Calibre 58 Robusto Rosado (Early Release)

In my recent interview with Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar Company, he covered a lot of new ground, even touching on a cigar or two that may not make it into shops until late 2011. In all, we probably talked about half a dozen new sticks, and yet somehow we missed one. It’s a stubby, unbanded little cigar that’s been sneaking quietly to select cigar shops around the country called the Calibre 58. My understanding is that the current batch is actually an early release, and that future shipments will see some changes, including cellophane and footbands.

The cigar’s name, “Calibre 58” is of course a reference to the cigar’s portly 58 ring gauge. It’s available in two sizes, robusto and torpedo, both with the same corpulent 4 x 58 dimensions, in boxes of 20. Eventually, the Calibre 58 will come in rosado and oscuro wrappers, much like the Nestor Miranda Special Selection, though at the time of this writing only the rosado appeared to be available. The cigars are reportedly made by a small factory somewhere in Nicaragua that Nestor Miranda speaks highly of, but is tight-lipped on the details. Perhaps he has found the next cigar making star? Let’s see what the Calibre 58 tells us.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 4 x 58
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/4 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $4.80

The Pre-Smoke
The Calibre 58 is hardly the first cigar of these dimensions we’ve seen on the market, but the size still looks a little funny to me. It’s as though my brain wants to see the more traditional 5 x 50 robusto, and alters my perception of the cigar to make it appear thinner than it actually is. (It is a 58 ring gauge, I measured it to be sure.) Perhaps when the yet to be revealed foot bands are applied, the true girth of the cigar will be more obvious. Or maybe I need to see an eye doctor.

The cigar’s wrapper is a lovely reddish milk chocolate color, with a few larger veins and a well-applied triple cap. As I looked the sticks over for potential burn-threatening imperfections and damage, I found that a couple of them had green spots, but no other issues. The wrapper had a light compost scent and the cold taste was very sweet.

The Burn
The Calibre 58 scored well when it came to the draw and its attractive solid white ash. There were no serious problems, but each cigar I lit up for this review either needed a burn correction or a relight somewhere along the line. The cigar depicted in the Tower of Burn is a good illustration of my average experience with the Calibre 58, mostly good with one problem area. (Often, but not always near the end of the smoke.)

The Flavor
Breaking the flavor down in thirds like I usually do is probably overkill for a cigar this short, and there weren’t the significant flavor transitions that would merit it. So I won’t. However, there was, a gradual evolution of flavor that took the cigar from a an initial sweet, orange-y acidity in the beginning to a spicier, less sweet wood at the end. Both of the prominent flavor elements were present throughout, with respective flavors diminishing and growing as the stick burned. There was also a little caramel and leather hints early on and little cocoa nearing the end.

The Price
Though the cigar’s concept isn’t the same as the Nub (so far as I know), it’s hard not to think of the Nub when considering the price of the Calibre 58. They are comparably priced, with the Calibre 58 edging out the Nub 358 by less than 50 cents. I don’t think either is over priced, especially considering the volume of tobacco hiding under the wrapper leaf.

The Verdict
I’m just gonna say it. I’m not a fan of short cigars with large ring gauges. I would much rather light up the opposite extreme, something like a lancero. That being said, I actually found the Calibre 58 to be a generally pleasant smoke. The flavors were enjoyable, though not particularly complex, and there was enough development in the profile to keep me from getting bored. Of the half dozen or so of these I’ve smoked so far, the ones I lit early on in the day delivered the best results. I would recommend it as good budget choice for an afternoon smoke when you’re short on time. And of course, if you are a fan of the shorter, thicker cigar format made popular by the Nub, it’s a no brainer, you should give the Calibre 58 a shot.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Occasionally
Recommend It: Yes, especially to fans of this cigar format

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.