A few weeks ago, I ran into a few photos of a cigar brand I hadn’t seen before: Campesino cigars. I got in touch with Luis Arguelles, the Sales Director for the brand and he was kind enough to send some samples for me to review. As a bit of background, Campesino cigars are produced by Tabaqueria 1844, a boutique cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. Although Campesino isn’t the only brand produced at the factory, it arguably is the most well-known. The name is a nod to the Dominican Republic’s tobacco farmers (“Campesino” translated as “Farmer”).
The Campesino Reserva Del Padre (“Father’s Reserve”) is the first of a few Campesino cigars that we’ll review. With that out of the way, let’s get on to the review (our final of 2018!).
- Cigar Reviewed: Campesino Reserva Del Padre
- Wrapper: HVA 2013
- Binder: Criollo 98
- Filler: Habano 2020 viso, Criollo 98 viso, Habano 2020 medio tiempo, Criollo 98 ligero
- Size: 5 1/2 x 54
Appearance & Construction
The Campesino Reserva Del Padre has an elegant look, with a slate gray and silver band that features raised silver lettering. On closer inspection, the paper also appears to be nicely textured. I’d guess this is not a cheap band to produce. The outer wrapper itself is a marbled brown color, with some significant veins running the length of the cigar.
Taking a whiff off of the foot of the cigar, I pick up a unique sweet barnyard note, some hay, baking spices, and a bit of sweet cocoa. After cutting with a straight cut, I test the draw, which is a bit loose for my liking (abut a 5/10 in terms of amount of restrictiveness). The cold draw is a mix of pleasant spices, raisins, and granola.
Flavor & Smoke Characteristics
The Campesino Reserva Del Padre opens with excellent smoke production and an interesting combination of flavors and aromas. The texture of the smoke is smooth but toasty, and flavors initially lean toward the bitter end of the spectrum. Five or ten puffs in, though, the profile opens up and becomes more complex, with a balance of baking spices, savory spices, toasted bread, and cedar. Body at this point (about a quarter inch in) is mild with strength sitting a bit above. The retrohale is nicely matched with the palate and aromas, with some spice and dusty wood.
Overall, my first impression is that the profile leans toward bitterness, with slight savory touches. My sense is that this cigar produces more of an elegant, old world tasting experience (i.e. mild flavor-wise, with less reliance on sweetness or spice than many popular cigars these days).
At an inch in, the Campesino Reserva Del Padre is mostly the same, though there are two new flavors added to the mix: a bit of tangy citrus, and light leather. The ash at this point is holding strong, though I do notice that the filler tobacco doesn’t want to stay lit as long as the wrapper and binder, causing me to have to choose between smoking the cigar faster than normal or relighting the cigar.
By the second third, the strength of the Reserva Del Padre is inching up past mild and toward the lower end of medium. The palate and aromas are still nicely balance, with notes of bitter wood, baking spices, leather strips, and touches of sweet cream that offer a nice balance to the more bitter elements of the smoke. The burn wavers a bit more in the second third, needing one or two touch ups to keep the cigar from canoeing. At this point, I’d like the cream to be a bit more evident, as the bitterness can at times be overly astringent.
The final third of the Reserva Del Padre continues the themes developed in the first two thirds. Unfortunately, the heat of the smoke begins to increase fairly quickly, degrading an otherwise enjoyable experience. I make it to about the final inch before I’m forced to put the cigar down.
The Campesino Reserva Del Padre has a lot going for it. At its best, it presents an elegant set of old world flavors that are gentle but very discernible. Unfortunately, the bitter elements of the profile dominate the experience for much of the smoking experience, making the more enjoyable flavors difficult to sense. Still, I very much enjoyed the cigar and am looking forward to smoking more of what Campesino has to offer.
If you’re looking to see what boutique manufacturers in the DR are up to, Campesino is a good place to start.