Last year, El Artista S.R.L., a Dominican-based cigar factory and company, announced two new projects. One is Big Papi, a cigar with the famous baseball player David Ortiz, and the other a cigar paying tribute to the company’s founder, Ramón “Pulita” Rodriguez, who started making cigars in 1956.
“My grandfather loved the tobacco business, but he had a passion for cigars,” said Radhames Rodriguez, president of El Artista, when the cigar was announced last July. The blend uses a Dominican negrito wrapper, a Dominican criollo 98 binder and fillers from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Pennsylvania. It’s offered in two sizes.
- Pulita 60 Aniversario Robusto (5 x 50) — $12.20 (Box of 10, $122)
- Pulita 60 Aniversario Toro (6 x 54) — $13 (Box of 10, $130)
- Cigar Reviewed: El Pulita 60 Aniversario Robusto
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera El Artista S.R.L.
- Wrapper: Dominican Criollo 98
- Binder: Dominican Negrito
- Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & Pennsylvania
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $12.20 (Box of 10, $122)
- Release Date: Aug. 1, 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Aroma off the wrapper has leather, cedar and some ginger. From the foot, the Pulita 60 Aniversario has some sweet chocolate ice cream, leather and a rancid, wet carpet-like aromas. The cold draw has a less intense ginger, chocolate ice cream, nuttiness, some white pepper and something artificial, with one sample offering a ton of black pepper.
It begins mild with some lavender dish soap, generic cedar, mild creaminess, a bit of coffee and some caramel that reminds me of the Nestlé Crunch ice cream bar. The Pulita 60 gets substantially less sweet as a generic woodiness and toastiness come in, along with some burnt bread and faint hints of dish soap. Retrohales have nuttiness, at times what I’d peg as some acorn. Two cigars have decent construction, one has burn issues, but all three are developed tunneling issues by the end.
The Pulita 60 Aniversario gets saltier by way of a Ritz cracker flavor, though there is also creaminess, some oregano and vegetal flavors with a bit of a tequila-like burn. The flavor picks up to medium-full, body is medium and strength is full. It continues the trend of desperately needing sweetness as the flavor is becoming a bit aggressive for my tongue. The construction woes continue on all three cigars with tunneling amid other burn issues.
It’s not any better in the final third with the herbal flavors picking up alongside some earth, coffee, and a generic woodiness. While the tequila burn has disappeared, there is now added some white pepper. My issues with the flavor profile remain: it’s aggressive and needs some sweetness to help balance things out. Strength is full and seemingly continues to build towards the end. Two of the three cigars have burn issues through the final third, which probably isn’t helping the flavor.
- I imagine if I was drinking something, this would have been a lot more palatable.
- This cigar needed sweetness, while none of the flavors in isolation seemed particularly bad the combination in the second third was not fun for my palate.
- I tried to nurse the second and third cigars to avoid the tunneling issues, but it was to no avail. The cigar would get a bit hot and then all bets were off.
- I certainly was not surprising the strength, it was full for the latter two thirds and ramped up until the end.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Tabacalera El Artista S.R.L.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes on average.
I remember reading Patrick’s review of the Big Papi and him not having a favorable opinion of the cigar. That being said, I went into this with an open mind and was not expecting this level of frustration. By the time the third cigar came around, particularly after the first third, I was not wanting to smoke the cigar. The flavor wasn’t great, the balance was off and the construction was problematic.