Late last year, Tarazona Cigars started shipping its newest limited edition to retailers. The Caraballo828 Edición Limitada incorporates a Mexican San Andrés wrapper covering a binder from the Jalapa region in Nicaragua as well as Nicaraguan filler tobaccos sourced from both the  Condega and Jalapa regions. There are two different vitolas in the new line: the 5 x 50 perfecto-shaped Silverback and the 6 x 52 Benjamins.

Today’s review is on the 5 x 50 Silverback vitola, which is a perfecto shape with a pointed cap and open foot that has a limited production of 2,000 cigars packaged in boxes of 10. The new cigars were produced by Juan “Papito” Alberto Gomez-Pacheco in Nicaragua and boxes of began shipping to retailers on Oct. 28, 2019.

There have been two different sizes announced so far for the Caraballo828 Edición Limitada line:

  • Caraballo828 Silverback Edición Limitada (5 x 50) — $10 (Box of 10, $100)
  • Caraballo828 Benjamins Edición Limitada (6 x 52) — $12.50 (Box of 10, $125)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Tarazona Caraballo828 Silverback Edición Limitada
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Southern Classic Cigars
  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega & Jalapa)
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $10 (Box of 10, $100)
  • Release Date: Oct. 28, 2019
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Tarazona Caraballo828 Silverback Edición Limitada is visually interesting with the combination of fairly unique vitola and a dark espresso wrapper that is extremely rough to the touch. It is covered in very prominent veins as well as some obvious oil and is spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong gritty earth, dark chocolate, sweet leather, cedar, bell peppers, hay and black pepper, while the cold draw brings flavors of strong earth and cocoa nibs, as well as black pepper, leather, fresh-cut grass, cedar, bitter espresso and slight vanilla sweetness.

A blast of black pepper greets me the second I am done toasting the foot of the Tarazona Caraballo828 Silverback along with easily dominant flavors of both gritty earth and leather tack. Lesser notes of charred meat, hay, tree bark, dark chocolate and slight sourness flit in and out and there is a large amount of spice on both my lips and tongue. I pick up some slight generic sweetness on the retrohale, but it is virtually overwhelmed by the black pepper that is also present, at least so far. While the draws on all three samples are excellent after a Dickman cut, two of the three have cracked wrappers emanating from the foot, causing issues with the burn and leading to touchups. I can feel the strength increasing noticeably from early on, but I would still only peg it at a point close to medium by the time the first third ends.

The second third of the Tarazona begins almost exactly like the first, with the same black pepper as well as gritty earth and leather tack dominating the profile. Some of the secondary flavors have changed a bit, and the list now includes notes of generic nuts, dark chocolate, cinnamon, espresso beans, hay and a touch of floral. I was expecting the spice on my tongue and lips to dissipate—as well as the black pepper on the retrohale—but that was not to be, and both are as strong as ever as the burn passes the halfway point, although the sourness from the first third is gone and the vanilla sweetness on the retrohale seems to increase alongside them. Construction-wise, the burn continues to have issues that need touching up and the draw continues to give me no problems, while the smoke production is well above average off of the foot. As expected, the overall strength has increased noticeably, easily passing the medium mark by the end of the second third.  

Unfortunately, there is just not much change in the profile of the Caraballo828 Silverback Edición Limitada during the final third, the same gritty earth and leather notes easily remain the dominant combination, followed by notes of bitter chocolate, generic nuts, coffee beans, grass, cinnamon, cedar and a touch of soap. Both the black pepper and spice that has been present for the entirety of the cigar up to this point continue to show no signs of waning anytime soon, while the vanilla sweetness on the retrohale continues to not even come close to being strong enough to overcome either. One major change is  in the construction, where the burn finally manages to start firing on all cylinders while both the draw and smoke production continue to impress. Finally, the overall strength ends up increasing even more than I thought it would, and easily hits the full mark—and even a tad over —by the time I put the nub down.

Final Notes

  • The new Caraballo828 brand shares the name of Eddie Tarazona’s business partner Mario Caraballo.
  • While not exactly the same, the Silverback vitola and shape reminded me instantly off the RoMa Craft Tobac Mode 5.

  • Two of the wrappers on samples I smoked for this review developed multiple cracks down its side, both originating from the foot. Having said that, neither of those wrappers came off although there were multiple touch-ups.
  • The sourness on the finish and the soapy note that I noticed on the retrohale was present in only two of the three cigars—and not for very long—but were very prevalent when they showed up.
  • Cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Tarazona.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 18 minutes.
81 Overall Score

If you like your cigars gritty, earthy and strong, then the Tarazona Caraballo828 Silverback Edición Limitada was seemingly custom-built for your enjoyment. Unfortunately, that aforementioned combination that this blend features so prominently comes at a cost: specifically having negative impacts on the complexity, nuance and—albeit to a lesser extent—the balance that is present in the cigars. In addition, while it shows flashes in the second third, the full strength basically waits to hit you virtually all at once in the final third, which when combined with the overwhelming earth flavors leads to a very linear profile. Fans of full-strength, earth-dominant blends should seek these out immediately, but those looking for almost any other flavors will find them in short supply.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.