Bite Size Review: San Pedro de Macoris Nicaragua Robusto
Someone asked me recently, “how often do you smoke cigars?” My answer was something akin to ‘not including reviews, anywhere from a couple to four or so a week.’ I elaborated something to the effect that my personal cigar moments include social gatherings, celebrations or just sitting on the patio sipping a favorite Scotch or Bourbon. The friendly conversation got me thinking about those who smoke every day, smoke multiple times a day or those who are somewhere in the vicinity of 25+ stogeys a month. That’s equivalent to a box a month at a cost of somewhere between, on average, $100 to $200.
Personally, I have a lot of favorites, Cuban and non-Cuban, and as a consumer I tend to purchase more singles and fivers than I do boxes which affords more flexibility to choose a particular blend to satisfy whatever craving I might have at a particular time. Like most, I am cost conscious, but I’ve also been known to pull the trigger on expensive cigars that really blow my hair back with little concern over price. So I guess I’m saying I like variety and that if I did smoke every day, I would most likely change it up. But what if I did prefer one particular cigar to smoke every day?
And my answer would be that it would have to be a blend that tickles certain pleasure centers of my brain and it would likely have to be priced right until I reach that point in my life where money is no object. Well, we might have found a candidate. On deck is Royal Agio’s newest cigar in their stable, the San Pedro de Macoris (SPdM), named after the Dominican city and factory that also produces their Balmoral line exclusives. The idea behind SPdM was to rewrite the rules on producing a premium, everyday cigar at a reasonable price.
The value line was launched in 2018 with two flavors, Brazil and Ecuador, named for the wrappers used, Ecuadorian Connecticut and Brazilian Arapiraca. Two additional blends debuted at the TPE show in early 2019, one cloaked in a Sun Grown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper (Sun Grown) and the other, a Nicaraguan Habano (Nicaragua). Don’t expect any Churchills or beefy figurados soon as each blend is available in only 3 vitolas, the largest being the 5 1/8”x 52 Robusto, which tops the scales at a wallet-busting $5. No, it’s not a typo.
The Nicaragua is a nice looking cigar, feels good in the hand and offers a reassuringly uniform feel. While the seams are visible as are some veins and a fair amount tooth, the wrapper is a tasty hot cocoa color, is nice and oily and it’s topped by a well-constructed cap. Nicaragua also shows its chops in the aroma department as the Habano skin screams funnel cake while the foot flashes hints of green tea and cocoa. The cold draw is nicely open with a very appropriate level of resistance as hints of milk chocolate dapple the palate.
Right out of the gate, Nicaragua demands my attention with an insanely rich breadcrust draw. Situated within a toasty core are notes of cream, caramel, sweet wood and nuts on the retro and a rich, hardy finish of toasted oats and oak. It quickly settles into a more woody profile with a complement of mesquite, leather and residual cream notes. Transitions also feature woody profiles with a nice spin of the flavor wheel. Complexity wanes as body, strength and spice increase ending in a more robust earthy, smoky character. Texture begins silky smooth but develops rougher edges during the smoke.
Combustion is aces as it burns mostly even for the duration. Smoke production is average and the ash struggles to stay on near the one-inch mark. Nicaragua’s complexity and balance impresses with each transition and it never gets hot or harsh. Add a satisfying blend and flavor palette with solid construction and this $5 beauty can challenge many cigars in the $10+ range. That’s where this cigar earns it’s stripes. While this is not a cigar I, personally, would smoke everyday, it’s easy to understand why many others will. As a bonus, I think this little baby would pair nicely with a good Scotch or Bourbon. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The Dominican San Pedro de Macoris factory also produces the Balmoral Dominican and Sumatra selections as well as longfiller Balmoral cigars.
- Profile: Med – full
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length / Ring Gauge: 5 1/8″ x 52
- Purchased: Direct
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Dominican Olor
- Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina, Dominican Olor & Piloto, Nicaraguan
- Production: San Pedro de Macoris, DR
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $5.00 [Box $99.95]
- Humidor Age: 9 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Perla [4 1/8″x40], Corona [5 7/8″x42]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 0:59
Construction: Oily; visible seams; veiny; toothy; solid cap; good uniform firmness; cocoa-hued appearance; average smoke producer; struggles to hold 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Funnel cake
- Foot – Green tea, cocoa
- Cold Draw – Milk chocolate
- Initial: Rich breadcrust draw; toasty core; cream, caramel and nutty notes on retro; rich finish of toasted oats and oak; sweet wood notes on retro; warm hints of coffee adds to finish; settles into woody profile highlighted by mesquite, leather, nuts and cream; silky texture; finish features more baked bread notes; spice noticeable.
- Transition: Oak core; maintains toasty finish with coffee notes; increase in spice on tongue; less complex, harder edged and more robust; earth and dark fruit notes on retro; hints of cake batter at end of retro;
- Transition: Smoky character; spice amped up; finishes with generous notes of smoked wood and coffee; leather and charred wood notes on retro;
Complexity: Very good
Balance: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Loss of complexity in latter stages
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]