|Ambos Mundos No 1 Toro|
The Ambos Mundos (which means “both worlds”) line was introduced by Tatuaje Cigars in 2009. The intent of this line was to help Tatuaje Cigars capitalize on the “value cigar market”. Namely, cigars in the $5.00 – $7.00 range. Value-priced cigars are particularly sought after by retailers as with the economic times over the past few years, cigars in this price range tend to move off the shelves quicker. The question in my mind is does this cigar, with the reputation of a Tatuaje behind them stand up to the competition? My assessment is that this cigar falls short.
According to what I’ve researched on this blend, Ambos Mundos is made using what has been called “B and C” grade tobaccos – which is different than a lot of the other Tatuaje brands. This does not imply that this tobacco is of inferior quality. The blend also uses long-filler tobaccos. The tobacco from an appearance standpoint looks a little different and possibly requires extra fermentation. It is import to know that the tobacco in the Ambos Mundos line comes from the same plants, farms, soils, and regions as the other Tatuaje products.
This cigar is another collaboration with Tatuaje and the Garcia family. The Tatuaje web-site indicates this cigar was made at My Father Cigars by Jaime Garcia.
There are two blends under this line – the No. 1 and the No. 2. The No. 1 features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, while the No. 2 features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. I’m focusing this assessment around the No. 1. It is worth noting that it was the Ambos Mundos No. 2 was rated #18 by Cigar Aficionado in 2009.
Wrapper; Ecuadorian Habano
The Ambos Mundos No. 1 is available in three vitolas:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Grande: 5 1/2 x 56
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I selected the Toro size vitola. I opted to place a straight cut into the cuban-style triple cap. The pre-light draw had an interesting mix of dry hay, grass, wood, and a touch of pepper. This wasn’t what I expected given this cigar had roots in the Pepin Garcia family. It was then on to light the cigar and smoke.
One thing I have to say off the bat, the Ambos Mundos No.1 is not a cigar that is in my flavor profile. As I lit the cigar, the flavors from the pre-light draw were still holding firm. I was picking up a little more pepper on the initial draws. This pepper was definitely more on the red pepper side.
It wasn’t a signature Don Pepin pepper blast, and the red pepper spice transitions into more of a classic cedar spice for the duration of the cigar experience. Shortly into the smoke, I picked up a lot of notes of toast. The flavors of the hay, grass, wood, cedar spice, and toast seem to hold right until the end. The nub was a soft, but on the cool side. The finish to the cigar was a bit on the harsh side.
In a lot of ways, this didn’t smoke like a robust Nicaraguan cigar. There were qualities of this having a flavor profile similar to some Cuban cigars – which is something that is stated by Tatuaje (namely “old world Cuban style). While this wasn’t my flavor profile, I give Tatuaje and the Garcias credit for once again doing something different with Nicaraguan tobacco.
Finally, while the cigar did not have a lot of flavor transitions, I’d still categorize this as medium complexity because there was enough kinds of flavor notes I was picking up.
Burn and Draw
While I didn’t enjoy the flavors of the Ambos Mundos No. 1, I respected the construction. Take any notion of “B and C” grade and “inferior” tobacco out of your head. This cigar is well made. It burned almost perfectly with a razor sharp burn. It burned a little faster than I would have liked, but the temperature seemed right for the duration of the cigar experience. The draw could be said to be a little loose, but nothing that would take it out of the “excellent” range.
Strength and Body
From a strength standpoint, the Ambos Mundos isn’t a very strong smoke. I still think it provided just enough nicotine to be considered a medium strength smoke. From a body standpoint, the depth of the flavors are also a solid medium.
When it comes to scoring a cigar, the lion’s share of the score is going to go to flavor in my book. If flavor doesn’t cut it, it’s going to be hard for the cigar to score high in my book. With the Ambos Mundos No. 1, this cigar scored well in most categories here – except for flavor. There are definitely other value-priced cigars on the shelves with better flavor. Still I think there is a flavor profile out there for some folks who enjoy a cigar with more toast, hay, and grass tones. Bottom line is “See What You Think”.
Assessment: See What You Think
Disclaimer: The cigar experience described in this assessment was purchased at Cigar Vault in Staten Island, New York.