Cigar Review: Cabal Esoteric Robusto

Cigar Review: Cabal Esoteric Robusto

Cabal Cigars
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Peru & Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & USA (Pennsylvania)
Size: 5” x 50
Strength: medium
Price: $10.00

Overall Rating: 8.9

While developing the Cabal core line at KBF, Chris Arolfo went through 21 blends or so with many of those being tweaked several times. According to Chris there was one robusto that he kept coming back to again and again, despite the fact that it did not fit into the core line flavor profile. Yet, it was too good a cigar to let go, so the Cabal Esoteric Robusto was born. The result is a medium bodied cigar with a very interesting flavor profile. The Esoteric is a very good cigar that manages to compliment the Cabal core line while still having a character all it’s own.


Pre-Light: The Cabal Esoteric is a nice looking cigar. A slightly oily brown wrapper sets of the black Cabal band nicely, which contrasts well with the white secondary Esoteric band. There’s a slight oily sheen to the wrapper.


A light mix of oak and nut aromas can be noticed from the wrapper of the Cabal Esoteric. From the unlit foot of the cigar there’s sweet spice, chocolate and nut scents. A nice cold draw allows through flavors of sweet spice, mixed nuts and hints of dried fruit.


Burn: The Esoteric has great draw that allows through a good amount of smoke. The burn is very even throughout the first half of the cigar. During the second half the burn gets a little uneven, but never to the point of requiring touch ups from a lighter. The ash clings firmly to the Esoteric from start to finish.


Flavor: The Cabal Esoteric begins with some nuttiness and black pepper, yet there’s also an interesting underlying sweetness to the cigar that is hard to explain. The first third of the cigar is dominated by a mix nuts, oak and black pepper favors while dried fruit and iced tea occur in the background. On the retrohale, there’s a fair amount of pepper with hint of nuttiness and cocoa. The second third of the Cabal Esoteric sees the dried fruit disappear, while the nuts and pepper remain the primary flavor notes. During the transition to the final third of the cigar there is a slight nutmeg and cinnamon note the briefly occurs. While the nuttiness remains, the pepper diminishes just a little in the final third of the Esoteric. The final third is a mix of nuts, oak, pepper, cocoa, hay and subtle cinnamon notes.


Overall: The Esoteric is great addition to Chris Arolfo’s Cabal brand. Like most cigars I’ve encountered coming from the Kelner Boutique Factory, the Esoteric is an extremely high quality flavorful cigar. I was already impressed with Cabal before smoking the Esoteric (see my earlier Cabal core line review), and the Esoteric has only solidified my opinion of the brand. Personally, I enjoyed the Cabal Esoteric and have revisited it from time to time over the past year. While it is definitely different than the core line, it also seems a perfect fit for the brand. Fans of Cabal and/or KBF, will find the Esoteric a flavorful medium bodied cigar that is worth checking out.


Pairing: Coffee of any kind pairs very well with the Esoteric.


Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)