It's ON then. Palates engaged!
- Tres Carabelas 1844
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Binder/Filler: Dominican/Dominican
- Size: 5.25'' x 52 mm
- Strength: Full body/Full Flavor
- Wrapper : Havano Oscuro Vuelta Arriba
- Shape: Robusto
- Flavors: Deep dark chocolate, roasted coffee, light white pepper, sweet aromas.
May 30th, 2015, 10:57 P.M., Bed-Vine Cocktail, Brooklyn, NY.
First things first; a little disclaimer. I personally know Hugo F. Melo, CEO of Compania Dominicana de Tabacos, parent company of Hispaniola Cigars. I've even worked with him on some projects, and have been extremely impressed with their work, therefore I've decided to offer them my first official review on Cigar Inked.
The Tres Carabelas 1844 is a beautiful, dark, Dominican robusto, dressed in a soft, slightly oily and shiny looking wrapper. To the touch, however, the cigar is firm, obviously packed with a good amount of tobacco. There was no skimp in the making.
With all that said, I took my paid-for, Cigar Aficionado rated (90 points in 2012), Tres Carabelas 1844 cigar, gave it a straight cut, and lit it's foot on fire.
Like a virgin, just for the very first time, that cigar opened up my senses and screamed to me, with its spicy notes of pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, followed by a hint of the dark cocoa flavor that was sure to come.
The draw itself was easy. It immediately filled my mouth with smoke, as if warning me that I should take it slow with it. To let it rest from time to time. This was a cigar to sit down with, study, have a conversation with. It called for intimacy. This was no dog walker. This is not the stogie you take with you to the golf course. The Tres Carabelas 1844 demanded a damn date (that son-of-a-bitch!). Is a good thing that I had set the time aside for it, on this gorgeous Saturday night. As the Spring welcomed the Summer in this cozy, Brooklyn bar's patio, I ordered a Manhattan to pair my stogie with, and of course, to make Brooklyn a little jealous.
Enter the dragon...
Now, I am not one known to smoke dry. For the most part, even a cup of espresso would serve to keep my throat from calling it quits. The Tres Carabelas held its own against the Manhattan. In fact, as the drink cleaned my palate and I reached the end of the first third of the cigar, I began to get notes of charred espresso, leather, and that cocoa I had mentioned before. The stogie had started with medium strength, and full flavors were felt on the tongue. But now, I started to see a complexity in this cigar that is hard to find in the market today. This is where the master blender, Hugo Melo, really excels. This cigar was evolving... It never lost any flavor, it simply added new ones.
Once I got past the half point mark, and entered the last third of the Tres Carabelas, the spicy notes gave way to salty caramel. It tasted like one of those sea salt caramel chocolates you find out there, except this one came full of smoke, and with a hard ass kick to the nuts. Yes, it was nutty too. It actually mellowed me down. It's full bodied strength sneaked up on me. I should've had a steak for dinner, I told myself.
In the end, I didn't want to let it go. I fought with it to the very end. I got a little self conscious that people where looking at me, while I was holding half an inch of a cigar left between my thumb and index finger.
The Tres Carabelas is a winner in my book (blog). I give it a 4.3 out of 5. I highly recommend it.
I think even Questlove was pleased with it.
Please leave me your comments and let me know what your thoughts are on this review, and if you've had smoked this cigar, please feel free to share your experience with it.
More background info on the the brand:
For over four generations, Hugo's family has been one of the largest producers of fine organic coffee and aged tobacco in the Dominican Republic, focusing in exportation of coffee as well as supplying some of the largest fine cigar distributors and importers in the Dominican Republic with aged cured tobacco. In 2002 following the ambitious entrepreneurial drive and knowledge of both coffee and tobacco growing, Hugo, a fourth generation tobacco and coffee master blender decided it was the right time to venture into the cigar export market, launching the Hispaniola Brand, and introducing it to a very selective market segment. The launch served as a springboard for other cigars within the distinctive Hispaniola portfolio.