El Artista Puro Ambar Corona: Pure artistry?
I love sampling a new cigar. It is one thing to savour it on your own, but something entirely different when smoking it for the first time with others as well as the brand owner. This was the case when I lit up the El Artista Puro Ambar on a virtual sampling herf with Mike Choi and Joe Berg from Boutique Smokes and Ram Rodriguez of El Artista.
Having heard various people rave about the Buffalo Ten cigars by El Artista, when Boutique Smokes announced that they were bringing them to the UK market, I was keen to get my hands on them. And when a sampler pack was offered including a tipple of Dominican rum, two cigars (the Puro Ambar Corona and Buffalo Ten Natural) and an invitation to a “meet the maker” virtual herf, I couldn’t say no.
With my smoking area set up – sniffer glass and miniature bottle, ash tray, lighter and cutters all to hand, I joined the herf and waited to be told which cigar we were starting with. The branding on both the Puro Ambar and Buffalo Ten is as understated as it is elegant. There is no suggestion at all that these cigars are style over substance. This was further reinforced by Ram Rodriguez saying that more time and care was spent on the blend and getting the cigar perfect than the packaging.
My attention turned to the Puro Ambar corona when it was announced that we were starting with that one. Meaning “pure amber” the cigar gets it’s name from a special type of amber found in the Dominican Republic and the fact that this cigar is a Dominican puro. There was a slight sheen to the wrapper, which had a delicate web of veins over it reminiscent of a dragonfly’s wing.
As I listened to the origin and ethos of El Artista cigars, I went through my usual pre-lighting ritual. The cigar felt well packed and even from foot to head. Gentle aromas of cashew nuts and pastry crept from the foot and, having straight cut the head, the cold draw elicited a nougat taste. Once lit, the first draws had some gentle, warming spices. Hints of white pepper and black cardamom floated on top of a light, creamy smoothness that would be a constant companion.
Before long sandalwood and leather started to join the party and the Brugal Anejo Superior rum, offered as the drinks pairing, was a delicious match. It really brought out the sweet spice within the cigar whilst matching the smooth creaminess. The one thing that really struck me about the Puro Ambar was the burn. The ash was a beautiful white and each time I rolled it off, it remained completely in tact in front of me.
After about an hour on the Zoom herf, most others were lighting up their second cigar. Whist I was very much looking forward to enjoying the Buffalo Ten Natural, I was in no hurry to finish the Puro Ambar. The smoke was smooth and rich but didn’t linger too long once released. Rather it filled the room with sweet aromas. For me this was the very definition of a meditation. Each draw was worth savouring and time really did slow down for me.
The final third offered up a mouthwatering combination of honey supported by a mineral freshness of chilled mountain water straight out of the spring. By the time I laid the cigar to rest it was over two hours after lighting up and I had to stop and admire the neatness of the ash balls that were perfectly lined up in my tray. I can’t think of very many occasions that I have ended an evening with as neat an ashtray as I did on this occasion, which is a testament to the care and attention that is given to each cigar as it passes from hand to hand on its journey through the factory.
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El Artista Puro Ambar Cigar Details
- Vitola: Corona
- Length: 5½”
- Ring Gauge: 42
- Smoke Time: 2h 15
- Source: Boutique Smokes
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Artista-grown Criollo and Dominican Orlo leaf
- Wrapper: Dominican Habano
El Artista Puro Ambar Review Summary
This is a lovely mild, creamy and smooth cigar that would work as well at the start of a lazy day as it did at the end for me. Truly a cigar crafted with care that is worth admiring and savouring.
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