Belinda Belvederes \'00

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I must admit that I hadn't really heard of this marca until I received one from a brother on another forum. A small (4 15/16 x 39) cello wrapped cigar with a tapered cap and closed foot. Confirmed by some quick research I assumed these might be machine made, but construction appeared good despite looking a little rough. Removing the cigar from its cello I could smell earthy tobacco mixed with a grassy aroma. Draw was a little loose even though I cut a very small amount of the cap. I could tell that this cigar would need to be smoked slowly & tried to concentrate on taking small 'sips' of smoke after putting light to it.


Initial puffs were sweet & grassy, and exhaling through the nose highlighted the sweetness. At this stage all flavors were extremely mild & the draw become firmer compared to pre-light. I was glad to be drinking water as anything else would have overpowered it. Ash was mottled charcoal gray & a light tap at the 1/2" point revealed a glowing cone. The flavor began to develop & the fresh grass took a back seat to earthy Cuban tobacco with a little spice on the tongue. I was happy to see this change in substance & bump up into the med category. Earthy flavors were well balanced by the sweet undertone & exhale through the nose was very smooth.


Just after passing the first 3rd I started to notice a light woody/cedar note on the exhale & this built until it was the dominant flavor. Flakey ash continued to hold to around 3/4" & the burn was generally pretty even. I usually keep the head of my cigars as dry as possible, but despite my efforts, it softened considerably & pieces of short filler started to come loose. Nothing too bad, but it was a little distracting. Entering the last 3rd I was reminded of the Quintero Londres Extras I smoked during the summer, but maybe it was just me searching for similar experiences. With just over 3/4" left the smoke started to warm up & I put it down. Nearly an hour smoking time in the end.


Overall, this little cigar was quite enjoyable. Construction quality was a little below what I have experienced with other (more recent) budget-priced Habanos, but the last two thirds produced some very good flavor. I would smoke these again & give a rating of 4.75/6

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