Sosa Imperio Cubano

Trying another short one today, since I'm a bit pressed for time, but determined to follow through with reviewing at least one smoke every day while I'm home. I recently got my hands on a bundle of Sosa Imperio Cubano perfectos, which vaguely resemble Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Stories in appearance. They were far less expensive, though, just $45 for a bundle of 10. I'm interested to see how they taste.

Cigar: Sosa Imperio Cubano

Vitola: Perfecto (4” x 50)

Price: $4.50/stick

Origin: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Body: Medium

Rating (out of 10): 9.0

I'll just say it: I'm not totally impressed by the band on this thing. And a cigar band has to really strike me the wrong way to get me to even notice it. I don't know, I guess I just feel like the colors don't really work well together. I know it is a cheap cigar, but the band really makes it look like a cheap cigar, if you know what I mean.

The construction on this is great, though. Just one tiny little wrinkle in the cap, but it doesn't affect the cut in any way. No sponginess, no tears, and a light sheen of oil.

There's just a very faint aroma of cedar from this thing, but it really is soft and hard to pick up.

First Third:
The cold draw is open with a slight bit of resistance, and tastes rich and earthy, with faint undertones of cocoa. It's a small, nipple-footed perfecto, so it's an easy light.

After lighting, a blast of cracked peppercorn and salt comes through the draw, followed by a cedary flavor. It's quite different from what I tasted on the cold draw.

Starting to burn past the nipple taper, and the draw gets a little bit tighter here. The salt and pepper is still present, but it has faded to the finish, allowing the cedar to take precedence on the draw.

Little perfectos like this seem to share a similar problem. I've noticed it with the Fuente Hemingway Short Stories, and it just happened here, as well: they tend to self-extinguish right as they're opening up. A quick relight, though, and we're back on our way.

Now at the widest part of the cigar, the salt and pepper picks up in strength once again, but remains on the finish, rather than on the draw. There, the cedar remains at the front, with a soft undertone of cocoa. It's a nice, woody profile with a bit of a spicy kick.

A firm, medium-grey ash column is forming up behind a diagonal, but even, burn line. I'm getting a definite medium-bodied flavor, but this smoke is dense and silky in form. For some reason, watching the smoke feels like watching tiny little aerial silk acrobats.

Second Third:
In the second third, the cocoa notes pick up just enough to blend evenly with the cedar. Salt and pepper still linger on the finish and the aftertaste. Quite spicy behind the draw.

The burn is a little bit uneven, but it's not out of control.

Final Third:
Not a great deal of change in the flavor profile, but that tends to be the case with smaller sticks. You'll tend to see more flavor changes in larger vitolas, which take longer to smoke and are large enough to accommodate more blending in the filler leaf to allow for those changes. Shorter sticks, generally speaking, tend to be more consistent throughout, though there may be some smaller, more nuanced changes to the overall profile.

Closing Thoughts:
I quite enjoyed this little perfecto. A couple burn issues, but they're not by any means insurmountable. And the early re-light didn't have any noticeable effect on the flavor. The spice on the finish and the aftertaste is quite intense, so if spicy's not your thing, consider yourself warned. I used to think I didn't like spicy cigars quite that much, but they do seem to be growing on me.

This one did burn quite a bit slower than I expected, given its size. Fortunately, I also wound up having more time than I expected, so it worked out.