I just picked up one of the last 30 or so boxes yesterday. These are looking like an absolute steal at their discounted $79 a box price.
Review: Pinar Del Río BOTL.org Small Batch 2010
For those of you that don’t know.
About 2 months ago, it was announced that Pinar Del Rio would be releasing a very limited cigar run to be sold through (and only too members of) one of the main cigar forums that I frequent, BOTL.org (or Brothers of the Leaf). The owner of Pinar Del Rio cigars, Abraham Flores, and the people over at Burning Leaf Cigars decided to release this specific blend for the forum. There are some plans to make this an annual release as well, although nothing is nailed down as of yet.
The Pinar Del Rio BOTL is rolled at Tabacalera Don Leoncio in the Dominican Republic, and is limited to 200 boxes (20 per box, so 4,000 total cigars) and is only available from Burning Leaf cigars in Plainfield, Illinois. The cigar I reviewed was a prerelease that was sans band. The boxes (which have not been shipped yet, but should be in the mail in the next week or so) look like this (Photo Courtasy PDR Facebook Page).
But enough of that, let’s get down to business!
- Cigar Reviewed: Pinar Del Río “Brother of the Leaf” (BOTL) Small Batch 2010
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera Don Leoncio
- Wrapper: Brasil Bahía
- Binder: Criollo 98 Dominican Republic
- Filler: Corojo Nicaragua & Habano Dominican Republic
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- Est. Price (MSRP): $6.25
- Release Date: July 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 20 Cigars (4,000 total cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
[Note: For full disclosure purposes, I was given this cigar by another BOTL to review, and the location we smoked and photographed it was quite dark, thus the abnormal cigar detail shots. This cigar was kept for a week in optimum conditions (65 degrees at 65% humidity) as all my cigars are before being reviewed, but it was not kept in my Vino, as I could not meet up with the BOTL who had it to get it before we smoked it. ~ed]
The cigar itself is a great looking cigar (and as you may or may not know from reading this site, I am always in love with the Corona Gorda vitola), with a very dark brown wrapper that smells of spice and leather. The wrapper is almost shockingly oily (reminded me immediately of an OR Tatuaje T110 in that regard), has a very slight box press, and is firm when squeezed. The construction looks to be top notch as well, although the cigar is slightly bumpy up and down its length. The pre-light draw contained quite a bit of a sweet tobacco profile.
The First third started out very mild, with straight forward flavors of tobacco, but, about 10 puffs in, a major amount of spice comes out of nowhere, kinda like turning on a switch labeled “Spice Bomb”. It was quite strong for about 15 minutes, then calmed down enough for me to taste a sweet maple flavor, along with some cedar and just a bit of leather.
The Second Third started with the spice receding quite a bit (but still fairly strong in the background). There is still a sweet profile to the cigar, but the Leather note has really become dominant. I also tasted just a bit of sweet coffee as well, but it was fleeting.
The Last Third had very little change from the second third, other then the fact that the Leather note increased quite a bit, until it simply overwhelmed just about any other flavor that was present, it had more of a creamy texture to it (i.e., not as spicy or peppery), but was still almost like chewing on a piece of leather tack (and yes, I have actually done that!). The sweetness was Way down as well, and it ended fairly mild.
- This cigar produced what can only be described as a BUTTLOAD of smoke. It smelled amazing (spicy woodiness!) but the amount of smoke coming from it was almost overwhelming.
- If you want to get in on buying this cigar, the only place they are for sale is at Burning Leaf cigars in Plainfield, Illinois…or you can call them at (815)-230-5192
- I LOVE the fact that the blend for this cigar has been published (and I believe is on the box somewhere). I really wish more cigar makers would start doing this.
- I was honestly shocked at the price of these when I heard the details…most cigar manufactures Small Batch cigars are well north of $10.00 each, and I commend PDR for releasing such a good cigar at such a great price point (not to mention the vitola).
- The Draw was great, and the Burn was fairly good (had to touch it up a few times, but nothing major).
- The Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 25 Minutes.
The Bottom Line: Basically, this was a very good cigar, with plenty of great flavors, but that overwhelming Leather note definitely took away a bit from my overall enjoyment. However, there is no doubt in my mind that these cigars will get better (and perhaps quite a bit better) with a little age (say, 4-8 months) and some time to meld just a bit more. Having said that, I enjoyed smoking it quite a bit, and honestly, this is (and will be) one of the best bargains in cigars, with a price of just over $6.00 each.
Final Score: 87