It’s about 35 degrees out right now in sunny Kingston, NY—perfect smoking weather, considering we were in the negatives earlier this week. I just smoked a Cusano 15th Anniversary and all I can say is, wow. Not only have I never had such a slim cigar with such an awesome draw, but this is one of the few cigars I’ve smoked that really took me places throughout the smoke.
For starters, I’m not sure what the “hybrid wrapper” was a hybrid of—I know it was grown in Ecuador, and from the look (and taste) of it, I’m guessing it was sun grown. The filler is viso, seco, and ligero from the Dominican Republic as well as some Nicaraguan ligero, and it was rolled very evenly throughout the slender 40 ring gauge lancero. The cap was about a half inch long, which is good for clumsy fellows like myself who have a habit of butchering cigars and ruining the smoke. On the pre-light draw I tasted some pepper, as well as a little bit of coffee.
I toasted the foot started puffing away—right off the bat, tons of pepper, some roasted coffee, and a nice nutty, toasty flavor. The burn started a little rocky but completely straightened out in a matter of minutes. If the cigar hadn’t gone out about halfway through (due only to my own negligence), I wouldn’t have had to touch the thing again—the burn stayed straight all the way through and the ash held on for a good inch and a half at a time.
After the initial pepper blast, some more subtle notes began kicking in. Right as I got to the second third I got some subtle floral notes that I couldn’t put my finger on. These may have been there all along but only really shined through once the pepper mellowed a bit. I also got some dry, bitter cocoa on the draw as well as the fabled black cherry sweetness that I read about all the time and had yet to experience myself.
Halfway through, the pepper was almost nonexistent. At this point I was treated to some more cocoa as well as a pleasant lingering sweetness. This sweetness became more prominent as I reached the final third, at which point the pepper had its resurgence. This pepper lingered, though it never got as intense as it was at the very beginning. A really nice traditional tobacco taste dominated the cigar until I set down the nub.
As I said earlier, wow. This cigar had a better draw than some of the 50-plus ring gauge stogies I’ve had, and for me, that can make or break a cigar. After all, what good is anything in a cigar if you can’t get the smoke through it? In this particular case, it made the cigar. Smaller ring gauges weren’t really my thing prior to smoking the Cusano 15th Anniversary, but this delicious stogie may have turned over a new leaf for me.
Cusano only put out 2,000 boxes of 15, so it’s a good idea to get yours before they’re all gone. If strong, complex cigars are what get you going, you’ll be missing out if you don’t try a few.