In May 2019, Miami Cigar & Company announced the return of the legendary Don Lino Africa. This time the company taps cigar maker AJ Fernandez to interpret the line. While the original release featured Cameroon tobacco in the filler, this time around the tobacco varietal moves to the binder.
The cigar was inspired in the mid-2000s when Nestor Miranda had just traveled on Safari to the continent of Africa. Having fallen in love with the country he wanted to create a cigar that would memorialize his trip. Like the original release the boxes and bands feature art that brings this all together. Each of the cigar names come for the Swahili word for specific animals that roam the lands. The name Duma translates to Cheetah.
Cigar Review: Don Lino Africa
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano 2000
Fillers: Piloto Dominicano, Ometepe, Jalapa, and Esteli.
Ring Gauge: 50
Size: Duma (Robusto)
The Look: The boxes are a throwback to the original release with art inspired by an African Safari. Inside sits 20 box pressed cigars with a band featuring colors of red, black, gold and white. Included in the design of the band are zebra stripes, and a African inspired patten on the sides. The Habano wrapper is oily and slightly coarse under the fingers. In the hands the cigar is firm and box pressed to perfection with a well packed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Don Lino Africa is earthy with notes of grass and a touch of cedar. The aroma off the foot has a touch of earth and subtle cocoa. Once the cigar is lit there is some caramel sweetness.
Moving into the first third the caramel sweetness is overcome by red pepper which is dominant on the aroma. Around a half in to the cigar the red pepper begins to pull back as the caramel sweetness becomes more dominant. That caramel sweetness is short lived as the cigar takes on notes of earth, dark chocolate and licorice is added to the mix on the retrohale.
The second third sees the dark chocolate notes become more of cacao note with some subtle licorice notes remaining on the retrohale along with a touch of red pepper. As the second third comes to a close some caramel appears on the retrohale which seems to be where the Cameroon tobacco known for its sweetness begin to shine.
The last third of the Africa really sees the sweetness of the Cameroon binder shine through as the cigar develops a creamy sweetness. Notes of caramel and cacao envelop the palate with subtle hints of rye. The retrohale remains smooth with some vanilla notes and hints of wood.
The Finish: It’s been years since I smoked an original Don Lino Africa so it wouldn’t been fair to compare the two. The new interpretation of the Don Lino Africa is tasty. If I smoked this cigar not knowing where it was made, AJ Fernandez wouldn’t be my guess as it stands out from anything his factory has produced in my opinion. It’s unique and incredibly enjoyable.
Price: $9.19 / $172.99