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Duran Cigars has a number of cigars in its arsenal, but the Roberto P. Duran Premium is the flagship for the brand. For this review I had two vitolas out of the line and both were larger ring gauges than I usually smoke. In fact, Duran has a wide range of ring gauges from the more traditional 46 and 50 to 60 and above. I am interested to see if this cigar can win me over to larger ring gauge cigars.

Information and Appearance:

  • Brand: Duran Cigars – Roberto P. Duran Premium
  • Where did I get it: One sent by Cigar Coop, Will Cooper, and the other by Jack Torano at Duran
  • Cigar Info:
    • Vitolas:
      • Riotoa: 5 x 52
      • La Punta: 6 x 54
      • Tainos: 6 x 56 (One cigar for this review)
      • Cacique Guama: 6 x 60 (Another cigar for this review)
    • Blend
      • Wrapper: Ecuador Habana Criollo
      • Binder: Nicaraguan
      • Filler: Nicaraguan and other tobaccos from Latin America
    • The wrapper has an excellent color. It is a lush tan that borders on a reddish rust color. The wrapper also has some nice veins running through it and looks impeccable.
    • The smoke time is 90+ minutes; however, some smokers could easily push this cigar to 2 hours and not have it go out on them.

Burn and Draw:

The draw is lovely and smooth for such a large cigar. This is not an easy feat for cigars with so much tobacco in them. Therefore, such a smooth and even draw underlines the skill behind rolling this cigar. On the other hand, the burn can be a bit jagged and it will need slight corrections throughout the smoke. This is not a major issue, but the burn can be an issue for inattentive smokers. All and all, the draw and burn performed very well.

Score: 91

Construction:

I hinted at the high level of construction when I described the draw earlier. The ash holds very well and the cigar kept its shape well. Moreover, the cigar’s combustion rate was top notch, which is excellent for such large ring gauge cigars. I have found that there will be some tar build up in larger cigars, which can plug the cigar and ruin the final third. Both cigars I smoked had no issues and the combustion rate remained consistent from beginning to end. To sum up, these cigars are simply a joy to smoke.

Score: 92

First Third:

For me, this cigar produces some wonderful flavors that are delicately balanced. Spice and leather flavors greet you at the beginning of the smoke, but they quickly mellow as a lovely honey sweetness develops. The balance of sweetness, leather, tobacco and spice is delicious and works really well. As the first third progresses, a nice woody flavor enters the finish and adds to the complexity. The cigar itself is not strong and would probably reside in the medium or medium plus range, which is just enough to give the cigar some structure and not overpower the finish. Even though there are some rich and luscious flavors, the finish itself is not heavy on the palate. This first third sets the table for an enjoyable cigar experience.

Score: 91

Second Third:

This third is dominated by a honey sweetness combined with a toasted graham cracker note, which is very enjoyable. Tobacco, leather and slight cedar notes are present, but are more relegated to the background as the sweetness takes center stage. This sweet note combined with the graham cracker flavors are nice counterpoints to more traditional tobacco, leather and cedar flavors. Similar to the first third, the finish is not heavy on the palate and no one flavor weighs down the finish. Each flavor note compliments the other nicely and are well balanced. However, I found myself wanting a bit more strength and depth in the finish and this is the only factor that kept the score from reaching even loftier heights.

Score: 91

Final Third:

The final third is where this cigar sets itself apart from other large ring gauge cigars. The crucial aspect of this third is that flavors in the finish continue to develop, as opposed to other large ring gauge cigars that can become too harsh to smoke. Not only does the Duran Premium not get harsh, wonderful rich sweet notes coat the palate and deliver a smooth texture. Tobacco and woody flavors gain prominence as you near the final inches of the cigar, but they are not harsh or aggressive. This cigar continues to deliver flavor and enjoyment all the way to your fingers, which is always a good sign.

Score: 92

Overall:

This is a cigar for all levels and all cigar smokers. Novice smokers can try a larger ring gauge cigar without the draw or burn issues associated with larger cigars. Moreover, they can try the blend in a more traditional 5 x 52 offering. I am not a fan of ring gauges over 54; however, this cigar opened my eyes to what a large ring gauged cigar can deliver. Top notch construction, a consistent smooth draw and well balanced sweet, toasted, woody and tobacco flavors all work together to create a wonderful cigar experience. If you are not a fan of large ring gauges, give the 56 and 60 a try, you will not be disappointed.

Overall Score: 92 – Excellent

Recommendation:

I think beginning cigar smokers can use this cigar as an introduction to larger ring gauge cigars, because the flavors are so well balanced and the strength is not overpowering. Moreover, experienced cigar smokers will get a great deal out of the complex finish. This is an easy box purchase for me and it is currently my favorite offering in the Duran portfolio. I look forward to smoking a number of these in the future.

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