I first heard about Chogüí Cigars when Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac was visiting the Dominican Republic. While down there, he tweeted about a cigar I had never heard of—the Chogüí Primera Edición.
As the name implies, this was the first release from Chogüí Cigars, released in November last year in limited quantities and only in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican puro was offered in a single 6 x 43 size using a Havana vuelta arriba wrapper from 2006, a criollo 98 binder from 2012 and more 2012 criollo 98 and piloto cubano 2008 in the filler.
A total of 6,000 cigars were made, although there were only 300 boxes of 10 sold.
- Cigar Reviewed: Chogüí Primera Edición
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Dominican Havana Vuelta Arriba (2006)
- Binder: Dominican Criollo 98 (2012)
- Filler: Dominican Criollo 98 (2012) & Dominican Piloto Cubano (2008)
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 43
- Vitola: Petit Lancero
- MSRP: $6.50 (Boxes of 10, $65)
- Date Released: Nov. 20, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (6,000 Total Cigars)1
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I love the band and the size and while I feel like there should be a pigtail, because that would seemingly make sense, I’m not too disappointed. The glowing color of the wrapper contrasts while with the relatively light and pastel version of the band. Aroma-wise, there’s lots of leather and some brown sugar from the wrapper, but it’s relatively mundane. The foot is sweeter with lots more floral and cocoa flavors: very smooth and delicate with chocolate being the clear strong flavor. The cold draw brings a cherry liqueur—sweeter than Luxado Maraschino—with big floral notes in front of some cedar and nuttiness.
The Chogüí Primera Edición begins bright with tons of smoke production, some floral and twangy-like flavors, hay, nuttiness and cedar. The finish is almost exclusively a gigantic cashew note, but there’s a touch of pepper on the end. That precise balance that is so gracefully on display during the first puff continues for the first two inches, although the flavors changes. There’s still quite a bit of nuttiness and floral flavors, but there’s an added saltiness and a different type of sweetness thanks to a bright cedar. On the finish, there’s a familiar cashew now joined by leather and cayenne pepper on the tongue. The Chogüí is medium-full in body and flavor, medium-plus strength. There is a bit of a struggle to keep the cigar lit while going at a defined slower pace that the definitely brings out more refined flavors, but other than that, construction is without any issues.
A fairly dramatic turn takes place in the second third: crispy popcorn, some multigrain toast, lemon and a generic meaty flavor. Spice remains on the tongue, but it’s more of a generic array than the cayenne that was so well defined in the first third. The Chogüí continues with great construction, although I also have to continue watching it regarding the aforementioned burn balance. Strength appears to be creeping upwards, but is still medium-full.
The final third of the Primera Edición is largely a continuation of the second third with some minor changes. A saltiness separates itself from the popcorn and becomes much more developed. In addition, there’s now a grapefruit liqueur flavor—think Cointreau—through the nose along with added cocoa powder. With an inch left, the popcorn flavor becomes much more notable although the finish adds in herbal twist that I don’t find terribly appetizing. Strength never does reach the medium-full level, although I think another inch would surely allow for it.
- If there is any downfall to this release, it’s keeping the cigar lit. Puffing at even a normal rate is a bit too quick and causes the cigar to become bitter and harsh. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to spend the entire time watching the cigar to make sure it doesn’t go out. Once that happens, all bets are off for the Primera Edición, but if you master the art, the flavors are phenomenal.
- I suppose there’s also the matter of this being a 300 box release that was only sold in the Dominican Republic, meaning getting ahold of the cigar is not going to be easy.
- As for what Chogüí is doing now, the company just released the Dos77, its sophomore release. The line is named in honor of box 277 of the Primera Edición, which got lost between the factory in Tamboril and Santiago.
- Unfortunately, the cigars are still not available in the U.S., but that’s supposed to be changing.
- I love the brand concept. There’s definitely a hipster vibe, but it’s notably different than what we’ve seen from Caldwell—the other company who comes to mind in this regard—and quite unique. It seems more cheerful than the darker and/or playful nature of Caldwell’s stuff.
- There’s definitely a bit of a game going on with the balance throughout the entire cigar. Much like the strength, it seems like it’s only an errant extra puff or two from completely unraveling, and yet, the cigar stays extremely well balanced from start to finish, assuming you slow it down a bit.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Chogüí Cigars.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes.
Whenever Chogüí makes it to the U.S., I’ll be in line. The Primera Edición is a highly impressive cigar: layered, developed and with an edginess that teeters on the line of being unbalanced on one puff, before the next draw delivers an incredibly balanced flavor. There’s a constant search in the cigar business to find that diamond in the rough, the brand that is going to be the next big thing. One person isn’t in charge of anointing them, but from the brand concept, to the packaging to—most importantly—the cigar itself, Chogüí is as good of a candidate as any we’ve seen in the last few.