Monday, March 30, 2009

La Tradicion Cabinet Series Perdomo Reserve Cameroon R
Size: 5 x 54 (Robusto)
Tobacco: African Cameroon (wrapper), Nicaragua (filler)
Price: $7.00

I initially had low expectations of these two cigars, which I got in a CBid sampler for about $2 each. First, I'd never had a Perdomo. Secondly, I have a bias against cigars with long redundant names. This brand is sometimes known as "La Tradicion", or "Perdomo Reserve" or "Perdomo Cabinet Series" or some combination thereof. It wasn't until I ran across these in The Tinder Box and saw they retailed for $7 apiece that my curiosity was piqued. I found out this line of Perdomo was rated "91" (Outstanding) in two consecutive issues of Cigar Aficionado and honored as "Cigar or the Year" by the Robb Report and the European Cigar Cult Journal.

Still, the appearance of this cigar didn't help my skepticism: it had numerous long prominent veins. The head of the cigar felt dry and was packed noticeably tigher than the foot. The wrapper had small bluish splotches all over it, which couldn't be seen through the cellophane but became noticeable in the sunlight.

However, my impression turned once I lit this cigar. It started off strong for about five minutes, with tastes of pepper and leather. It mellowed somewhat after its initial blast; there was no mistaking either the tang imparted by the cameroon wrapper or the Nicaraguan flavor of the filler tobacco. This cigar remained on the full side of medium for nearly two hours. It had a good draw, with a slight tendency to canoe, and a robust finish that stayed with me. It paired well with a belgian-style Pale Ale and lasted me throughout a 150-page novella I was reading. By the end, I was very very impressed. How have I missed this brand?

I had a second one two weeks later and it was just as good, if not better when paired with a single malt.

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