By offering plenty of power tempered by a notable smoothness, the Obsidian sets a new standard for premium handmades. The dark, meaty blend consists of Cuban-seed long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. They deliver a wealth of dense tobacco flavor. Look at the foot of the cigar and you’ll note a combination of dark tobaccos (ligeros) in the core of the cigar, with a portion of lighter-colored tobacco (visos and secos) bunched in there as well. You can anticipate a strong, yet balanced and complex cigar. The binder is a limited Criollo ’98 leaf, a hybrid Cuban-seed tobacco that is known for a soft spice and creamy undertones. The binder and filler tobaccos are draped by a stunning, dark oily wrapper leaf known as a Brazilian Habano ligero wrapper. Though it is dark brown in appearance, this wrapper isn’t a true maduro like traditional Brazilian Arapiraca and Mata Fina tobaccos—it’s actually stronger. The result is a densely rich and chewy smoke loaded with complex notes of espresso, pepper, earth, toast, and cream. Full-bodied, but extremely smooth and balanced—and with a rich tobacco core—Obsidian is thoroughly satisfying. Expect dense smoke with this baby! Premium quality and memorable flavor, this smoke pairs well with a tawny port.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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