I remember editing Brooks’ review of the Blind Man’s Bluff This is Trouble earlier this year and reading the paragraph where he listed out all the various versions of Blind Man’s Bluff that had been released to date. I was surprised by how many variations there were and I also know there was one more coming, allegedly.
In late Spring, Robert Caldwell had mentioned to me that there was a new Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua coming later in the year, though by the time Brooks’ review was published in August, the most information I had gotten was that it was delayed.
A couple of months later, Caldwell announced the cigar on his Instagram page and we got a few more details. The new Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua would use entirely Nicaraguan tobacco, but it was going to be made in Honduras at STG Danlí.
Three regular production sizes began shipping in November.
- Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Robusto (5 x 50) — $8.70 (Box of 20, $174)
- Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Toro (6 x 52) — $9.70 (Box of 20, $194)
- Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Magnum (6 x 60) — $10.70 (Box of 20, $214)
- Cigar Reviewed: Blind Man's Bluff Nicaragua Robusto
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: STG Danlí
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $8.70 (Box of 20, $174)
- Release Date: November 2021
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
In comparison to some recent reviews, the Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Robusto is a pretty normal-looking cigar, but there’s a lot going on upon closer inspection. The color of the wrapper is a pretty consistent, semi-dark brown shade with a decent bit of reds under the right light. There’s a lot of oil, some veins and a decent number of bumps up and down the cigars. The wrapper smells like clay along with some barnyard and wet earth aromas. It’s medium-full, but pretty pungent given the three sensations I smell. The foot has a mixture of barnyard and raisins leading leather, some pistachios and some acidity, though it’s a lot less pungent than the aroma from the wrapper. The cold draw has cedar beating out vanilla, hints of oatmeal cookies and something that reminds me of root beer. While there are a lot of sweeter secondary notes, the overall profile isn’t that sweet.
The first puffs bring cedar and leather over some creaminess and a sweet nuttiness. At about an inch in, the profile isn’t the most exotic. There’s a big cedar flavor over some straw, white pepper and herbal flavors, the latter two of which are very mild. The finish has sawdust, oak, leather and something that reminds me of the most generic plain bagel I’ve ever had in my life. Retrohales have nuttiness over a bittersweet blackberry sensation and a creaminess that reminds me of margarine. The finish has white pepper over nuttiness and some more of the margarine-like creaminess. Flavor is barely medium-full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-full. One cigar has a loose draw and some burn issues; by the end of the first third it’s also tunneling, unfortunately. Fortunately, the other two cigars are fine from a construction perspective.
While the first third of the Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Robusto wasn’t bad, there wasn’t much in the way of interesting flavors as far as I was concerned. The flavors I pick up when the smoke is in my mouth during the second third don’t do much to help that. There’s earthiness over some crackers, cedar, creaminess and a bit of white pepper. The finish has a flavor that reminds me of a bottle of opened and now stale water along with creaminess and black pepper. Fortunately, the retrohales are not only more interesting, but also quite good. There’s a bitter strawberry flavor that reminds me of some strawberry beers I had back in the Tenemu days along with oak, meatiness, leather and a restrained amount of a Sichuan cuisine-like red pepper. It also gets better on the finish, which has a brant nuttiness over some leather and a touch of pepper. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-plus though increasing, and strength is medium-full. The cigar that spent the end of the first third tunneling continues to have issues, another cigar needs a touch-up while the third avoids any construction woes.
That vibrant nuttiness flavor goes from something I could only find during the retrohale’s finish to now being a flavor I find on each puff when the smoke is in and just leaving my mouth. In addition, a toastiness increases—ramping up as the cigar gets closer to the conclusion—and there are some black tea notes. I find some nuttiness on the finish, but it’s not the same sensation as it was before when it tasted like I had just finished eating a bag of mixed nuts. There’s also some saltiness, black pepper and a weird green vegetable flavor that reminds me of pea shells. Retrohales are much milder than before with nuttiness leading some spiced rum flavors, minerals, an artificial blueberry and some plain crackers. The finish is a lot toastier, also bringing out more of the mineral and earthy flavors. Flavor finishes medium-full, body is nearly full and strength is medium-full. Construction is basically the same as before: one cigar has both draw and burn issues, another has burn issues and the other cigar is good.
- I mention this from time to time, but I try to avoid any information about the cigars I’m reviewing until after I’m done smoking the cigars for a review. In this case, the first thing I did once the tasting notes were done was to look up who made this cigar. AJ Fernández makes some cigars for Caldwell through its collaborations with Room101, but this didn’t taste like a cigar from AJ Fernandez. Seeing that it’s made by General at STG Danlí makes a lot more sense, though I probably would not have said STG Danlí if you gave me 10 guesses as to where this was made.
- STG Danlí is one of the largest factories that I’ve yet to visit. While it mainly makes cigars that are sold by General, it’s also the home of the Rocky Patel Vintage Series.
- Blind Man’s Bluff is a pretty rare line of cigars where there are cigars made by two different factories in the same country. The original Blind Man’s Bluff is made by Davidoff in Honduras.
- Speaking of Davidoff in Honduras, I was a bit disappointed to see Davidoff name the Camacho Nicaragua after Nicaragua despite using very little Nicaraguan tobacco and it being made in Honduras. This is obviously a different case than that given that all of the tobacco is from Nicaragua, but I bet some of you think it’s odd that a cigar made in Honduras uses Nicaragua in its name. To me, what tobacco is used is a lot more important than where it’s made. I’d rather this be called Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua than Blind Man’s Bluff Honduras.
- In a world where cigars keep getting more expensive, this seems like a decent enough value play. We aren’t reviewing a lot of cigars that cost less than $9 these days and that’s largely because there aren’t many of them being introduced to the market.
- This is the fifth different Blind Man’s Bluff line we’ve reviewed, but the first time I’ve reviewed one. I can’t really tell you which line is the best because I’m not sure I’ve ever smoked the Blind Man’s Bluff Maduro, but the Blind Man’s Bluff Connecticut finished #16 on our 2017 Top 25, which is pretty impressive given the cigars it was up against that year.
- I don’t know if it’s because I’m paying more attention or there’s an actual uptick, but I’ve noticed a lot more cigars with noticeably loose seams of late. These past 18 months have certainly see an increase in construction issues across the industry, but this seems to be happening to me at a much higher rate.
- For what it’s worth, the cigar with the tunneling issues was not the one that had the loose seams.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop carry the Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Robusto.
The first sample I smoked had a loose draw, tunneling issues and required touch-ups nearly every inch of the cigar. As such, that sample basically ended the chances of the Blind Man's Bluff Nicaragua Robusto scoring well before the second and third cigar were even lit. At its best, the Blind Man’s Bluff Nicaragua Robusto can be rich, vibrant and detailed. But even with those cigars, there are parts of this profile that can be rather plain. If you are expecting a rich and powerful cigar like many people describe Nicaraguan tobaccos, this isn't it, but it's certainly capable of providing a good value for less than $9 so long as there aren't tunneling issues.