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· yuckson
1,960 Posts
HUGELY excited about the release of this cigar. Whenever it comes out I will be one of the first in line to purchase a couple boxes :tu

Palio HO! :tu

There was a new user sign up not long ago "BlindReview" and a group of us were given a couple of these to try without knowing what they were. I'm sure they'll be along to post their reviews but for now mine:

myself said:
mystery nic puro, belicoso

Wrapper is nice colorado or colorado maduro, slightest tooth, slight gloss, slight fuzz. reminiscent of a Tatuaje brown in appearance. Cut torpedo open to about half inch. Dry draw tastes fantastic, like a Padron x000 series, quality Nicaraguan tobacco.

First Sample
First 3rd decent maybe a bit wet ROTT, burn issue, bubbly mascara. Good organic flavor, tobacco. Set it down a third in to eat a grilled chicken burrito, tastey. Picked back up in the second third, still lit, burn issue gone, razor edge burn, flavor is very nice, med body. Ash is grey in wrapper/binder with white filler. Typing the cigar rests, good flavor if you slow up. Toasty and aromatic, vapory tobacco flavors.

Second Sample
After acclimating about a week I confirm the "wet" assessment of the first as this one has stiffened up a bit, dense, no mush to it. No burn issue in the beginning like the first but still had a bubbley mascara in the first third that thinned out the rest of the way to a nice edge. Flavor on this one went straight to a decent run-of-the-mill kind of flavor I tend to taste at herfs when I've had too many cigars in one day… Flavor never changed throughout.

Good cigar. The first was better, don't know if this was due to inconsistency, palette or RH. I hope these are a little known dirt cheap treasure but wouldn't be surprised to see them going for $3-$10 range depending on who's putting their band on it.

A review for me is 80% flavor and 20% construction. Construction not visually speaking (tho a pretty cigar has to add something I suppose) but ease of getting to the flavors. If I have to fuss with a cigar, burn issues, draw issues, coming unraveled etc it detracts.

Flavor: Good
Construction : Very good
There's no doubt these are top quality stogies and what else would you expect from the Palio folks?

I think if we'd had some time to let these settle down a bit more they would have been even better. I think they were in that in between spot from fresh off the bench and settled down.

There were some flavors in there that I've only got from some really nice smokes before and some old standby Nic puro kind of flavors.

Good stuff!

To Marc Aub, thanks again for letting me in on the pilot program, delicious smokes and I wish you all the best

· A horse is a horse...
370 Posts
Missed the call last night, last minute issues, but here was my take...

Review # 1(Smoked on 6/14)

Initial Impressions: No measuring done here, but I'm going to guess it was a corona sized cigar. It had a very impressive natural wrapper that was smooth and had a nice light oily sheen. It had some veins, but no noticeable blemishes. Very nice pre-light aroma of tobacco. Drank Harp Lager with this smoke (went very well together)

Smoking: The draw on this cigar was excellent and I got a great volume of smoke from start to finish with no plugs, a big plus. The wrapper was applied very well, no splitting, no cracking no issues whatsoever. The burn on this smoke was extremely even throughout and no touch-ups with the lighter were needed. The burn was also nice, slow, and controlled; it burned cool and did not become hot until the very end. The ash throughout the entire smoke was a marbled medium grey and appeared firm. The only issue construction-wise with this smoke was that the ash kept falling off every ¾ of an inch or so by itself, which was somewhat inconvenient.

Taste: The cigar had a very straight forward medium-full taste, closer to the full side. The cigar remained very smooth the whole way through and never became harsh. For the first part of the cigar the taste had a spicy character and I detected some "woody" hints here. The finish here was spicy and short, staying on the palate for a very short time. After two ashings, somewhere about 2 inches into this smoke the taste had a very light hint of coffee and the spiciness vanished. The finish became a sort of dull sweetness and stayed on the palate longer. The further I smoked the taste became deeper and fuller and a little more complex, there was still a hint of coffee, and the finish remained full and somewhat sweet. I also began to notice some saltiness to the taste as well. The cigar continued to taste very smooth and full all the way down to the nub. The aroma on this cigar was very full and nice.

Conclusion: A very delightful and straightforward smoke where the tobacco was very smooth and blended quite nicely. I liked that even though the smoke was closer to the full side it never became harsh. My pet peeve and only real complaint was the flakiness of the ash, which was a bit of a downside. The taste was also a bit muddled and somewhat one-dimensional. On the whole a very smooth smoke that wasn't overly complex and was very solid. At this point I would probably smoke this cigar again.

Grade: 8.75/10, B+ on the Mr. Ed scale

Review # 2 (Smoked on 6/20)

Initial Impressions: This cigar had the same sort of wrapper that was again very smooth with no blemishes. Based on the two smokes, I would say that they appeared very consistent and almost identical. Still retained a very nice pre-light aroma of tobacco. I decided to pair this smoke with the Harp Lager once again.

Smoking: Here I immediately noticed that the ash behaved much better this time around. It was still the same marbled medium grey color, but stayed on for over an inch until I ashed it myself. The burn was again very slow, cool, and controlled no overheating issues. However, this time around the burn had some issues and was a little uneven at points and required some minor touching up to be done. On the whole, however, the burn was fairly even. The wrapper behaved well here as well, no cracking or splitting. The draw was superb again and afforded a generous volume of smoke with every puff from beginning to end.

Taste: This cigar had a more defined full body and again was very smooth for most of the smoke. Unlike the other smoke it turned somewhat harsh in the last 1/3 of the smoke. The cigar started out with the same spiciness here, the finish at first was mildly spicy and had some "woody" hints, but stayed on the palate a lot longer this time. After about 1-1.5 inches in the cigar really came into its own and became very enjoyable. It afforded a very strong coffee-like taste and aroma that was not as subtle as last time and was very pronounced, a big plus. The finish became deep and full and retained the coffee-like character to it, plus it also continued to have a hint of spiciness, unlike the first smoke, all the way throughout, which was a big plus. As I continued to smoke the cigar retained the coffee-like taste and very pleasant finish, the taste here wasn't nearly as muddled and offered some subtle complexities. At bout 1.5 inches left in the cigar it started to become a little harsh, and the coffee-like taste began to dissipate somewhat. The finish remained deep and full. The aroma was again very pleasant to smell for this cigar

Conclusion: The coffee-like flavor this time around was much more pronounced and enjoyable, I really, really, enjoyed the taste of this cigar, it really brought a smile to my face and made me happy J. A very smooth smoke for the most part. The only problems were some burn issues and some harshness to the end, which was not present the first time. After this smoke, I would definitely recommend having it in a rotation for some solid construction and taste. On the whole this cigar presented a very pleasant smoking experience.

Grade: 9.5/10, A on the Mr. Ed scale.

Final Comments: The two cigars were very enjoyable and the coffee-like taste in these was superb (especially the second time around). The construction on the two was on par and created only some minor inconvenience and trouble. I really enjoyed rating these two cigars. Again, thank you very much. - Mr. Ed

Thanks for the oppurtunity guys, real good smoke here! :tu

· PSHC and lovin' it
2,197 Posts
Here's yet another review... I was able to get in on the Blind Review for these things...

Fellas, this is gonna be one heck of a cigar.

Here's my official review.

I received this torpedo, weighing in at 5.5 X 50~52 and a beautiful rosado wrapper... It had nice oils to it, and a VERY STRONG tobacco smell when I first opened the well-packaged envelope. My wife said 'phew, that smells!' almost right away when I opened the baggie.

The smell had a very strong fermented tobacco smell to it, almost as if there was some maduro leaves hiding somewhere in the blend... the wrapper was distinctly reddish brown, although the pictures give it more of a brown appearance.

A little flap across the top of the top of the torpedo reminded me a bit of a JFR torp I smoked some time ago...

The foot had a few stems poking out, but nothing to be overly concerned about

Outside lighting gave it a much more reddish appearance, which closely matches how this stick looks in person

A predraw light again gives off the distinct flavor of a maduro stick, and a nice warm spice seems apparent in this stick even before lighting. If I were to smoke this cigar in the dark, I'd bet it would be a maduro 10 times out of 10!

It seems to jump to life rather quickly and emits a thick, rich smoke. The burn is flawless and the draw is fantastic

The spice level in the first inch or so reminds me of a green Opus X, and I'm hoping this stick is not similarly priced.

The first third made me think only one thing... "Darn, I really wanna know what this is so that I can add it to my regular rotation"

Around the second third, the intense spice mellows out a bit and the taste profile becomes more leathery. The cigar has a welcome complexity to it.

The ash holds on for quite a long time, and alternates between dark and light colors. The ash doesn't give much of a hint for the stick's nationality (neither distinctly Nicaraguan white nor Cuban dark).

The finish seems to go a bit bitter at the end, so I would not consider this stick particularly nub-worthy, although the first two thirds were quite welcomed.

Final judgment...

This stick would be a fantastic every day smoke for fans of fuller bodied smokes. I think it could earn up to a $8 price tag USD, but certainly not an uber-premium smoke. The construction and draw were flawless, which helped out my impressions quite a bit. If this was a bundled stick, I'd be floored!

The bitterness may have been attributed to the torpedo shape, which is not one of my go-to vitolas... If the bitterness was due to the saturation of smoke towards the end, I'd gladly reach for one of these sticks in a toro or churchill and let it go with inch and a half left.

Overall, an enjoyable smoke. I did have the opportunity to smoke two, and would pull out my wallet for the opportunity to try one again! The first one was smoked right off the truck, and the second with about a week and a half rest on it. I generally keep my humi at 60~62%, and the stick burned great (not too hot) out of this environment!

Thanks for the opportunity to approach this stick blindly, and I certainly hope to find out what in the heck I just smoked!

· PSHC and lovin' it
2,197 Posts
Not much details on the website. Would you mind filling us in on the blend and pricing? I'd be interested in trying the robusto.

Thanks. :tu
The blend is indeed nic puro... target pricing, according to the conference call the blind reviewers participated in, is the $6 - $10 range.

I was sent the belicoso to review... my guess is that, based on vitola, this will be the most expensive one.

I'm always up for something new, are these gonna hit B&M's or is it an order only?
Again, according to the conference call... These will be available only to Palio authorized sellers. If they have a Palio account, B&Ms can order them. I'd expect them to be largely available to B&Ms with an internet website (check the palio website for vendors)...

These are small release cigars.. there's no intention to flood the market with them. My guess is these will be highly prized and sought after, as my palate tells me I'm dying to try another one!

· Banned
6,381 Posts
Having tried the blend and seeing the real potential of the smoke I am glad to say these will be cigars that FOG's and newbs alike will enjoy. I believe the long-term aging potential for these smokes will be very good.

A smoke that will appeal to both old-school and new-school smokers.

Good job gents :tu

· Registered
3,702 Posts
I also took part in the Esencia blind review.
I had the opportunity to smoke the Petite Corona.
While it was an impeccably gorgeous cigar, it was too young, and unsmokable.
As such, I only smoked one for my review.
I saved the other letting it out in the open air in my winador for a couple more weeks.
When Chuck (chasden) visited me back on the 5th, I asked him to try it.
His experience was identical to mine.
Although the initial harshness wasn't there for him, the cigar went south and was unsmokable by the halfway point.
The PC is a size I enjoy and Marc mentioned in our conference call that he considered the PC will be the "gem" of the line. I believe it's highly possible that that'll be the case. I felt that the cigar held a lot of promise and given the proper time to age, it'll be something very special.
The launch date and spur of the moment blind review didn't allow the cigar the time it needed to be ready, and I'm very excited for the opportunity to try it again.
That said, I'm the one guy in this whole deal that didn't very much enjoy the cigar.
That's a pretty good average for a batch of cigars that admittedly wasn't quite ready.
It's also the reason I think this brand holds a lot of promise. :tu
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