In 2014, Tony Bellatto of La Barba cigars visited the Tabacalera William Ventura factory in the Dominican Republic in order to begin the blending process on his second release, the Purple line. While there, Bellatto was shown a crop of tobacco by Henderson Ventura that he was so impressed with, he immediately made plans to use it in a cigar.

That cigar turned out to be Siempre Tamboril, which is composed of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering both Dominican corojo ligero and Dominican habano Vuelta Abajo seco fillers. Although the release is not officially a limited edition, it is only being produced in batches of 2,000 cigars in each of the four vitolas. The first release is being shipped without bands or boxes, and although subsequent batches will be banded, the use of boxes is still being discussed, as it would most likely increase the price of the cigars.

Siempre Tamboril Robusto Bundle 1

Siempre Tamboril Robusto Bundle 2

Siempre Tamboril debuted in four different sizes:

  • Siempre Tamboril Perla (4 x 42) — $4.50 (Bundles of 10, $45)
  • Siempre Tamboril Robutso (5 x 50) — $6.95 (Bundles of 10, $69.50)
  • Siempre Tamboril Toro (6 x 50) — $7.50 (Bundles of 10, $75)
  • Siempre Tamboril Double Toro (6 x 60) — $7.95 (Bundles of 10, $79.50)

Siempre Tamboril Robusto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Siempre Tamboril Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $6.95 (Bundles of 10, $69.50)
  • Date Released: March 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Without a band, the Siempre Tamboril is visually somewhat unremarkable, with a light honey brown wrapper that is silky smooth to the touch and almost no veins present at all. Although there is a touch of oil visible, the cigar itself is a bit harder than normal when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of peanuts, earth, hay, coffee and sweet nutmeg, while the cold draw brings flavors of strong leather, earth, nuts, wheat, oak and a tiny amount of spice on the tongue.

The Siempre Tamboril starts out with a dominant combination of oak and leather, along with other flavors of creamy nuts, hay, barnyard, baker’s spices and earth. The profile is extremely creamy right off the bat, and continues that way through the first third. There is a nice graham cracker sweetness that combines nicely with some slight white pepper on the retrohale and I am noticing tiny amount of spice on my tongue from time to time as well. Both the burn and draw are excellent, with the razor sharp burn the standout, and the smoke production is well above average. There is almost no strength to speak of so far, and the Siempre Tamboril barely makes it out of the mild category before the end of the first third.

Siempre Tamboril Robusto 2

Although the creaminess remains to be a major part of the profile of the Siempre Tamboril during the second third, the graham cracker sweetness that was so prevalent in the first third becomes increasingly less of an influence. A peanut butter note becomes dominant around the halfway point, combining nicely with notes of oak, gritty earth, yeasty bread and hay. The spice on my tongue from the first third is long gone, but there is still some noticeable white pepper on the retrohale and the smoke production remains high. Construction-wise, the draw is still excellent and the burn is razor sharp, and while the strength has increased slightly, it is still far short of the medium mark.

Siempre Tamboril Robusto 3

The final third features a profile that is essentially a carbon copy of the second third, with creamy peanut butter leading the charge in terms of flavors, followed up by oak, gritty earth, bitter espresso and hay. While the graham cracker sweetness is still around, the note has receded so much that it is harder to identify, and has almost no impact on the flavor at all. The draw and burn continue to impress, as does the smoke production, and while the strength never gets to the medium mark, it comes pretty close by the time I put down the nub with about an inch left.

Siempre Tamboril Robusto 4

Final Notes

  • The name Siempre Tamboril means “always Tamboril,” which is the Dominican city where the Tabacalera William Ventura factory is located.
  • Fine Ash Cigars in Avondale, Ariz. and Havana House West in Bath, Ohio will both be receiving an exclusive corona vitola in the Siempre Tamboril line, although a release date and pricing details have not been finalized.
  • Bellatto owns Havana House.
  • While the construction was excellent on each of the three samples I smoked, all three began to get hot around the point in the cigar, close to halfway through the final third, so it was easy to know where to quit.
  • In addition to the above, the ash is quite flaky on each cigar I smoked. Not quite as bad as the Kristoff Classic Reserva, but still very noticeable and mildly annoying.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 30 minutes.
  • The cigars smoke for this review were sent to halfwheel by Tony Bellatto.
88 Overall Score

Bellatto mentioned in the press release sent out about Siempre Tamboril that it was meant to be a blend that people could smoke every day, and I have to say, for the most part they nailed it. Smooth and relatively light strength-wise, the cigar features both a rich profile and a fairly clean finish, while the phenomenal construction and decent pricing are just icing on the cake. Having said that, I really wish the sweetness that was evident in the first third had stuck around, as it really bumped up the complexity in the profile whenever it appeared, and the score would have increased considerably if that was the case.

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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.