Wrapper: Sun Grown Habano 2000
Binder and Filler: Nicaragua
Price: Roughly $2.50 a piece
Behind The Stick:
The Don Kiki line is one that I have been hearing about more and more – and usually with good things to be said following the name drop. I have been unable to locate an extensive history of the brand or really any specific information to be honest, aside from scattered reviews throughout the forums, not many sites have even reviewed them. What I was able to locate was that the Corona boutique permim cigars are cured and aged for at least three years and are then aged in Tabacalera Esteli and that they are ‘medium bodied, well balanced and complex’ – I wonder if the generic advertising on this Cuban Crafters – Don Kiki Red Label is just a precursor to a more or less generic cigar.
This one isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but at the same time it really is a well made cigar. Evenly packed from head to foot, the entire cigar was teetering on the fence of being spongy or under-filled although when I examined the foot this was clearly not the issue. The head clipped easily and displayed no issues or unraveling. Once again, my pet peeve had to shine its ugly head – the band, without question, was stuck to the wrapper and unless I wanted to ruin the cigar, I had to leave it on – Son of a Bitch.
Right from the start a nice, sweet tobacco claimed dominance and held tight through the majority of the first half, there really was not much change but overall it was a very pleasant flavor. I wish I could break this one up into thirds, but really not much happened within the first half but once the second half lost its ash and fired up, a nice but mild nutty flavor crept through. I don’t know if it was hazelnut or walnut or pecan, but it tasted good and was a nice subtle bitter offset to the sweet tobacco dominance. I ripped the wrapper a bit due to the band being stuck solid, but even with this issue the ending flavors really jumped out with the nutty flavor from before mixed with a sudden blast of chocolate carrying it down to the end.
This is another one of those more linear cigars that I have been running into more and more often. Please, do not think that I am bashing on the cigar – As I have said before, not every time you smoke a cigar do you want one where you need to sit down, focus, have the correct meal and correct pairing and really needing to pay attention to get the full effect of the smoke. In my opinion, the Don Kiki Red Label falls right into the category of great budget smoke. I personally am not a huge sweets fan, so the flavor profile didn’t make me jump out of my seat, but given the price and the consistency this will fall into my regular rotation, perhaps working in the yard or on the car type gar. Under $3.00 usd a stick, great flavor, excellent construction and consistency – I think I found my new budget smoke!
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory