Cigar Review: Not quite a Saintly “Sexy” Shrub

Santa Damaina #500 Robusto
Santa Damaina #500 Robusto

Cigar Name: Santa Damiana #500 Robusto (5 x 50)

Cigar Description: Dominican Republic filler wrapped in a Connecticut wrapper

Cigar Strength: Medium

Review of the Cigar itself: I’m definitely slacking on the job. Well overdue for a review and will probably spend the next few days doing a few. My humidors are showing signs of exploding soon. As I dug through them I did find this one nestled near the bottom, showing a data of last October. Hrmm. Why not? A damiana is a shrub native to South America, Mexico, Central America and other southern parts. It’s flowers are used for a tea and is known for it’s aphrodisiac effect. Seems like a good connection for a cigar, given it’s perchance to be associated to being something more suggestive than a cigar. Then again, sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

The wrapper was done so well on this cigar I could barely find the edges of it. It’s light brown color highlighted maybe two veins and while the rest flawless. It was wrapped rather tightly and had me a bit concerned about it being too tight but as I smoked it I found this wasn’t the case. As I lit the foot, I caught the scent of wood burning, almost a burning cedar aroma. It made me think of the proverbial log cabin with wood burning stove, a wonderful memory of a scent on a drab, dreary day like today in New York City. The first third continued this flavour with a solid white ash that fell off on it’s own (thankfully right into the ashtray — perhaps the Saints were watching).

As I got into the middle third, I got a distinctive creamy leather taste. It wasn’t overpowering but just enough to add a bit of cream bit to the cedar that it had started with. I did have to relight it at this point as it went out on it’s own. That was a bit surprising and along with that, came a minor split in the wrapper. It didn’t get too big, thankfully, and I saw no others in the cigar itself. It was a bit disappointing at this point since the cigar had been pretty decent until then. This was also matched with some flakiness of the ash. It wasn’t a huge amount but enough to see flakes fluttering here and there.

As I got into the last third, the leather taste disappeared and was replaced with a pleasant nutty flavour. It’s interesting that the primarily blue smoke that the cigar had emitted up to this point turned into a faint brown colouring. It makes me wonder if the tobacco filler mixture had additionally tobaccos in there that weren’t from Dominican. Either way, the nutty-cedar flavour continued. Overall, it was a good cigar and not a bad smoke.

Enjoyed with: water and coffee

Smoke time: approximately 80 minutes

Final Review Rating: 8/10

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