Sol Cubano Artisan (Guest Review)

This weeks guest review comes courtesy of our friend Rich
From our very own Fan Forums

The Sol Cubano Artisan Salomon, is made my the Oliva Family in their Estili factory for the Sol Cubano brand. It is a beautifully shaped Salomon vitola (which is supposed to be the most difficult to roll), is wrapped with a Connecticut, and Habano leaves with a Broadleaf “pinstripe”. Evidently this cigar was created to show off the skill and quality of the Sol Cubano brand, and is intended to be their flag ship cigar, embodying everything SC.

On to the REVIEW!
Sol Cubano Artisan - 1

Cigar Stats:

Wrapper: Connecticut and Habano barberpole (with a Broadleaf Maduro stripe)
Binder: Huh? I’ve heard Criollo/Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Vitola: Salomon (7″x58)
Manufacturer: Oliva Family
Factory: Esteli
Price: $7-25 (depending on where you buy them)
Drinking: Sweet Tea and water
Location: Back Porch

Appearance:

Sol Cubano Artisan - 2

The images you see of these online are beautiful, showing flawless wrapping and shaping…of course, being a photographer I know the ins and outs of advertising. However, Each one of these I have had, has not lived up to the beautiful pictures. This particular one is a good representation of what I have gotten. Its reasonably well shaped, its a little wonky at the foot, but we can chalk that up to shipping. There are a couple veins in the Habano wrapper, and the foot cap (Broadleaf Maduro) is not very clean and sharp. The head cap is fine, but the major flaw I find in the appearance is that the “pinstripe” of maduro has come off in multiple places. Now initially when I heard about these, I thought that they were wrapped with 3 wrappers, but not so…From what I can see, and based on previous experience, is that the “pinstripe” is applied after the main rolling of the Conn/Habano, and is secured by the head and foot cap. So it really is just cosmetic. The cigar is well filled with tobacco, and has no apparent soft spots.
I decide to go with a Dickman Cut (my preferred cut with torpedo caps), and we are off!

First Impressions:
The wrapper has very indistinct smells, sometimes I get some cedar, other whiffs give me a slight musty smell. The foot has a nice sweet cedar smell, as well as the newly clipped head. The cold draw is a little firm and has little to no taste, if anything it is a little peppery, but its ever so slight.
Toasting and lighting went smoothly, and the first puffs give a wonderful bouquet of fruit and nuts. It is very reminiscent of the LFD Mysterio Oscuro. I’m picking up cherries, and cashews, with a nice sweet tobacco flavor. Through the sinuses compounds the fruitiness, with very little spice, and the finish is swift and sweet. The majority of what I am getting is almost certainly due to the Maduro cap. Also the burn is quite crazy at this point, undoubtedly due to the convergence of 3 wrappers, its requires a quite a bit of attention. The aroma is very nice and again similar to the Mysterio in that it gives off a nice molasses and burt sugar smell.

1/3 (50min):

Sol Cubano Artisan - 4

Things switched up slightly as I finished the cap, the fruitiness slacked off a bit, and woody notes were introduced. The smoke is still sweet on the tongue, but backs a little more spice. The main notes I get now are oak and earth, with some lingering cherry and nuts The finish is slightly bitter, but sweet at the same time, and is now hanging around much longer than the first bit. Through the nose, is indicative of the flavors of the mouth, but occasionally I get a whiff of nutmeg. The burn has calmed down now, and is pretty even despite the 2 wrappers (and occasional stripe). The ash is pretty resilient, and is a nice light grey.

2/3 (70min):

Sol Cubano Artisan - 7

Not a whole lot of changes have occurred. The Maduro stripe really doesn’t add anything to the flavoring, and the dominating flavors are that of wood and fruit, with some nuts thrown in here and there. Its very smooth, and sits firmly in the medium body range. One change is that instead of the occasional nutmeg, it has switched to cinnamon. The finish has cleaned up a bit, still with the same flavor characteristics, but doesn’t linger as long. The aroma is a very pleasant sweet tobacco, not too offensive, and very enjoyable to a smoker.

Last bit (90min):

Sol Cubano Artisan - 8

Things don’t really change… yet again… It picks up in body a little, and the flavors take on a more savory characteristic (which I find typical in most cigars). Wood and nuts are dominating, but you still get the fruit when you look for it.

Final thoughts:
This is a pretty good smoke. The flavor isn’t as varied as I had imagined it would be, but its very tasty. I really preferred the first bit with the maduro cap the best, but I did enjoy the rest of the cigar, tho I would like the pinstripe to be more involved instead of being just a pretty detail. I got these for $7 off of C-bid, but pretty much anywhere else you look they will be priced $20 and up. Now for $25… I wouldn’t venture to smoke another, but at $7… oh yes. Its a very cool looking cigar…even if you get a knocked up stepchild like I did…and will always be a topic of conversation among your cigar buddies, and it will even impress the non smoking spouses.

Sol Cubano Artisan - 9

Liked it: Yep
Buy it again: at $7 absolutely, at $25 ehh probably not
Recommend it: Oh yeah… This is one of those cool sticks that you should have in your box regardless, and depending on the price you can find them at…the are also a joy to smoke.