- May 25, 2011
- near Blacksburg, VA
I purchased a bundle of 20 JR Dominican Alternative Overruns from the JR Daily Dutch Auction for $24.00. My interest was because of its wrapper, said to be Dominican Negrito. I've never seen or tasted the variety, though I was aware that it is difficult to successfully grow, difficult to cure, difficult to work with, and troublesome for blending. On the plus side, it was the wrapper used in a niche, limited run cigar called The King is Dead, that sells for $7-10 per stick.
These cigar were stated to be a 4.5" x 50 robusto, with an EMS wrapper. Their photo showed a nice, fat, dark EMS cigar.
On the cigars' arrival, I saw that they were clearly labeled as 5.5" x 43 (a small corona), and the wrapper was a grayish claro in color. (The color is difficult to capture in my flash photos.) The detail description has no mention of scrap filler, so it is presumed to be long filler. On actually measuring the small panatella-looking cigar, it is 5.5" x 40. So, the size in the listing was not what was on the packaging, and the measurements on the packaging were not those of the cigars.
The unlit taste of the wrapper reveals a mild bitterness that remained detectable throughout the smoking of the entire cigar. Otherwise, the flavors and aromas while smoking were subdued, with little character. The draw was notably tight, but still smokable. Burn was decent.
I decided to see what was inside this misleadingly marketed cigar. I misted one, then unwrapped it. What was surprising was that about half of the filler, inside the binder, completely surrounded the remaining half of the filler. To me, that is a dead givaway of a "sandwich" cigar--one in which partial scrap filler is used. And indeed, the "inside" filler consisted of partial-length leaf sections. Also of note was the utter dryness of the filler--far drier than you would expect for cigars stored in the world's largest humidor.
To test whether the supposed Dominican Negrito wrapper was the source of bitterness, I reassembled the cigar filler within its own binder, and covered it with my own wrapper. And yes, the resurrected cigar lacks that bitterness.
I "posted" a review of the cigar, an absolutely objective one, but it apparently didn't meet the JR standards, since it has yet to be displayed. (This is the third review of mine over the past year that was not displayed.)
- The length, ring size, shape and wrapper color are fraudulently stated by JR.
- The ring size is fraudulently stated on the packaging by the manufacturer in the DR.
- The photo in the JR listing is not of these cigars.
- The lack of any statement regarding scrap filler can not be assumed to mean a long filler cigar.
- The bound bunched filler likely is very old.
- The filler is extraordinarily dry, perhaps intentionally so, since it was so tight a draw even with the very dry filler.
- Dominican Negrito wrapper (if that's what it is) sucks.
- JR is reluctant to display honest reviews.
Regardless, I would not be enthusiastic about growing it or purchasing any cigar using it. GRIN classifies it as cigar filler, but I would say, based on its taste and plant characteristics, that it would be better described as a primitive. There is a good reason why you don't see it in any but oddball cigars.