Bill and Juan of Cubariqueño have quickly captured especially the social media cigar audience by storm with their freshman release of the Protocol. Smoking and enjoying through quite a few vitolas of that line (the Corona Gorda being a personal favorite), the guys had quite big shoes to fill in their sophomore release of the Probable Cause. Sporting a Mexican San Andres wrapper with Nicaraguan fillers and binder, I had hopeful expectations. Given the large number of cigar companies utilizing this wrapper, the big question for me was, could the guys create a Mexican San Andres that is truly a notch above the sea of San Andres already on the market? In an effort to answer this question, I will discuss the two vitolas in four aspects; pre-light experience, taste profile, construction and overall recommendation.
The pre-light experience of both the Robusto and Churchill were very similar. Both had an eye pleasing Mexican San Andres wrapper that showed a lively maduro wrapper with tooth. Bunch and roll was well done, cap applied in a neat fashion, veins well pressed and seams tight. The nosing experience for both vitolas showed good depth in earthiness and spice. Therefore, this is a tie. But the real discussion is in regards to how the vitolas smoked.
When reviewing my flavor notes, both vitolas hit similar depths in earth (dirt), wood, chocolate, spice and cream. The difference is, the Churchill had greater depth of sweetness in chocolate and cream, whereas the Robusto was more of a generic dry cocoa. In regards to a dirt type of earth, the Churchill was a bit chewy in nature, providing a damp earthiness, whereas the Robusto was more of a dry and slightly gritty earthiness. Both had the same level of spice in the sense that it was not overpowering, instead, more of a layered manner. Strength told the same story such that both were medium in nature. Quite a difference in body as the Churchill’s body was medium-full, providing a greater mouthfeel in a chewy manner. Lastly, the Churchill provided a more flavorful finish, long and lingering such that I didn’t want to take additional draws at times to continue the great after taste.
In regards to the construction of burn and draw, the Churchill was the winner. The Churchill’s burn was nothing short of amazing, providing rock solid ash marks and an even burn. The Robusto on the other hand failed to have the wrapper burn in unison, requiring two touch ups. Both the Churchill and Robusto had issues with the draw, being too tight. Perhaps the box press is the culprit on the tightness.
The clear cut winner here is the Churchill. The Churchill exemplified greater depth in body and mouthfeel, flavor intensities and cohesiveness. Although I still enjoyed the flavor profile of the Robusto, the Churchill offered greater depth in sweetness in combination of the spice and wood all wrapped up in a chewy smoke. Although neither vitola was all that great in regards to construction, the Churchill’s better performance in burn edged out the Robusto. For my money, I’ll have to hands down give it to the Churchill.