I’ll admit it. I’m no Shackleton. With a little nip in the air this week I’ve been reaching for the small stuff — RP Sungrown PCs, AF Hemingway Short Stories, and these Petite Cabaiguans — in an effort to grab a quick smoke without freezing my phalanges off. I mean, seriously, it’s been in the low 40’s. It may be a cliche, but it’s true about the desert: it’s not the cold, it’s the aridity.
And even though I miss having my long leisurely apres dinner smoke, I’m happy to say that all of the small sticks I’ve had this week have hit the spot, including this Petite Cabaiguan.
Most folks are familiar with this line by now — it’s made by Pepin Garcia’s crew for Pete Johnson, best known for his Tatuaje cigars. It’s usually characterized as a milder version of Tatuaje, but I think the blend really stands on its own without that comparison.
The filler and binder are Nicaraguan, though I have to wonder how much of each is required for a cigar this thin. The wrapper is a gorgeous Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf that ultimately steals the show.
The only problem that I’ve ever experienced with Cabaiguan is the occasional tight roll. I’ve had no such trouble with these unbanded 4 1/2 x 32 Petites. Every one has drawn perfectly. They’re rolled firmly with the expected triple cap (even on this tiny vitola they cut no corners) and are as attractive in miniature as my preferred Corona Extras.
The Petite Cabaiguan has a crisp flavor that will be familiar to anyone who has smoked the full size cigars in this line — it starts out cedary with a citric accent and a delicately floral aroma. The smoke is creamy and about medium in body, though less so in strength. The smoke production is limited by the ring gauge, but there is still plenty of flavor to go around.
For a small cigar, the Petite is quite complex — cedar, earth, citrus and floral qualities all emerge at different points in its 20-minute career. Despite the lack of a transition in flavors it’s a far more interesting smoking experience than anyone has the right to expect from such a little guy.
Aside from its role as my inclement weather friend, the Petite Cabaiguan would be perfect for a coffee break smoke. At 150 USD for a box of 50 it’s not exactly a budget quick smoke, but given the quality of this cigar the asking price is within reason.
Final Score: 88