The market for cigars priced $20 or more is somewhat stronger than I would have expected, and at the top of the list for new brands in that category are Selected Tobacco S.A. and Plasencia.
Selected Tobacco S.A. is better known for two of its brands—Atabey and Byron—along with the fancy packaging the cigars come in and the high prices that are charged. While the more notable packaging are ceramic jars, there have also been cigars packaged in boxes that are designed to be humidors.
In 2017, the Atabey brand received the massive 6 x 56 Misticos size, a new vitola that came in one of those humidor-style boxes. I reviewed the cigar in October 2017 and found it to be good, though I struggled with the $34 price point:
I’m not entirely sure what Tabacos de Costa Rica does, but it manages to produce—with a much higher rate than any other factory—cigars that taste similar to how a Cuban taste. This is a classic example of that, a cigar that I wouldn’t identify with 100 percent certainty as something from Habanos, but it certainly has the flavor profile that it wouldn’t surprise me. The unfortunate thing is that doesn’t mean it tastes similar to the best cigar in the world. It’s good, one of my favorite Atabeys to date, but as with every review of the brand, there’s a discussion of price that needs to be had. Compared to other cigars at the $25-35 price point, this would not be something I’d gravitate towards.
- Cigar Reviewed: Atabey Misticos
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $34 (Boxes of 25, $850)
- Release Date: 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
I’m not sure if it’s due to the foot band or my own personal perceptions, but the Atabey Misticos looks larger than the 6 x 56 size that it is listed as being. As with the rest of the Atabey line, the wrapper is a fairly light shade of milk chocolate. Aroma from the wrapper is pretty mild with some faint hints of gingerbread. The foot is notably stronger and has gingerbread, cedar and a bit of honey, all around the medium-full level. I find the cold draw to be medium-plus with sugar cookies, bread flavors, nuttiness and some fruity funkiness that has a grape-like base.
The initial puffs begin with nuttiness, a deep French bread flavor, no real pepper and some of that grape flavor. Eventually, the nuttiness and a new cedar flavor emerge as the primary flavors with some underlying sweetness. Retrohales have a less funky grapefruit flavor along with some nuttiness. The finish has coffee, nuttiness and creaminess, somewhat of a contrast to the main flavor although relatively in line with the rest of the flavors. Flavor is medium-full, while body and strength are medium-full.
By the second third, the Atabey has much more creaminess. It’s overtaken most of the cedar and joins the nuttiness and the underlying sweetness upfront. There’s a bit of white pepper in the main flavor and finish, but none through the retrohales, which have a muted fruity sweetness and some peanuts. The flavor is now full, while the body is now medium-plus and strength is medium. A few touch-ups are needed in the latter half of the cigar to help keep up with an uneven burn. The final third has creaminess, nuttiness bread and some of the underlying sweetness. There’s a lot stronger pepper flavor, now more of a black pepper, now joined by a bit of paprika. Flavor remains full, while body and strength continue to dial themselves back, now medium and mild-medium respectively.
While the most notable deductions in score were due to the touch-ups, I’m not sure time has done any favors to the Atabey in terms of flavor. Now reading over my initial review, it’s quite clear that while the profile of the redux cigar is quite similar to that of the initial review, I struggled to find as many detailed flavors. While I enjoyed the two and a half hours I spent smoking the Misticos, I simply wish the flavors had a bit more life to them.