Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Cuban Stock Royal Selection

CubanStockRS_3

CubanStockRS_2Size: 5×50, Robusto #4

Wrapper: Ecuadorian

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Medium to Full

Price: $6.50

Grade: 8.7

Cuban Stock has operated a cigar factory out of Santiago, Dominican Republic since 1995, is run by Yaniv Levy, President, and was originally known as Crown David Cigars. The name change was a result of consumer recognition, as the Cuban Stock was the most recognizable cigar distributed by Crown David, so the name was changed to the flagship cigar.

The Cuban Stock was the first cigar, known as the Classic, and was soon followed by the Cuban Stock Royal Selection and Reserve. The Chubby, a 60 ring gauge, was introduced in 1999, followed by the Exquisito Double Capa and, in 2000, the Delicioso was announced, a line of sweet tip flavored cigars. The Cuban Stock line of cigars has been fairly well received and you can view their ratings on their website. Cuban Stock has not slowed down, introducing the Joya de Havana in 2004 and two new lines at the 2009 IPCPR in New Orleans, the Extra and Chubby Ultimate.

A couple of weeks ago we received a package from Cuban Stock, containing three of their blends, the Chubby, Cuban Stock Extra, and the Cuban Stock Royal Selection. The Royal Selection, which we are reviewing today, employs Dominican tobacco aged in wine barrels for 6 years and is available in four sizes:

Churchill #1: 7.25×52
Belicoso #2: 6.25×52
Toro #3: 6×50
Robusto #4: 5×50
Corona #5: 5.5×44

Now, on to the toast!

CubanStockRS_1Pre-light, 1.8:
This robusto was packaged with a dual band of red, cream, gold, and black, and had an eye-catching presentation. The Ecuadorian wrapper was in good shape and was dark and oily. The box press on this smoke was not the best I have seen, could be a bit tighter, but there were no soft spots to speak of at all.  The pre-light aroma was of sweet tobacco along the wrapper with a spice prevailing at the foot. The cold draw produced a very large amount of spice on the lips and a full coating of tobacco flavor on the palate.

Burn, 1.6:
The Cuban Stock cut and toasted well with a nice draw and plenty of smoke. The ash was white, layered nicely, and held well past an inch. The cigar burned evenly and required no touch up or re-lights. One sample that I smoked produced a split wrapper about halfway down after lighting but it didn’t seem to affect the burn too much.

Flavor, 2.6:
The first puff on this smoke was full of spice, heavy spice, but there was also the very pleasing taste of aged tobacco on the finish. The first third continued this trend with the tobacco taking on a sweeter profile with a hint of berry here and there. The second third saw another increase in spice coupled with the tobacco. The final third, surprisingly, was a bit more balanced in terms of tobacco versus spice. The entire smoke was mouth watering but at times the spice was almost overpowering and detracted from the smoke a bit. The finish throughout was long and heavy on the palate, like a good glass of red.

Overall, 2.7:
Not being familiar with this brand, I was excited to try this smoke and I enjoyed it for the most part. Per my comments above, there were a few things that hindered my smoking experience but all in all, at around seven bucks a stick, this is one worth picking up if you run across it.

(Total: 8.7)

Question of the Day: What’s your cigar smoking preference – sugar or spice?