Pre-light flavor: Leathery
Toasting & Light: Toasted evenly across. Ligero needed a little more time. The first puff were very creamy, earthy, and produced so much thick smoke, it went right up my nose revealing plenty of spice.
Base flavors: Sweet tobacco, loam, and subtle spicy notes
Retrohale: Robust, peppery spice with a long finish. (The pepper really hangs in there.)
Aroma: Strong with a sweet and spicy nose
Burn / Ash Quality: Good clean burn with a semi-firm, grey marbled ash.
Balance of flavors: Excellent
Consistency: Excellent. Very little change until the very end.
General Observations: In addition to the wonderful flavor of this cigar, the aroma really stood out. Every puff surrounded me in a cloud of aromatic smoke. From the start the flavors were well-balanced and creamy. As the cigar smoked on, the dominant flavors were that of sweet wood and light spices. These flavors built considerably as the cigar smoked on. In the last couple of inches, the smoke had increased in spiciness and strength with only a modicum of sweetness. I smoked it down to literally the last inch (I actually have a ruler I keep on-hand to measure these things. Go figure.)
Summary: I think my nose got as much smoke during this cigar as my mouth. It seemed as if the smoke was purposely seeking out my nostrils. Much like the CLE Corojo I reviewed several weeks ago, this was an excellent, and very flavorful smoke. Though it’s listed as “medium,” I’d have to poise it more on the full end of medium. I remember the Corojo coming-off as a little more complex, but the Cuarenta has a lot going for it. For cigar smokers who love full-flavor and spice, the CLE Cuarenta makes an excellent afternoon or after dinner cigar.
? = Fair to Middling
?? = Good
??? = Very impressive
???? = Excellent
????? = Spectacular!