Blind Cigar Review: Bella Dominicana | MMel Caribbean Corp. may not be well known in the U.S., but they are a leading importer of Cuban and new world cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco accessories within Caribbean countries.  debuted in August of this year entering the Australian, Hong Kong, Chinese, Switzerland, Dominican and other Caribbean Island markets. While they have yet to launch here in the US, plans are to expand to the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, UAE, and Turkey in the near future.

According to , the brand formed when (of Mel Caribbean Corp.) and of started to research the characteristics of the majority of cigar smokers, and found what 80% of cigar smokers want in a cigar. They then crafted such a smoking experience around that, which lead to their to their first release, .

There are 6 vitolas in the Bella lineup, each size named with a different letter—which, when aligned from the smallest to largest ring gauge, spells out “MELISA”, honoring brand creator ’s wife and their twentieth anniversary. M (4 ⅞ by 46), E (5 by 52), L ( 6 ½ by 54), I (5 by 56), S (5 ¼ by 58), and A (6 by 60). The packaging and presentation are nothing short of eye catching, another reason to dismiss any doubt from a relatively unknown brand. Here you will find a classic dress box-style packaging, with ornate paper dressings surrounding the box’s corners and forming the hinge. A vibrant pink, red, blue, and gold vista adorns the lid, having a very classic, authentic appearance.

Blind Cigar Review: Bella Dominicana | M

Blind Cigar Review: | M

Vital Stats:

Vitola:
Length: 4.87″
Ring Gauge: 46
Country of Origin:
Wrapper:
Binder: Dominican Cubano-La Canela
Filler: Dominican Quisqueya (Seco), Nicaraguan (Viso), Dominican Criollo 98 (Viso)
Factory:
Blender:
Number of reviewers: 5 —– (McGreggor57) (Throck) (ThaGreatWazoo) () (BMP_)
Price: $7.00
Age: 3 Months Rest
Release Date: September 2015
Contributed by: Bella Dominicana Cigars

Blind Cigar Review: Bella Dominicana | M

Blind Cigar Review: | M

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 90

“Nice looking cigar. It had a great looking soft brown wrapper. The wrapper itself was very smooth and silky. Great little robusto cigar.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

Aroma: 89

“Hay with a little barnyard along the wrapper and at the foot. Mostly leather and cedar on the cold draw. Very inviting.” - (McGreggor57)

Blind Cigar Review: Bella Dominicana | M

Blind Cigar Review: | M

First Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Starts off full-bodied and with full strength, exhibiting flavors of aged wood and spicy pepper, the latter which is seemingly tamed down a notch by some creamy note in the background; the spicy note nevertheless holds on strongly on the finish, as does the cream. The interplay between the spicy note of dry red pepper and the cream continues through the rest of the first third, with the wood being just an afterthought in the background. Then, by the middle of this third, a dry, bitter, Connecticut-like addition kicks in, making my mouth salivate as it leaves an Arak-like flavor on the aftertaste. Finally, toward the end of this first third, an unexpected sweetness starts building up.” - ()

“The first puffs are a splash of cedar. After a little while it is joined by leather and spice. The flavors are very classic. Also worth noting it is performing very well with burn and draw.” - (BMP_)

Blind Cigar Review: Bella Dominicana | M

Blind Cigar Review: | M

Second Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“A nice mix of leather, smokey cedar and hay. A little coffee on the finish adds some richness to this third. The balance is spot on.” - (McGreggor57)

“The twang disappeared, but the cedar and leather persisted. This was nothing too special, but it was well-blended and balanced.” - (Throck)

Blind Cigar Review: Bella Dominicana | M

Blind Cigar Review: | M

Final Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“This cigar finishes with more pepper and a little heat added. There was a slight bitterness that picked up, but no other complexities or changes.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

“Things are getting a little dry and harsh in this third, but not too bad. Things calm down a bit further in and this third is becoming enjoyable again. From here on I just mostly get cedar to the end.” - (BMP_)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 90

“This was a nice part of the cigar. Easy cut and go and the draw gave way to a good amount of smoke that filled the mouth.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

Burn: 92

“There was need for a relight at the tail end of the second third; otherwise, the overall smoke production was adequate.” - (Throck)

Construction: 93

“Overall the construction was very good, just a few minor issues, but nothing that affected the cigar much.” - (BMP_)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Overall Experience: 89

“I found this to be a fairly flavorful and balanced cigar in the second and final thirds. While cedar was the mainstay, it did not overpower thanks to the presence of hay, leather and coffee. The rise and fall of some pepper and smokey char helped create an additional dimension.” – (McGreggor57)

“I loved the beginning of this cigar. The pseudo-twang was much appreciated and was quite surprising. I would love to recommend this cigar to more experienced smokers as a way to surprise their tastebuds.” – (Throck)

“This cigar had lots of potential, but fell short in the end. I am a fan of peppery cigars, however, this cigar had no other complexities to it. With age, I don’t see this cigar improving too much, but a few more subtle changes could make it very good. Do not let the softer brown wrapper fool you, this thing brings spice with it right from the beginning.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

“While I’m generally not a fan of bitter coffee flavors, the bitter anise flavors in this stogie were just right to make it a terribly mouthwatering smoke, as long as you don’t mind red pepper spice that is.” – ()

“Overall this was a good cigar, but nothing to make it extraordinary. I enjoyed the flavors and it performed very well, but didn’t have anything special. I would smoke it again and perhaps buy some more to see how it age.” – (BMP_)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 49

  • Appearance 90% 90%
  • Aroma 89% 89%
  • First Third 91% 91%
  • Second Third 90% 90%
  • Final Third 90% 90%
  • Draw 90% 90%
  • Burn 92% 92%
  • Construction 93% 93%
  • Overall Experience 89% 89%

Total Score - Very Good

 

Reviewer
Appearance
Aroma
1/3
2/3
3/3
Draw
Burn
Constr.
Overall
Experience
McGreggor57)889088909090888890
Throck)959597959292909595
ThaGreatWazoo)908890888890909388
)909092929095959592
BMP_)928892909088959088

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: | M