(Size: 4.5″ x 42 — Time: 35mins)
Moving away from robustos for a moment… I think it’s time to revisit one of my favourite vitolas – the petit corona. I got hold of today’s cigar for a pretty penny – well, actually, just a penny (courtesy of Mitch at CGars Ltd)! So, would the offer have the desired effect – was I to try the Charatan Petit Corona and then return to buy many more…
So it was that I visited the waterfront at the Barbican for my first ‘harbour’ cigar for about a month. The weather was almost idea – the sun shone brightly with little by way of cloud but the wind was blowing a little bit though, so I tucked myself into a sheltered corner overlooking the yachts. I settled down with a Diet Coke and lit up, enjoying my view of the local yachties preparing for the forthcoming summer sailing season… (I can’t wait ’til I’m back on the water).
Okay, the Charatan Petit Corona is not a bad looking stick. It has a basic yet attractive band (which was a little too well applied) and a nice shade of wrapper. However, the wrapper is not unblemished, and the seams as the leaf winds around the cigar are quite pronounced. I would also mention the poorly applied cap – upon cutting the head, the remaining cap just fell off (more about the resulting unwrapping wrapper in the following section). Overall though, to look at, a reasonable cigar. 12
The pre-light aromas were quite subdued, but certainly hinted at some light cocoa beans. The aroma throughout the smoke was very pleasant, almost sweet. As for how the cigar smoked… This was an excellent cigar, beautifully constructed. The lighting was a doddle – a quick toasting, a couple of puffs and I was away. The burn was very good from the get-go, the only slight burn issue was right at the very end around the band area of the stick. As I progressed through this small stick, I was constantly amazed at the quality of the ash, it was absolutely grogeous: bright, solid, and ringed by almost perfect concentric circles. Then there is the draw, it was absolutely spot on, just the right resistance and providing a well measured quantity of smoke. Really, from a construction/smoking characteristics point of view, the only negative aspect was the quality of the cap. I cut it as per usual, and the remaining band of the cap just fell off, leaving me with nothing holding the wrapper together. A combination of delicate handling and tactical use of the cigar’s band allowed me to stop the unravelling becoming too much of a hassle, though it was still a real issue towards the end… But for the wrapper, this would have been a flawless score – the PC is clearly a cigar which is put together by a skilled roller. 23
The opening draws from the PC were quite light and fresh, with an almost straw-like quality. This quickly richened, however, hinting towards more vegetal flavours. A few minutes later this cigar settled into its majority offering… An unusual flavour started to come through, gradually I started to consider what I was getting from this cigar, and came to the conclusion that the PC was a cigar which, for this main portion of the smoke, was an interesting amalgamation of mint, coffee and cocoa. Indeed, this cigar could have been something in one of the more unusual selections that can be picked up at Thornton’s (the chocolatiers). For the most part, this cigar pottered along with this profile, only changing towards the death. As we neared the end, the mint leafiness gave way to another popular leaf – that of tea. That great drink of Britain, delicately spiced (like Masala Chai), came to the fore. Then, finally, there was a great depth of flavour in the mouth, with something which was reminiscent of a roasted meat finishing off this small cigar. This finish is not to suggest that the PC is a cigar which offers great flavour development – it isn’t, but there are a couple of little twists and turns. The flavours of this cigar were never anything special. The most positive comment that could be made of them was that they were quite smooth (so much so that the retrohale was almost unnoticeable). Not fantastic, but not bad either… 19
Overall Impression /35
Overall, the Charatan Petit Corona is certainly not a cigar which is going to set your world alight. It is not a cigar which is ever really offensive, nor is it one which will make you sit up in amazement at its flavours. It’s certainly an excellently constructed cigar, unfortunately, I found the ash the most exciting thing about this Nicaraguan stogie… 30
Grand total… 84/100
NB. As far as I can tell, this is the first online review of the Charatan Petit Corona… breaking new ground on The Cigar Monologues!