Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

Vital Stats:

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5.5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera Ventura
Blender: George Rodriguez
Number of reviewers: 5—–Ron (shuckins) Gregg (McGreggor57) Milton (mjohnsoniii) Brian (B-daddy) Emmett (rhetorik)
Price: $7.75
Age: 5 Months
Release Date: April 2012
Contributed by: House of Emilio

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. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.

Initial Impressions

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

Appearance: 88

“The appearance is pretty rustic with its somewhat lumpy shape and large seams. Also, the cap is a little darker than the wrapper. The pigtail is a nice touch though.” –Emmett (rhetorik)

Aroma: 90

“Sweet cedar with a spicy nutmeg and cocoa smell.” –Ron (shuckins)

First Third

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The first third begins in a surprising fashion with a mix of hardwood and cedar along with some leather. There’s a little pepper on the retro and back of the throat, but not overpowering. Shortly in, a burnt caramel appears on the finish which changes to a mild anise and then allspice. Quite a smorgasbord of subtle flavor changes with the creamy leather keeping the profile smoote. This combination is working well behind the upfront woody notes.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

“A ton of smoke upon first light. Oily rich cedar and sweetened black coffee. Some exotic spice too, not just straight pepper. Oily residue on my lips is tangy/spicy/smokey, like BBQ sauce. Burn is a little wonky until I realize I have to cover the pin hole in the wrapper and then… huge billowing clouds of smoke. Towards the end of this third, I’m getting a hint of minty coolness with the core flavors of spicy/sweet cedar and coffee.” –Brian (B-daddy)

Second Third

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

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

“The creamy smoke still billowed and the light gray flaky ash held strong up to this point. The flavors tasted earlier have mellowed out and black tea along with unsweetened chocolate and rich leather has made its way in. The strength has also risen a bit.” –Milton (mjohnsoniii)

“Something interesting to note is that the ash doesn’t really “fall” off, it more disintegrates or flakes off. Very strange. The oak flavor is still there, but the pepper and spices are starting to take over. The finish is still very peppery. The burn has evened out. The dry wood flavor is reminding me of a Padron Maduro, although it is clearly not, it’s worth noting. In the middle of this third, I started to get a little bit of a red wine note, I’ve never experienced that in a cigar before.” –Emmett (rhetorik)

Final Third

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The cigar really came together the closer to the end it got. The cedar picked up the sweetness as the spice died down. This let the cocoa move forward past the coffee and bring a little creaminess to the cigar at the very end.” –Ron (shuckins)

“The bigness of the cigar actually fades a little at the start of the final third. The same basic flavor profile is there; rich earthy cedar and tobacco with some sweetness, but it has mellowed out. After a little while, I start to pick up on some cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s pretty distinct, particularly on the finish. As I get to the band point, the flavors come back strong, not harsh at all but strong. Towards the nub, the smoke heats up a little and the flavors get even bolder; again though, not harsh. Very nice cigar.” –Brian (B-daddy)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 94

“The draw was damn near perfect. It provided me with the perfect amount of resistance.” –Milton (mjohnsoniii)

Burn: 90

“Pretty good burn, just a little hot at times.” –Ron (shuckins)

Construction: 89

“It was lumpy and it definitely had some wrapper and wrapping issues. Overall, though, it worked.” –Brian (B-daddy)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Overall Experience: 91

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte
Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte

“A very entertaining, multidimensional cigar that I would like to visit again.” –Ron (shuckins)

“The flavors all worked well together, yet bounced around a bit causing me to chase them more than I wanted. This cigar offered an effortless smoke but teased me with some fuller flavors that faded a bit too quickly. I would definitely grab some more of these in the hopes that additional rest wold allow a more consistent profile.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

“This was a very solid and flavorful cigar that I am looking forward to trying again. I think this could prove to be an excellent everyday cigar that seems to be super premium unless the price point is also super premium. This cigar was one that was highly enjoyable in my book.” –Milton (mjohnsoniii)

“This is a big after dinner flavor bomb/smoke bomb. I dug it and I’d definitely smoke it again. I’d recommend it to anyone that likes medium full to full body and rich flavorful smoke. I think I may have a couple five packs resting in the tupperdor. Now I can’t wait to try them.” –Brian (B-daddy)

“This was a pretty good cigar. Its flaws in construction were somewhat redeemed by its flavors. I liked the oaky and dry wood flavors combined with spices. If Padron made a bundle cigar, I imagine this is what it would be like. If the other reviewers samples had better construction, I would try this again.” –Emmett (rhetorik)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 71

Total Score: 90 (Very Good)

Edit
Reviewer Appea-rance Aroma 1/3 2/3 3/3 Draw Burn Constr. Overall
Ron 88 90 88 90 90 88 88 88 90
Gregg 88 90 92 90 88 95 95 92 90
Milton 92 95 90 92 92 97 97 95 92
Brian 88 90 95 95 95 97 88 88 92
Emmett 90 88 88 90 88 85 83 83 88
Overall 88 90 89 91 89 94 90 89 91

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: Rodrigo | La Fortaleza Forte