Cigar Review: P. Benitez Cigars- Antonio Benitez Corona
P. Benitez Cigars- Antonio Benitez Corona
Size: Corona (5.5″ x 42)
Wrapper: Honduran Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Mexican
Price: $5.80 MSRP
The Antonio Benitez is the latest offering from Paul Benitez Cigars, a small boutique brand with a factory in Managua, Nicaragua. The cigar is named for Pauls grandson, Antonio, a regular face among the South Florida Cigar circuit and good guy to hang out and share a smoke and stories with.
My introduction to the Antonio Benitez Corona was at IPCPR12 and I really enjoyed the sample I received at the Charmed Leaf Boutique Brands party. I enjoyed it so much it was one of the cigars I kept talking about after the show. The Antonio Benitez Corona was a cigar that I had to seek out and get into my humidor. After smoking a handful more I decided I’d go ahead and burn a few for review.
But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!
Pre-Light: (1.7) The Maduro wrapper is dark, with a good number of veins, and has a few really noticeable veins running through the course of the leaf a bit of marbling in the color and a great looking trip cap. The band is black and gold with red trim and a large cursive “A” and “Antonio Benitez” printed on it on it.
The scent off the foot is meaty with hints of mesquite. oak, and a little bit of peanut butter. The pre light draw is one of grass, hay, and red wine.
Burn: (1.7) The Antonio Benitez Corona burns bit uneven even with a few attempts at touching it up. The Draw is good with the right resistance for the Vitola. In the last third the burn line evens out. The nub starts to warm up a little in the final inch.
Flavor: (2.6) First light brings a gentle pepper to the tip of the tongue with a slightly thicker spice, earthy and wood round out the introduction of the flavors Shortly after the opening a nice rich red wine note emerges on the back of the side of the finish and carries through the retro hale.
Smoking into the second third the oak and pepper remain at the forefront of the flavor profile with hints of that red wine . The oak lasts on the finish and there’s just the right amount of complimentary spice on the finish. Small notes of espresso start to emerge as I pass them midway point.
In the last third the Benitez kicks off with a few very earthy puffs but the red wine reemerges in the flavor profile and the lingering spice continues to bring it together. The earthiness then begins to weaken and the oak, pepper and now a bit of espresso has re–emerged. The retro hale is very good with all the elements of the flavor profile passing through the sinuses. As I smoke into the nub I get a warm blast of cedar and espresso which offers up a nice change up as I get ready to close out the Benitez Corona.
Overall: (2.7) The Antonio Benitez is the absolute definition of what a good medium strength, medium bodied cigar should be. The flavors are good with no one flavor overwhelming another, and there’s enough transition and complexity to keep it interesting. This may not be the most heavily marketed, or well known brand, but the cigars’ quality stands on it’s own. Seek out a few, you won’t be disappointed.