Cuaba Tradicionales: Is bigger always better?
The perfecto has for a long time been one of my favourite vitolas. I first became aware of this shape back in 2010 when I was introduced to the Cuaba Divinos. Over the years, this cigar has been a mainstay of my humidor as a little treat to myself. Enjoying this small cigar as much as I have over the years, I treated myself to the next vitola up – the Cuaba Tradicionales. This isn’t the first time I’ve “upgraded” this brand, but with two years of age on this particular cigar and the Divinos being fairly fresh in my mind, I thought it was the right time to light it up and see which vitola I preferred.
Removing the Cuaba Tradicionales from my humidor, its shape still looked as appealing to me as it was when I first laid eyes on it. The first thing I noticed though was that the tiny foot was a little bit damaged, although this had probably occurred over the years as I moved it around in my humidor. Smelling the foot I was greeted by aromas of honey and a light oil. The head felt firmly packed, which is not unexpected for a torpedo head. Using my straight cut at 45 degrees, the cold draw was a little on the tight side but I could always cut a little more off later.
Lighting the small foot of the Cuaba Tradicionales was a doddle and it was less than a minute before I was up and running. The damage to the foot had no effect on the initial draws, which tasted subtly of of oily leather and left a light caramel on my lips. After a few draws I wasn’t getting much in the way of either flavour or smoke so I cut a bit more off the head and this allowed me to get mouthfuls of creamy smoke tinged with sandalwood.
Not a lot changed in the taste between the first and second third aside from the flavours growing bolder. As I reached the halfway point of the cigar, a warm peppery spice started to enter this mix. When I slid the band off, I also noted that the wrapper was becoming more oily and glistening in the light as the ember warmed it and released the aromatic oils.
One thing I have learnt about torpedo and perfecto vitolas is that they can suffer with a build up of bitterness as you get closer to the head. This did start to happen with the Cuaba Tradicionales. The peppery spice started to get more intense and an unpleasant bitterness started to hit the back of my mouth.
Usually I would trim a little more off the head and give the cigar a blow through as I smoked down to the nub. This time though I was reluctant to do trim any more off as the tight draw and lack of smoke at the beginning meant that I had cut the cigar nearly to the edge of the cap. Subsequently, had I cut much more off I would have run the risk of the cigar unravelling.
I did though give the cigar a good blow through which did clean up the flavour for a few more draws, but the bitterness started to return and despite daggering it, I didn’t smoke it right to the nub. This was a disappointing end to what had been a beautiful cigar up to this point. It is a cigar that I would love to smoke again and I am looking forward to savouring the Cuaba Exclusivo that I currently have sitting in my humidor.
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Cuaba Tradicionales Cigar Details
Cuaba Tradicionales Review Summary
As with the Divinos, there were some very pleasurable flavours and I really enjoyed it up to the last inch. For me this particular cigar slightly overstayed its welcome. Had I purchased this cigar in store rather than online, more likely than not I would have returned this stick to the box and chosen a different one that wasn’t so tightly packed at the head.
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