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Cigar Review – Cubao #4 Robusto Natural

I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to smoke a Cubao. After reading a few reviews and getting a whiff of them while taking pictures, I knew this was going to be a smoke all its own. At first glance, the Cubao #4 Robusto Natural is a modest stick. The Ecuadorian Sumatra-seed wrapper was suede-colored and thinly veined with some light marbling, and the band took a page out of Montecristo’s book with a simple brown and white design.

Pre-light draw was easy and sweet with a little pepper and a certain indescribable funk that I hadn’t tasted before. I’m not sure if the tobacco was fermented in a different way than what I’m used to, but it was very different and made me pretty eager to light up. When I toasted the foot, I noticed that this cigar lit more easily than any other I’d ever seen. It took about 15 seconds with a Xikar Element, and I didn’t even have to puff on it to really get it going.

The first few draws weren’t too far off from the pre-light. I got caramel sweetness with some red and green pepper and a little bit of that fermented note. Eventually this gave way to a really nice nutty flavor, like toasted almonds, while the spice began to build. The burn had a bit of a slant to it and required a few minor touchups, but all in all it stayed relatively consistent and provided a good draw nonetheless.

Further into the cigar, the caramel sweetness took on some coffee character, which built in strength and eventually culminated in about an inch of peppery, bittersweet, cocoa-rich smoke. In the last bit that I smoked before I set down the pitifully small nub, the sweetness chilled out and the pepper ramped up, along with some cedar. A bready note also came into play, which combined with the pepper and the aforementioned indescribable funk to remind me of herbed focaccia. I’ve heard of a lot of smokes being called after-dinner smokes—though this one was pretty strong, I think it was an appetizer.

I’ve read that some cigars have different types of tobacco throughout the length of the stick, and I think this may have been one of those cigars. The flavor changes were dramatic and noticeable and kept my attention throughout the smoke. The construction was also solid—while I needed to touch up the burn a couple of times, that may have been because of the windy weather we had today. After smoking the Cubao #4 Robusto Natural, I’m really glad I bought a few more sticks, because it was probably one of the most unique smokes I’ve ever had. Also, I can’t wait to try the maduro-wrapped version, which is definitely next on my list.