Size: Robusto (5×50)
Benchmade cigars- A handcrafted brand created by Ashton and blended by Jose “Pepin” Garcia. The beautiful sticks have a dark wrapper, pig tale end, and offers an amazing medium to full body taste. Consider the Benchmade a gift to cigar smokers because this super-premium cigar has a super price tag of around two dollars. The Nicaraguan cigar is a mix of long and short filler from five different kinds of leaves that you will absolutely love.
Construction: The wrapper is caramel in color and gives you an initial impression of a very friendly medium, or even light bodied, smoke. This Sumatra-seed wrapper was not very oily and was very solid in construction. It had one large vein that ran down the back of the cigar and the other veins were small and subtle- neither of which affected the smoking or burning in a negative way. Upon completing the “pinch test“: Benchmade robusto was soft or “spongy” but not to the point where tobacco was falling out.
Draw: Anytime a cigar feels soft or “spongy” it’s almost a certain indication that the cigar will have an easy draw. For this very reason I opted to twist the tail on the end (no caps on the cigars keeps the cost down) and see if it would work – it did. The Benchmade robusto smoked great through the little opening. Punching the Benchmade provided me with the perfect draw. Cutting was done by other reviewers and the draw was a bit too easy.
Burn: It’s always interesting to see what kind of burn a “cheap” cigar throws your way. This Benchmade robusto started off burning a little jagged but always corrected itself. I never had to manually correct or relight my stick once. The ash had nice peppery color but didn’t appear very firm; however the robusto only required me to ash twice.
Taste: Let’s start off by letting everyone know the Benchmade cigar is a mixed filler smoke. This means you can, and most likely will, get a different profile or specific taste from cigar to cigar. It may not be noticeable if you purchase a box in full but try the cigars rolled/shipped/created in different months are you will see what I am talking about.
Pepper and spice make the Benchmade cigar nice. Every stick I have had will shoot this flavor in your mouth through your entire smoking experience. Pepper is most prominent in the 1/3 of the cigar and doesn’t allow me to taste anything else.
At the 2/3 point the pepper fades and makes room for a more earthy undertone. From here on out I also get a lot of the tobacco taste any cigar love should…love.
When finishing up the Benchmade you tend to get a bitter taste. This is due to the chopped tobacco catching the impurity’s, something that happens less in higher quality cigars. No need to worry though because you can just purge your cigar and never look back.
Again each stick will vary – so pick one up and try it. If this makes you uneasy just remember that this is still a Don “Pepin” Garcia blend – and you will not be disappointed if you are one of his fans.
Final Verdict: We have a winner on our hands. You get a “Pepin” cigar by Ashton for the low-low price of $2.xx, do a quick search online and you can get the sticks in the $1.60 range. You are getting great value for your money. I also want you to know that the Benchmande cigars are even better with just a little bit of resting time in the humidor. I will be aging a box to see what they do – and I think you should do the same. Quick Note: Of all the Benchmade cigars the robusto was by far the best. Enjoy these smokes and the savings on your wallet.
Other Cigars: I had a sense of familiarity while smoking and reflecting on this cigar. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it when I suddenly jumped up and said “Cubao“. The Cubao had the same kind of peppery taste, caramel wrapper, full body smoke, origin, and both were Don “Pepin” Garcia created.
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