Cigar Review: Perdomo Reserve, 10th Anniversary Champagne

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Size: 5×54, Robusto

Wrapper: Triple fermented Connecticut

Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan blend

Strength: Mild-Medium

Price: Box of 25, $124

Grade: 8.5

I am a very big fan of Perdomo—bias announced. I love the Lot 23 and I also had a good experience with the ESV ’91. JJ and CE, who both review here, love the Habano line from Perdomo…we are fans. So, when my dad received a Perdomo sampler from a box purchase, I quickly snagged the Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne. This is the same stick in the Reserve line of Perdomo, just repackaged to be a part of the Anniversary line. This shape however, the 5×54 Robusto, is unique to the Anniversary line. It sat in my humidor for about three weeks and I fired it up on a nice, cool night (by Georgia summer standards—high 80s).

Pre-light, 1.6:
My biggest deduction came in the appearance department—the wrapper unfortunately contradicted the gorgeous label, which covered my entire pinky and 1/3 of the Robusto. This slightly dirty Connecticut has a pretty smooth roll with no bumps. Along the veins and parts of the roll, however, there were 3-4 green spots that were a real sore to the eye. The Robusto had excellent weight with a nicely packed foot and few veins. The pre-light aroma was of wheat and grass. The pre-light draw was perfect.

Burn, 1.8:
This is the best draw I’ve had in a stick that didn’t turn out to be loosely rolled—it was perfect, producing a thick cloud of smoke from the first light. I used matches, which usually make it a bit more difficult to get a solid ring burning, but the Perdomo handled in perfectly. The ash was very clean and white though it seemed to be just a slight bit loose and flaky, which accounts for the only deduction in this category. At about 2/3 the ash began to v up the side just a bit and a re-light was required at 2/3, which I didn’t entirely mind because this was not a consistent problem that was bothersome. Otherwise, excellent!

Flavor, 2.6:
The flavor profile had such a good mixture of complexity that the shifts actually contributed to the consistency of the smoke—it was consistently shifty. Bits of harshness arrived in each 1/3 of the smoke but for no longer than 3-4 draws and purging the smoke did seem to help this past. The first 1/3 had a surprising bit of pepper, which I initially confused as harshness since I wasn’t expecting this profile from a milder stick. For the most part, the smoke matched the pre-light aroma—grassy. Though this is listed as mild, due to the profiles and the brief appearances of strength, I’d say this is more in the mild-medium range.

Overall, 2.5:
The overall value of this smoke is pretty decent; though if I was going to light a mid-range mild stick this likely would not be my first choice—I’d probably go with a Macanudo or 5 Vegas Gold, perhaps even a Cu-Avana before grabbing this one. The smoking experience was very good due to the excellent draw and surprising flavor profiles. I would smoke this again, but not before a few others were unavailable—in my opinion, not box worthy.

(Total:  8.5)