Cigar Review: Don Kiki White Label

DonKikiSize: 7×50, Churchill

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Mild/Medium

Price: Box of 20, $74.99

Grade: 8.7

The Don Kiki White Label employs tobacco from a 2001 harvest out of the Tabacalera Esteli factory. The cigar is exclusive to Cuban Crafters and may be ordered here. The price on these sticks, which are aged and limited in production, is very reasonable, at around $4 a stick. We were graciously sent samples of the Brown, Green, and White Labels and will take a look at the others soon.

Henry “Kiki” Berger, better known as Don Kiki, is the founder of the Miami based Cuban Crafters and its Tabacaler Esteli factory in Nicaragua. He is more recently known as one half of the new brand, Berger & Argenti, which has released some excellent cigars. For a great interview with Don Kiki, hop over to Stogie Fresh.

Pre-light, 1.7:
The White Label has a pleasant exterior with a nice almond color and a triple cap. The stick is slightly spongy throughout but there are no deep soft spots. The veins are fairly prominent and slightly raised but the double band distracts some of your attention. The aroma is fairly uneventful and is mostly barnyard with a slight zest of mint. On the cold draw there is a tickle of spice on the front of the tongue and the draw is spot on.

Burn, 1.8:
The ash is quite loose and holds for less than a half inch, which is disappointing on a 52 ring gauge. Though loose, the burn is not too fast or hot and the maintenance on the stick is effortless.

Flavor, 2.6:
The White Label works very well through thirds and opens up with a burst of vegetal notes very similar to okra. It reminded me a great deal of the Macanudo Vintage 2000 (review). The vegetal profile is accompanied by a creamy barnyard and a gentle spice. The second third is showing a bit more spice but is still not heavy and it plays well with the continued barnyard notes. The final third brings this smoke to a slow, steady, and mellow finish. The creaminess that has mostly been in the background absorbs the other flavors, minus a bit of the vegetal notes, and becomes the dominant profile. The White Label finishes very gently.

Overall, 2.6:
This was a very gentle and pleasant cigar and it was easy for it to be a mindless smoke. Not quite in the same category as the newer Connecticuts from Oliva and Camacho, it’s not far behind, especially with the very doable price point. Though the flavors didn’t overwhelm me, the shifts and the complexity were a nice surprise. I’d pick a five pack up, in a smaller size, and use these for guests with little cigar experience, or for a read of the morning newspaper.

(Total: 8.7)