In the weeks since I reviewed the Pinar Del Rio Habano Sun Grown Toro, it seems like the PDR name keeps popping up more and more during my daily searches through the cigar blogs and forums. These stogies, it would seem, are getting to be pretty “hot”. As promised, today I pulled out another selection from this relative newcomer to the cigar world, the PDR 1878 Reserva Dominicana Double Robusto Capa Oscura (5 ½ x54), to feature in today’s review. The cigar is comprised of a Dominican Habano Oscuro wrapper, a Dominican Habano binder, and (get this-) a mix of Dominican Corojo, Habano, and Criollo 98 filler tobaccos. Having enjoyed the last PDR stick I sampled, I was curious to see how the darker, Dominican blend would fare in comparison.
The stogie wore a dark, gritty, and oily Habano Oscuro wrapper with many pronounced veins and a lot of toothy texture. Construction on the cigar appeared to be solid, with a nice tight pigtail cap and closed foot. Pre-light draws were easy and open, and gave off notes of creamy cocoa, and just a bit of tobacco spice.
After lighting up, I was met with a rich cocoa flavor, accompanied by a nice amount of butter, nuts, and a touch of lingering white pepper. The flavor was initially very crisp, but right as I reached the second inch of the stick, a super-creamy and smooth milky note kicked in heavily, and took the lead in terms of taste. Ensuing draws were increasingly smooth, and the flavor profile was far more laid-back and relaxed than I was expecting.
Into the second third, I had a bit of a wavy burn-line going on, but nothing too major. During this portion of the cigar the creamy cocoa taste was predominant, canceling out the mellow spice that had been present earlier. I suddenly realized that this stick had just transformed into one of the smoothest I had ever tasted, with a light and silky taste profile that I normally wouldn’t associate with an Oscuro wrapper. The stogie was burning very slowly, and by this time it was sporting a nice sturdy 2 ½ inch ash.
When I reached the final 3rd, the burn had straightened out, and pronounced notes of melted butter, pepper, and molasses came into the fold, making for a slightly sweet and tasty finish. A rich tobacco taste was present throughout, and the cigar remained exceptionally smooth, and clean-tasting, until I finally laid it to rest.
The Pinar Del Rio 1878 Reserva Dominicana Double Robusto Capa Oscura (wow, that’s a long name) really surprised me. Despite the bold tobaccos used in the blend, this stogie was considerably mellow and well-balanced. A slightly crooked burn was the only real defect, performance-wise, and on this particular cigar it didn’t affect the smoking experience whatsoever. I was too busy trying to understand how an Oscuro-wrapped cigar with typically spicy fillers could come across this smooth and subtle. I enjoyed the overall taste, and refined complexity of this stogie to the point where I’d like to keep a few in the humi. It would be interesting to see how these do with some age, as it’s hard to imagine these getting any smoother. The PDR 1878 RD Oscura is a perfect example of why you cant judge a book by its cover (or a cigar by its wrapper, in this case). I give this slick stogie a B+, and I recommend it for pretty much anyone who loves good cigars with easygoing, clean flavor. This was good stuff.