Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro

In the past few years, the Abraham Flores and Juan Rodriguez have been establishing a name with their Pinar Del Rio Cigars.  Almost two years ago, they launched the successful PDR 1878 series, and now with a new factory in the Dominican Republic, they appear ready to continue to build on that momentum.  The Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro is one of several new cigars released by Pinar del Rio Cigars in 2012.   All of these new releases are made at Pinar Del Rio’s new PDR Cigars factory.   The Small Batch Reserve Maduro is one of two Brazilian Cubra Habano wrapped cigars offered by Pinar Del Rio.  The plan is for these cigars to be released in a limited fashion.  Despite the fact that (in this author’s opinion), it has not been a good year for maduro cigars, the Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro delivers an impressive smoking experience.

For the Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Series, there is a natural Habano wrapper version in addition to the Maduro blend.   As mentioned above, both the Habano and Maduro utilize a Brazilian Cubra Habano wrapper.   Each of the two blends utilize the same binder and filler in the blend. Each blend will be
available in four frontmarks and sold in boxes of 24.  Word is at this time only 100 boxes of each size have been produced (for a total of 9,600 cigars for each blend).

Let’s take a closer look at the Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro and see what the cigar experience delivers.  I will disclaim this cigar assessment was based on a single smoke.

Blend Profile

In addition to the Brazilian Cubra wrapper, there is Dominican tobacco in the binder (Criollo 98) and filler (Corojo).  The filler also features Nicaraguan tobacco.  The binder and filler for the natural are similar to the maduro.

Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra Habano Maduro
Binder: Dominican Criollo 98
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican Corojo

Vitolas Available

The four vitolas below apply to both the Maduro and Habano blends.

Toro: 6 x 54
Robusto: 5 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 54


The Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro is visually one of the most impressive looking cigars I’ve seen in 2012.  For this cigar experience, I sampled the torpedo vitola.  The maduro wrapper is a classic roasted coffee bean color with a slight colorado red tint to it.  There are also some darker spots on the wrapper.  The wrapper itself has a slight oily sheen to it.  There are some visible veins, but the wrapper seams are well hidden because of the wrapper’s darker color.

The band has a white background with gold lettering and design.  In large gold font is the text “PINAR DEL RIO”.  Slightly below that text, also in gold font is “SMALL BATCH RESERVE”.  Toward the left side, in even a smaller gold font is “CUBRA MADURO” and to the right of the band is the text “SVL CUBANO”.   On the very back of the band in gold cursive font  (going sideways) is “Flores y Rodriguez” (referencing the company owners), and the text “Handmade in the Dominican Republic”.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As I do with all torpedo vitolas, I went with a straight cut through the tip.  When I started the pre-light draw, I detected notes of chocolate and wood.  There was not much spice on the dry draw and this was going to be a sign of things to come.  I still did enjoy this pre-light experience and thought it was one of the better ones I’ve had from any Pinar Del Rio cigar.  At this point, it was time to fire up my Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro Torpedo and see what the cigar experience would have in store.

Flavor Profile

Typically with Pinar Del Rio releases, I have found they do not offer a lot in the way of flavor transitions.   This is not necessarily a bad thing, and they still have produced some very good and flavorful cigars – despite that fact that they don’t go through these flavor transitions.  I would classify the Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro as being in this category.

The start to the Small Batch Reserve Maduro was a mix of wood and raisin sweetness.  I didn’t detect much in the way of spice.  In the first third, I found some chocolate notes mix in with the raisin and wood.  Eventually the flavors in the forefront become a combination of chocolate and raisin.   This flavor profile holds for the majority of the smoking experience.  In the last third, I finally picked up some spice.  The spice seemed more of a classic black pepper and never became overly dominant.  I found that as the cigar came to a close, the spice was a little on the harsher side, but I wouldn’t categorize it as overly harsh.   The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

For the most part, the Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve Maduro scored well in the area of burn and draw.   The first half of the Small Batch Reserve Maduro burned very straight.  The second half did require some touch-ups along the way to keep it burning straight.  The use of my butane lighter did the trick each time and keep the burn on track.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Pinar Del Rio (early stages)

As for the draw, the Small Batch Reserve Maduro had a very good draw.  Many times with a torpedo vitola, I feel it can hurt the draw, however there were no issues here.  I considered this a flawless draw from start to finish – making this one of the more enjoyable torpedoes I’ve puffed on.

Strength and Body

In terms of strength and body, this is not going to be an overpowering maduro.   The Small Batch Reserve Maduro is going to deliver just the right amount of strength and the right amount of body.  I assessed this to be a classic medium strength, medium-bodied cigar.  The strength and body of the Small Batch Reserve balance each other very nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Pinar Del Rio Small Batch Reserve was a very good cigar experience.  What this cigar lacked in flavor transitions made up for it in the flavors it produced.  If you are looking for a lot of spice from a cigar, this isn’t going to be a cigar for you.  If you like a nice combination of chocolate and sweetness, this is a nice cigar to turn to.  I’d recommend this cigar to the novice enthusiast looking for a high quality medium strength, medium-bodied cigar.  I also think many experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate what this cigar brings to the table.  This is a cigar I classify as an “any time of the day cigar”.  This is a cigar I look forward to smoking again.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Good
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91

Source: The cigar for this assessment was gifted to me.