It was about this time two years ago we took a ride to the cigar fields of Connecticut. During the ride David Garofalo handed out cigars for the trip, something he can’t do anymore due to the FDA. I remember looking at it and having no idea what it was, but I smoked it and both Chuck Morrison and I were in agreement, that it was a damn good cigar. Studio 21 is best described as a mild, smooth creaky smoke that shares many similarities with mild cigars with one exception, the price. Today’s cigar is available from 2GuysCigars.com in 6 sizes comes in at under $4 and is made at the Davidoff factory.
Cigar: Studio 21
Size: No 3. (6 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Footer: Dominican Republic
The Look: The bright red band with white text almost looks like another cigar on the shelf at first glance, but looking closely it reveals the words Studio 21. Made in the Dominican Republic at the Davidoff factory, the Ecuadorian Share wrapper has a lot of character to it. There are a fair amount of veins but there is a nice amount of oils present. The foot appears a little under filled, but in the hand the cigar has no soft spots. This cigar won’t win a beauty contest but if I have learned anything in my 15 years of cigar smoking is that you can never judge a book by its cover.
The Smoke: The initial notes on the cold draw are very cherry, but as we take a few more pulls there is some of that classic Davidoff barnyard notes present. Before lighting up the cigar it reminds me of a Cusano cigar from back in the day and it brings back memories to when I owned my cigar shop in Brooklyn, NY. The foot of the cigar has more of that barnyard signature note of Henke.
As we light up the cigar, some of the sweetness of the pre-light draw is available and for some reason I have a vision of Red Auerbach in my head enjoying one of these cigars if he was still alive. Working into the first third of the Studio 21 there is a subtle spice with some barnyard notes and a hit of maple.
The second third continues to develop notes of wood, and earth over a subtle spice. The wood notes are maple. and remind me of autumn in New England. The cigar is mild, but there is just enough pepper through the nose to keep things interesting. The cherry experienced on the cold draw begins to emerge on the finish.
The last third of the cigar develops a hint of licorice with some continued maple and earth. The finish is short and refreshing, with no after taste.
The Burn: While the burn of the Studio 21 started out asymmetrical as indicated in the picture below I resisted the urge to touch up the cigar and as the first third of the cigar came to a close the cigar was burning perfectly. The draw of the cigar was fluid, with ample smoke production and a firm ash.
The Finish: This cigar caught me off guard the first time I smoked it, and the price was awesome for an everyday cigar. The next two I smoked continued to impress as it took me back to when I owned a cigar store and Cusano was in my daily repertoire. If you like a mild cigar, with a bit of that Davidoff profile, then this is a cigar for you.
Price: $4.39 / $65.99