I love me some Cuaba…as long as they’re not regular production Cuaba. LOL. As the general discussion usually goes with Cuaba, most of their regular stuff (Divinos, Exclusivos, etc.) are generally crap. If the flavour / blend ends up being anything worth tasting in a particular stick, it’s usually shitted up by having horrid construction leading to draw and burn issues. The main thought is that the perfecto / figurado format that leads to bad construction and draw issues – I myself don’t think it’s necessarily that, as I love me some various perfectos, but, it’s definitely an issue where the roller’s skill is way more relevant to the success of these sticks.
With this being a relatively newer brand (started in 1996), they definitely need to pick up their feet with this brand, and start infusing Cuaba with some much needed love and attention. The slightly peanut-laced flavour profile could make it more of a winner, if some care was taken. And while being a perfecto / figurado might hinder the construction/performance of the cigar, the classic double-tapered appearance is definitely a unique thing (reminding most of the classic cigars seen with Groucho Marx and in the old Looney Toon cartoons).
So, all in all, most Cuabas I’ve tossed and haven’t stocked…save for a few coffin-boxed giant Diademas, or the EL Piramides. Hell, these Piramides shouldn’t even have the Cuaba name on them, as they’re so different from the rest of the brand. Well, maybe that’s what makes them so damn good!!!
These EL Piramides were part of the 2008 releases, along with another favourite of mine, the Montecristo Sublimes. These carried along the change implemented in 2007 to the EL program (which was started in 2000) of having all the tobacco used in the cigar being aged for a minimum of two-years prior to rolling (compared with it only being the wrapper for the 2000 to 2006 EL releases). Compared with normal cigar tobaccos (generally, 6 months for seco leaf, 9 to 12 months for volado and wrapper leaves, and 12 to 18 months for the stronger ligero leaf), these EL’s with the added-aged tobaccos used makes for some interesting, non-usual format smokes.
Reviewed Cigar: Cuaba Piramides EL 2008
Box Date: Sep 2008
Factory / Manufacture Code: USE
Packaging: 10-count dress box
Price per cigar: $17.50 USD (online vendor, 2009 purchase)
Length: 6 1/8″, or 156 mm
Ring Gauge: 52
Format: Piramides / Pyramid
Weight: 17 grams / 0.6 oz
Construction/Appearance & Pre-Light: This cigar was awe-some. This particular stick was one of three left in one of my original boxes of these, with another 3 boxes marinating away in the humidors yet. And these just keep seeming to get better and better with time, so my fingers were definitely crossed with this one, being a bit of a celebratory smoke for me.
Nice bands and presentation with these, and I’m definitely a fan of the piramide format. Really nice heft in the hand, and good bunching and overall construction. No soft spots or overly hard areas either. Hard to say any cigar can be “just about perfect”, but this one felt that way. The wrapper was dark and light maduro, but wasn’t oily though – a slight hinderance for me. However, the ever so slight tactile feel of the “tooth” of the wrapper with these always makes them feel nice in the hand.
At cold, strong dark fruit and brown sugar. Sweet wood (cedar and/or maple perhaps?) and dark earth.
Opening Impressions: Upon lighting and initial puffs, just enthralled. Creamy and thick smoke. Rich, coated mouthfeel with a sweet viscous smoke.
First/Second/& Final Thirds: Yup. Another delayed review here from the early spring, and surprise surprise, my tasting notes went sideways a bit.
What I do have down here is that this thing went stellar right off the bat with heavy tones of raisins. I always seem to get that with these Cuaba Piramides – raisins, dark wood, molasses, and leather. Well, my notes were spot on, with tastes noted of raisins, brown sugar, wet cedar, and old leather. The cigar had a couple of tunnels noted about a third of the way in, but smoked well regardless.
Finishing Comments / Overall Impression: Puff after puff, I remember wholeheartedly enjoying this cigar.
Also, this was enjoyed in the hot tub after a freak ice and snowstorm. While it was in late winter / early spring for us, it was 8 degrees celsius the day before I smoked this (with that day being at 0 degrees C / freezing), and then a temp of 18 Celsius expected in only another two days. Tons of sea gulls were flying around – even those “shit hawks” were confused by the early spring weather.
It’s amazing what we’ll do to enjoy a good smoke. Hell, we’ll even try a Cuaba from time to time!
Final Score: 93
Total Smoking Time: 1 hour and 2 minutes
Date & Time Smoked: March 31st, 2015; lit up at 10:08 am, done at 11:10 am
Paired Beverage: Two big mugs of Cubita dark roast molido coffee, double-double
Last Meal: Cereal breakfast, 8:15 am
Smoking Conditions: In the hot tub, 0 degrees Celsius freezing, 94 % RH, 14 kph breeze
Thanks for reading my review. Hope you enjoyed it.