Carloni Gold: Cuban Inspired, Mexican Made

Dominican, Italian design, Cuban influenced, Mexican grown and made. This is the Carloni Gold Special Edition, a boutique cigar that, like the phrase suggests, is truly international. You can see the Italian design in the band and plastic sleeve- it looks old-fashioned. Classic, you could say. A small, simply designed gold and red band that states the name and nothing else, I could see an old school Vegas mobster chewing on the end of it as he lost a back-room game of poker. There's a Habano Claro wrapper, the exact shade of a brown paper bag with thin veining and an invisible seam. It looks and feels well constructed. Information online is sparse about this cigar, so I’m excited to dive right in. I actually cannot find what the binder is, and all I know about the filler is that it's Dominican grown in Mexico. 

Kelly actually smoked this first and recommended a review- so I'm excited to see what all the fuss is about.

I don’t want to influence the taste too much on this, so I’m drinking a San Pelligrino, something to cleanse the palate so I can discern any hidden complexities. On the cold draw I get notes of sweet tea and espresso, with perhaps a light spiced finish. It doesn’t seem like it will be too heavy. I slice it with a V and grab a pack of matches. Lighting up gives a sweet earthy taste alongside some nuttiness- perhaps hazelnuts- but the spice that I thought I sensed in the cold draw is nowhere to be seen. With no real knowledge of the blend I am enjoying the strength- it’s not as spicy or strong as the wrapper would suggest, a true medium with a light and airy smoke. The retrohale, something I have been attempting for these reviews with varying success, keeps the earthiness, but adds in a strong vegetal taste and the nuttiness increases. The vegetal notes continue into the first third, and along with the earthiness a subtle cedar kicks in. 

The ash is a dark and dirty gray that clings to the cigar for over an inch. Working while I smoke means I need to set it aside, and so it infrequently goes out. When this happens I tap the ash into the tray, which means I never quite get to see how long it goes for. Oh well. It burns evenly, and the couple times I had to relight it through no fault of the stick it avoided the re-light harshness that plagues so many sticks.

Onto the second third: It’s definitely a hazelnut note, growing stronger on the back end, and that sweet tea has pushed past the earthiness to first place in the flavor race, though only slightly. The wood has moved to the back, leaving a cedar finish that lingers on the tongue. The Carloni surprised me in the final third, where the earthiness came back with a bang, and the sweet tea taste was replaced by a slight cocoa. The stick has stayed at a true medium the whole way, with slight variations up and down throughout, and was surprisingly sweet for a natural cigar, without ever being cloying. I usually like habano’s for the spicy kick they bring, but though this had hardly any spice to it I thought it was a great smoke that I would gladly revisit. 

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