Cigars for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Day of the Deadthe 4th of July, Chinese New Year—and now, Dominican Father’s Day.

That cigar comes from Chogüí and is rightfully known as the Papa Chogüí. As for the cigar, it’s a 5 1/4 x 46 corona extra that was rolled in 2014 using all Dominican tobacco from Leo Reyes.

While Dominican Father’s Day is the last Sunday of July, the cigars didn’t formally ship in the U.S. until mid-November. Pricing is set at $9 per cigar and it was limited to only 800 bundles of 10 cigars.

papa-chogui-1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Papa Chogüí
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: n/a
  • Wrapper: Dominican Republic
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Extra
  • MSRP: $9 (Bundles of 10, $90)
  • Release Date: Nov. 14, 2016[ref]This is the date when the cigars launched nationally. Due to FDA regulations, it is likely the cigars landed on the first shelves in the U.S. prior to Aug. 8, 2016.[/ref]
  • Number of Cigars Released: 800 Bundles of 10 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

It’s very dark, far and away the darkest Chogüí I’ve seen to date. I like the bands, though there certainly is a bit of ink dot printer syndrome, particularly with the very small font. Aroma off the Dominican wrapper is mild with some leather, acidity and ground espresso. The foot is much sweeter with cocoa, charcoal, leather, redwoods and some spice. Then there’s the cold draw: it’s one of the most bizarre flavors I’ve found in cigar: fatty tuna. It doesn’t have the full on fishy flavor, but there’s hints of that and a ton of the fatty flavor. For those wondering, I’d say it’s more chūtoro than ōtoro.

The first thing I notice on the Papa Chogüí is that the draw is open, very open in fact. But, pretty quickly thereafter I get the flavor, a combination of the fatty tuna sensation, some sugar cookies and an indeterminate salty finish that disappears quickly. Unfortunately, there is not very much smoke, which means a couple minutes into the cigar, I find myself taking my lighter out just to prevent the cigar from going out. This happens on all three cigars, even after paying extra attention to the latter two cigars, which leads me to believe this is an issue with the cigar, likely a consequence of the draw. Flavor-wise, it’s quite enjoyable, the fatty tuna is now joined by some nuttiness and earthiness, though the chūtoro flavor is still dominant. One cigar has an interesting strawberry characteristic in the retrohale, though my notes are rather similar otherwise. A big part of that is the draw, which is bad. It’s too open and that seems to be affecting smoke production in the mouth, though there’s ton of smoke pouring out of the foot.

papa-chogui-2

I make a variety of touch-ups in the second third and by this point I’m fairly certain it is a direct result of the draw. Fortunately, the Chogüí still tastes good. Up until the midway point the cigar is very much a copy of the first third, though at the halfway point a harshness begins to develop on the back of the throat, eventually morphing into more of a white pepper flavor. The strawberries on that one sample turn a bit more sour, but otherwise things are much the same: a generic earthy mixture on the tongue and a very discernible tuna flavor in the nose. Flavor is medium-full, body is full and strength is medium.

papa-chogui-3

Pistachios overtake the tuna as the dominant flavor in the final third. The tuna remains, but it’s now joined by floral flavors, sour plums and some saltiness. Unfortunately, those flavors only last a bit less than an inch into the final third as the heat from the open draw begins to impact the flavors and leads to a much harsher profile. Touch-ups are needed to keep the cigar burning, but there’s nothing that’s going to fix the open draw and after an hour and 50 minutes, I give up on the Papa Chogüí.

papa-chogui-4

Final Notes

  • For as bad as the draw was, the flavor was that good.
  • While I didn’t try to figure to the exact number, based on how our scoresheet punishes construction issues, my guess is the Papa Chogüí lost between 10-12 points directly due to the persistent draw issues and constant touch-ups. That doesn’t take into account how much better the cigar might have tasted without the construction issues.
  • I’m curious to know what Brooks Whittington would make of the retrohale, as he claims to have never eaten seafood—of any kind—in his life.

  • Because of this, Patrick and I routinely try to order as much seafood as possible when the three of us go out to dinner. Ordering seafood towers has become a tradition during the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. You can see the most recent example of this above.
  • For those wondering, I hadn’t any sushi for at least a month before I started smoking the samples for review.
  • I used to eat sushi a lot more than I do, but I’ve since decided to limit where I eat sushi. In Dallas, I eat it almost exclusive at Tei-An, which is my favorite restaurant in the city. If you are a fan of raw fish, soba—which is the house speciality—or Japanese fare in general, I highly recommend booking a reservation. I would also recommend pre-ordering the omakase.
  • While I may have not had sushi for a month before the review, I certainly had some last week.
  • Fatty tuna will go down as one of the most bizarre tasting notes this website has ever found in a cigar, and that’s saying something.
  • You can actually see in the first third picture where the cigar was touched up, almost immediately.
  • Speaking of that picture, the bands caused the camera’s autofocus system to not perform as intended.
  • The caps were interesting, not the full on Liga Privada UF-13 Dark treatment, but a bit more involved than your typical pigtail.
  • Strength is medium throughout.
  • I’m curious to know why these cigars were rolled. Chogüí didn’t release its first cigar until November 2015, meaning these were rolled at least a year before the company began selling cigars, which seems a bit odd.
  • While I’m not suggesting we need another holiday-themed cigar, I’m a bit surprised there isn’t a specific Father’s Day cigar. I suppose My Father sort of has the name cornered a bit, but it still seems like something someone would have tried given all of the other reasons we have for new cigars in today’s market.
  • Cigar Hustler is owned by the same people as Pospiech Inc., which distributes Chogüí in the U.S. Cigar Hustler advertises on halfwheel.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 50 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsor Cigar Hustler has the Papa Chogüí in stock.
77 Overall Score

I seem to be saying this now more than ever: construction issues affect flavor. I don’t really understand how all three cigars had loose draws—albeit score one for consistency—but they did. Not slightly loose, not more open than average, but problematically loose. The Papa Chogüí certainly delivered in the flavor department, but I can only imagine how much better it would have been had I not been engaged in a ritual of faster puff rates and constant touch-ups. Recent reviews with construction issues have inspired a fair bit of comments about the topic, but the fact of the matter is simple: most cigars on the market do not have construction issues, particularly these. As much as I enjoyed the flavor of the Papa Chogüí—certainly one of the most unique I've ever had—the consistent draw issues make it challenging for me to recommend purchasing any more than a single of these.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.