Cuaba 20 Anniversario Cigar Review

Recently our own David Garofalo was at the Habanos Festival where he was able to secure some cigars for review here on The Cigar Authority. The first of two cigars that we plan to review is the Cuaba 20th Anniversary.

The Cuaba was officially launched 20 years ago in 1996 at the Claridge Hotel in London, England. To date all of the Cuaba cigars have been part of the perfecto family. The brand was launched in an attempt to revive figurados which had been popular in the early 20th century but declined in the 1950s. The initial launch saw the cigar made without molds however the following year molds were made and the original non-molded cigars remain collectors items.

According to Carlos Izquierdo Gonzales the creator of Cuaba the cigar was blended in the style of Montecristo, while the cigars are made at Briones Montoto the same factory to produce Romeo Y Julieta.

As for the name Cuaba it is a word that dates back to Christopher Columbus who used the term in his diary in reference to burning sticks men would carry in their hands to light dry herbs.

Cigar Review: Cuaba 20th Anniversary
Factory: Briones Montoto
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Length: 170mm
Ring Gauge: 56
Vitola: Salomon
Strength: Medium

The Look: While the cigar will not be available in the USA for obvious reasons it appears that it will be packaged as part of a humidor that has a “Cuaba” that serves as the latch. The double torpedo from Cuba is tan in color and features a gorgeous gold and mauve band with some embossing that gives the gold foil some interesting depth. The tan wrapper under close inspection shows cut lines in the tobacco from the chaveta. In the hand the cigar feels a little light in comparison to American market Salomons, but there are no soft spots.

The Notes:  On the cold draw of the Cuaba 20th there are notes of earth and cedar with some subtle barnyard notes. The aroma of the cigar has a slight manure to it, with cedar and subtle spices.

Once the cigar is lit there are some very distinct notes of maple and a subtle Sugar in the Raw note. As the first third continues the moderate to long finish is woody and full of tobacco notes. On the retrohale some sweetness begins to develop with a little bit of pepper.
Moving on to the second half of the 20th Anniversary cigar from Cuaba, the maple notes remain though at times it becomes less defined as cinnamon notes develop on the finish and the retrohale. As the second third comes to a close the cigar becomes earthy.
Which bring us to the final third of this salomon; the dominant note is earthy with leather nuances while the iconic maple notes of the first two thirds move to the background. Through the nose the cigar is exceptionally smooth with a slight nutmeg on the finish.
The Burn: I haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to this vitola, especially with the burn. However, the Cuaba burned perfect with a perfect draw. The thin dark combustion line revealed a firm marble like ash that held on for a couple of inches at a time. The cigar remained lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: One would think a limited edition cigar celebrating 20 years would be a memorable one. However, I had some trepidation going into this cigar. Mostly over the size and concern for burn issues. However once the cigar was lit, I was quite surprised with the experience. The distinct, complex notes were intoxicating and delicious. With the embargo nearing an end the Cuaba provides hope for good things to come.
Score: 92
Price: TBD
Cuaba 20th Anniversary

Cuaba 20th Anniversary

Cuaba 20th Anniversary Foot

Cuaba 20th Anniversary Foot

Cuaba 20th Anniversary Burn

Cuaba 20th Anniversary Burn


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