I had planned on reviewing the Pinar del Rio Oscuro Robusto this time around, but I must have pulled from a bad box because both of the cigars I had were underfilled and wouldn’t burn right. I’ve smoked this cigar before and I know this is a better cigar than that, so I decided to shelve the Oscuro review for now.
But I have really been enjoying the Habano Sun Grown robustos that I reviewed a few weeks back, so I was bound and determined to try another PDR this weekend. The Habano Sun Grown and the Oscuro are the flagship blends for PDR, but they have recently released a Connecticut wrapped stick called Clasico. It turned out that I had one of these Clasicos left from some sampler boxes I purchased a few months back. I opened the humidor, and I had the Clasico in my sights.
The Clasico gets no love (or even a mention) on the PDR website, but a recent review in Smoke Magazine offers the following anatomical description:
- Wrapper: CT
- Binder: Dom Rep
- Filler: Dom Rep & Nicaragua
NewHavanaCigars.com lists the binder as Habano, so maybe we can guess that this is piloto cubano. There’s some pepper in this cigar and that may be where it’s coming from.
Just about perfect all the way around. The roll is solid, and looking down the business end of this stick it looks like it’s filled quite nicely. The wrapper is typical of shade grown leaf — pretty, with minimal veins and a nice creamy complexion. The head of the cigar is flat in the cuban style, and the seams of the cap are almost invisible. Pre-light this cigar has a dusty, hay-like scent with a touch of cedar.
Once lit, this stogie burns with steady precision — in addition to the creamy and floral qualities of Connecticut Shade, that is one of the nice things about this wrapper. It burns beautifully and builds a solid light gray ash. My only complaint here is that it seems to burn very quickly. I had to stretch this one out to make it last thirty minutes.
The Pinar del Rio Clasico opens up with an oaky flavor accented with black pepper on the tongue. The aroma is earthy with a touch of vanilla and the smoke coats the mouth. It’s fairly mild in strength but the smoke itself has a heavier texture, more of a medium body I’d say. The aroma is not as floral as some Connecticut wrapped cigars — while still soft and creamy the smoke is toasty, like charred oak barrels. As the cigar progresses I don’t notice many new flavors in transition — it sticks to its opening theme for the most part, though the finish grows and becomes a little drier. By the band the aftertaste is predominately earthy with a light peppery seasoning.
The combination of Connecticut creaminess with black pepper had me thinking that this could be a much lighter variation on the 601 Black Label, or maybe La Aurora’s 1495 Connecticut. It’s a mild to medium bodied cigar, but one with lots of flavor. A great morning cigar, or given how quickly it burns, maybe even a nice lunchtime smoke at work.
The robusto rings up at around 4 USD per stick when buying by the box, which is a great price for a quality smoke. Currently available from New Havana Cigars or you can buy singles from Silo for a few cents more.
Final Score: 87