Having not done a review for a while, I thought I would do something a little special this time.
The Santa Damiana cigar has held a special place for me above all other cigars.... it was the first hand made cigar I smoked back in 2005. My Wife bought me a pack of 5 one Christmas and this was my introduction to hand made cigars, proper cigars! This is where what enjoyment could be found in premium cigars.
This range they produce is something a little special. Unlike the normal range which has the light Connecticut wrapper and blue band, this one has a dark Broadleaf maduro leaf. This is sun grown rather than shade grown, so it gets the full sun and often are thicker leaves. The filler is also a mix of aged leaves from Dominican, Nicaragua and Peru with a binder from Ecuador. This combination gives a much fuller flavoured smoke, with hints of sweetness from the maduro leave.
This particular cigar was the Belicoso range, but it very similar to the robusto vitola. What you notice about this cigar straight away is the oily wrapper, which can appear a little rough for some and in comparison to other maduro wrappers. Not huge in size, your would be wrong to think this is a short smoke. Due to the way this is made, its a slow burner, and can last well over an hour. They are not an easy draw, but neither do you have to fight it. They seem to have packed it right to produce quite a dense smoke without it being plugged!
The smell is deep and rich, and you straight away know this is going to be a full flavoured smoke, and not really recommended for the beginner. Even for the regular smoker, this is a perfect after dinner smoke.
The lighting and initial burn kicks off straight away with the flavours and richness the cigar promises. The burn throughout remains even and needs no re light or touch up. It produces a lovely white ash as your would expect from most Non Cubans, also revealing its excellent construction.
From here on in you get a constant smoke, with good flavours throughout. It is an ideal cigar to pair with a good rum or single malt, which will compliment the flavours produced by both. In fact it is recommended it is paired with something, as on its own it can start to get a little strong half way down.
This particular cigar did get a little bitter on the last third for a few draws, but did not spoil the experience. but what you get for your money, which are about 6 Euros each, is a quality aged stick. The cuban equivalent would be 4 time the price. Value for money, its a good choice if you can get hold of them!
Overall, a good smoke. Probably not an every day smoke, but one for after a dinner party or a good meal. Don't be mistaken that these are the same as the blue label brothers, they are much fuller flavour.
Highly recommended and worth keeping in
Appearance and construction 13/15
Smoking Characteristics 23/25
Overall Experience 32/35