Posted by Jack | in Rodrigo Cigars | on 07 Nov 2013 | at 1:10 PM | 2289 views
Emilio Cigars sent me a rather massive care package late last month.  Man, there are some killer cigars in their catalog.  They are so well rounded that if other cigar companies aren't taking notice, they should.  Gary Griffith has amassed a fine range of some of the best quality cigars anywhere under his umbrella and they are gaining popularity thanks to loyal fans across the country.  I, myself, am a huge fan.  Yesterday during Wharf Wednesday, I smoked a Rodrigo Boutique Blend that just blew my socks off.  So, for today, until I get the review if that tremendous stogie up, I decided to reach for the other Rodrigo product in the stack, the La Fortaleza.  So, enough introduction....
Construction: Beautiful is the name of the game with this cigar.  It is slender and elegant in appearance....like a mix between a lonsdale and a lancero with a little bit more girth.  The wrapper leaf is chocolate brown with a red tint and almost no veins.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: There is a very mild musty leather aroma coming from this slender beauty.  The draw is simply perfect.  The burn is perfect from start to finish as well.  I did have a very slight run in one spot but the blessed thing corrected itself - now that is craftsmanship!
Light and Burn: Thanks to the draw and smaller ring gauge, the light is easy as can be.
Tasting: Starting off we get a nice blast of cocoa and some soft minerals.  The first third shows a nice subtle pepper with a hefty core of cocoa and earth.  I am getting some very nice cinnamon and mineral flavors.  The mineral flavors are something I have started to notice recently.  Not sure if my palate just warmed up to them but all of the sudden a light bulb went off.  In the past, I had attributed the mineral flavors to a glass of cold tap water.  Now, I am recognizing some stone-like flavors in the mix.  When mixed with an earthy profile it really stands out.
The second third shows some added black pepper while hitting me with some terrific sweet, woody, roasted characters that make those earth and mineral flavors really stand out.  The strength so far has been in the medium range - I expect it to increase closer to full once I get past the middle.  There are some terrific flavors in this segment that remind me of figs and raisins.  Simply outstanding.
Here we are in the final third....a sad occasion, actually.  The flavors are a bit sweeter and the pepper drops off giving way to more of that delicious earth and mineral core.  I am getting a nice balanced delivery of roasted nuts and tobacco with more of that sweet fig flavor.  As for strength, it really never climbs to a full bodied monster but the flavor is massive in scope.  Amazing!
Value: At $7.50 or so, the Rodrigo La Fortaleza Elegante is totally worth every penny.
Final Thoughts: I am blown away by the quality of Rodrigo Cigars.  They are simply amazing.  I know they are not a super well known product at this juncture, but they totally should be.  Both of the cigars I sampled are good enough to be daily smokes and the prices are so right that they should be on your list of must-tries this year.  What with the amazing La Musa line and the stellar Epicurean line from Steve Ysidron, I am already having a hard time deciding what to add to my top cigar list next month.  The La Fortaleza is an amazing cigar that I highly recommend!
Wrapper: Dominican Natural Oscuro
Size: 6.75 x 48
As you can see here - the La Fortaleza is a beautifully crafted cigar
The band is a gorgeous creation - black and silver
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