Cigar Buying Guides

2018 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to Perdomo Cigars

The Essential Perdomo Cigars Tasting Guide

 

The Perdomo Cigars Back Story

Like many families whose names appear on some of the world's best cigars, the Perdomo story begins in Cuba—San Jose de las Lajas, actually—an agricultural and industrial town some 17 miles southeast of Havana, where the family patriarch, Silvio Perdomo, grew up. His first cigar rolling apprenticeship began in the early 1930’s at the Cuesta y Cia cigar factory. In 1937 he continued practicing his art at the H. Upmann factory until 1945, and from there he moved on to the renowned Partagas factory where he worked until 1959.

San Jose de las Lajas is also where his son, Nick Perdomo Sr., was born. Nick began his apprenticeship in 1948 at the Marin & Trujillo factory where he earned enough accolades for his craftsmanship to join his father at Partagas.

“Things were going so well then," said Nick, Sr. "My father and I were just beginning to establish ourselves and obtain recognition for our work. But then Castro destroyed everything – our country, our lives, and our freedom.”

Silvio, typically a quiet and peaceful man, was opposed to Castro's regime. So were many other Cubans. But speaking out against a tyrannical government often comes at a steep price. Silvio Perdomo's opinions cost him an arrest in his own home, a quick trial, and 15 years in six of Cuba's most hellish prisons.

Nick, Sr. also suffered the wrath of Castro’s “New Cuba.” Ambushed by pro-Castro guerillas, he was shot and critically wounded within view of the same home where his father Silvio was arrested.

With two bullets still in his back, eventually Nick Sr. escaped Cuba, thanks to help from a close friend and a sponsorship arranged through the Catholic Church. His arrival in Washington, D.C. yielded a startling discovery.

“I knew the streets weren’t paved with gold," said Nick, "but my sponsors had no place for me. Nowhere to live or eat. But I thank God for coming to America. It has given my family the precious opportunities of freedom they never would have had in Cuba.”

Nick Perdomo Jr, the man whom cigar smokers are most familiar with these days, was born and raised in Florida. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he worked at Miami International Airport as an air traffic controller. But Nick's passion for following in his father's footsteps kept tugging at his heart. So, with very little money and a couple of rollers, he stepped out on his own and began making "Nick Cigars" in his garage.

"We were so broke at one time, we had to eat dinner at my parents' house every night for months," says Nick. But he pressed on, and good timing helped as the Cigar Boom ‘90s lifted the company to a level where he could compete with the more established manufacturers. He even made cigars for companies like CAO, among others, for a while, too. Nick's business savvy, his eye for the latest in agricultural technology, and insistence on quality eventually turned Perdomo cigars into one of the leading cigar brands in Nicaragua and the world. Today, his son Nicholas Perdomo III and daughter Natalie have joined the company, continuing the family tradition. 

Offering over three dozen premium cigar selections, practically every Perdomo cigar is rolled in three wrapper varieties: Connecticut, Maduro, Sun Grown. Due to the depth of their catalog, for this Guide we selected 13 quintessential Perdomo blends currently in production that run the entire range of strengths and wrapper shades. However, we couldn't call it a Perdomo Guide if we didn't at least make mention of the remaining cigars. So, to make this Guide as complete as possible, we have included information on those selections, as well.

Every cigar made by Perdomo is crafted at Tabacalera Perdomo in Esteli; we've arranged our reviews according to when (relatively) these cigars were introduced, starting with the Boom-era Cuban Parejo, and finishing with Nick's Nicaraguan extensions of the Famous Olor cigar line. Reviews are subjective, of course - but these basic tasting notes should give you a general idea of what to expect from each Perdomo, and whether it might be your next cigar. Try for yourself - and be sure to let us know your thoughts in a comment below.

 

Perdomo Cuban Parejo Cigar Review

Size: Rothschild (4 ¾” x 50)
Strength:  Medium-Full
Wrapper: Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

perdomo cigars guide perdomo cuban parejo cigar review BIN

Construction: Light weight, the body seems solid though. Wrapper has a velvety touch, very fine veins and is much darker than your typical Connecticut.
Draw: Very easy.
Pre-light flavor: Foot: Slightly earthy, pepper, cedar, and must. Cold draw: Pepper, hay, slight sweetness.
Toasting & Light: Fairly easy, even with some thick and heavy tobaccos inside.
Initial notes: Very bready and buttery upfront with a tingling of spice on the lips.
Base flavors: Caramel sweetness, cedar, coffee, pepper.
Retrohale: Malted sweetness, citrus tang, cedar and white pepper.
Aroma: Very woody, sweet, and almost herbal scent.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn line is fairly wavy, but razor thin; ash is snow white but flaky.
Balance of flavors: Well balanced - the flavors lean toward sweet, woody, and creamy with a constant yet pleasant peppery spice.

Summary: Perdomo’s Cuban Parejo is the cigar equivalent to a Sunday Sauce or Chicken Soup…it’s a comfort cigar. After a medium-bodied start, the initial flavors settle on a very bready profile with a hint of cedar, a slight nuttiness, a peppery tingle and a growing, yet vague sweetness.

As we delve deeper, there’s a slight tang on the finish that’s vaguely hoppy. The overall notes are cedar, earth, pepper and a light sweetness. But when that tang fades, the profile takes on a creamy profile and texture that exudes coffee, nuts, cedar, and citrus while pepper is a mere tingling on the tongue.

perdomo cigars guide perdomo cuban parejo cigar review FL

Call it "comfort food" for Perdomo fans: Cuban Parejo has rich and pleasant notes of cedar, earth, pepper and a light sweetness.

 

The sweetness briefly shifts to honey before melding with the cream into a pleasant caramel flavor with a crisp cedar and coffee note backing things up. By the end the complexity doubled down as creamy caramel and cedar dominate over a slightly charred wood note - the combination of notes made for a rich and pleasant finish.

A solid go-to that easily satisfies without breaking my cigar budget and an easy recommendation; pair with a bourbon or amber lager.

 - Fred

 

Perdomo Cuban Parejo Maduro Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6” x 52)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

perdomo cigars guide perdomo cuban parejo maduro cigar review BIN

Draw: Great draw.
Pre-Light: Dark and sweet.
First Few Puffs: Woody.
Aroma: Slightly charry.
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid gray.
Balance of Flavors: Great balanced notes.
Base Flavors: Earth, espresso, black cherry.

Summary: I can’t remember the last time I smoked the Cuban Parejo and I’m questioning myself for that bit of tobacco misjustice. This is one hell of a tasty cigar, reminding me a lot of the kind of profile I have always enjoyed from the Punch Rothschild: earthy, with an espresso-like quality and a dark fruit sweetness like black cherry.

perdomo cigars guide perdomo cuban parejo maduro cigar review TZ

Take the Natural-wrapper Cuban Parejo and load on flavors of wood and espresso - that's this Maduro version.

 

The oily Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro outer leaf is gorgeous to look at and even better to fire up. I paired this with coffee and it felt as if I had a good friend riding along with me on a drive that I didn’t want to end. This is an exclusive that Perdomo makes for Famous, and if you enjoy a rich Maduro sweetness in your cigar, the Cuban Parejo is not to be overlooked.

 - Tommy Zman

 

Perdomo Fresco Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6” x 50)
Strength:  Mellow-Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

perdomo cigars guide perdomo fresco cigar review BIN

Construction: The cigar is very well made, almost over-packed. The wrapper is a mocha brown, oily and thinly veined though slightly mottled.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor: Foot: Toast, raisins, hay, and earth. Cold draw: Toast, earth, and a slight marine note.
Toasting & Light: Perfect, not too hard or easy.
Initial notes: Very sweet and toasty with a slight pepper - plus a drying sensation on the throat.
Base flavors: Powdered sugar, cedar, cream, warm spices, charred wood.
Retrohale: White pepper rush, earth, warm spice and a slight hint of nut.
Aroma: Nutty, creamy, lightly spicy and woody.
Burn / Ash Quality: Perfect, razor-sharp burn line, nicely straight. The ash a solid white and stacks nicely.
Balance of flavors: Extremely well-rounded; naturally sweet, woody, and spicy with a hearty medium-body.

Summary: Like greeting an old friend, Perdomo Fresco immediately opens up with a bro hug full of sweet and toasty flavors followed by a generous pepper in huge rips of smoke. As the smoke progresses a strong sweetness runs with cedar, earth and a slight pepper finish. Time flies while smoking a good cigar; but through the rest of the first third a heavy cream note presents itself with a smooth pepper sensation and a leathery finish.

Midway through, the sweetness is dominant and naturally strong, backed by a warm spice, slight nut, cedar, and a light white pepper and powdered sugar on the finish. A lovely combination of sweet, nutty aromas mixed with cedar and cream takes this cigar to another level. The finish is short but holds a powdered sugar sweetness.

The end can be summed up in one word: mouthwatering. A hearty, beefiness steps into play as a charred wood note with rips of cedar, cream and an underlying sweetness and warm spice take the final notes. This slow smoking, budget friendly cigar gets an A+, pair with a French roasted coffee or hearty bourbon.

 - Fred

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo fresco cigar review FL

One of the best bundles money can buy: Perdomo Fresco is a well-rounded smoke, "naturally sweet, woody, and spicy with a hearty medium-body."

 

Perdomo Fresco cigars are available in other wrapper options; also consider these: 

Perdomo Fresco Sun Grown Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown 

With a honey-gold Sun Grown wrapper, the Perdomo Fresco Sun Grown is immaculately rolled and very firm. This Fresco touted a mild cinnamon spice, contrary to the typical Nicaraguan zing they’re known for. Big notes start quick: coffee, leather, and nuts come early and hang on throughout the whole smoke. As the burn is slow, you’ll find ample time for both the body and the creaminess to build for a wholly satisfying experience. Nick knows Nicaragua, and this puro is pure flavor; pair with a spicy/sweet Rye whiskey or peated Scotch.

 

 

Perdomo Champagne 10th Anniversary Cigar Review

Size: Epicure (6” x 54)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

perdomo cigars guide perdomo champagne cigar review BIN

Draw: Excellent
Pre-Light: Semi-sweet
First Few Puffs: Woody.
Aroma: Woody-sweet.
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid, perfect, light gray.
Balance of Flavors: Really nice balance of complexity.
Base Flavors: Cocoa, wood, almonds and coffee.

Summary: You don’t find many premium sticks that sport a Connecticut wrapper and have a lot of complexity, but the Perdomo Champagne is all that and more. I hadn’t smoked one in a while, and lighting this beauty up reminded me of what a gem this cigar really is. Don’t call this one mellow yellow because it’s that Nicaraguan inner core of tobacco that ramps it up high in the flavor department. There’s a nice woodiness you’ll get in the profile along with almond notes, cocoa and wood as the flavors change and morph throughout. The Champagne always pairs wonderfully with a good cup of coffee and I always recommend it as the ultimate wedding cigar as smokers of all types can enjoy its toasty aroma and rich taste. 

 - Tommy Zman

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo champagne cigar review TZ

Tommy burns the Champagne: he calls it "the ultimate wedding cigar," as it's enjoyably flavorful for old hands, yet accessible to beginners.

 

Perdomo Champagne cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these:  

Perdomo Champagne Noir Cigar Review
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Strength: Medium-Full 

What completely changes this version of the Champagne is the triple fermented Nicaraguan Habano maduro leaf that’s aged for two full years. This produces a profile that’s wonderfully full-flavored, but not strong by any means. It’s earthy and woody with roasted coffee notes (in the aroma as well). This is going to pair nicely with good coffee, and I can see a pour of Tawny Port joining in as well.

 

Perdomo Champagne Sun Grown Cigar Review
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Hybrid
Strength: Medium to Full 

The Sun Grown has the same inner core as the Connecticut wrapped Champagne, but it’s the wrapper once again that brings it to a fuller and spicier level. It’s a rich smoke, with a woody and creamy character that is extremely well-rolled, giving off clouds of fragrant smoke. This stick is a limited seasonal release, sporting a beautiful wrapper that’s been aged for six full years. It’s creamy with a nuttiness on the palate along with coffee and cedar.

 

 

Perdomo Lot 23 Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5” x 50)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Jalapa)
Binder & Filler: Proprietary Lot 23 Criollo '98 and Corojo (Estelí)

perdomo cigars guide perdomo Lot 23 cigar review BIN

Construction: Excellent. Wrap is virtually seamless with a silky feel. Color is spot-on Colorado, entirely even in color, and no veininess.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Sweet and cedary.
Toasting & Light: Easy.
First Few Puffs: Creamy, woody, and earthy with chewy smoke.
Base flavors: Cedar, sweet spice, cashew, coffee bean.
Aroma: Honeyed.
Burn & Ash Quality: Burn is slightly roller coaster with a 2mm carbon ring. Ash is mostly grey, relatively firm, and tends to break-off in 1/2-inch nuggets.
Balance of flavors: Excellent. 

Summary: Some quick Lot 23 back story – The core tobaccos are grown on 88 acres of virgin Estelí valley farmland that Nick Perdomo Sr. discovered in 1999. The project, which commenced in 2000, was to blend a cigar with fillers all from the same plot and roll them with three different wrappers.

The smoke starts off woody, earthy and sweet. I was impressed with how much smoke this cigar put out. Very dense, too. Flavors are mostly earthy and woody with an appealing layer of sweetness. Some cashew nuttiness and coffee notes are also present. Medium in body, the smoke is very creamy, while some spice is more prevalent in the second half, and the sweetness fades in the final inches.

I was impressed by this cigar's consistency, which made it extremely enjoyable; so much so, that I left less than an inch of a nub in the ashtray. This is a good any-time-of-day smoke, too.

– Gary

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo lot 23 cigar review GK

Gary burns the Perdomo Lot 23: Perdomo fans appreciate this "any-time-of-day smoke" for its consistency, as much as its price. 

 

Perdomo Lot 23 cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these:  

Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro 

Another great example of how the wrapper affects the overall character of a cigar's blend. The Lot 23 Maduro is dark, shiny and beautifully rolled with a leathery feel. Although the pre-light flavor is similar to the Jalapa-grown wrapper blend described above, the Maduro is a bit spicier and sweeter. Overall, the well-balanced smoke is earthy, woody, and spicy with more of a light sweetness. Notes of coffee and cashew appear intermittently for an occasional change-up, but earth, wood, and spice are the main ingredients. The Lot 23 Maduro leaves plenty of room for pairing with just about any drink, too.

 

Perdomo Lot 23 Connecticut Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut 

Like its Natural Jalapa and Maduro sister blends, the construction on the Lot 23 Connecticut is top-flight and sets the stage with a woody-leathery cold draw. The most notable difference here is that the silky Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper results in a slightly lighter body and a tad more sweetness without diluting the richer Nicaraguan tobaccos at the blend's core. The smoke is well balanced with base notes of cedar, sweet spice, and a toasty-nutty component. The final inches have a tendency to get a little charry, but for the most part, the Lot 23 Connecticut is very satisfying in the morning with coffee, or at the end of the work day as a savory, decompression indulgence.

 

 

Perdomo Habano Barrel Aged Connecticut Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5” x 54)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder & Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Condega, Jalapa)

perdomo cigars guide perdomo habano barrel aged connecticut cigar review BIN

Construction: Excellent. Expertly rolled. No soft spots. Wrapper is more of an even, caramelly color; a bit darker than most Connecticut Shade. A bit blotchy in spots, but very smooth with a slightly oily feel and a well-applied cap.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Tart and leathery.
Toasting & Light: A little longer than usual, but nice and even.
First Few Puffs: Creamy and woody with some tartness, and very dense smoke.
Base flavors: Oak, tart tobacco, semi-sweet spice, dark roast coffee.
Aroma: Sharp.
Burn & Ash Quality: Excellent. The burn line is even with a thin carbon line. No issues or relights required. The ash is moderately firm and mostly grey with black striping, and a little flaky when ashed.
Balance of flavors: Very good. 

Summary: The Perdomo Habano Connecticut Robusto opens with a mostly earthy-oaky character underscored by a distinct tartness. The smoke is dense, creamy, copious, and wastes no time in letting you know this cigar is going to be full in flavor and body. Some almond-like nuttiness and sweet spice arises in the first stage. More oaky flavors enter at the halfway mark, issuing less sweetness and some chariness, while a light note of dark roast coffee occasionally enters the fray. All-in-all, the flavors are well-balanced, making this a relaxing after-dinner cigar with a cafecito, Bourbon, or a long-aged dark rum. 

FYI: Just because it has a mellower Connecticut wrapper this cigar is not to be taken lightly. The core blend is squarely in command on this journey, and as a result, the smoke may be too overpowering for newer smokers who have become accustomed to the more mellow Connecticut Shade fare. That said, there's plenty to go around for the veteran enthusiast who loves a nice Nicaraguan punch.

– Gary

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo habano barrel aged connecticut cigar review GK

The Perdomo Habano Barrel Aged Connecticut is one of those elusive full-bodied Connecticuts, as the core blend of Nicaraguan long fillers is "squarely in command."

 

Perdomo Habano Barrel Aged cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these:  

Perdomo Habano Barrel-Aged Sun Grown Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Corojo (Cuban seed) 

The Habano Barrel-Aged Corojo/Sun Grown selection offers a true, full-bodied Nicaraguan puro expertly handcrafted and rolled in a darkish Habano seed Corojo wrapper. The creamy smoke flows easily through the head, and although it's undeniably bold, it's not overpowering. The early stages offer notes of earth, leather, oak, sweet-spice, and a hint of pepper. The smoke is well-balanced throughout and flavors of dark roast coffee, cocoa, and roasted nuts may be found as the cigar progresses into the middle and latter stages. One of the best "entry-level" selections for full-bodied smokers who have not yet had their first Perdomo cigar.

 

Perdomo Habano Barrel-Aged Maduro Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro (Triple-fermented) 

One of the most impressive things about Perdomo cigars is the flavor of their Maduro wrappers. Every bit as naturally sweet as the finest Connecticut Broadleaf, the wrapper's flavor profile is likely the result of the triple fermentation process the Perdomo Habano Barrel-Aged Maduro wrapper leaves undergo. Like all of the cigars in the Perdomo Habano Barrel-Aged selection, the craftsmanship is striking and the Maduro wrappers are attractively oily and thicker than the Corojo and Connecticut. Moreover, the marriage between the capa and the Nicaraguan core blend offers a full-flavored puro brimming with well-balanced notes of leather, nuts, sweet spice, coffee and cocoa bean from top to bottom. Virtually on-par with its Corojo sister on all counts, the Maduro will appeal to smokers who want a little more sweetness from their cigar.

 

 

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown Cigar Review

Size: Epicure (6" x 56)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Cuban-seed)
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua (Esteli/Condega/Jalapa)

perdomo cigars guide perdomo 20th anniversary sun grown cigar review BIN

Construction: Nice soft press gives it a solid feel; caramel-colored wrapper has a slightly oily sheen.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor: Cherry, wood and raisin.
Toasting & Light: Citrus, light spice and nuts.
Base flavors: Coffee, nuts, pepper, tangy citrus and salt.
Retrohale: Eye-openingly intense – but sweet and floral.
Aroma: Has a great toasty bouquet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Burns well (with the occasional wave); mostly-white ash holds reasonably well.
Balance of flavors: Very well-rounded smoke. 

Summary: Nick Perdomo said the 20th Anniversary “represented the way that I saw things in terms of what we had accomplished to date, as well as where the future direction of the company was headed.” And the future looks quite tasty: on the whole, the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Sun Grown is a very meaty, very well-rounded cigar.

What I noticed most was this same tangy citrus sensation I taste when smoking anything wrapped in Nick’s sun-grown leaf…Here, that tanginess kickstarts the taste buds, then comes and goes in waves. When it eases off, up come more intense hits of earth and spice; around halfway, it adds a dash of espresso. A super-long finish leaves plenty of room for little jabs of pepper.

The 20th Anniversary Sun Grown smokes medium-plus when sampled here in Perdomo’s bulky Epicure size…but the 6 years of aging (plus an additional 14 months in bourbon barrels), makes the tobaccos smoke exceedingly smooth underneath that pop of flavor - meaning this steak has plenty of sizzle, too. If you want to cut to the chase and jump right into one of Perdomo’s more hefty blends, this is it.

 - John

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo 20th anniversary sun grown cigar review JP

John burns the 20th Anniversary Sun Grown: the Perdomo terroir - especially of his farms' soil - lends something unique to his Sun Grown wrappers.

 

Perdomo 20th Anniverary cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these:  

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut 

While Connecticuts are always a popular smoking choice, the Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut was actually the last of the three versions here to be released. It’s the same Nicaraguan core blend at work here as the above – so you’re getting one of those rarely-found full-bodied Connecticut cigars. Earth and pepper abound as this version of the 20th churns out a thick, chewy smoke. Still, it’s very balanced in strength vs. intensity of flavors – and the lighter wrapper adds a sweet hint of bread and woodiness to both flavor and aroma.

 

Perdomo 20th Anniversary Maduro Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro 

A thick, oily Maduro wrapper demands a shameless plug here for what we lovingly refer to as the Perdomo lighting method – if you want this cigar to get off to a good start and enjoy it to the nub, use this technique (with half a million views, the man clearly has something important to say). The wrapper gets Perdomo’s usual barrel aging for flavor and color, and married with the Nicaraguan tobaccos inside, brims with complexity. Expect notes of cocoa, dried fruit sweetness, exotic spice, leather and more – and plenty of oomph, too.

 

 

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Sun Grown Cigar Review

Size: Toro Especial (5 ½” x 54)
Strength:  Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder:  Nicaragua

 perdomo cigars guide perdomo small batch 2005 sun grown cigar review BIN

Construction: A little crisp feeling, very well packed but not overly so. The wrapper is a gorgeous chestnut brown with a nice oily shine and fine veins though there’s a slight crack in the wrapper by the foot.
Draw: A little tight.
Pre-light flavor: Foot: Earth, leather, figs. Cold draw: Toast, slight fruity sweetness, cedar and earth.
Toasting & Light: A little tough.
Initial notes: Very sweet and toasty, like graham crackers backed by a bready and earthy note with cedar on the finish.
Base flavors: Cedar, coffee, nuts and spice.
Retrohale: Warm spice, cedar, slight cinnamon note and honey sweetness.
Aroma: Vaguely sweet with a subtle hint of toasted wood.
Burn / Ash Quality: Canoeing slightly, the burn-line is finely thin and the ash is solid and snow-white.
Balance of flavors: Overall well-balanced, this cigar favors woody, bready, and sweet notes with a justified spice to keep pace with the body. 

Summary: Three years after its debut, and Perdomo’s Small Batch 2005 is still a mainstay in their lineup. Aged for 10 years and made in a limited quantity, this premium cigar starts with a graham cracker sweetness and woody start. The flavor needle takes a jump almost immediately as rich notes of cedar, slight citrus, and vaguely sweet bread-like notes dial in.

Over time a rich creamy, coffee note becomes prominent with a heavy cedar and slight spice on the finish. While the smoke has been consistently mellow, the body steps into medium range as a nutty note comes into play. The smoke is much more balanced and the profile is incredibly smooth. The finishing notes are incredibly woody and creamy and parts with a red pepper spice that lingers on the palate. Overall, while richly creamy with a ribbon of spice throughout, pair this classic Perdomo with a dark roasted coffee and don’t look back.

 - Fred

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo small batch 2005 sun grown cigar review FL

Each of the Perdomo Small Batch selections have their own kind of sweetness: the Connecticut's is vanilla; the Maduro has berry, while this Sun Grown has citrus.

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these: 

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Connecticut Cigar Review
Strength: Mellow
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut  

With a velvety Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and flawless construction, the Small Batch Connecticut leads the pack in creamy-smooth aromas. After a peppery start this mellow-bodied Perdomo takes a turn with a vanilla sweetness, backed with cedar and a dash of cream. The flavors only build from there as caramel, cocoa, and earth are revealed. A wholly satisfying morning cigar, pair this Perdomo classic with your morning coffee. 

 

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Maduro Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro 

A Nicaraguan puro through and through; this full-bodied smoke is a full-on treat. With the same 10-year aged blend covered in a sumptuous barrel aged Maduro wrapper, this cigar features Perdomo craftsmanship at its finest. With a perfect draw and easy light, you’ll find an early profile of cream, coffee, chocolate, nougat and warm spices. By the end, there’s an abundance of coffee, nuts, nougat, leather, and a berry sweetness. Throw down this delectable maduro any time of day, but for ultimate pairing bliss, smoke with an aged dark rum or a Manhattan cocktail.

 

 

Perdomo Special Craft Series Pilsner Cigar Review

Size: Epicure (6 ½” x 54)
Strength: Mellow
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Filler: Nicaragua (Condega)
Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)

 perdomo cigars guide perdomo craft series pilsner cigar review BIN

Construction: There’s a little give in the body, slightly spongy but not overly packed. The Connecticut wrapper is flawless, with ultra-fine veins and a velvety complexion that remind me of a freshly poured pilsner.
Draw: Very good.
Pre-light flavor: Foot: Exotic spice, cedar, earth and raisins. Cold draw: Cedar, hay, slight raisin, and mild spices.
Toasting & Light: Lit very easily.
Initial notes: Very buttery and toasty, a nice spicy and chalky aftertaste and a very slight, vague sweetness on the finish.
Base flavors: Cream, caramel, bread, cedar, pepper.
Retrohale: A very spicy nutmeg note, laden with cedar wood and a slight earthiness.
Aroma: Cedar, bread, and spices.
Burn / Ash Quality: Slightly charred burn line but mostly straight. Ash is white, partially grey mix and builds in a nice coin stack.
Balance of flavors: While sweet and mellow, the Craft leaned on spicy and woody flavors with a tannic sensation. 

Summary: Beer and cigars, what’s not to like? Perdomo launched the Craft Series to cozy up to your favorite boozy pairings, namely beer. Starring alongside this Pilsner is Stout and Amber, but let’s keep this short and sweet. After the initial notes start to settle, Pilsner holds a distinct crispness on the finish that’s both spicy and slightly tart, akin to a green apple. There’s a warm, rich spice upfront reminiscent of nutmeg as well as a creamy, caramel-like sweetness that lingers on the fringes.

Over time, a slightly malted, grainy note opens as the caramel note purrs in the background. The finish is short, lightly sweet and bready. The smoke production is generous and the aroma is filled with cedar, bread, and a peppery spice.

About midway through, a nice, hearty nutmeg has picked up as the main flavor with cedar and cream closely following. The finish still holds that crisp and lightly spicy tang. As we come towards the finish line the smoke is a more refined white pepper. Cedar and nutmeg back things up with a creamy texture, though the profile is very tannic and creates a drying sensation on the tongue. After some time, this sensation became too intense and I laid this cigar to bed.

 - Fred

 perdomo cigars guide perdomo craft series pilsner cigar review FL

If you pair your cigars with beer (or want to learn how) - Perdomo's Special Craft Series takes the guesswork out of it. Here. the match is a Pilsner (obviously)...though it's equally good with lighter ales and lagers.

 

Perdomo Special Craft Series cigars are available in two other wrapper & beer pairing options; you might also consider smoking these:  

Perdomo Craft Series Amber Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown 

Perdomo's Craft Series Amber, clad in a red-hued sun-grown wrapper, is the sequential, ‘one-up’ to the Pilsner line. The spicy Habano wrapper imparts an aromatic appeal while the early notes are laden with cedar, leather and warm spices. As the body builds, expect a light floral note with a malty sweetness and hoppy tang. As is the case with Perdomo, the construction is flawless, the ash holds strong and the flavors are out of this world.

 

Perdomo Craft Series Stout Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro 

The full-bodied ‘big brother’ of the Craft Series, Stout uses Perdomo’s famed Maduro wrapper for a hearty smoke. Aptly named, Stout delivers on stout flavors of chocolate, wood, and earth early on. As the smoke progresses notes of oak, raisin, and dark chocolate abound. The draw and construction are spot on and the smoke production, much like the Pilsner, is generous.

 

 

Perdomo Factory Tour Blend Connecticut Cigar Review

Size: Churchill (7” x 52)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (various regions)

 perdomo cigars guide perdomo factory tour blend connecticut cigar review BIN

Construction: Well packed and hefty. Wrapper is smooth with no protrusive veins, and an attractive oily sheen.
Draw: Very good.
Pre-light flavor: Tangy, like light lemon zest.
Toasting & Light: Foot takes easily to flame. I tried to light it as far from the flame as possible to prevent the wrapper from getting charred.
First Few Puffs: Still on the tangy side. Some cedary notes follow.
Base flavors: Citrus zest, cedar, sweet spice.
Aroma: Sharp and a little sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Excellent with a 2mm carbon line. Ash is almost solid grey. Firm enough to roll into a nice cone, but flakey at the edges when ashed. (Don't let it get too long.)
Balance of flavors: Excellent. 

Summary: The smoke is dense and plentiful with a very tangy flavor, like a light lemony note, to start. This is something I haven't tasted in other Perdomos. This unique tanginess also has a long hangtime that lasts right up to the cigar's midsection. The smoke is smooth, well-balanced, and medium in body. At the midpoint, the cigar opens-up revealing more spiciness. The final inches have a woodsier quality and some added spice, yet a slight undercurrent of tanginess remains in the mix.

Smoking time? We're talkin' 3 HOURS here folks—and that's with no relights, either. Based on this cigar's craftsmanship, consistent flavor, and burn time, I would recommend the Factory Tour Blend Churchill Connecticut for a round of golf, fishing or camping, among other outdoor activities, and of course, some well-deserved downtime in your favorite smoking chair. For pairing, I'd recommend any variety of coffee, a good bourbon, or dark, extra-long-aged rum.

– Gary

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo factory tour blend connecticut cigar review - GK

It used to be that you could only get this blend if you toured Perdomo's factory in Nicaragua; each of the three wrapper choices are an easy burn for beginners. Fair warning: if you opt for the Churchill, set aside plenty of time to enjoy it. Gary's lasted just north of 3 hours.

 

Perdomo Factory Tour Blend cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these: 

Perdomo Factory Tour Blend Maduro Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Maduro 

Construction-wise, the Maduro Factory Tour Blend is well-packed and capped with a dark, shimmery, Jalapa-grown wrapper. The cigar draws easily with a sweet and woody pre-light draw. There is some tanginess, but not as much as in the Connecticut version. The cigar burns well with a firmer ash, too. The base flavors consist mostly of cedar and roasted coffee with a sweet-spicy component off the wrapper. The flavors are well-balanced and medium in body. A good "first maduro" cigar for new cigar smokers.

 

Perdomo Factory Tour Blend Sun Grown Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown (Jalapa) 

Well-crafted with no soft spots below its tawny-colored wrapper. An excellent draw reveals some leather, cedar, and spice. Once lit, the smoke is well-balanced, creamy, earthy, and sweet with nutty-leathery accents and an occasional note of tanginess. The cigar burns evenly exposing a firm and mostly grey ash. Compared to the other two wrapper blends, the Factory Tour Blend Sun Grown is the ideal compromise between the Connecticut and the Maduro. Although there are plenty of other Perdomo blends that qualify as an introductory Perdomo cigar, the Factory Tour SG ranks up in the top three. New cigar smokers take note.

 

 

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Maduro Cigar Review

Size: Churchill (7" x 56)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

 perdomo cigars guide perdomo double aged 12 year vintage maduro cigar review BIN

Construction: A dark, velvety Maduro – thick, somewhat veiny and toothy leaf.
Draw: Decent amount of resistance.
Pre-light flavor: Damp earth, sweet tobacco and coffee; Give it a whiff and you’ll probably sense well-fermented tobacco, chocolate sweetness and citrus.
Toasting & Light: Coffee, LOTS of wood, some pepper and cream.
Base flavors: Charred sweetness of the bourbon barrel is evident; some spice on the tip of the tongue, black coffee and nuts.
Retrohale: Earth and spice.
Aroma: Warm and sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Ash is mostly white, mostly tight – stacks pretty neatly, but a bit of flake now and again. Thin, tight burn line that occasionally gets wavy.
Balance of flavors: Nice amount of complexity, good strength vs. flavor balance. 

Summary: Here’s Perdomo’s technique to make this cigar “double aged”: start with choice tobaccos that were baled and left to rest about a decade…then, they’re moved to barrels that held bourbon in their previous life, tucked away inside that charred white oak for another two years. The result is a subtle infusion of the flavors from the bourbon-making process, along with solid Nicaraguan texture and flavor.

As for the tasting notes, everything you need to know is right on the band: “a smooth smoke with a natural sweet complexity, hints of dark cocoa and coffee, with a rich, robust finish."... 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo double aged 12 year vintage maduro cigar review - John Pullo

Having the tasting notes listed on the band gives you a basic expectation of the Double Aged Maduro's flavors. Where the tobaccos are grown, and their flavor profiles ("aromatic", "sweet", etc.), is listed on the other side.

Well that makes my job easier… 

At 7” x 56 this Double Aged Maduro Churchill is a warhorse, and it’s generous with smoke from the start; just sitting in the ashtray, smoke pours off the foot. It’s a rich-tasting cigar, pretty strong, too - with flavors that are huge on dark coffee, pepper and the essences that linger from the time the tobacco spent in the wood barrels.

As for the flavors mentioned on the band…I’m picking up roasted coffee, charred wood and toasted nuts, along with some subtle herbs and vegetal qualities. The Double Aged eventually takes a little turn to the sweet side, too – so I’m kind of close. As this slow burner draws to a close, it unloads a big helping of spice before it finishes creamy and FULL – you’re going to feel this one in your gut.

 - John

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo double aged 12 year vintage maduro cigar review - John Pullo 2

 

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these: 

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Connecticut Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut 

With smooth and crisp flavors, I’ve seen a few places where this has been compared to the Champagne…it’s just that the Double Aged Connecticut is more intense and flavorful. Again, Perdomo gives you a snapshot on the band of what flavors to expect: “Creamy complexity, slight hints of caramel, nuts and cedar, with a rich, buttery finish.” And it checks many of those boxes, with notes of red pepper, cedar and caramel (“slight” being pretty accurate) – and all very creamy. Calling it full-bodied is probably an overstatement here, but the intensity of flavors is more potent than the actual strength of the cigar – so smoke it anytime. A tasty, slow burn that’s exceptionally well-liked by Famous customers, who have rated it a 98.

 

Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sun Grown Cigar Review
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Sun Grown) 

Let’s go right to the cheat-sheet on the Perdomo Double Aged Sun Grown band: “Smooth smoke with a spicy-sweet complexity, slight hints of oak and almond, with a long warming finish.” Pretty accurate by most accounts, with tastes of molasses, spice, nuts, hay and leather coming your way at different points. Very complex - though probably more medium-plus in body/strength, with a woody aroma. And that’s really Perdomo’s goal of putting that much age on the tobaccos: ditching the power-smoke profile to create a cigar that’s a smooth and refined reward. I’d say try the Double Aged Sun Grown at least once, to see if you can sense it.

 

 

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Connecticut Cigar Review

Size: Imperio (6” x 54)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut 
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

 perdomo cigars guide perdomo estate seleccion vintage connecticut cigar review BIN

Draw: Excellent like all Perdomos.
Pre-Light: Light and woody.
First Few Puffs: Toasty.
Aroma: Cedary.
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid all the way through.
Balance of Flavors: Simple but nice.
Base Flavors: Wood, caramel, spice. 

Summary: The seamless, golden Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper on the Estate Seleccion Vintage is simply beautiful, a silky looking leaf that gives off a sumptuous toasty aroma upon lighting. I’d say it’s mellow to medium, but leaning more towards the medium side because of its bolder Nicaraguan core that makes it full in flavor. It’s an incredibly creamy and decadent smoke. While I enjoyed the hell out of it on a mid-afternoon car ride, I think this one has enough rich flavor where you can enjoy it anytime. I picked up a colleague wondering if he’d complain, but to my surprise he actually said, “Damn, your car smells good… got another one, Zman?” Winning.

 - Tommy Zman

 

perdomo cigars guide perdomo estate seleccion vintage connecticut cigar review TZ

 With the Estate Seleccion Vintage, we're approaching Perdomo's top shelf; this Connecticut makes for a good "special occasion smoke" option. 

 

 

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these: 

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Maduro Cigar Review
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Strength: Full 

It’s truly amazing how the wrapper changes the strength and flavor profile of a cigar, and the Nicaraguan Habano leaf that covers this sumptuous stick ratchets it up to full and decadent. There’s a nice spicy earthiness upon lighting, but it quickly settles down and smooths out with notes of wood, black coffee, and really-dark chocolate. Pair this up with a full-bodied red wine with rich berry flavors and you’re not gonna want to move from your spot for quite some time.

 

Perdomo Estate Seleccion Vintage Sun Grown Cigar Review
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Strength: Medium 

This medium bodied Sun Grown version of the Estate Seleccion has a wonderful natural sweetness with distinct notes of coffee bean, a hint of caramel and an oak-like woodiness. That oily Sun Grown wrapper is silky and so inviting, and when mixed with the Nicaraguan filler it produces one hell of a complex flavor explosion. This stick is meant to be paired with a good whiskey… or three.

 

 

Olor Nicaragua Connecticut by Perdomo Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5" x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua

 perdomo cigars guide Olor nicaragua connecticut by perdomo cigar review BIN

Construction: Has a solid, firm feel; clean cap on a honey colored wrapper leaf.
Draw: Good amount of resistance, which I like.
Pre-light flavor: Coffee, wood, dry earth.
Toasting & Light: Woody/nutty.
Base flavors: Nuts, coffee with cream, cereal, spice.
Retrohale: Wood, earth and a bit of spice.
Aroma: Warm and subtly sweet, with a whiff of hay.
Burn & Ash Quality: Mostly grey ash, with a generally even burn.
Balance of flavors: Great balance between the dry and sweet flavors; consistent, too. 

Summary: Exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop, Perdomo has expanded the Olor line and given it a Nicaraguan twist. And one more thing…even though this is a Connecticut cigar, it’s not one bit bitter – none of that “dry grass” taste you might expect from some with this wrapper.

The woody prelight sticks around as you get into the first few puffs, which quickly add some tasty Nicaraguan subtleties like nuts, and coffee with cream. This smoke falls more on the mellow side, so it’s not long before you’re treated to some sweetness that’s a lot like tasting a pear. Along come some dry and toasty flavors (think cereal), as well as a little dash of fresh, clean spice. But it doesn’t burn – it’s almost tasting to me like an herbal or white tea. The smoke is cool and slightly sweet, almost creamy.

Ample smoke output from start to finish – no relights are needed. You might need to tap and shape the ash every once in a while, but the burn is consistent, and the ash doesn’t leave a mess behind.

All in all, a good, slow-burning cigar, and an awesome intro to Perdomo if you’re closely minding your cigar budget…and if you’re into that sort of thing, this Olor Nicaragua Connecticut is a great candidate for a morning smoke that actually shows off some appreciable body.

 - John

 

perdomo cigars guide Olor nicaragua connecticut by perdomo cigar review JP

 Proof that a 93-rated Perdomo won't break the bank: any of these Olor Nicaragua blends are "an awesome intro to Perdomo if you’re closely minding your cigar budget."

 

Olor Nicaragua by Perdomo cigars are available in two other wrapper options; you might also consider smoking these: 

Olor Nicaragua Sun Grown by Perdomo Cigar Review
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-grown Hybrid 

The original Olor was a pre-Boom classic, launched in 1988; Perdomo gives it the Nicaraguan puro update, using his special wrapper that’s become a favorite (see 20th Anniversary Sun Grown, above). Smoke it and you’ll likely detect tastes of earth, wood and sweet natural tobacco. Again, we’re in bargain cigar territory here – so while the complexity may not be as pronounced as the other cigars on Perdomo’s top shelf, the expectation of Olor Nicaragua Sun Grown is that it’s best enjoyed as an everyday burn with flavor that outpaces its price.

 

Olor Nicaragua Maduro by Perdomo Cigar Review
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro 

The same Olor blend of all-Nicaraguan tobaccos, now treated to a Cuban-seed Habano wrapper. The blend runs in the territory of medium body with notes of wood and spice; the addition of the triple-fermented Maduro wrapper (also a barrel-aged leaf) means this cigar develops a slightly sweet and creamy undertone. Maintains the Olor promise of tasty yet affordable: actually, this would be a good candidate if you’ve never smoked a Maduro before, and wanted to see if your taste buds were up to it. Try for yourself and see.