Premium Cigar, Sweet Value
A late arrival to the premium cigar industry, Indianhead Cigars found a niche producing a variety of value-oriented, Dominican handmade cigars. Of those Dominican brands, the Rough Riders Sweets Connecticut offers the cigar aficionado an excellent cigar with a good selection of aged Dominican tobaccos, an authentic Connecticut shade wrapper, and a sweetened tip. This sweetened tip enhances the natural aroma of the shade tobacco without overwhelming it.
Essentially, this is the smooth, everyday smoke the cigar aficionado is always seeking. A box of twenty-five robustos is available on Luis Martinez for a scant $110.00 MSRP or $93.50 with the current offering of savings. This is an excellent value cigar which satisfies the flavored cigar smoker yet maintains a quality above those in short-filler factory throwouts or Baccarats. Even for traditionalist smokers, the value represented by the box at the reduced price makes it an excellent birthday present for a friend or family member. If nothing else, it is something for your guests to smoke.
Indianhead Cigars is a Dominican cigar company. It is owned and operated by Jochy Blanco, a master cigarmaker and blender commonly associated with another company: La Galera Cigars. Indianhead Cigars are made at the same cigar factory as La Galera: Tabacalera Palma in Tamboril in the Dominican Republic. Indianhead is Jochy’s attempt at combining the seemingly contradictory terms of premium, value, and boutique. The results do not disappoint. The Rough Riders Sweets Connecticut are a line of cigars that boggle the mind as to what Jochy’s margin of profit is off each cigar. The quality of the long fillers far outstrips the quality of Baccarat sweet tips or Acid aromatic cigars.
It outstrips further still the short filler used for value bundle cigars in the $30-80 price range. Often times, the cigar smoker is left picking stray pieces of short filler off their tongue and lips after what should have been a flawless smoking experience. Additionally, many short filler cigars struggle with a proper bunch. This means that sometimes the cigars will draw too “tight” and leave the cigar smoker feeling annoyed from a plugged cigar. For a paltry premium, the cigar aficionado receives a handmade Dominican cigar with long filler and a sweetened tip: the best of both worlds.
Some cigar aficionados view sweet tip cigars with disdain due to a perceived corruption of the natural flavor of the tobacco. However, sweet tip cigars ought to be perceived more as an inducement for the nascent cigar smoker. A newer coffee smoker cannot enjoy more robust coffee flavors without sugar or cream to soften the impact upon the palate. In the same way, a cigar with a sweetened tip allows a cigar smoker with a more sensitive palate to enjoy a wider range of tobaccos. In the case of the Rough Riders Sweets, the sweetened tip enhances the natural flavors of the Connecticut shade tobacco used for the wrapper and the blend of Dominican Cuban-seed tobaccos used for the filler.
Cigar Review: Rough Rider, Smooth Smoke
For handmade cigars at the premium value price range, the cigar aficionado often finds himself with a bruised and discolored Connecticut wrapper. The wrapper on the Rough Rider, however, looks like the type of wrapper you would find on a Montecristo Vintage White or a Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real—for a mere $3.74! The superior quality of the coloration and sorting aside, the cigar lights and smokes like a dream. Gauging the flavor profile of a sweet-tip cigar is always difficult, but the tasting notes of the Connecticut shade tobacco are quite apparent as ginger, toasted wheat, lemongrass, cedar, peanuts, and vanilla. This is further accentuated by the sweetened tip, coaxing out the flavors of ginger and vanilla.
The first two thirds of the cigar, as to be expected, were the most enjoyable. The sensual aromas of baking spices and grasses in the first third of the cigar bring the cigar smoker into the comforting embrace of the second third of the cigar where stronger cedar and woody tasting notes come to dominate the palate. The final third of the cigar burned too hot and required a cigar clip. The tasting notes of the cigar stayed consistent throughout the whole cigar with enjoyable fluctuations.
The cigar builds in intensity throughout the segments until the final third but due to the nature of the aged tobacco and the shade wrapper, it never proves overwhelming. The cigar is the best showcase of the Cibao province available to consumers for its price. The cigar struggled slightly to stay lit and required some touching up towards the middle of the smoking experience. This is a negligible issue considering the savings available compared to the value of the tobacco. Any cigar smoker looking to add to their humidor or perhaps gain some disposable cigars for their relatives would be remiss not to pick up a box of these.