Isabela True Cuban Corona – Cigar Review
Size: 5 ½ x 42
Blend: Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut, Filler/ Binder: aged Nicaraguan media tiempo
Construction: The vitola sported a slightly toothy Colorado claro coloured wrapper finished with an impeccable triple cap. The wrapper had some slight mottling with the odd claro spot along its length; the seams were tight and barely visible. The pack was firm and consistent along the cigars length and close inspection showed some larger veins bulging the wrapper through from the binder.
Smell: The wrapper smelled of semi dried hay with very subtle hints of caramel; the foot was of dried hay and the sweet liqueur smell of aged tobacco.
Cold Draw: The cold draw on this cigar revealed the flavours smelt; aged tobacco and dried hay. The head of this cigar seemed to be intentionally sweetened which left a lasting deposit of sugar on my lips. This caught me off guard; definitely was not expecting that! The draw on this cigar would be considered textbook with just the right amount resistance.
First Light: Flavours on the first light were very dainty and grassy, all overthrown by the sweetened head of the cigar which dominated the flavor profile.
Aroma: The aroma given off by this cigar reminded me of very light and fluffy bread.
First 3rd – 13 mins
Once the cigar got rocking, the smoke production was quite good, producing clouds of semi dry thick smoke.
The flavours experienced in the first third started to develop slightly from those experienced in the first light. I managed to rub off some of the sweetened tip of the cigar to allow myself to better identify the more subtle flavours the cigar had to offer.
The cigar transitioned from being grassy to bready with a dose of white pepper. This lasted long into the finish of the cigar. The grassy notes experienced in the first light moved into the background and were hard to identify over the lasting sugar on the palate.
The burn was acceptable with only a few millimeters of variance around the cigar, the ash fell off at 5mm unexpectedly into my lap.
Second 3rd – 31 min
Flavours in the second third remained similar to those experienced in the first, though they did transition from a light white bread into a richer toast. The white pepper spice dialed down and moved closer into the background beside the subtle grassy notes. The sweetness eased off which allowed the more subtle nuances of the cigar to be experienced, blending pleasantly with the grass to give the cigar a slightly floral feel behind the dominant toasty notes.
Curiously, the ash colour on this cigar from the first third had changed colour from a white ash to a much darker grey. The burn on the cigar corrected itself to a near straight line around the cigar and the ash was held for much longer; over 15mm in length.
Final 3rd – 47 min
Moving into the final third of the cigar this stick took an interesting transition. The rich toasty flavours metamorphasised into a strong woody flavour and the white pepper had all but disappeared into the distant background. The body of the cigar stepped up from a medium to a medium/full.
As the final third progressed, the smoke started to thicken and introduce some oil onto the palate. This oil mixed with the other dominant flavours to invite the cigar transition yet again into a dry wood with a meaty oily character pushing the floral notes further into the background. It would seem the final third of this cigar is where it hits its stride being a rich wood nuanced with the fading sugar and grass coupling together into a floral character.
Heat started to rear its ugly head at 1 hour 7 minutes forcing me to retire the cigar with 1.5 inches remaining.
This cigar was definitely an interesting smoke. Initially the cigar was dominated by the sugar used in the traditional Cuban style adhesive, in turn this made the flavours very difficult to identify.
As the cigar progressed the sweetness faded away allowing this cigar to hit its stride and offer the smoker a plethora of new flavours. Transitioning itself to make for a very interesting smoke.
While the sugar based adhesive held the cigar back initially, covering up what this cigar had to offer, it made an explosive comeback once the sugar pulled back.
Isabela Cigars are in their formative years, and they’re definitely onto a product that I think will last in this highly competitive market.
Summing up: I would like to thank Isabela cigars; Matt & Johnny for sending me these samples to review as it does cost a kidney to post anything to Australia!!!
Suggested Pairings: This cigar would pair well with rich oaky whisky such as Auchentoshan Heartwood.
The Herf Spot