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Stogie Fresh - Cigar Review


Friday, February 8, 2008
  Fundación Ancestral™  Pinar del Rio 1941  
  BRAND: Tabacos de la Cordillera
NAME: Fundación Ancestral
TYPE: Torpedo
WRAPPER: Pinar del Rio
BINDER: Pinar del Rio
FILLER: Pinar del Rio
DATE OF RATING: 2/5/2008
TIME IN HUMIDOR (months): 2.0
BURN: 90
  STORAGE CONDITIONS: I have kept this box in my Aristocrat humidor at 64-68ºF and 69-72%RH. The cigars have been kept in their original cello in order to protect the wrappers. This is the first review of the new Fundación Ancestral Pinar del Rio 1941 from Tabacos de la Cordillera.  
  TASTING NOTES: Pinar del Rio is the far western province on the island of Cuba. Once one of the great tobacco growing regions of the world, it witnessed a major shift to the growing of sugar cane during the Cold War. Depleting the vital nutrients in the soil, the growing of sugar cane all but destroyed the unique traits of tobacco grown there. Fast forward to present day.  
  John Vogel of Tabacos de la Cordillera in Puriscal, Costa Rica, has maintained a genetically pure strain of Pinar del Rio seeds from 1941. His business as an argonomical engineer allowed him to collect rare and genetically pure tobacco seeds without having to smuggle them out of Cuba. Therein lies his ability to reproduce this tobacco of a bygone era.  
  These cigars are regarded as a “puro” in that all the tobacco used to manufacturer this cigar is from one variety of tobacco, in this case, the Pinar del Rio. Different primings represent the wrapper, binder, and filler. Only 380 individually numbered boxes were produced in this variety, totaling 8,000 cigars.  
  This beautiful sample possesses a walnut shaded wrapper that is smooth to the touch. Light spider-web-like veins are seen embellishing the wrapper. I noted that the roller attempted to hide the main vein by placing it down towards the binder, as the wrapper was rolled into place. A nutty aroma is sensed as I nasally probed this great looking cigar.  
  I waste no time cutting the triple cap with my Palió cutter and take a pre-light draw. The firm draw gives up notes of roasted nuts. While gently toasting the foot with my butane lighter, I am careful not to scorch the foot, since it would be fairly easy to add a sooty flavor to these otherwise delicate tobacco leaves.  
  Immediately, my palate was treated to the light flavor of nuts. A barely perceptible sweet undertone accompanied the aftertaste, while a light spice was noted while using the retrohale technique. These predominate characters continue for most of the first half of the cigar, then slowly changed to coffee and wood flavors. The finish was lingering, with the full-bodied flavor of coffee, wood, and a hint of spice.  
  I've found that if you are not used to cigars like this, there is a tendency to oversmoke them. The first indication that I am oversmoking is that the flavor will turn sharp and hot. Maybe a little sting will be felt in the tip of the tongue. You need not worry, since you will need to let it set for a couple of minutes for the coal to cool. Slow draws are better with this cigar. Occasionally, it is a good practice to purge this cigar since built up tars within the burning fillers can easily mask its delicate flavors. This has always proved beneficial to my enjoyment of the cigar.  
  This cigar developed a salt and pepper gray ash that displayed good definition, and rolled off easily into a solid pellet at the one inch point. Some cracking was evident along the concentric rings formed into the ash.  
  There were some minor issues with the burn on occasion. A scalloped burn line was evident about half the time, and a small fish-mouth did develop at the 1/3 point. Both conditions corrected themselves by rotating the cigar, and did not diminish my enjoyment. Occasionally, a slightly blistered burn line was also noted.  
  This, like the other cigars in the Fundación Ancestral line, is a challenging cigar. One must pay attention to all the subtle flavors and nuances to truly appreciate the rarity of this cigar. It is a great cigar to hone your tasting skills with while allowing post-embargo smokers like myself an opportunity to experience a past we never knew.  
  We'll rate this cigar again after three months.  



"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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