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Old 03-08-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Daphne, Al. USA
Posts: 10,867
Puro Vida Cigars

I had the opportunity to try samples from a new line of cigars today, Puro Vida.
I will attempt to review the two I tried here in this one review....
Upon meeting Eddie Rivers, the creator of the Puro Vida line of cigars, I asked him for the scoop on his cigars of which he was very helpful and informative, I only wish I had written everything down!!! Basically at this time they have 3 different blends in their lineup. Two blends are wrapped in Connecticut wrappers, while the 3rd is completed with a Maduro wrapper. One of the Connecticut wrappers is also a "double ligero" blend, this piqued my interest. Along with this cigar event The host cigar shop (The Cigar Shop, Biloxi) was holding a chili cook-off....(this will come into play later)...I proceeded to start with the double ligero offering first:
This has a nice looking light brown wrapper, a toro or double robusto in size, aprox 50x6? After clipping the cap I took a quick check on the pre-light draw...very easy. The feel of this cigar is nice, nice spring to the touch, no soft spots. Wrapper is smooth with no large veins. Lighting up, first thing I get is that Nicaraguan spice that I like, but something is also a little different. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the word that comes to mind is "clean"??
I guess the "difference" is that unlike most Nics that I have tried, this one has a little lighter "core". Instead of the heavier cocoa flavor, it's more of a light "nutty" flavor. After smoking down the first inch I am trying to pay attention to the flavors that were coming through, but it was kinda hard to do with a very striking young lady sitting across the way....but I pressed on! The burn on this cigar was good, only needing slight touch ups along the way. As I worked my way thru the mid section, the strength and flavors stayed true, not really changing too much. Smoke output on this cigar is above average. One thing I noticed was that this cigar smoked fairly quickly, not fast, but just quicker than most of this size. As I reached the homestretch, I waited to see if it might turn bitter in any way....it did not. Overall I really enjoyed this cigar. I was maybe expecting a little more strength with it being a double ligero, but very enjoyable. A good balance of spice and that "nuttiness" flavor.

After finishing up the "Nat" wrapper blend, I decided it was time to sample some of the chili.....I'm glad I did, it was all GREAT!!! The reason I make a point of mentioning the chili is because I was a little concerned that the Maduro sample MAY not hold up as well afterward since it is supposedly the lesser strength of the two. My concerns were unfounded.

I took the Maduro sample out of it's cello and immediately noticed that it seemed to have a little more "heft" to it. Checking for soft spots, none were found and it also had a more all around firmness to it. The Maduro wrapper was very appealing with no blemishes.....dark and oily!
After clipping the cap I gave it the pre-light draw test and found it very much to my liking.....not too loose, not too tight....just right. Upon lighting I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice rush of pepper and spice, along with a creamy "heaviness" that I like....you know that "taste" that you can almost chew. After a short time and about an inch into the cigar the pepper faded into the background a bit and that chewiness along with an earthiness started coming to the forefront....but the spice was always there in the background. This cigar gave me that "kick" in the back of my throat that I always enjoy. As I worked my way down toward the halfway point of this cigar I found the complexity of this cigar gaining steam. Never any abrupt changes, but subtle shifts in flavor with some caramel/toffee flavors detected, then more of a coffee/espresso thing going on, with a continuing presence of spice weaving in and out during the journey. The ash on this cigar was very firm, almost white, and very smooth.
I noticed with this cigar that it smoked slower than the first. I don't think there was difference in how I smoked each one, but more a case of the filler content. As I finally reached the end of this cigar, I took it down to the nub, it also stayed true to the end....no bitterness.
In closing, I would recommend both of these cigars. For my taste preferences I would choose the Maduro over the "Nat" in this case (unusual for me)....it was the better of the two IMO.
The double ligero, I would consider to be a medium strength/body cigar, while I would peg the Maduro to be more of a medium/full....with "full" maybe being more descriptive of the flavor rather than strength. (if that made any sense!)
I'd give the double ligero version 3 out of 5 stars and the Maduro 4 out of 5 stars.
I'd like to thank Eddie and The Cigar Shop Biloxi for the opportunity to try these cigars (and the chili!)
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