With today being Festivus, I figured I would smoke the cigar features the likeness of Don Benigno on the band. However, at a quick glance he also looks like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. I’ll admit it’s a reach but driving in to work this morning, the correlation between the parties involved popped into my head and here we are.
The brand Don Benigno was created 17 years ago in Costa Rica but the man himself was created in 1950 when he was born in the Cuban region of Vuelta Abajo in the city of Pinar Del Rio. He learned the art of rolling and cigar making from his grandfather who owned his own factory. But after Castro took power the factory was shut down.
In 1997 Don Benigno moved to Costa Rica and began making cigars which are available at the finest shops all over the world.
Cigar: Don Benigno
Size: Exigente (6.5 x 54)
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look: The Don Benigno isn’t a cigar that will win a beauty pageant especially in the maduro variety. The coloring of the wrapper is splotchy but you can tell it is a natural maduro in comparison to many maduro cigars on the market today. The band of the cigar is mustard and white with a picture of Benigno himself in the center of the band and a regal looking D and B off the side. In the hand the cigar is well packed with a nice weight and a flawless roll.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Don Benigno has a slight oak and some floral notes in the mix as well while the aroma off the foot has a faint mocha. Once the cigar is lit I am taken by surprise at how smooth it is from the initial light. Lately it seems a lot of cigars want to grab you by the cajones from the first draw but the balance is event right off the initial light.
Smoking into the first third of the Don Benigno there are notes of oak and hints of floral which are ver similar to that of the cold draw. I can’t help but think how this would pair up with some 18-year-old Macallan scotch or even better yet the 25-year-old. It seems like this is the cigar that would be the perfect pairing.
In the second third of the Don Benigno a slightly earthy component begins to develop with a continued note of oak. Around the half way point a slight sweetness begins to develop that replaces the floral nature of the cigar.
The final third of the Don Benigno continues to offer a consistent flavor profile with notes of mocha, oak and a slight floral on the finish.
The Burn: The Don Benigno features a fluid draw with a really firm ash that held for nearly half the cigar. The burn line was thin and razor-sharp. It remained lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: No Cigar For You! Because I want them all for myself. This cigar wound up being a huge surprise to me with any enjoyable flavor profile and tremendous balance. Don Benigno might not be a household name, but his cigars should be in every humidor.