Blind Cigar Review: Alpha | Absinthe Infused Claro Half CoronaCigar Info

Hand-rolled in Tamboril, Dominican Republic with tobaccos aged for a minimum of 2 years, a subtle addition of premium, handcrafted chocolate absinthe liqeuer is gently infused into the binder leaves. The San Andres Claro wrapper, resembling a Colorado Claro in color, lends a rich earthiness to the cigar, balancing the nuttiness and light chocolate notes of the binder and filler. The resulting blend is a complex symphony of flavors guaranteed to delight cigar smokers that prefer a medium-to-full bodied cigar.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

Started in 2015, TJ Cavenagh and Justin Hansen launched Cigar Co, with their initial focus being on absinthe infused cigars. While they might have been some of the younger cigar company owners at the show, they still had a well spoken knowledge and appreciation for both the tobacco and the spirits side of their product, as they both had previously worked in those respective industries. In addition to the cigars, they were also showing off some neat ashtrays made out of cigar boxes and wooden cigar holders from Ashbox by Derek. I got wrapped up talking shop with them and forgot to get close ups, but they can be seen in the video below.

The company’s first release is the Absinthe Infused. Developed with Abe Flores, their cigars are produced at PDR Cigars in the Dominican Republic. There are three wrapper blends, all in the same five sizes and offered for sale at the same price. Box Pressed Belicoso (6 1/2 x 50) – $9.12 (Boxes of 24, $218.88) (5 x 46) – $8.40 (Boxes of 24, $201.60)  (5 1/2 x 60) – $9.40 (Boxes of 24, $225.60) (3 1/2 x 46) – $7.24 (Boxes of 24, $173.76) (5 x 50) – $8.70 (Boxes of 24, $208.80).

Blind Cigar Review: Alpha | Absinthe Infused Claro Half CoronaVital Stats:

Length: 3.5″
Ring Gauge: 46
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Claro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: PDR Cigars
Blender: Abe Flores TJ Cavenagh and Justin Hansen 
Number of reviewers: 4 Zane G. (Zane) Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd) John I. (John I.) Gregg (McGreggor57)
Price: $7.24
Age: 1 Year
Release Date: July 2017
Contributed by: Cigar Co

Blind Cigar Review: Alpha | Absinthe Infused Claro Half CoronaInitial Impressions

Appearance: 90

“Beautiful little . Triple cap tight seams. Very few veins with a toothy and sandpaper like wrapper.” –Zane G. (Zane)

Aroma: 88

“The wrapper has mild smells of cedar, while the foot is almost nutty and sweet. The cold draw tastes like wet grass and and barnyard.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

First Third

Flavor: 86
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“First few puffs and I get pepper right out of the gate. Getting some leather and some cream with a wonderful floral note with a very faint pepper through the retrohale.” –Zane G. (Zane)

“Since this is such a short cigar, each third only lasts about 8 minutes, so don’t blink. The first light has some black pepper, and an almost mushroom kind of earthiness. There is also an interesting salty note, and a few hints of toasted bread.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

Second Third

Flavor: 86
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The pepper pretty much disappears in the middle third. A few hints of roasted nuts and a slightly earthy/chalky note. The only other addition was a very slight leather note.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

“Second third came up quick with this little guy. Starting to get more definite bready notes, rye primarily, with a little bit of gingerbread as well as a bit of sweetness comes into the picture. Construction, by the way, is tremendous aside from the draw (which is opening up some). Good burn and the ash is holding rock solid. Ash finally dropped at the mid-point, fell in a nice neat cylinder. Remains fairly light, and not a tremendous amount of smoke output, but given all that it’s coating the palette pretty aggressively.” –John I. (John I.)

Final Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Going into the final third luckily the sour acidic note dropped off. Leather, wood/cedar notes are the primary flavors with a bit of pepper on the retro.” –Zane G. (Zane)

“The last third of this is about where I leave most smokes but I’ll carry on in the interest of science. Breadiness is still continuously present, but is developing a bit of harshness and slight acridity as well as some burnt sugar notes.” –John I. (John I.)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 91

“I like an amount of resistance on my cigar but this was a bit tight for such a small cigar.” –Zane G. (Zane)

Burn: 93

“Nice cool burn, with a clean burn line throughout.” –John I. (John I.)

Construction: 89

“Construction rating would have been higher if not for the tightness of the draw. The cap was also a bit loose, and unraveled mid way through smoking.” –John I. (John I.)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 86

“I am always looking for that perfect short/winter smoke. When I pulled out this I was excited. I was a bit nervous to do a review on this small of a cigar as it’s really hard to break it up into thirds. The cigar smoked great with some nice balance of flavor to start. As the cigar warmed I did get a bitter taste that came and went. I would pick up some of these for that quick winter smoke!” –Zane G. (Zane)

“I suppose if these were incredibly cheap, like less than fifty cents per cigar, I would consider buying some for keeping the bugs away while fishing, or cleaning the gutters. Aside from that, I don’t see myself reaching for one of these again.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

“Not bad, but not much to see here. Wouldn’t be a bad in between smoke, or for walking the proverbial dog, but it’s not something I’d be eager to revisit.” –John I. (John I.)

“The first third was definitely a spice bomb with each progressive third offering a nice mix and balance of flavors. The final one was my favorite with some remaining peppery notes playing off a bit of chocolate on the finish. I enjoy cigars that start strong and lead me to a mellow finish.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 39

Zane G.929292858788929287
Matthew T.808585858595958585
John I.888585878785908585
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: |

Overall Score – 88 – Good

  • Appearance 90% 90%
  • Aroma 88% 88%
  • First Third 86% 86%
  • Second Third 86% 86%
  • Final Third 88% 88%
  • Draw 91% 91%
  • Burn 93% 93%
  • Construction 89% 89%
  • Overall Experience 86% 86%