A Cigar Review: Dutch Masters Chocolate Palma
Masters Collection: Chocolate Palma (with a bonus Swisher Sweets review)
A while back a friend of mine who is an avid cigar smoker introduced me to the pleasures of cigar smoking. I had smoked cigars before, but this was when I was new to smoking and I inhaled cigar smoke, which any cigar smoker can tell you is a big no-no. It will make you sick and give you a horrible cough. It was because of this that I had been turned off to cigar smoking in general even after finding out that the intent was not a quick nicotine fix.
I prefer a pipe (obviously, by my previous posts) but lately I have been smoking more cigarettes. Though I prefer a hand rolled cigarette, the cost has gone up insanely in past months; far more than the cost of pre-rolled and packaged cigarettes.
I was feeling nostalgic one day down at one of the local tobacco shops and picked up a pack of Camel Wides; the brand my friends and I smoked while we were still in school (I know. Shame on us. But it was High School, if that makes you feel better). Camel also changed their blend a few years ago, so I decided to try them (by the way, the new blend is a lot smoother and with the cost of cigarettes rising, you might as well spend a little extra for the good ones, since even the generics are expensive). I have been smoking them for several weeks now.
Today while in the tobacco shop I decided that instead of cigarettes, I was really in the mood for a cigar, and since I is po', I was more specifically looking for cheap cigars. Not necessarily cheaply made (like white owl or Black and mild), but cheaply priced.
Among the many cheap cigars was the ever-popular Dutch Masters. They have been around since 1911 and are very "mainstream" in terms of cigars, so I figured there must be something to them. I was drawn to the Masters collection variety, of which they had Chocolate Palma and Cognac Palma. I asked for the price and the cashier said the computer at the store said "$3.85 (per package of four) which is a steal. I know for a fact that they are more expensive than that". Knowing an opportunity when I see it I bought several packages of four; half chocolate half cognac.
When I got home I decided to go ahead and try the Chocolata Palma. With Bible in hand and a cigar I sat down to smoke and catch up on my studies.
The cigars certainly smell like chocolate and the natural wrap tasted like chocolate before lighting, but when lit there was a pleasing balance of chocolate and tobacco flavor and scent. Throughout the cigar (which lasted for well over an hour) the chocolate flavor stayed consistent and subtle. I was actually worried when I lit it that it would be too flavored or not flavored enough. Some people might find this strange, but when I smoke I want to smoke, If I wanted to have chocolate, I'll have a Hershey bar. When I smoke tobacco that is flavored like chocolate I expect tobacco to be the predominant flavor with subtle hints of chocolate. This cigar was very mild and the flavoring was pleasant and satisfying. There was no bite and no bitter cigar aftertaste so common with cheap cigars (and some of the more high-end ones as well).
If you are new to cigar smoking or a more experienced cigar smoker looking for an affordable, great tasting, fully satisfying cigar, I highly recommend Dutch Masters. By the way, Swisher Sweets are quite possibly the worst cigar ever made (they taste like a turd wrapped in crap).
I have yet to try the Cognac Palma variety but will give a full report in my next blog.
Quick tip: Let your cigar die with a little dignity. Don't crush it out light some worthless cigarette! When you are finished, just put it down and let it go out naturally. This is considered proper cigar etiquette