Cigar 101: BCP Exclusives Part I
It struck me recently that even though I mention Best Cigar Prices’ exclusives in my posts pretty frequently, there are still a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the lineup. That’s why I decided to put together a get-to-know-you list of all of our exclusive brands, from the $1 and change-per-stick Oba Oba! to the super-premium Star Insignia. Anyway, there are too many to fit into one post, so without further ado, here are the first five:
Bella Torres is one of our most popular exclusive brands, having debuted in 2008. These feature an oily Dominican wrapper and binder, along with Indonesian and Dominican filler, for a medium-bodied, peppery, malty smoke with excellent construction. This is a classic, spicy, no-frills smoke that’s mellow enough for a beginner, but flavorful enough for any experienced smoker. Check out our interview with Rafael Nodal, president of Habana Cuba, to learn more about the original Bella Torres.
Along with the classic Bella Torres, we also carry Bella Torres Nicaraguan Selection, a darker, stronger, all-Nicaraguan version. These are made with specially-aged, specially-fermented Nicaraguan Habano wrappers, along with Cuban-seed fillers from Esteli and Condega. These are chocolaty and spicy with notes of espresso and molasses, and they’re box-pressed for an exceptional burn and draw. The Bella Torres Nicaraguan Selection is a must-try for Maduro lovers.
San Marco is an interesting exclusive brand, because technically it comes from two different companies. Underneath their Honduran wrapper and binder is a filler blend made up of Dominican leaves from Davidoff’s farms and Honduran leaves from Camacho’s farms, resulting in a smooth, spicy, flavorful smoke with notes of toast, cream, pepper, and a little bit of citrus peel on the finish. For a more detailed flavor profile, check out my review of the San Marco Corona.
Revolucion, hailing from Tabacalera Perdomo in Esteli, Nicaragua, was our very first exclusive brand. These are available in three different wrapper shades—U.S.A.-grown Connecticut shade, for a mellow, creamy smoke; African Cameroon, for a bit more buttery, spicy, complexity; or Nicaraguan Maduro, for bigger, richer, flavors of chocolate and spice. Whichever you choose, this is one of the best value cigars we carry. They’re made with an entirely long-leaf filler blend and feature some of the most solid, consistent construction we’ve ever seen. Pick some of these up if you haven’t already—at under $3 a stick, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Following the success of Revolucion, we went back to Tabacalera Perdomo and asked them to blend us a budget smoke. What we got was as shocking to us as it is to many of our customers—a mixed-filler, sub-$2 cigar that was actually enjoyable. Made entirely of Nicaraguan leaves, these are available in two wrapper shades; the natural, which is spicy, toasty, and balanced, and the maduro, which is a bit sweeter and chocolatier with some additional spice. Both are remarkably well-made, especially for mixed-filler stogies. Anyway, check out my review of the Oba Oba! Robusto Maduro for more information.
When we approached Rocky Patel to ask him if he’d blend us an exclusive cigar, we weren’t sure what to expect. His cigars are pretty much all over the place, from the mellow, creamy Vintage 1999 to the powerhouse Decade (call us at 1-888-41-CIGAR for availability). What we did know is that we wanted a top-shelf cigar at a reasonable price, and that’s just what we got. Prodigy by Rocky Patel is medium-full-bodied, featuring an oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan and Honduran double binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran filler. The cigars are rich, spicy, leathery, and complex with some sweet cocoa and coffee character, and they feature some of the best construction you can find. This is a true bargain at $5 and under per cigar.
That’s all for our non-Alec Bradley exclusive brands. Check back tomorrow for information on Kensington Connecticut Reserve and Reserve Maduro, Medici, Star Insignia, and the Tempus Robolo®, which are all made by Alec Bradley.