little more, and the flavor steers towards a nice full black coffee note with pepper back on the retrohale. This baby burned perfect the whole way through. Kudos to La Zona on construction, it is what we call here at JAGG, "mother fucking perfect!"  25 out of 25 on construction in my opinion. Perfect draw and perfect burn. The flavor is good, however I truly believe it will benefit greatly from age, and could be great! I would definitely personally smoke these late at night and into the evening before I would light one up first thing in the A.M.  I really wanted to review the CG and the Toro side by side, but due to moving currently, the Toro will have to wait a few more days but I will post it as soon as possible. Now next question you probably want to know is where do I get these? Berkely Humidor ---->    That's where!  Pick some up, I am getting more!!! Just waiting to smoke the Toro which vitola I decide to purchase!   now for the final score on this stick.

Appearance: 23/25
Construction: 25/25
Flavor: 21/25
Overall: 23/25

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