Sometimes when you want things done a certain way, you have to do them yourself. So what do a band of frustrated retailers do when they’re competing against discounters or struggling to maintain certain cigar brands who have stopped generating buzz and sales? Why they form a retailer-friendly company of course. In early 2013, a new cigar company was borne out of these frustrations by a coalition of US tobacconists whose mission is to create new cigars with protected pricing and provide kryptonite against close-outs. The brainchild of Abe Dabaneh, owner of Florida’s iconic Smoke Inn chain, became Sindicato Cigars.
Other prominent retailers to join Dababneh in the new venture include Jeff Borysiewicz of Florida’s Corona Cigar Company and Gary Pesh, president of Old Virginia Tobacco Co. (OVTC) and former president of IPCPR (now PCA). To run this new show, the stakeholders coaxed industry veteran, Jim Colucci, out of retirement from his 37-year stint with Altadis U. S. A. to act as president and CEO. Interestingly, Colucci also serves concurrently as president of Gurkha Cigars and was also appointed CEO after the recent ouster of Gurkha’s founder, Kaizad Hansotia.
The new company is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida and within its first 7 years in operation has managed to create a diverse portfolio of 7 lines which include Sindicato, Affinity, Hex, Particulares, Sindicato Miami, Casa Bella and Maniac. Many of their cigars are contracted with Aganorsa Leaf whose blends feature the highly sought after Cuban-seed tobacco. Particulares, released in 2016, is an interesting story as this is somewhat of a reincarnation of the venerable Cuban brand, and its namesake factory, brought back to life by Eduardo Fernández within the last 20 years, but distributed by Sindicato.
Continuing the early 20th century Cuban theme and marketing, the cigars carry Pre-Castro style bands and dress boxes, although I’m not sure the matte, avocado-green portion of the band that carries the only mention of Sindicato and the proclamation “Calidad Garantazdo” (tr. quaranteed quality) compliments anything. Our oily, demi-pressed Delicioso sports a nice cap, is evenly firm and represents the epitome of a chocolate bar appearance. Nice looking cigar. There’s an interesting mix of aromas which include the wrapper’s grassy essence mixed with cocoa and the foot’s sinful chocolate cake batter. The cold draw is a bit restricted yet still leaves a generous deposit of raisins on the palate.
The good vibes continue with a lush opening of cinnamon, graham cracker and puffed rice notes followed by a robust finish of almonds and espresso. The draw is also rife with graham cracker notes. The texture is creamy and there’s just hint of spice along with notes of savory sea salt on the palate. Decadent. Cedar notes come late as the draw becomes more tangy. Transitions evolve from foundations of toast and cedar to dark chocolate and peat yet still offering a dizzying array of complexity with notes of salted caramel, carmelcorn, oak and brown sugar. This is special.
Our Particulares also brought its ‘A’ game in performance as combustion is near impeccable and is a solid smoke producer. The cigar struggles to hold a 1” ash, but the draw becomes near flawless. There’s reassurance when I noticed some heft to the cigar in my hand. Solid. At under $8, this is simply a home run of a cigar that packs in complexity and balance, great construction and a refined persona. Like a candy crush, brownie fetish or love of Rocky Road, this is a guilty pleasure you can smoke any day and every day – a go-to hands down. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: Go To
Did you Know: Gene Tipton, the well-respected industry veteran and Sindicato’s VP of sales, retired in September 2019 and sadly, recently passed away over the July 4 weekend.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Delicioso [BP Toro]
- Length / Ring: 6.0″ X 54
- Purchased: Online
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper:Nicaraguan Shade Corojo
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Production: Aganorsa Leaf, Nicaragua (Formerly TABSA)
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price:$7.65 [Box $153]
- Humidor Age: 4.5 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Robusto [5″x52], Corona Gorda [5.5″x48], Cesenta [6″x60], Belvederes [7″x52], Belicoso [6.35″x52], #1 [6.25×48]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:41
Construction: Nice cap; feels hefty; demi-press; the epitome of chocolate bar appearance; oily; seamless; semi-veiny; attractive; firm throughout; generous smoke producer; struggles to hold 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Grassy, cocoa
- Foot – Chocolate cake batter
- Cold Draw – Lots of raisins
- Initial: Rich graham cracker draw; plethora of cinnamon, puffed rice and (more) graham cracker notes; robust finish of almonds and espresso; adds savory sea salt to palate; hint of spice; decadent, creamy texture; fringes of cedar; draw become tangy, leathery; settles into core of toast and wood.
- Transition: Spicy, woody core; predominance of oak with carmelcorn draw; salted caramel on retro; long, robust finish of cedar and black coffee;
- Transition: More body; draw much improved; uptick in spice with loss of complexity; dominant foundation of chocolate and peat; bold cedar finish; maintains good balance; touch on the harsh side near end.
Touch ups: N/A
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]