Rodrigo Box Corojo Fino Dominican puro corona


5 x 43 Corona, my last cigar from the Rodrigo Sampler set.

Wrapper: Dominican Corojo Fino
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Light brown, a bit rough. Some prominent veins, visible seams, sloppy cap. Pack is good though, very firm all the way along, a rather heavy cigar, fully packed. Expect the draw to be a little tight.

Cold smell a light manure and barnyard, a little hay.. Not strong. Draw is a little tight, but not too much. Not much taste on it.

Initial light some pepper and other flavors immediately on the retrohale. An aroma like a lit fireplace, some barnyard. A little leather comes in very quickly, some roasted nut, and burning hay. As the cigar smokes these flavors take turns coming in and out. Draw stays consistent through the whole smoke, and the burn line too, not one correction throughout. Smoke output is also excellent, thick volume and creamy.

As the cigar gets into the second third there comes to be a little brown sugar, cedar, and some sweet spice. Burn stays perfect, draw consistent. Pepper stays consistent with other flavors coming and going. As compared to the last cigar, the Habana Dominican Puro, the sour note here is very faint, that’s good. As a faint note it adds complexity to the rest. I don’t like that flavor to dominate. At the last third the cigar is still sweet, still producing lots of creamy smoke. Perfect burn line and draw never changes. There is a little crack at the foot of the wrapper, but the cigar gets by that without any help from me. Some cracking around the head too as I get into the last few inches, but the wapper never really comes apart and continues to burn perfectly. Flavor and mild sweetness fade as the cigar gets down to the last inch, but it never completely goes away. I still taste some sweet mint. The pepper fades at the top of the third but then comes back at the end. Not a lot of transitions here, but complex well balanced flavors all the way along. Not strong flavor, but enough to be noticible.

Pairing this time was again coffee. I’m going to do more of my formal reviews with coffee. Coffee works with every cigar and perhaps the results will be more consistent.

A medium strength smoke all the way along until the last couple inches where it creeps up toward medium-full. Like all the other cigars in this sampler this is a slow smoker. I don’t smoke too many coronas that last an hour and 25 minutes. Another flavorful and superbly constructed cigar from George Rodriguez!

Rodrigo Box Cigar Review: Habana Dominican Puro Corona Gorda


Wrapper, Binder, Filler, all Dominican. No further details.

5.75″ x 46 Corona Gorda

Appearance is rough. Several prominent veins, visible seams, dark brown, toothy wrapper. Pack is firm. This is a heavier and more fully packed cigar than the others. Smell again is light, tobacco, a little barnyard. Draw is much tighter than any of the other cigars in this collection. A little over-tight for my taste, but some people like it this way.

On initial light there is only a little pepper, some vegetal or meaty note. I’ve tasted this before, something characteristic of Dominican cigars that I never taste in Nicaraguan smokes, something sour on the back of the tongue with a sensation not unlike red pepper. Some people go after this taste and there are cigars that have even more of it. But this sourness stays distinctively up-front throughout the smoke and it isn’t something I particularly care for. I didn’t get any of this note in the first three cigars from this sampler.

Construction stays good. I had to make a few minor corrections to the burn. The draw is too tight for me, but it stays consistent. Smoke volume is not as good as the other sticks in this sampler, but this improved about half way down the smoke. It helps to have a draw tool as these often improve smoke volume even when you don’t need them for the draw itself.

Other flavors in the first third include some sweet notes, something like mint, and as the cigar progresses, leather, a sweet burning wood and roasted vegetables. But over it all is still that sour note on the tongue. Pepper stays mild and consistent until the last third where it begins to come up strongly. The cigar also goes from the medium to the medium-full range in strength. Unusually, there is less pepper on the retrohale and more sweetness than on the tongue until the cigar gets into its final few inches. Interestingly, the retrohale has none of the sourness I sense in my mouth.

As the cigar gets into the last few inches the draw opens up a bit, smoke volume improves. The flavors remain, especially leather and the sweet note of burning wood, but they all dial back. Pepper comes up on both the tongue and in the retrohale, but behind it all remains that sour note consistent throughout. I got down to almost the last inch. There is still flavor in the cigar, especially if you like what comes across to me as that sourness. There is lots more pepper now in the retrohale. Strength picks up. I can feel the cigar now and if I smoke much more it would make me dizzy. Another slow smoker, this stick went 1 hr. 25 minutes!

Rodrigo Box Cigar Review: San Andres Mexico Robusto


Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican

My third cigar from the Rodrigo Box now getting into those vitolas I like. This one a beautiful dark 5″ x 50 classic robusto. The wrapper is dark, a little oily, with a few prominent veins. Cold smell is very mild like the other two sticks in the collection. A little manure and barnyard, tobacco. Construction seems good. No soft spots, nicely packed. Cutting it gives a perfect draw with just a little resistance.

On lighting you get a lot of pepper and a huge waft of creamy smoke. Like the other two cigars so far, the construction stays perfect all the way to the last inch. No burn corrections, thick creamy smoke, perfect draw all the way. This says a lot about the factory making George’s cigars. The blends might come out good, bad, or in between, but every one of these has exhibited perfect construction.

The pepper on this one is bright and stays that way throughout the cigar. It doesn’t drop out or get stronger as it goes, but it’s always there and out front. In the first third I also get some baking spice (like cinnamon), leather, balsa wood, burning hickory, and some nutty flavors. Somewhere in the second third the sweet overtones fade back and I get hay and other barnyard notes. The wood changes a bit to a cedar. Pepper stays forward. As the second third ends I get a little spearment and nut. Most of the sweetness is gone (perhaps covered up by the pepper) but other flavors keep coming and going. In the last third all the flavors fade back while the pepper remains always.

But the flavors never completely disappear. As I finish the cigar there is still a little flavor in the last 2 inches, even down to 1 inch where I let it go. Total smoke time was one hour and ten minutes. This is a mild cigar to begin with and turns medium as it smokes down. All in all a very good experience, especially as concerns smoke production and other construction elements. The flavors are not as rich, sweet, and distinct as the cigar in the prior (Sumatra Ecuador Piramide) review, but they were certainly present throughout.

Pairing this time was a Costa Rican coffee. Coffee works with all cigars!

Another good cigar from the Rodrigo Box. This one not quite as good as the Piramide, but much better then the Arapicara toro. More to come…

Rodrigo Box Cigar Review: Sumatra Ecuador Piramide


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Format a perfecto variation, 6″ x 50 at the foot but tapering smoothly to about 44 just before the perfecto-style cap. George tells me this shape is called a Piramide, a very interesting looking cigar. There is a visible network of very fine veins giving the wrapper a distinctively translucent look. Even a few more prominent veins in the wrapper seemed there for artistic effect. Evenly packed, no soft spots. Smell was vey light, tobacco and a little barnyard. Salty to taste. Perfect cold draw and some pepper in the wrapper itself.

Initial light had a little pepper and salt, but within the first quarter inch I began to get hits of sweet wood, leather, something like roast pecan, and sugared peppermint. Draw is perfect, no corrections in the first third, in fact this stick burned perfectly down to the last inch before I had to make a slight correction. Flavors stayed in too! In the second third something like cinnamon makes an appearance, and the sweet sugars become brown sugars. The retrohale is spicy with pepper but also leather, and burnt sugar all very well balanced throughout the first half. Smoke output all the way along has been fantastic. Somewhere in the second half something like roast portabela mushroom comes up once in a while. The brown-burnt-sugar never leaves the cigar, and the pepperment turns warmer into wintergreen! Pepper also comes up steadily in the second half. At the end the pepper dominates everything. The cigar has been medium in strength all the way along until it kicks up a bit in the last third. Flavor and creamy smoke stay with the cigar down to the last inch and beyond. At 1 hour 30 mins., I called it quits. The cigar still had a little flavor but I’d had enough pepper at that point. Nice cigar! Perfect construction, slow even burn, tons of smoke, and lots of flavors, even noticible transitions. I have 3 more blends to try, but I’d say George hit the nail on the head with this one.

What about the rum? I did pair this, both with water (separate) and Mocambo 20, a very dark rum reviewed by me at this link. I made sure to smoke the first half inch or so without sipping any rum, so all those cigar flavors were there for me from the beginning. The rum did make a difference. A hit of the rum brought out deeper burnt-brown-sugar notes in the cigar. I also made sure that I had a little water and a quarter inch of cigar (at least) between sips. These two make a good pair actually, but the cigar’s richness stood out on its own too. I hope George will put this blend into production! It’s really good!

Rodrigo Box Cigar Review: Arapiraca Ecuador Claro


Vitola: 6″ x 52 toro
Wrapper: Arapiraca Ecuador Claro

The largest cigar in the Rodrigo Box, a vitola I do not smoke very often. But it was a nice day out on the porch and there was nowhere in particular I had to be so I allowed myself the luxury of a very long smoke.

From the picture you can see the cigar is a light brown. I can’t find any seams in the wrapper and there are but a few small veins. The pack is very even and firm. Not a heavy cigar for its size but not a lightweight either. The cold smell is a mild grass and barnyard, neither very strong. The wrapper tastes distinctly salty. A straight cut revealed a very open draw, a little too open for some of my friends, but fine for me if the cigar doesn’t smoke too fast. As I got into the second half of the stick, the draw tightened just slightly, perfect!

On light there is a little pepper, but it isn’t at all a peppery cigar until the last third. The initial flavors are sweet, wood, leather, and flowers, but all very faint. Smoke output is great. As the cigar progresses other flavors come into it. I get something like wintergreen, and maybe cinnamon along with a light brown sugar. Pepper is minimal, but the flavors are not at all prominent. Mostly I get thick creamy smoke with only a light touch of flavors. I’m pairing this with English Harbour rum at the moment my lightest rum which I hoped would go with the lightness of the smoke. It does OK, the rum brings out a little more leather in the smoke. In the first third the cigar is on the mild side of medium. As I get into the second half of this, the flavors are all still there but they never become prominent, always just hints. Burn line stays straight, and the cigar smokes very slowly.

As I get into the last third the pepper comes up a bit but the other flavors fade back. They pop in once in a while, but mostly its smoke though still creamy, thick, and cool. This is a long smoking cigar. I had to let it go at about an inch and a half as I just wasn’t getting any more flavors, but that was an hour and forty five minutes after I started. The cigar never rises above about medium in strength, but it’s bigger than what I normally smoke and I was a tad dizzy at the end.

All in all a superbly constructed cigar with a distinct sweetness to it especially in the first half but always mildly in the background.

The Rodrigo Box


George Rodrigo of Rodrigo Cigars has released a sampler box, 5 cigars of his own blend. George was kind enough to send me one of these samplers and I’m going to review them one by one here. When all 5 are finished, I will link the separate reviews into this post.

Alas none of these cigars is for sale! George sent these samplers out to his customers for feedback. He tells me he will look into producing one or two that his customers like best.

Here are the reviews. Along with the link I’m going to put my bottom line!

  1. Arapiraca Ecuador Claro (not very good).
  2. Sumatra Ecuador Piramide (fantastic!!!)
  3. San Andreas Mexican Robusto (good but not fantastic)
  4. Habana, Dominican Puro (lots of Dominican twang if you like it)
  5. Corojo Fino, Dominican Puro (good but not fantastic)

That’s it, I have completed the Rodrigo Box! 4 out of 5 cigars had perfect construction! All of them were slow smokers lasting a long time. A great experience. Appreciate George sending these to me.