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From: Stogie Fresh

Date: May 10, 2006

 
 
Written by Doc   
Wednesday, 10 May 2006
 
     
  Cumbres de Puriscal™  Silver Torpedo  
     
  Cumbres de Puriscal Silver Torpedo  
  First Review:  
     
  Storage Conditions:
These cigars were shipped direct from the factory in Costa Rica and took two weeks to arrive. This is one way the company hopes to keep the price down and the quality up, since having a distribution site would decrease the time to deliver, but drive the costs up to the consumer. None the worse for their journey, I placed the cigars, which were double cello-wrapped, into my cabinet humidor set at 67% RH and 68-70 degrees F. After a few days of acclimation, I gently removed the cigars from their cello restraints and placed them in an Elie Bleu humidor at about 69% RH and 68-70 degrees F.
 
     
  Tasting Notes:
Nestled in the heartland in the mountainous region around Puriscal, Costa Rica, lays the farm and factory of an, as yet, little known cigar brand: Tabacos de la Cordillera or, “Highland Cigars.” It is here that the venerable John Vogel, Director of operations, took his ancestral seed bank of genetically pure Cuban tobacco seeds and planted them in the volcanic terrain of their farm, which is situated in a valley between low mountains to the East and West. These conditions provide the tobacco plants with just enough daylight between mid-morning and mid-afternoon and represent, according to Vogel, the conditions and soil that are very similar to the prime growing regions in the Vuelta Abajo in Cuba.
 
     
  The cigar I have chosen to review is one of the more full-bodied of the Cumbres de Puriscal line. This torpedo has a wrapper leaf that is drop-dead gorgeous: smooth, silky and blemish-free, with enough oils to make it look good enough to eat. The flavor profile of this puro comes from the Costa Rican grown binder (Habano #91) and filler tobaccos (Habanos, #315, #222), all enveloped in a Habano #50 wrapper.  
     
  After a quick clip and a slow light, I sit back to enjoy this beauty. The first few puffs are unusually sweet with herbal and spice undertones. The burn over the first inch or so is a bit uneven, however the cigar draws nicely and the medium gray ash shows the signs of quality construction. Evenly corrugated and striated, the salt and pepper-grained ash holds tenaciously until I tap off at about an inch and a half. There is a long, sharp peak under the ash, which is hard and does not readily break off, so I let it alone for the time being.  
     
  By the halfway point, the sweetness subsides substantially and the herbal flavors give way to a rich, earthy character that still has an undertone of sweetness and no bitterness at all. The burn evens itself and, though the wrapper and binder are a bit blistered, there doesn’t seem to be any ill effects in the flavor and body.  
     
  The flavors of this smoke are absolutely unique and are nothing like I have ever tasted in any other non-Cuban cigar. Perhaps it is true what Vogel has said that, because the tobacco is grown using genetically pure Cuban tobacco seeds, these are a prime example of “the finest legal Cuban cigars available today.”  
     
  The cigar finishes deep, earthy and lip-smacking good. This is a medium to full bodied and flavored smoke, that starts off light and sweet and finishes long and earthy, with enough spice to make you sit up and take notice. This is really a must-try cigar. I would recommend it to a wide range of palates.  
     
 
Ring Age Look Flovor Burn Score
6x52 0,3 93 90 89 90,2
 
     
     
  Second Review:  
  Storage Conditions:  
  These cigars have been gently removed from their cello restraints and placed in an Elie Bleu humidor at about 71% RH and 69-73 degrees F. They have been resting now for just over 3 and a half months; this is the second in a series of reviews of these Costa Rican stogies.  
     
  Tasting Notes:  
  This beautiful torpedo comes from the Cumbres de Puriscal Silver line: one of the more full-bodied of all cigars made by Tabacos de la Cordillera (”Highland Cigars”).

The wrapper leaf is smooth, silky and has a fine network of light-colored veins, which pose a striking contrast to the medium dark wrapper. This particular stogie is firm to the touch, with just the slightest “give.”

I make short work of the cap with my Palió cutter and, since it is a bright day outside where I will be smoking, I retire to the darkness of my garage to light the cigar. I slowly turn the cigar between my fingers as I gently toast the foot. After a perfect light, I return to my lounge chair and proceed to enjoy my afternoon.

Initially, the body is medium and so are the flavors. After a brief, initial sweetness, I note a grassiness to the tobacco along with a hint of black licorice.

The draw and burn are even and the cigar holds an inch-long ash without a problem. The ash, which is medium gray, looks like scalloped potatoes, but I resist the urge to eat it as such.

During the second half of the cigar, the flavors become deeper and more concentrated as the body proceeds from medium to medium-full. This cigar is neither subtle nor delicate, but instead delivers rich, deep flavors and body to those with a hankering for adventure.

As I have noted before, the flavors of this brand of cigar are unique. John Vogel of Tabacos de la Cordillera has taken pre-embargo Cuban ancestral seeds and has matched them well with the mountainous soils of the Costa Rican highlands. This is a well-constructed, flavorful cigar that I would recommend to an experienced palate that favors a medium-full smoke.
~Doc
 
     
 
Ring Age Look Flovor Burn Score
6x52 3,6 90 90 90 90.0
 
     
     
  Third Review:  
  Storage Conditions:  
  These cigars have been gently removed from their cello restraints and placed in an Elie Bleu humidor at about 70%RH and 69-73 degrees F. They have been resting now for nearly 9 months; this is the third in a series of reviews of these Costa Rican stogies.  
     
  Tasting Notes:  
  The wrappers on the Cumbres Silver line are some of the best looking you will ever set your eyes upon. Silky, smooth and blemish free, the wrappers sport a nearly veinless exterior and have an aroma of sweet hay.

This particular stogie is firm to the touch, with just the slightest “give.” After neatly clipping the tapered head, I set the foot to light with my Blazer pocket torch and sit back to reflect.

Though the body is just shy of medium at the outset, I was hit with a very grassy and almost bitter spiciness, perhaps some black licorice.

Some people may not like this particular characteristic, but I have grown to love it. I like the in-your-face beginning that says, “I’m a bad dog.”

The draw and burn are even and the cigar holds an inch-long ash without a problem. The light gray ash has the appearance of volcanic rock

This is a truly interesting cigar as it delivers rich, deep flavors that are unlike any other cigars I have tried. It has responded especially well to aging thus far. The 9 months in my humidor have lent a smoothness and a balance to the smoke, which tended to be a bit strong tasting during the first two reviews in this series. I enjoy the particularly tangy aftertaste.

This is a well-constructed cigar that was evidenced by its near perfect burn and draw and by its dense, consistent ash. I would recommend the Cumbres Silver to an experienced palate that favors a medium-full smoke. Don’t be afraid to age these smokes, they will reward you for doing so. I look forward to my fourth and final review of this series in another 6 months.
~Doc
 
     
 
Ring Age Look Flovor Burn Score
6x52 9,0 91 90 91 90,6
 
     
     
  Fourth and final review:  
     
  Storage Conditions:  
  After 15.2 months resting in my humidor, I am ready to give this cigar its fourth and final review in this series.

These cigars have been gently removed from their cello restraints and placed in an Elie Bleu humidor at about 70%RH and 69-73 degrees F.
 
     
  Tasting Notes:  
  This cigar is a Costa Rican puro, made in the mountainous region of Puriscal by Tabacos de la Cordillera. The Cumbres line comes in the Gold, Silver and Emerald, with the Silver being the most full-bodied and full-flavored.

The aging on this cigar has dulled the luster of the wrapper leaf. What used to look pristine and as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever seen, is now slightly mottled and a shade or two darker.

After neatly clipping the cap with my Palió cutter, I set the foot to light with my Blazer Pocket torch, easily one of the best torch lighters, dollar-for-dollar. The initial third of the smoke was ripe with licorice, grass and a healthy dose of bittersweetness.

This is a familiar characteristic that I have experienced with the other cigars in this line. I have found that either you love this taste profile, or hate it. I happen to love it.

What was really unusual was the burn, which presented with a very blistered wrapper edge and a dark, nearly charcoal black ash.

By the halfway mark, the smoke is still exuding grass and licorice flavors, with a bit of smoked wood and an herbal sweetness also making appearances.

This cigar shows signs that it will continue to age successfully. With plenty of horsepower still existent at 15.2 months, I have no doubt that this cigar will age well over the next 5 years.

The major test for this cigar will continue to be its unusual taste profile. I hope that people will give this cigar a chance because it is truly unique. These are cigars that I always have around my humidors, and one of my favorites from Tabacos de la Cordillera.

I continue to recommend the Cumbres Silver to those with an experienced palate. This is a medium-full body and flavor smoke.

Aging Potential Score: B = this cigar should age well over the first 5 years and is likely to develop further complexity and nuances
~Doc
 
     
 
Ring Age Look Flovor Burn Score
6x52 15,2 89 90 88 89,0
 
     
     
   
"Ancestral Cuban seeds grow the world's finest cigars™"
Tabacos de la Cordillera
Santa Marta de Puriscal
Costa Rica, Central America
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