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Case Study CS/01 Robusto

CS 01 Robusto 1October 9th, 2017

Size of cigar: 5 inches by 50 ring gauge

This review is truly a blind tasting write-up. My sample from the 2017 IPCPR show was given to me to review with no information other than the band on the cigar. I’d never heard of Case Study, and knew absolutely nothing about it. So I had no preconceived notions. I even resisted the temptation to google the brand before I fired the cigar up. You’ll find the leaf details and name of the manufacturer at the end of this piece. With that said, here’s what I found.

The Case Study CS/01 Robusto is standard in size for that format. The band is plain white imprinted with ‘Case Study’ and the logo ‘CS/01’ in black – almost like the labeling on a pack of generic paper towels. (This simple branding will make more sense when you read through to the end of this review.)

The wrapper on my sample was a single shade of dark-brown with a slight reddish hue. There was no mottling, spots or blemishes – just a couple of prominent veins. And the outer leaf was smooth and dry.

The cold smell seemed sweet and fruity. The cigar was firm to the touch with little give, but consistent from cap to foot. And the cap was smooth and nicely applied.

CS 01 Robusto 2

I used a punch-cut (my preferred method) and lit the cigar with a cedar splint. The cigar proved difficult to get started, and the opening draws were tight. That early laborious draw and firm feel suggested slight over-packing to me.

Early on, the cigar burned hot and unevenly, but then settled down after about an inch. The CS/01 produced a great deal of smoke. The ash was a pale gray with nearly invisible segments. Total smoking time clocked in at 52 minutes.

My opening puffs were full of nasty tastes, but those unpleasant flavors quickly subsided. They were probably due to the punch-cut (which causes a hotter burn) and my zeal to get the cigar burning well.

The opening third of the CS/01 was relatively tame – earthy and woody with an underlying sweetness and a citrus note.

CS 01 Robusto 3

In the middle third, baking spices came in to complement the fruity sweetness. Also, though quite subtle, some savory and nutty nuances became apparent. Altogether, I would sum matters up by saying the taste was warm and mellow. By this point, the cigar was burning both cool and evenly.

The final third brought forward a small intensification of the core flavors. Compared to the first third, the finish was cool and smooth. There was just the tiniest bitterness to announce the end of the smoke. This was a cigar that could easily be ‘nubbed’.

CS 01 Robusto 4

So how did I rate the Case Study CS/01 using the Cigar Weekly formula?

Pre-light: 9.2 (It’s a pretty cigar)
Light: 8.8 (A tough start)
Draw: 8.9 (Got off to a poor start, but opened up beautifully)
Construction: 8.9 (Uneven burn off the flame, but evened up)
Flavor: 9.1 (Complex, subtle, and pretty good)
Power: 8.9 (Mid-range – Not included in the average score)
Average: 8.98 (Not bad)

The Case Study CS/01 Robusto is a medium-bodied cigar with a subtle yet complex flavor profile. The flavors are understated. And although I prefer bolder cigars, I can’t call this one anything other than good. Everybody’s tastes are different, right? At the start, I didn’t think that I would like it. But as it turned out, I did. I believe the CS/01 would be a good choice for any cigar enthusiast from the novice to the more experienced. With its subtle profile, I also think it would pair nicely with beer or other malt beverages.

Alright... Now that I’ve told you what I think about the Case Study CS/01, let me give you the facts on this cigar. The Case Study line comes from Ventura Cigar Company. There are 26 (yes, 26) Case Study blends. And each blend has one to three vitolas.

There are three CS/01’s – the Robusto, a Toro and a Churchill. The 26 blends pay homage to 26 famous homes built in the simplistic, modernist architectural style and located in Los Angeles – hence the simplistic labeling. Sixteen of the blends are ‘Master Editions’ while ten are ‘Limited Editions’. The identity of the architects of each of these blends is a secret, as well as the origin and composition of the blends. The only detail of each blend that Ventura has released is the wrapper leaf. The CS/01 sports an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.

The Ventura Cigar Company website provides a list of nation-wide retailers. The CS/01 Robusto lists on-line for $9.00.