|The Corona Project Vol. 1 by Rodrigo Cigars|
In 2014, Rodrigo Cigars released “The Corona Project Vol. 1“. This marked the first new release by Rodrigo Cigars in over two years. The Corona Project line is a limited edition line that had been in the works for some time. The concept with this line is to release a different corona sized cigar – each with a different wrapper. For the first installment (the Vol. 1 release), company founder George Rodriguez opted to go with a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. This marked the first time the company used this wrapper as well as released its first maduro. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke The Corona Project Vol. 1. Overall I found this to be an excellent cigar – and one that brought the best of classic and “new age” Connecticut Broadleaf characteristics.
Back in August 2031 Rodriguez was a guest on Episode 106 of Stogie Geeks and provided some ore context on this project:
“When we blend cigars, we do like to start with the smaller ring gauges. We get more of a concentrated flavor and we really know what’s going on with the tobacco. That vitola is my favorite vitola. What I want to give is give people the experience I chance that I have when I’m blending those cigars focusing on that vitola.“
Without further ado, let’s take a look at The Corona Project and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Corona Project Vol. 1 features a three country blend. As with all Rodrigo Cigars, the Corona Project Vol. 1 is made at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic. It was blended by the team of William and Henderson Ventura as well as George Rodriguez himself.
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Sumatra Ecuador
Filler: An all ligero blend of Dominican Criollo 98, Corojo, and HVA
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera William Ventura)
The Corona Project Vol .1 is available in one size – a 5 3/4 x 43. The cigars are packaged in 25 count boxes.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of The Corona Project Vol. 1 consists of a deep, roasted coffee colored wrapper. There is a strong mahogany tint in the color scheme. Upon looking closely at the wrapper, some darker marbling can be seen. There is a definite oily sheen on the surface. At the same time there was a slight bumpy feel to this wrapper. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins. The cigar has a covered foot and the cap is finished with a pig-tail.
The band to The Corona Project is red in color with gold font. On the center of the band in large font is the text “CORONA”. Just below it is the text “PROJECT” in smaller font. Above the main “CORONA” text is the text “RODRIGO CIGARS” and just above that are some gold adornments resembling the Rodrigo logo. The remainder of the band has gold adornments. Curved around the edge of the band to the far left and far right is the text “RODRIGO IS MY AMIGO” (a slogan the company uses) in small font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the pig-tail cap off, I went with a straight cut instead. This is what I normally do on all cigars that have a pig-tail. Once the cap was clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of coffee, cream, and cedar. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of this cigar to be outstanding. At this point, I was ready to light up The Corona Project Vol. 1 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The initial stages of The Corona Project Vol. delivered a mix of coffee and white pepper. As the flavor profile settled down, a combination of coffee and earth notes became the primary flavors. Meanwhile the white pepper notes were joined by cream andan herbal note in the background. The herbal note increased early on and by the five percent point, it joined the coffee and earth in the forefront. Meanwhile, I detected a combination of white pepper and coffee on the retro-hale.
As The Corona Project Vol. 1 moved through the first third, I found the coffee and herbal notes to be in the forefront – alternating in intensity. The earth notes were still present, but slightly less prominent. The white pepper was a secondary note while the cream was a much more distant note.
During the second third, the flavor pattern continued. I did find the coffee notes to have more of an edge. By the start of the last third, the herbal and earth notes took control. Toward the end, the white pepper made a surge. The spice didn’t overwhelm the palate. There was some spice at the end of this cigar, but by this point it was time to put down. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found The Corona Project Vol. 1 to perform quite well in the construction attributes of burn and draw. The burn path remained on a straight path from start to finish. There was a slight bit of jaggedness to the burn line, but at no point did this cigar tunnel or canoe. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. The ash itself was firm and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and the burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Corona Project Vol. 1|
The draw to The Corona Project Vol. 1 was outstanding. While it wasn’t a loose draw by any means, this little cigar produced a nice volume of smoke. Overall, this was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found The Corona Project Vol. 1 to start out right in the middle of the spectrum at medium. There is a gradual increase in strength and by the second half The Corona Project moved into the medium to full range. I found the body of this cigar to follow a similar path. The cigar started out medium and moved to medium to full-bodied in the second half. In terms of strength and body, there was a very slight edge to the body with this cigar, but in general I thought both attributes balanced each other nicely.
Right now, Tabacalera Ventura is red hot – most notably with some of the cigars being done for Robert Caldwell. Rodrigo Cigars has also had a long-time relationship with this factory and has produced some very good products. This factory is producing some very unique blends and no doubt The Corona Project Vol. 1 falls into this category. This is a unique tasting Connecticut Broadleaf wrapped blend. It’s not for everyone, but neither are most cigars. I’m really curious to see where Rodriguez takes the subsequent releases in this series and what other wrappers he uses. This is a cigar I’d recommend for a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I would not discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I really enjoyed and one that has just enough going on to make it box worthy in my book.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy