These are my smoke in progress notes. This Perdomo Criollo has a smooth attack, almost extremely long in its light smoothness, like a long pitch or curve ball. I haven’t tasted this kind of smoothness since some sweetened americans from a while back. The draw is even and reliable; and its construction very strong — the salt & pepper ash could hold on for half the smoke I think. After the first couple of minutes I’d say it’s low on nicotine count, not the hardest-hitting smoke and light on flavour — maybe I was expecting a bit more flavour off the bat or a more robust contour. The first quarter hasn’t really taken me anywhere yet. Not that I expect every cigar to be a flavour journey, first class and express — but the overall palette is a bit more elusive, slower to build.
So far, end of first quarter, this has been a good smoke for some Motown or some Joni Mitchell live. Actually, I was listening to some early Stevie, vaguely worrying about my throat and listening to his committed vocals on For Once in my Life and I was Made to Love Her — all these great tunes and arrangements created with stock standard instruments and passionate conviction in a basement in Detroit, way back when. I wanted to picture Berry Gordy Jr with his feet up on the desk smoking this cigar, but the image that came to mind was of a beat and sweaty sub-editor chewing his stogie at a superannuated machine. Squinting at the smoke. Thinking about his first drink.
Now, at a third of the way in, where this criollo is at its widest (being a bit of a perfecto), things start to pick up flavourwise. I also picked up some cheap bourbon hooch. The slight drip at the back of throat sensation has cleared. The contour is definitely more rounded, classical, full. The slight hooch-sweetening helps too. The overall vibe a lot warmer. The best essence of this one lies halfway. Which makes me think this Perdo is one you smoke when you don’t want the hour-plus commitment of the fuller sizes — this criollo isn’t about maximum sensation and triumph, but more the in-between moments when you’re on your way to something. But that incredible, almost rolling smoothness persists for the full 45 min. It’s not the triumphant finish to a great day, but a smoke you can sneak in around lunchtime with an eye to the big one later at night. An early afternoon cigar. The second half — when the buzz has built and matured without quite sending tingles to your fingertips — this is where this cigar lives and breathes. So that if you have to be back before some clock-watching authority figure gets the jitters about your extended break, you’ll still have packed in a decent smoke.
It’s not the behemoth-smoke of some fuller sizes, obviously, and shouldn’t be compared to the full Churchill, but I think there is more to explore in this Perdomo country.