If you’ve been on our website anytime in the last few weeks, chances are you’ve heard of the new Don Lino bundles. We got a shipment of these back in June, and considering they’re not exactly the most well-known cigars out there, they’ve been selling unbelievably well.
According to Rene from Miami Cigar & Company, Don Lino bundles are made in Nicaragua and primarily sold locally, though we managed to get our hands on a large shipment to sell here in the U.S. They’re incredibly well-made and feature a blend of long-filler tobaccos and an Ecuadorian Connecticut-seed wrapper (not sure whether it’s sun- or shade-grown, though judging from the color and spice level, I’d say sun-grown).
I have to admit that I was initially skeptical of these Nicaraguan handmades. But after seeing many of our customers buy multiple bundles and come back for more just a few weeks later, I decided I’d be doing myself (and our readers) a disservice if I didn’t review one. Not knowing what to expect, I cracked open a bundle this morning and put this budget stick to the test.
What struck me first about the Don Lino Robusto was the construction. The cigar featured a nicely-rounded, perfectly-applied triple cap and was solidly packed from head to foot. The wrapper was surprisingly dark, oily, and toothy, and looked like it could’ve been a Sumatra or Corojo, rather than Ecuadorian Connecticut. Clipping the cap revealed well-packed filler leaves, and the pre-light draw, while very peppery, produced a bold cedar note with some roasted nuts in the background.
Anyway, the standout construction on this stick made lighting up a breeze. Once it got going, a hefty pepper blast surged through for the first half inch or so, eventually giving way to some sweet cream and zesty cedar. The draw was incredibly easy right off the bat, and as such, this cigar was not shy about its flavors. After I purged the cigar (I’ve made a habit of it), the ash fell off at about an inch and a quarter.
Further in, the pepper died down a little bit, though it was still noticeable. Going along with its appearance, this cigar smoked more like a Corojo than a Connecticut, though it still had some distinct Connecticut character. At this point, I tasted roasted nuts, black pepper, cedar, and some lingering cream and caramel sweetness.
As I made it down to the final third, I was surprised by the fact that there was no resurgence of pepper. From here on in, I tasted a good amount of sweet, mellow creaminess, along with nuts, caramel, vanilla, and a coffee note that I would’ve expected from a much darker cigar. With less than an inch left, it was time to set it down.
The Don Lino Robusto was nothing like I thought it would be. Judging from the description of the blend, I was expecting your typical “Connecticut wrapper, Nicaraguan spice” cigar, but what I got was a surprisingly bold, straightforward stogie with some really nice, consistent flavors. On top of that, the construction was remarkable. The cigar stayed firm all the way down to the nub, the ashes all lasted for over an inch, the burn was perfectly and I mean perfectly straight, and the draw couldn’t have been better. For $2 and change per stick, you really can’t go wrong with these.