Cigar Weekly Blind 2009 Review #4

 

 
Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Secretos del Maestro Cañonazo (“Capa D. O.”)
Published Monday, June 1, 2009
Compiled by Doug McGuire (Mad Dawg)
 
This is the second cigar from Vegas de Santiago that we have reviewed in 2009. The first review was of another cigar from the Secretos del Maestro line, the natural wrapper Churchill: http://www.cigarweekly.com/magazine/reviews/03-30-2009/cigar-weekly-blind-2009-review--2
 
Much of the background information in that review is the same as for the current cigar, with the exception of the wrapper.
 
The Cañonazo we reviewed came with the 'Capa D.O.', a special outer leaf selected by Don Olman Guzman, the man behind the blends used in VdS cigars. This leaf is a Caribbean wrapper displaying a smooth, oily texture and almost Oscuro-like dark hue.
 
Also, the Cañonazos sent for this review had very unique packaging: each cigar came in an individual 'tubo' fabricated entirely from Spanish cedar! These containers had evidently been individually turned on a lathe, then smoothed and varnished. A very beautiful presentation for a very interesting cigar!
 
 
Pre-Smoke Comments
Fishin’ Phil:  Wrapper had a visibly oily sheen. Very fragrant, smelled of cedar. Burned straight all the way to the nub.
TommyBB:  This was a pretty cigar, dark brown with the merest hint of a Rosado tint. The cap was nice, smooth, clipped easily and drew well. It burned well, just as a well-made cigar should, no runners, canoeing or any other flaws. The ash held at an acceptable length, but didn’t get too long before falling.
ronin:  A nice toro shape. Medium brown with veins and a nice cap. It displayed a firm bunch with no tight spots.
SLR:  The cigar was smooth with some veins evident. Nice natural color, inviting looking. It was a bit lumpy but overall firm feel to it. Draw was perfect.
Elk Twin:  This was a large cigar, too large in girth to be comfortably smoked. A few water spots on an otherwise lovely Colorado wrapper. One vein ran in a crescent across the side of the cigar. Some minor soft spots in a springy roll that ended with a triple cap over a short, truncated cone at the head. Semi-sweet pre-light aroma with hints of cinnamon and loam.
Augie754:  This cigar had a good initial appearance. The shape was good with straight sides and a smooth cap. There were some minor lumps, but nothing to worry about. The wrapper was very smooth, almost glossy, it had good color expect around the medium to small veins where the color was a bit lighter. This toro felt firm to the touch. After cutting the pre-light draw was very good, and after lighting the draw stayed near perfect. The burn was solid throughout with plenty of smoke and needed no maintenance. The ash seemed solid but could only hang on for a little over a half an inch.
Black Plague:  Oily, colorado maduro wrapper. Smooth to the touch, with pale veins and an even walnut brown color. The cap was well-applied and cut easily. The cigar was very evenly-rolled and firm. Pre-light draws from the cut end of the cigar revealed little except medium tobacco flavor.
 
 
Smoke Comments
Fishin’ Phil:  Rich cedar flavor with a hint of sweetness in the background.
TommyBB:  I really enjoyed this cigar. After overlighting just a touch, it settled in. It developed and changed throughout, keeping me interested the whole way. It started a bit cedary, and woody, then changed about halfway through once the ash dropped the second time. It got a bit earthy and leathery, ending with a pronounced herbal sweetness. I don’t know how many other cigars I’ve had that have been so well blended as to develop different flavors down the length of the smoke.
ronin:  Upon lighting , I noticed a slight sweetness with a touch of herbal in the cigar. The cigar burned evenly and never needed a touch up. The ash color was a dark gray and had a nice cone shape to it. A medium body cigar, it exhibited volumes of smoke with no sharpness or saltiness. The sweet herbal taste stayed through out the entire smoking experience. As I got towards the last quarter of the cigar, I did not experience any bitterness. A very nice surprise.
SLR:  This cigar is quite strong and rough tasting. It is dominated with sweet earthy tobacco flavors, and quite peppery and bitter on the tongue. There is this sweetness to it that is a bit overdone and is rather dominant. It is one dimensional in character. If you enjoy sweet tasting tobacco flavors, this will not disappoint. If you prefer earthy flavors, this cigar might not be for you.
Elk Twin:  Good draw and lots of smoke from this big stick. Despite the large format, this was not a powerful smoke. The flavor was muted, with a flat finish. Occasional bursts of coffee and spice poked through, but there wasn't much happening here. The aroma was nice; a gentle and sweet scent with a bit of spice, but that was the best part of the experience. Good, even burn and a solid gray ash that tapped off cleanly spoke to good construction. Towards the end the flavor developed an increasingly tarry component, but no real character ever emerged. In both cases, the flavor was uninspired at the beginning and unpleasant at the end.
Augie754:  This cigar started with a big kick of pepper and was spicy for the first inch or so. The pepper suddenly dropped off and switched to rich wood and oak flavors. There was a small amount of creaminess for a bit, but at the halfway point switched again to a smoky taste with burnt coffee and earthy leather flavors.. This is also where some harshness started and by the end was very bitter. The flavor started nice, but ended poorly
Black Plague:  Black pepper-dusted, medium-toasted tobacco with sweeter green tobacco notes. Still young and not quite yet settled. Medium-bodied, possessed an intriguing sweetness that at different points evoked images of caramel, gumballs, and Kentucky bourbon. As smoked, it developed more woody, oak flavors on the finish and some black coffee notes.
 
 
Summary Comments
Fishin’ Phil:  Excellent medium-bodied cigar. Good construction, excellent flavor and aroma. I would definitely recommend this cigar.
TommyBB:  Cigar 2009-4 was a great cigar. It was well-rolled, with a pretty wrapper, and a good bunch. It burned as it should, with no problems, and a fairly solid ash. This cigar was created by someone with a talent for blending as the flavors and character changed, pleasantly, the entire length of the smoke, keeping me interested and hoping for either more cigar or more time.
ronin:  A very nice cigar. Overall, a very enjoyable experience. I highly recommend this cigar.
SLR:  Overall, this cigar is well constructed and great looking. The flavors are typical of sweet tobacco cigars. If you enjoy sweet, strong cigars, you will enjoy this cigar. But it does lack complexity, and it is a bit rough tasting. Perhaps more humidor time is needed to smooth out the rough edge, and improve on the flavors.
Elk Twin:  I smoked the first one of these early, before breakfast, and didn't get a bit of kick from it. The second was a tad stronger, but the flavor was less interesting and the finish more unpleasant. Despite good construction and appearance, I'm going to have to pass on these.
Augie754:  If you only smoke the first half of your cigars, I can recommend this one. However, if you expect more than half (like I do), then I probably wouldn’t try too many more of these.
Black Plague:  Overall, a good smoke with serious potential, though I normally do not like toro-sized cigars. The only issue was with the burn, which was uneven and, due to frequent adjustments with a lighter, led to the ash becoming flaky.
 
 
Scores
Reviewer
Appearance and
Construction
(0-5)
Burn
(0-5)
Draw
(0-5)
Aroma
(0-5)
Flavor
(0-10)
Taste and
Aftertaste
(0-10)
Overall
Quality
(0-10)
Total
(0-50)
Fishin’ Phil
4
4
5
4
8
8
8
41
TommyBB
4
4
4.5
4.5
8
8
8
41
Ronin
4
4
5
5
7
8
8
41
SLR
3
5
5
3
4
5
5
30
Elk Twin
4
5
4
5
4
4
5
31
Augie754
4
5
5
3
4
4
4
29
Black Plague
5
3
5
5
8
8
8
42
Averages
4
4.29
4.79
4.21
6.14
6.43
6.57
36.43
To achieve the final score we throw out the high and low total scores then average the
remaining scores. For more details please refer to the Review Methods page

 
Review Results
Final Score: 36.8 out of 50 – 4 Stars – Excellent

I found this cigar to be well made, with an excellent draw and burn. The Capa D. O. was attractively dark, sported a light sheen of oil, and lent a mild sweetness to the smoke. Peppery and spicy notes predominate the early parts of the smoke, shifting gradually into a nuanced blend of woody and earthy flavors.
 
The Vegas de Santiago Don Luis “Secretos del Maestro” line comes in five sizes:
 
Cañonazo (6x52)
Churchill (7x50)
Torpedo (6x52)
Robusto (5x50)
Corona (6x42)
 
A variety of  packaging options are available, including cedar boxes of 10 ($38 to $42), cedar boxes of 20 ($63 to $74), and bundles of 10 to 50, ($29 to $150). All sizes are available for purchase directly from the manufacturer at the following web site: https://www.vegassantiago.com/shop/category.php?id=57287531
 

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