W – Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
B – Dominican
F – Dominican, Nicaraguan
Origin – Quesada Cigars, D.R.
Cuban-born Benji Menendez has been making fine cigars since he first worked alongside his father in Havana’s H. Upmann factory in the 1950s. He’s since worked with most of the major brands in the world, and at age 84 the man still has his hands in tobacco, as evidenced by the Cuban Cigar Factory Benji Menendez cigar.
Joining forces with the good folks at Ventura cigars, Benji’s namesake cigar in the Cuban Cigar Factory series spins an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper over Dominican binder and mix of fine long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. For today’s review, I procured a sample of the traditional Robusto tasting size.
Pre-light draws gave off a taste of creamy cedar with a faint sweetness and even fainter hints of spice.
True to the pre-light, initial flavors of the Benji were of slightly-sweet cedar with a steady, mellow spice buzz in the background. About an inch in I began to pick up interesting nuances of an unexpected dark fruitiness.
The profile became progressively creamier as I burned through the second 3rd. The burn was straight and clean and ashes built up to a solid 2” before dropping off.
In the final third the cedar and mild white pepper continued as hints of coffee and leather emerged. Flavors remained distinct and enjoyable until the end.
The Cuban Cigar Factory Benji Menendez was a clean-tasting, classic smoke with a few surprises along the way. Construction was as solid as one would expect coming from Quesada cigars, and the balanced flavors and body at play would go great with a morning cup of coffee. My least favorite thing about the Cuban Cigar Factory Benji Menendez is its name, which is equal parts vague and cumbersome. Maybe someday I will hold a seminar about choosing concise and catchy names for the cigar industry. Until then, I’ll be pulling out this solid stand-by cigar to enjoy every so often, and I suggest you do the same. It just so happens we’ve got the lowest prices on Benji Menendez cigars.