The Sosa Underground was introduced in 2011 by Antillian Cigars. It was one of three lines introduced that year that had the Sosa name on it. The Underground is a cigar that is produced directly in Little Havana in Miami, Florida. Antillian Cigars has said that the Underground is intended to be a “limited” cigar with only 300 cigars being produced per week. As we will see, the Underground brings together classic and contemporary aspects. The flavor profile of the Underground is one that I would term classic – delivering some very old school flavors. As for the packaging, this is more on the contemporary side – everything from the banding, box, and vitola shapes. I have recently had an opportunity to smoke the Sosa Underground and I found this to be a positive smoking experience.
The initial press release that announced Underground contained a little more information on the Sosa brand:
The Sosa cigar tradition began with Don Juan Sosa, a small tobacco grower in the fertile Taguasco region of Cuba at the turn of the century. By the 1920’s, his farm had become one of the largest tobacco-producing haciendas in Cuba. Over the next 30 years, Don Juan’s son, Arturo, and grandson, Juan, manufactured cigars for sale in Cuba and abroad. Juan B. Sosa moved the operation to the Dominican Republic in the 1960’s where the family re-established their factory along with operations in Miami, Florida. Today, the legacy of quality, handmade cigars made in the Cuban tradition continues with master blender, Juan B. Sosa, alongside his wife, sons and nephews.
Without further adieu, let’s take a closer look at the Sosa Underground. As a disclaimer, this cigar assessment is based on a single smoking experience.
The Sosa Underground is a Nicaraguan puro featuring a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
There are three vitolas – two of which are very contemporary looking artesian perfectos:
Arcane (Perfecto): 4 3/4 x 41 (More like an inverse torpedo)
Delphic (Perfecto): 5 1/2 x 41 (More like a petit diadema)
Dar (Robusto): 5 x 50
The cigars are packaged in boxes of 20. The boxes are also contemporary containing a logo designed by a local Miami tattoo artist.
For this cigar experience, I went with the Delphic which really has the appearance of a petit diadema. The wrapper to the Underground Delphic has a medium brown color to it. There are some visible veins and wrapper seams. The wrapper itself has some oil on the surface. The cigar itself does have a bumpy surface and it could also be considered slightly toothy. The cap and the footer have a natural tobacco covering that is slightly lighter than the wrapper itself.
The band is a very contemporary one – containing red and silver striping with the text “UNDERGROUND” on the center red stripe in black font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
With my Underground Delphic, I went with a straight cut into the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was successfully clipped, I proceeded to begin the pre-light draw. I found the dry draw notes to be simple, yet satisfying – providing a mix of wood and light cherry sweet notes. Overall, I did consider the pre-light draw to the Sosa Underground to be positive. When I was ready to light up the Underground, I made sure I toasted the entire foot of the diadema to make sure the burn started off right. It was then time to move into the actual smoking phase.
As mentioned at the start of the assessment, the Underground has a very classic old school flavor profile. It isn’t going to provide a lot in the way of flavor transitions, but overall it is going to deliver solid flavors.
The start to the Underground continues with the wood and cherry flavors that were a part of the pre-light draw. I also detected some black pepper notes and natural tobacco. The natural tobacco and the cherry combined to give a nice sweetness to the cigar. The wood and pepper balanced the sweetness nicely. The pepper was very prominent on the retro-hale and in the nasal passages.
The flavor profile holds for most of the cigar experience. There are times when the sweetness and pepper are more dominant – particularly in the second half, but overall the flavors seemed to counter each other very well. There is some spice at the end of the cigar experience, but it is not overly harsh. The resulting nub is cool in temperature, but firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The Underground scores nicely with the attributes of burn and draw. The thinner ring gauge helps the diadema do very well here as I find larger ring gauge diademas can lead to inferior burn and draw experiences. In the case of the Underground, the burn line remains relatively straight requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash is firm with a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature are both ideal.
The draw was ideal. The diadema shape had no negative impacts and made for a quite enjoyable experience.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Sosa Underground has a little more kick than one might think. I assessed the Underground to be a medium to full strength cigar. As for the flavors, there is some nice depth to them. I also assessed the Underground to be a medium to full-bodied smoking experience. Both the strength and body balance each other nice, with neither attribute overpowering the other.
Overall I found the contemporary packaging and classic flavor profile combination to work very well. There won’t be anything revolutionary about the flavor profile here, but it delivers nice flavor and delivers it well. I also was quite impressed how this diadema smoked. As mentioned I believe the smaller ring gauge helped out quite a bit here. Overall, this is a cigar I would give to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast – looking to give them a good, not overly flashy cigar. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This cigars for this assessment were provided to myself from Antillian Cigars. The request was initiated by Antillian Cigars to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide an assessment. Cigar Coop is appreciative to samples provided but this plays no role in a final assessment rating.