Cigars can be a very expensive hobby indeed. With premium cigars in the double-digit dollars per stick range being very commonplace and triple-digits not unheard of, it can sure burn a hole through your wallet (pun fully intended). As such, it makes me glad to see manufacturers offering less expensive options in greater numbers.
One of the most recent additions to the budget market is the Marrero Costa Rican Bundles. Marrero is a brand that is known for quality and consistent cigars and is a brand I love so I was excited to see these. These cigars all feature a mixed filler (nothing wrong with that so long as the tobacco is quality) consisting of Nicaraguan, Peruvian and Dominican tobacco under a Habano binder, and one of three Ecuadorian wrapper options. They do not have bands on them as another cost saving feature. These sticks retail at about $4.10/stick for a 6″ x 52RG Toro size. Now, obviously at that price you shouldn’t expect anything just mind-blowing in terms of either body, complexity or strength. However, what you can expect is a quality everyday cigar that would be great with your morning coffee or a nice mid-day smoke on a budget.
I’m only going to give brief tasting notes on each one as none of them were incredibly complex and were consistent start to finish with no real transitions to speak of, but I will start with the commonalities between all three: all three featured perfect construction, an easy draw and very straight burn line. Each one burned about an average length for a Toro size – right around the 1 hour mark. Flavor profiles, however, were as different as night and day and are a testament as to how much a simple wrapper change can totally change the flavor of a cigar.
Maduro: The mildest of the three options, featuring a pleasant milk chocolate finish and smooth earthy finish and retrohale. Great stick for early in the morning with a nice gentle breakfast blend coffee.
Connecticut: A little more intense flavor than the Maduro, but still quite gentle at a mild/medium body. Zingy wood, leather and a sweet spicy vanilla round out the flavor package on this one, along with a bit of a black pepper on the nose. Also great with your morning coffee or as a companion to yard work or a day of golf
Habano: At a solid medium body, this is the fullest flavored of the three, and probably my personal favorite. It is one of the most creamy textured and flavored cigars I’ve ever had – it’s definitely the star of the show. This is supported by a rich toasted almond and a hot cinnamon on the retrohale. Almost a prototypical Habano Rosado experience but just dialed down a bit. Pair this one with a nice stout beer or a light, fruity red on the lines of a Pinot Noir.
If I had to nitpick anything, it’s the Connecticut and Habano are so close in color it’s very hard to tell them apart. Obviously I wouldn’t suggest adding a band and increasing the cost, but perhaps marking either a “C” or an “H” on the cellophane wrapper in which the bundles come in would be helpful.
One way or another, these are solid cigars for everyday smoking. I’ll definitely be keeping them in my wineador. Do yourself a favor and check these out if you’re looking for a great budget smoke.