Origin : Dominican Republic?
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Cameroon, Brazil, Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : $10/stick or $96/12 ct. box
This special cigar was created in support of the victims of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that shook the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. Created in collaboration with many other cigar bigwigs and released by La Aurora, the “Para Japon” is a unique stick with proceeds being donated to causes helping those in the affected areas of Japan. I immediately thought of this project as an excellent idea for those wanting to support a great cause, but didn’t want to buy one of those stupid rubber bracelets. Instead my small donation gives me something in return (that can be smoked, yay!), other than a bad tan line on my wrist. With most of my family living in the Philippines and some in Japan, we have been hit with a double whammy of blows by nature recently. But what is most important is that many of them are okay. Unfortunately there are others that weren’t so fortunate and lost family in the disaster and I believe they would greatly appreciate everything we can do for them. So smoke up everyone!
The Para Japon robusto is draped in a beautiful smooth, light brown wrapper. The minimal veining to the wrapper is very reminiscent of Cuban cigars. It has a very faint wood smell to the wrapper with hardly any aroma from the foot of the cigar. The band is very nice with traditional Japanese colors and stylistic font. The cigar was tightly packed, very firm, without any soft spots.
The robusto lit very well with my Xikar lighter after snipping clean the head of the cigar. The cigar produced a thin smoke on the palate but was very plentiful. Air could be pulled with each draw easily, and offered the perfect amount of resistance. The light grey ash clung tightly to the foot almost passed the halfway point of the cigar. I only had to ash the cigar twice during the entire smoking experience. Superb construction and burn considering I was sparking this one right out off the truck.
Once lit, the Para Japon started off the flavor trail with notes of cedar. The smoke was light in body to me. Several puffs later the cigar opened up farther into flavors of sweet cedar, leather, and a hint of musk (flavors remind you of anything?). Those initial flavors seemed to carry themselves all the way through the first half of the cigar, but slowly building in intensity the farther you made your way down the stick. At this time, I was thinking that this cigar smoked very much like a young Montecristo Petit Edmundo from Cuba. Eventually chocolate notes start to take over when getting near the last third. Whisps of vanilla seem to come and go throughout the entire smoke. The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of a clean aftertaste. Somehow this stick seemed to trash out my mouth for a mild/medium bodied smoke.
If this cigar was a regular production stick I would pay up to $8 a pop for these. But the Para Japon has to have a higher profit margin to increase the amount of money donated to their cause. So with that in mind, the Para Japon robusto is priced around the $10 mark, or $96 for a 12 count box. A box makes this stick a pretty good deal and you get to support an awesome cause.
Overall Rating :
This cigar had me pretty perplexed. Para Japon’s profile includes Dominican, Brazilian, and Nicaraguan tobaccos but doesn’t smoke typically of any of them. This culmination of tobacco had me thinking that if this stick wasn’t banded and I was given this from a friend, I would have definitely thought this was a Cuban cigar. It looked and smoked like a young Monte to me, but that doesn’t make this stick great. If it can age like one is a whole other question. But the Para Japon is a winner in my books and delivers a great smoke for an even greater cause. Thanks to all of you that give your support. Cheers!