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Bodega Reunion Aperitivo double robusto

FedHeads Punch and Draw take on the March Craziness* champion cigar, the Bodega Reunion Aperitivo.

Habano Claro wrapper (3rd priming) from Jalapa. Aperitivo’s filler is a combination from Jalapa and Condega. The binder is proprietary.”

Punch: Maybe you have heard about the March Madness cigar bracket over at Cigar Federation. The FedHeads ranked 92 arbitrarily selected “best of 2014” cigars and the top 64 were seeded into a competition bracket. The brackets were then “played” by member voting, and after a month a winner emerged — the Bodega Reunion Aperitivo.

So we figured we would give this winning stick a try. What do you think about that, Draw?

Draw: Madness, madness I say! We met Stephan and Rob, two of the owners of Bodegea Premium Blends (BPB) at the 2014 IPCPR. Their concept of highlighting the time before and after a meal with cigars specifically blended for those times was intriguing. Here is our video interview with them.

P: Yes. Unfortunately I have already had my dinner. But I don’t think that will effect my perceptions of this cigar.

D: Let’s hope not! Out of the cellophane, it has an aroma I can only describe as wheat germ. Inside the cellophane, I can’t breathe. This stick is quite rigid, sporting a near solid bunch of filler visible at the foot. Construction seems primo: invisible seams, a couple of visible veins, and the filler is bumping through the tight wrap. Also, this is one of those rare cigars where I swear – okay, obviously I don’t or I wouldn’t disclaim it – the cap was put on first and then a ring of tobacco was added OVER the cap seam. It’s some trick of maturation and darkening of the edge of the cap leaf, and it always boggles my mind.

P: Yup. That is a smooth cap application. But it is clear on mine that it was put on after the wrapper. (Hammerhead!)

D: Yeah, me too! A “middle” draw results from my small punch, and the cold draw suggests fish food smell, and wheat germ. There’s too much of a breeze tonight, so that a light toasting taste is out of the question. I shall instead apply the flame for lighting.

P: My cold draw reminds me of raw meat, or liver leather. I think it is an iron flavor I’m getting.

D: Wow! That’s amazingly smooth already! The initial flavor is like almond milk and lime. Before I’m done sampling the initial flavor, it’s already starting to mature…..

P: Yup. There is a slight brightness on the attack, but it is far from harsh – just adding a freshness, followed with a mild smoky wood.

D: Yes, smoked bacon, edamame, a little turpentine, almond milk, and sandalwood. A hard pull brings up suggestions of Ivory Soap and lavender.

P: Is it starting to make you hungry? My flavors are not real strong nor very complex.

D: YES! This cigar is essential umami! First third is fantastico. I also taste a little bottle-cap cola candy.

P: And someone here is loko.

D: Yeah, me too!

P: I can see how this could prime my palate for a meal. It is plenty tasty, but is fairly mild so as to not make the food pale in comparison. Yet it has nice subtlety to get the taster revved up.

D: More of the same tempting goodness at the middle. My ash held on for half the length of the cigar. When it fell, it bounced from my laptop, to the table, and then to the ground. From the ground I retrieved an amazingly solid core of ash which resisted my crushing, but it was solidly burned. Very dense filler!

P: Here at the middle I was called away and it went out. Upon relighting it took a few minutes to get through the sick phase but it did eventually fully recover.

D: Moving into the last third, there’s a dramatic increase in habanero pepper, both “spice” and heat. Don’t retrohale this – you’ll be bleeding from your nose. However, it’s still a delicious spicy taste!

P: Here at the end there is still some nice nuance.

D: I’m down to less than an inch remaining. Its hard to hold onto, and I’ve had some tunneling requiring some stoking to keep the wrapper engaged, but the pain and effort are rewarding! There is this beautiful blending of floral, pepper, sweetness, protein (leather or meat – I’m saying bacon), and even cedar…. all wonderfully wrapped in this appetizer-sized nub!

Burn It or Spurn It?

Punch: Yes, This Bodega Reunion Aperitivo is a burner, and certainly is worthy of a high placing in the Cigar Federation March Madness tournament. It has a medium-full flavor consisting of woody meatiness and a host of subtle complexity all the way through, enticing me to keep at it even after the smoke got hot. The construction and burn were good; I did touch it up a few times. It does have some nicotine strength which gave me some buzz.

Draw: EAT THIS! NOBURN this with prejudice! Complexity, yes. Intensity, medium-to-full. Strength, mildish. Delicious! I’m going to go find a meal now. Thanks!

By the way, our review of the companion to this cigar, the Digestivo, is here.

* We didn’t want to make the NCAA “mad” with our review title.

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Comment (1)

  1. […] can read our review of the Aperitivo here. Having just finished a Sunday lunch of roast with potatoes and carrots, I figure this would be a […]

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