Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cain Habano Torpedo

The Cain is a new cigar for the year by Sam Leccia (maker of the Nub)/Oliva cigars. This cigar is supposedly a strait Ligero cigar, Ligero being the strongest/most full flavored of the different grades of leaf. Now, when I first heard this, i figured this would be unsmokable and way too powerful to even enjoy. The way they were able to make a strait ligero cigar was by triple fermenting the leaf. I copied this next paragraph from the Cain website to helps explain this process:

"Fermentation is where the real magic occurs. After curing, the tobacco leaves have all their potential locked inside. It is through patient and vigilant handling that the leaves are brought to the desired result. The tobacco leaves are placed into groups of 20-25 leaves called "Manos". The "Manos" are then stacked in large piles called, "Pilones". Inside these "Pilones" the tobacco can reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees. The inner most tobacco generates the most heat. The "Pilon" is rotated often to allow for even heat exposure. No automation is used in this critical process. It is the work a tobacco man and his instincts. Triple Fermentation is a process by which we bring the tobacco up to temperature three seperate times. This was imperative in making Cain because of the mission to make a Straight Ligero cigar. The Ligero tobacco can take sustained temperature as a result of its thicker character. Through this careful process we brought out all of the deepest richest flavors of the Ligeros. This also allowed us to smooth the jagged delivery of flavor into a very full body yet smooth curve."

As to the blend of this cigar, it has 3 types of Nicaraguan Ligero leaf (Ligero comes from the top leaves of the tobacco plant and receives more sunlight, which darkens and thickens the leaf). The first is Esteli Ligero, which is the strongest of all Ligeros. The second is Condega Ligero, grown north of Esteli Nicaragua and is supposed to be a little tamer and add a rich complexity. The third and final ligero is Jalapa and is grown in the northern most part of Nicaragua in a valley, so it receives less sunlight than the other 2. This ligero is supposed to be the smoothest with a very complex array of flavors. (after doing a little research, i found that this is technically not a 100% ligero cigar, but more like 82% because a strait ligero cigar would have major issues burning correctly)

I am reviewing the Habano (they also make a maduro) in the torpedo size, measuring in at 6x54. The construction on this cigar looks fantastic, with a nice toothy and oily Habano wrapper. This is a very solid cigar, just loaded with very rich smelling tobacco. I am expecting a very full bodied cigar, but am hoping, especially with Oliva behind this one, that it will not just be a one trick pony. A lot of these very full bodied cigars suffer from just being strong with no complexity or enjoyable flavors.

The prelight draw shows an earthy, leathery flavor, with no apparent spice. This lack of spice certainly isn't the case once you light it! Right away you get a very earthy, rustic flavor with plenty of spice to back it up. This has a deep, dark flavor, but is surprisingly very smooth to start. So far this is an enjoyable cigar, definitely full bodied but not overwhelmingly so. The smoke is so thick its as if you could almost chew it. The burn and draw are pretty much perfect at this point. I have a feeling that the strength of this is going to sneak up on me and smack me over the head...

After getting into this cigar a little further, a slightly sweet characteristic joins the flavor profile, as well as something similar to black cherry. It may just be that this cigar is a little youthful, but there is just a touch of roughness from it on the back of my throat. After about 2 inches, I am definitely starting to feel the strength of this cigar. While it is still smooth and tasty, It has me just a little jittery. This is not for the faint of heart. I am used to smoking full bodied cigars, but for someone who isn't, this would be a bit overwhelming.

Overall, the Cain Habano is a tasty cigar, but not an everyday smoke. All that ligero makes for one powerful cigar! This is not a cigar to have while doing anything other than sitting back and enjoying it after a big meal. If you are a fan of powerful cigars, but still want a heavy dose of flavor to go along with it (and dont mind losing control of minor motor skills while smoking it) than this is definitely one to try. This isn't the most complex cigar on the market, but doesn't suffer from all power and no flavor like some out there do. I don't know yet if this will become a regular in my rotation, but I will probably keep a couple on hand for when I feel like getting my ass handed to me by a cigar. (I have smoked 2 of these so far, the first being the one i reviewed. The 2nd Habano I smoked had a little less power and was a more enjoyable cigar. This shows a little inconsistency with this line, but I think it could be due to them pushing them out of the factory early and just needing some more time to rest)

As a side note, if the Cain isn't powerful enough for you (if its not, you have some serious issues) they make another called the Cain F, which stands for Fuerte. (strong in Spanish) This is the Cain on steroids and I definitely do not recommend it if you aren't a seasoned cigar smoker who enjoys full bodied cigars. They are VERY powerful.


Matt said...

So would you say this is box worthy? I am considering a purchase here soon. I think I have it narrowed down to a box of Oliva V belis or a box of the Cain Habanos. I am waiting until I smoke and review my Cain Habano before I make my final decision. Since you have had both, which would you buy?

Ben said...

Oliva V all the way. The Habano was ok, but the 2 i had were two very different smokes, so there seems to be some inconsistency with them. Ive smoked a ton of the V, including a box of the beli and loved every one of them. Im smoking the Maduro right now and will have the review posted at some point. (heads up on the maduro, it isnt getting a great review from me, hahaha)

CigarMan1911 said...

I had a Cain Habano Saturday morning at an Oliva event in NH. This cigar is not a morning cigar, it left me wishing I had eaten breakfast. The construction, light and burn were very good. I was impressed with the flavor also. It’s not as full bodied as I thought it was going to be. The Series V is a more full bodied smoke. Leaving the shop, I grabbed a box.