Cigar Review – Cabaiguan Corona Extra
These days, it seems that Pete Johnson and Don “Pepin” Garcia can do no wrong. I’ve smoked some of their recent releases, such as El Triunfador and Tatuaje La Vérité 2008, both of which I’d count among the better sticks I’ve had this year. That’s why I was psyched to try the Cabaiguan. I’d heard that these did so well in blind taste tests that some of the tasters confused them with actual Cubans, so Will and I decided to fire up a couple of Corona Extras and see what the buzz is about.
Right from the jump, I noticed that the stick had a good weight in my hand—it felt solid. Next, I noticed that it had one of the cleanest-looking Connecticut wrappers I’d ever seen. What’d you think, Will?
Will: The wrapper was definitely gorgeous. Also gorgeous was the triple cap, which allowed for me to make a fairly sloppy cut without messing up the smoke. On the pre-light, I got more dessert notes than I typically get from a light-wrapped smoke. I tasted vanilla, oak, cream, and almonds.
Jason: I was also surprised at some of the wild pre-light notes I got. I tasted a woody, sweet, baking spice that reminded me distinctly of apple pie. Anyway, after scorching the foot with Will’s obnoxiously powerful triple-torch, we were smoking in no time. Initial flavor was woody and creamy with a little bit of pepper and a cinnamon note similar to what I got from the pre-light.
Will: I definitely got that cinnamon/nutmeg note, along with a little bit of light pepper that lingered for just the right amount of time. The draw was a bit firm, and when I noticed this on the pre-light, I thought it might cause problem once we lit up. Surprisingly, though, the cigar produced generous puffs of smoke right from the beginning.
Jason: Further in, the flavors leveled off and were a bit less intense than they were in the first third. It was almost like the cigar had a intentional “intermission” section with the nutmeg and pepper transitioning into a very traditional Connecticut creaminess.
Will: Once that “intermission” was over, though, I thought the cigar got a bit richer, maybe even peaking at medium-bodied during the final third. I started tasting a little more pepper and maybe even a hint of leather on the finish.
Jason: Definitely—the last third was stronger and more peppery, though it never got hot or harsh. Each of us put the cigar down with a little under an inch left. Overall, if there’s one thing I can say about this stogie is that its burn, draw, and overall performance were steady from start to finish. I never had to touch it up, and the flavors never became muddled or unpleasant.
Will: I’d definitely smoke this one again, maybe in a larger size. One caveat, though, is that I don’t recommend pairing the Cabaiguan with a stronger beverage. I had black coffee with mine and it seemed to overpower it a bit.
Jason: I recommend pairing this one with something a bit lighter, maybe a light-to-medium-heavy beer, like a Hefeweizen. Anyway, I’d say that this was a solid smoke; not too complicated, but satisfying. What it lacked in complexity, it made up for in consistency. Chalk this one up as another hit from the Johnson/Garcia team—I’d definitely smoke one again.