About two months ago, it was announced that Pinar Del Rio would be releasing a very limited cigar run to be sold through—and only to members of—one of the main cigar forums that I frequent, BOTL.org (or Brothers of the Leaf). The owner of Pinar Del Rio cigars, Abe Flores, and the people over at Burning Leaf Cigars decided to release this specific blend for the forum. There are some plans to make this an annual release as well, although nothing is nailed down as of yet.

The Pinar Del Rio BOTL.org Small Batch 2010 is rolled at Tabacalera Don Leoncio in the Dominican Republic, and is limited to 200 boxes of 20 cigars. It is only available at Burning Leaf in Plainfield, Ill. The cigar I reviewed was a prerelease that was sans band. The boxes, which have not been shipped yet, look like this:

Pinar Del Rio BOTL org Small Batch 2010

(Photo via PDR Cigars/Facebook) 

Pinar Del Rio BOTL org Small Batch 2010 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Pinar Del Río BOTL.org Small Batch 2010
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera Don Leoncio
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Bahía
  • Binder: Dominican Republic Criollo 98
  • Filler: Nicaragua Corojo & Dominican Republic Habano
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $6.25 (Boxes of 20, $120.00)
  • Release Date: July 2010
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 20 Cigars (4,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1

The cigar itself is a great looking cigar—and as you may or may not know from reading this site, I am always in love with the Corona Gorda vitola—with a very dark brown wrapper that smells of spice and leather. The wrapper is almost shockingly oily—it reminded me immediately of an OR Tatuaje T110 in that regard)—and has a very slight box press, and is firm when squeezed. The construction looks to be top notch as well, although the cigar is slightly bumpy up and down its length. The pre-light draw contained quite a bit of a sweet tobacco profile.

The first third started out very mild with straight forward flavors of tobacco, but, about 10 puffs in a major amount of spice comes out of nowhere. It was kind of like turning on a switch labeled “spice bomb.” It was quite strong for about 15 minutes, then calmed down enough for me to taste a sweet maple flavor, along with some cedar and just a bit of leather. 

Pinar Del Rio BOTL org Small Batch 2010 2

The second third started with the spice receding quite a bit, but still fairly strong in the background. There is still a sweet profile to the cigar, but the leather note has really become dominant. I also tasted just a bit of sweet coffee as well, but it was fleeting.

Pinar Del Rio BOTL org Small Batch 2010 3

The final third had very little change from the second third, other then the fact that the leather note increased quite a bit, until it simply overwhelmed just about any other flavor that was present. It had more of a creamy texture to it, i.e., not as spicy or peppery, but was still almost like chewing on a piece of leather tack—and yes, I have actually done that. The sweetness was reduced as well, ending the cigar quite mild.

Pinar Del Rio BOTL org Small Batch 2010 4

Final Notes:

  • This cigar produced what can only be described as a ton of smoke. It smelled amazing (spicy woodiness), but the amount of smoke coming from it was almost overwhelming.
  • If you want to get in on buying this cigar, the only place they are for sale is at Burning Leaf in Plainfield, Ill.
  • I love the fact that the blend for this cigar has been published and I believe is on the box somewhere. I really wish more cigar makers would start doing this.
  • The draw was great and the burn was fairly good. I had to touch it up a few times, but nothing major.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 25 minutes.
87 Overall Score

Basically, this was a very good cigar with plenty of great flavors, but that overwhelming leather note definitely took away a bit from my overall enjoyment. However, there is no doubt in my mind that these cigars will get better and perhaps quite a bit better with a little age and some time to meld just a bit more. Having said that, I enjoyed smoking it quite a bit, and honestly, this is one of the best bargains in cigars, with a price of just over six dollars each.

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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.