In 2007, Pure Aroma Cigars, Inc. released a five-vitola line under its Diplomacy Series named the D’Crossier Golden Blend. It was made up of an Ecuadorian wrapper covering a Dominican binder and filler tobaccos sourced from both Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Seven years later, the company followed that release up with the D’Crossier Golden Blend 10 Years, a line that was not only made up of cigars that had been aged for more than a year in boxes before being released, but also featured tobacco from the 2004 harvest.
Last December, Pure Aroma announced it was expanding the Golden Blend brand by adding the Golden Blend Reserva, a line that was released to honor Isaias Santana Crossier, the late father of Isaias Santana Diaz, president of Pure Aroma Cigars. According to the company, the new blend incorporates an Ecuadorian habano claro wrapper that was triple fermented for a 10-month period before aged for a year in Spanish cedar boxes and filler tobaccos grown in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua that have been aged for seven years.
“This new D’Crossier Brand has been dedicated to Isaias Santana Crossier, 1945 – 2020, he was my father, my friend and mentor and in life inspiration that represent the D’Crossier Family values and traditions,” said Diaz in a press release. “Honored to be in this journey.”
While it is a regular production, the first 2,000 boxes are individually numbered via a golden hologram sticker on the bottom of the box.
There are three different vitolas in the D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva line so far:
- D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva Cañonazo (6 x 52) — $20 (Box of 25, $500)
- D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva Taino (5 1/2 x 54) — $22 (Box of 25, $550)
- D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva Magnum (6 1/2 x 56) — $24 (Box of 25, $600)
All of the D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva cigars are being rolled at the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory and boxes began shipping to retailers on Dec. 28, 2020.
- Cigar Reviewed: D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva Cañonazo
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Claro)
- Binder: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $20 (Box of 25, $500)
- Release Date: Dec. 28, 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Visually, the D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva is covered in a milk chocolate brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch, despite the lack of any appreciable oil. In addition, the cigar features a number of protruding veins and is extremely hard—I would place it just short of rock hard—when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong cloves, sweet almonds, earth, cedar, leather, dark chocolate and bit of flowers while the cold draw bring flavors of cloves, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, leather, earth, nutmeg and very slight vanilla bean sweetness.
Starting out the first third of the Golden Blend Reserva, I immediately notice dominant flavors of both charred meat and cloves on the palate, followed by secondary notes of cinnamon, earth, coffee grounds, cocoa nibs and cinnamon as well as a bit of black pepper on the retrohale. There is a very slight vanilla bean sweetness on the retrohale as well that seems to come straight from the cold draw, along with as just a bit of spice on my tongue, neither of which seem to have much of an impact as of yet. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut, but after a nice start the burn has a bit of trouble leading to a couple of minor corrections. The smoke production is in the average range while the overall strength ends the first third set firmly between the mild and medium marks, albeit still increasing as the first third ends.
The second third of the D’Crossier starts out in a manner quite similar to the first third, including the same dominant charred meat and cloves combination. However, just after the halfway point those flavors morph into a new combination of rich dark chocolate and creamy cedar, followed by lesser flavors of bitter espresso, earth, cinnamon, leather and slight generic nuts that flit in and out. While the black pepper on the retrohale is still present, it is noticeably reduced, but the amount of vanilla bean sweetness sadly remains about the same. In terms of construction, the draw continues to impress and the burn evens up nicely, Although the strength does increase, it just barely fails to hit the medium mark by the end of the second third.
While the dark chocolate and creamy cedar notes remain dominant during the final third of the Golden Blend Reserva, there are some new flavors in the profile as well, including hay, slight floral, potato chips and a touch of generic citrus. Both the vanilla bean sweetness and black pepper notes are noticeable on the retrohale, but both remain too light to make any major impact on the profile. The draw continues to be fantastic, and while the burn starts to waver a bit more, it never gets bad enough to need correcting again. Finally, the strength level manages to hit a point just under the solid medium mark by the end of the cigar as I put the nub down with a little more than an inch remaining.
- Cloves is not a note I pick up on in a lot of cigars, but it was a present in the aroma, cold draw and actual profile of these cigars.
- This is one of those blends that gets bitter quickly when draw on it too hard, so take it easy on the puff rate until you find a sweet spot.
- These cigars are shipped with cellophane that has horizontal holes cut out of it near the cap, which the company states allows for additional airflow compared to the more standard cellophane packaging.
- While the velvet wrapping around the box of cigars is a nice visual touch, it seems to be attached to the box with double-sided tape which left a color transfer on the back of the box when it was removed.
- Our box number was number 0105/2000. As an interesting note, the box number is only located on the outside presentation box, not the box the cigars are actually packaged in.
- The overall construction was quite good, with excellent draws after straight cuts only two samples needing minor attention with my lighter.
- The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Pure Aroma Cigars.
- Final smoking time averaged one hour and 48 minutes for all three samples.
I always love reviewing cigars made specifically for a person and the D’Crossier Golden Blend Reserva is a great choice to commemorate the life of Diaz’s late father. Smooth and complex, the blend is dominated by a wonderful combination of charred meat and cloves in the first half, while notes of rich dark chocolate and creamy cedar take over the profile in second half. Having said that, while the construction and balance were both very good as well, a bit more of the vanilla bean sweetness on the retrohale to give more dimension to the other flavors would have easily put this cigar into Top 25 contention for me. In the end, the Golden Blend Reserva is an excellent addition to the D’Crossier lineup and one that I can easily recommend for people to try for themselves.