While I am the more traditionalist, seeking down regular production Habanos to review now and in years to come, providing more everyday feedback to our readers. Catfish is a bolder fish and one that seeks out the rare and custom cigars hailing from Cuba. He is the one that speaks to Crazy 88, and that is why he is The Catfish. In his constant quests, he provided me some custom Julieta No. 2s. What makes these customs very special are that they hail from the farm of Vegas Robaina in the San Luis region of Vuelta Abajo in the well known Pinar del Río province. Today I look at a cigar that is composed of only Vegas Robaina tobacco, and see not just growing skills of the Robaina Family, but also their blending skills.
Rolled at Vegas Robaina, this farm rolled beauty is made with only Robaina tobacco. It measures 7.0″ with a 47 ring gauge, a true Julieta No. 2, and is a beautiful cigar in hand. Catfish got these through one of his union buddies, and what a treat it will be to smoke a cigar composed of only Robaina tobacco. The Julieta No. 2 is smooth in texture and it sows some minor veins throughout. It has a soft bit of grit to touch, and you can feel it on your fingers long after. The coloring of the wrapper is that of solid Colorado coloring, and it is a beautiful color overall. There is an aroma of spices, leather, tobacco and earth, and it is a simple but enjoyable aroma.
The first third has a terrific beginning and it is showing some awesome flavors that are unique to Cuban tobacco, but also some flavors that you don’t see with most Habanos. There are some salty and woody qualities to the cigar, but it has some unique spice and earthy flavors with that. I am getting some nutty notes as well, and it is a complex smoke that is very smooth. I would say that the cigar is smoking at a medium level in terms of strength, and the body is right there as well. It is very smooth and incredibly flavorful, and this is a cigar that I could have in the morning, afternoon or evening. The construction is absolutely terrific on the cigar and it is showing an even burn line with a nice charcoal colored ash on the end. The draw is smooth and cool, and it is producing a nice amount o smoke as well.
I am in the second third of the cigar and it is showing some growth as a cigar. I am picking up some faint mesquite flavors, and it is showing those tobacco and nutty qualities with that. It still has those spice and earthy flavors, and there are some faint coffee notes as well. I am getting the salty wood qualities as well, and this is a great stick that is very flavorful. As said earlier, this is unique cigar as it shows Cuban tobacco qualities with a twist. Overall, it is very enjoyable! The construction is still top notch with the cigar and it is showing that even burn line with that lovely charcoal ash on the end. The draw is smooth and cool, and there is a nice bit of smoke being produced with each puff. I would classify the strength of the cigar as being around the medium level still, and the body is closer to medium-full overall. When I get into the final third of the cigar I find that the flavor increases in complexity and the salty notes are much more present now. They are pairing well with the earthy and wood notes, and it has a nice nutty quality with that on the finish. It is a complex and unique smoke, and this is one that I could enjoy in the morning or evening with what is being delivered. The flavors are smooth and cool, and they are very approachable by many smokers. The construction remains top notch in the final third and it is showing an even burn line with that nice charcoal ash on the end. The has been holding on firmly throughout, and it the draw has been smooth and cool. A lot of smoke is being produced on the finished, and it smoking at a medium level in terms of strength and medium-full level in terms of body.
This is a terrific stick and I know it is silly to compare this to any other cigar, but I would love to smoke it next to a Vegas Robaina and also a Cubanacan HR. All three are very different, but Hirochi does have a roll in all three that makes me think there has got to be some similarities here and there. In terms of smoking like a Habanos, it shows some similarities with the tobacco being used, but it is producing a flavor profile that is far from what Habanos produces. I really enjoyed everything it offered, and for being as young as it is it smoked great. I think it will get better with a lot of age, and it has a flavor profile that will reach out to fans of Habanos and non fans alike. The construction was almost perfect from beginning to end, showing a nice burn line and cool draw, and it had a strength and body level around medium throughout. Catfish strikes again with another great custom rolled, and I am giving this an 87-89 right now, with the potential of it getting to a 92-94 level in some years.
Young Rating: 87-89
With Age Rating: 92-94