Exactus Cigars is a boutique brand that is made in the Dominican Republic. The factory in which the brand is produced has a long history in the Dominican cigar making industry, dating back to 1955. Fast forward 40 years later – in 1995 the company went through a transformation where they refined techniques and made radical changes in their products. Today that factory is known as Tabacalera El Artista S.A. The name was chosen because they consider each of their members to be artists in the production of premium cigars.
Puro Ambar Breakdown
- Wrapper: T13 (Exclusive to Tabacalera El Artista, grown in Rancho Elba Maria).
- Binder: Wine Fermented Criollo 98
- Filler: Criollo 98 & 1900 (Exclusive to Tabacalera El Artista, grown in Rancho Elba Maria)
- Vitola: 5.5″ x 60 Short Coloso
- Price: $6.50
For appearance sake, the presentation on this cigar is eye catching. A large white band with bronze foil touches and the name Puro Ambar (also in bronze) is offset to the bottom right of the band. In a market where cigar packaging includes laser cut bands and bold, bright colors to grab your attention in a walk-in humidor, the Puro Ambar presentation is simple; yet it stands out and draws you in to at least come and take a closer look. The wrapper, which is a medium golden brown, is very close in color to the bronze foil on the band and that offers a nice contrast in color schemes. Closer examination shows some marbling spots throughout the wrapper. You will notice some prominent veins on the wrapper and this lends to a semi-rustic feel, but the seams and lines are clean otherwise.
A smoky wood aroma radiates off the wrapper and foot of the cigar. Cold draw introduces a really interesting sweet, syrupy note and I immediately notice a slight sweetness on my lips and the tip of my tongue. Once lit, there is a very unique smoked hickory wood flavor. Then enters a deep, rich, sweet note that has me conflicted – I can’t decide whether it is molasses, maple or teriyaki… As these flavors develop on my palate, they provoke images of wood smoking chips used for barbecuing a brisket or other tasty meats. Though this profile is unique, it reminds me a lot of the J. D. Howard reserve. In the middle of this third, you will experience floral and spice undertones that join the overall flavor profile. The complexity and flavors in this third present themselves in layers. What you may taste when you inhale is not necessarily what you taste as you exhale. The cigar itself puts off constant smoke and the strength level is right around ¾ (medium-plus).
Retro: Sweet and Spicy.
The smoky wood note develops and transitions into a deeper, richer, charred oak flavor as the sweet notes fall off a cliff and all but disappear. The presence of warm, cracked walnut shells slowly enters the flavor profile, while floral notes remain in the backdrop. There is also a subtle spice component, but every time I pick it up it’s usually handcuffed to the floral notes. One thing I found really odd was how drastically the flavor intensity dropped. At this point I intentionally drop the semi-toothy ash midway way through. Some how doing this elevated the flavors and charred oak becomes more and more vocal. The strength of the cigar has scaled back to a true medium body and Dominican tobacco characteristics really take shape.
Retro: Wood and Floral.
Sweet notes return with a bit of restraint. The flavor profile remains intact and stays the same as the previous third. As I get closer to the end, disappointment starts to set in as the flavors become murky and nothing stands out other than wood and natural tobacco flavors.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
I have smoked the 4.75″ x 54 Short Robusto as well as the 5.5″ x 60 Short Coloso (for this review). I got the most enjoyment out of the Colosso vitola. I feel it delivers a greater range of flavors where as the robusto is dominated by oaky notes. At the current price points ($5 – $7) for these cigars, I believe them to be a really good value. So I can say with confidence, I would pick a stick or two in the future and see how it pairs with different bourbons. I’m also very interested to see what develops with a little rest in my humidor. All in all, this cigar was a solid experience. I have smoked the Exactus Maduro and Classico and thought they where also excellent values and good cigars. I’m interested to see where Exactus Cigars grows from here.
- Perfect draw
- Great 1st half
- Good value
- Canoeing/burn issues
- Tails off in 2nd half