Cigar Panel Review - Perdomo Small Batch Cigar
Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Sun Grown Belicoso
In the wine world, vino-philes scour the shelves for the bottle that’s been aged “just right;” for this particular harvest of Nicaraguan leaf by Perdomo, 10 years seems to be the magic number. It's a puro blend - meaning a single country of origin - and includes a mix of smaller, rarer filler leaves that have been well-rested and aged a decade, then wrapped in a heartier sun-grown wrapper that spent its time finishing in bourbon barrels. Sound savory? That's what Perdomo is going for with this one: a smooth smoke with a spicy‐sweet complexity, slight hints of oak and almond, with a rich, satisfying finish, per the press release we read before our Perdomo Small Batch cigar review. Two things count as the grounds for this cigar claiming "small batch" status - the availability of these particular leaves, and the fact that Perdomo Small Batch cigars are being limited to releases of 3,000 boxes per size, per wrapper (an Ecuador Connecticut edition and a Maduro are also available).
So it's time to put this one to the test in our Perdomo Small Batch cigar review...What did we learn? Well, there are certain, unique characteristics that shine through in Perdomo cigars; they're again evident here. And if Nick was going for complexity over consistency, mission accomplished. There’s a lot more – watch as the Advisors smoke their way through this Perdomo cigar review, and get all the info on the Small Batch Sun Grown Belicoso in our tasting notes below!
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5" x 54 Figurado
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown (aged 10 yrs.)
Filler: Nicaragua (aged 10 yrs.)
Binder: Nicaragua (aged 10 yrs.)
Perdomo Small Batch Cigar Review - The Tasting Notes
Construction: Both of the sticks I smoked for our Perdomo Small Batch cigar review were nothing short of spectacular, which is what we have come to expect from Perdomo throughout all his lines. The wrapper is silky smooth, with a beautiful coloring and firmly attached cap. No creases, bumps, soft spots, or any other defects one might find.
Draw: A little loose for my liking to be honest. It feels a little airy.
Base flavors: A sweet woodiness very reminiscent of cedar mixed in with a rather pronounced peppery spice, and a sweet fruity flavor that can be described as a milder fig. In this cigar is also a roasted nut flavor for a warming sensation. The aftertaste is great as well. Very sweet and woody.
Aroma: Sweet with a slight ashy quality. It’s like driving through a neighborhood and being hit with the smell of someone having a bonfire in their backyard, only a tad sweeter.
Burn/Ash: Great burn throughout.
Balance of Flavor: The pepper spice is slightly overpowering at first which distracts from the complexity of the other base flavors, and may be eliminating complex hidden flavors. But once you get about an inch in, it balances out.
Consistency: Consistent from one cigar to the next.
I think this Small Batch is a really interesting cigar from Perdomo. I’m used to very hard hitting ultra-complex cigars from them, but this is tamer while still being very bold. This isn’t a very complex cigar, but what it lacks in intense complexity, it makes up for in sheer flavor. But just like all Perdomo cigars, it starts off with a bang of flavors that last from start to finish.
Positives: Great flavor and construction. Nearly everything is perfect with this cigar.
Negatives: There was one spot that burned rather fast on me causing a bitter flavor. But this self-corrected and balanced out.
Construction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. No protruding veins. Wrapper is even in color.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Leathery.
Toasting & Light: Excellent. Some stubborn ligero adds a little time to getting it started, but otherwise, a clean light.
First few puffs: Notes of sweet wood and roasted nuts.
Retrohale: Smooth and surprisingly sweet with no pepper or harshness.
Base flavors: Sweet wood and nuts.
Aroma: Sharp and woody.
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent. No burn issues with a very firm grey-white ash.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.
Very smooth and creamy with a medium body and lots of cedar and nutty flavors in the mix. Balance of flavors is spot-on. Mostly notes of oak and cedar with a dash of spice on the finish.
The woody-nutty flavors came further into focus, and the body moved more toward the full side of the spectrum. This is where the flavors really opened-up. Woody flavors became more dominant, too. Smoke is thick and creamy.
The Perdomo Small Batch was running full-bore at this point. All of the flavors converging at the center for a perfectly-balanced mix of earth, spice, sweet tobacco, cedar, oak, and roasted nuts. What’s also impressive is that the smoke doesn’t turn bitter in the last couple of inches. I would attribute this to the 10-year age of the tobaccos, as well as the spot-on balance of flavors.
Another “must-smoke” from Perdomo aimed at cigar smokers who want a well-balanced Nicaraguan puro that’s loaded with flavor from end-to-end. Medium-full in body with layers of earth, wood, spice, and nuts; no burn issues, tight ash, the whole nine yards. I would also recommend this Small Batch cigar to newer cigar smokers who haven’t yet smoked an all Nicaraguan-leaf blend; this is how a REAL Nicaraguan cigar is supposed to taste.
Construction and Overall Appearance: Each of the cigars I smoked for this Perdomo Small Batch cigar review were firm in hand, each with a few pronounced veins typical of a good looking sun grown wrapper. It’s well packed at the foot, but some who are used to smoking torpedo cigars might be (pleasantly) surprised that this is a little on the smaller than an average side at 5”. Overall, great construction, fit and finish.
Draw: This Perdomo does have a bit of a tight draw – but this is a perfecto, remember that it’s meant to be savored a little more slowly and with more shallow puffs. Don’t hit it too hard or you’ll ruin the experience.
Pre-light flavor: Initial flavors before firing this Perdomo are malt and tea, with a nice barnyard aroma. The sensation of aging is very evident.
Toasting & Light: The Small Batch 2005 Sun Grown made for an easy light, though clad in this thicker sun grown wrapper it takes an extra pass to get fired up.
Base flavors: At the open, it’s not as citrusy as other Perdomo sun grown wrapper cigars I’ve had; the flavors are darker, very creamy and even a bit floral. There’s a definite element of sweetness throughout the smoke, with only the slightest bit of pepper; it’s not a thick sweet, like caramel or honey – it’s thinner. Earthy, too.
Aroma: The aroma had a smooth, pleasant character and a great room note. Even in a room full of the 4 of us smoking this stick for our Perdomo Small Batch 2005 cigar review, no one had a beef with this one.
Burn / Ash Quality: This Perdomo had a solid burn line throughout – you’ll get that too, if you take your time. The ash held on for quite a while, no flaking whatsoever.
Balance of flavors: The tanginess, even in a more muted form, made itself known right from the start; charred wood makes an appearance, as well as some serious pepper that drops in after about an inch. Then the wood flavors start rolling in: oak and cedar. Especially the cedar, which stays with you on a really long finish. The pepper likes to drop in and out, but remains a component throughout. Sometimes it’s just tap-tap-tapping on your shoulder to remind you it’s there, other times it’s grabbing you by the collar.
Consistency: I’d call this more complex than consistent – a decent number of flavors coming and going here, with some ups and downs in body and flavor: fuller, then thinner; fuller, then thinner. Some nuts and wood. Then earth, pepper, lightly creamed coffee, even a taste that reminded me of bread. A+ for the consistently tangy sensation all the way through. And then…halfway through, a big shift. The flavors got much darker, heartier and intense. This Perdomo Small Batch 2005 hits with big sensations of roasted coffee and leather, then immediately pulls its foot off the pedal. Very surprising, but very enjoyable.
Being a sun grown wrapper, it seems this Perdomo Small Batch 2005 splits the middle between the Connecticut and Maduro selections – so think about using this cigar as your top-dead-center gauge in terms of strength and intensity. All in all, I’d call this a very satisfying smoke, and here’s why…Sometimes you prefer to smoke a complex cigar, because you like the surprises it can offer; sometimes, however, you prefer a consistent cigar because you get a whole lot of a certain group of flavors you enjoy for the duration. In my experience, every cigar I smoked for this Perdomo Small Batch cigar review leaned a little more in the complex direction, with the flavors popping in and out like they do – and especially because of the big shift I noticed in each sample at around the halfway mark.
Couple that with a nice thick and creamy smoke all throughout with just a little bite to it, and a long, cedary finish – as a medium bodied cigar, it was one that’s best enjoyed slowly to maximize those flavors. As I said before, take your time and don’t over-smoke, especially at the end – it gets very savory.
Construction and Overall Appearance: Smooth
Base flavors: Cedar, citrus, pepper, almonds
Aroma: Sweet charred wood
Burn / Ash Quality: Solid burn and ash
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Nick Perdomo doesn’t know how to make a bad cigar. So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about his Small Batch 2005 Sun Grown. Spoiler Alert: The man has done it again.
My awaiting taste buds received an immediate wallop of cedar, a sweet and tasty woodiness that actually clung to my palate through about half the time I smoked it. For me, it wasn’t just a woodiness but that distinct flavor you get when you open a fresh, empty humidor while sticking your nose in for a deep and fragrant whiff. I definitely got hits of citrus as well with an interesting mix of spicy pepper in the beginning. Somebody then mentioned almonds and I remembered that Amaretto liquor is almond based and yeah, that made its way in there as well.
The aroma is equally distinct, much like a sweet charred wood and the draw is just perfect, just as you would expect from a stick created at Tabacalera Perdomo. About half way through the cigar actually begins to ramp up a bit, going from medium bodied to medium/full.
I’ll close by saying that this is not the kind of cigar you stick in your face just for the sake of smoking a cigar. There’s just so much flavor and complexity that you really want to sit back and spend time enjoying all the nuances it has to offer. While many Nicaraguan smokes can be balls to the wall flavor bombs, this Nick stick dances on the palate with the finesse of a prize fighter who surprises you with his best and tastiest shots. I really do enjoy the hell out of this cigar and if you want to experience flavor personified, the Small Batch 2005 Sun Grown will put a smile on your smoky face.