The Indian Motorcycle Ultra Premium Cigars line is a new brand introduced by Debonaire Cigars co-owner Phil Zanghi at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show. It was almost a year ago when Zanghi announced on the Stogie Geeks 3 Year Anniversary Show that he had re-acquired the rights to the Indian Tabac trademark. Indian Tabac was originally a partnership between Zanghi and Rocky Patel. In 2002, he sold the company to Patel to focus on other areas in the cigar business before returning to premium cigars in 2012. Instead of bringing back Indian Tabac, Zanghi opted to go in a different direction and create a whole new brand called Indian Motorcycle Ultra Premium Cigars. This brand incorporates a theme based on the popular motorcycle brand. The new brand also introduces two all-new blends – a Habano and Maduro offering. Today, we take a look at the Indian Motorcycle Habano in the Robusto size. Zanghi has done a masterful job with Debonaire. Once again, he strikes gold delivering another hit in his portfolio.
The Indian Motorcycle brand can be traced back to Springfield, Massachusetts were they were manufactured from 1901 to 1953. After the original Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt, several companies acquired the brand, including one by Zanghi’s father. Eventually in 2011, Polaris Industries acquired the company and have maintained the early-Americana theme for the bikes. The new Indian Motorcycle Ultra Premium Cigar line also incorporates the early-Americana theme seen on the motorbikes into its branding.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Indian Motorcycle Habano utilizes a Habano wrapper from Ecuador. This differs from the Debonaire Habano line which uses a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper.
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Dominican San Vincente
Filler: HVA Ligero, Nicaraguan Seco, Piloto Cubano
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (De Los Reyes)
The Indian Motorcycle Maduro uses the same binder and filler as the Indian Motorcycle Habano.
Both the Indian Motorcycle Habano and Indian Motorcycle Maduro come in 20 count boxes – each in the following four sizes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 58
Churchill: 7 1/2 x 50
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto has a medium brown color with almost a cinnamon tint to it. Upon closer examination there is some subtle darker marbling that can be seen on the surface. The wrapper has somewhat of an oily complexion. There are some thin visible veins and a few thin wrapper seams.
The band features an antique white background. On the center of the band is an antique-white Indian Motorcycle logo sitting on a metallic red circular background. Surrounding the circular logo is a thick brown ring with the text “INDIAN MOTORCYCLE” on the top portion and “1901” on the bottom portion – both in antique white font. To the left of the logo is the text “Hand Made” in small brown font. To the right is the text “Dominican Republic” – also in small brown font. There is a black stripe across the top and one across bottom of the band. Each stripe has some gold adornments on it. The lower stripe is thicker and features a gold ribbon-like adornment on it with the text “ULTRA PREMIUM CIGARS” in white font.
The band also has a few oil-like smudges across the top-center and sides of the band. These smudges give the appearance that the wrapper has bled on to the band, but it also enhances the early-Americana motorcycle theme to it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was successfully removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw stage. The pre-light draw delivered some prominent cedar notes along with some nut and floral notes. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to this cigar to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto started out with a mix of cedar, red pepper, nut, and natural tobacco sweetness. The early stages of the cigar saw the nut flavors move to the forefront with the cedar, red pepper, and natural tobacco becoming background notes. The background notes did a good job at balancing sweetness (from the natural tobacco and cedar) and spice (from the red pepper and again from the cedar). Meanwhile the cedar and red pepper were also prominent on the retro-hale.
The second third of the Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto saw the natural tobacco sweetness move into the forefront. Meanwhile the spices transitioned in the background – becoming more of a combination of baker’s spice and red pepper along with a slight cedar note. As the cigar moved through the second the second third, the nut flavors moved from the forefront to a secondary note.
The last third didn’t see too much change as from the latter part of the second half. There was a slight increase in the spice notes, but it still didn’t overwhelm the palate. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto scores very nicely when it comes to both burn and draw. The burn path of the Habano Robusto took a straight path from start to finish. There was a slight curvature to the burn line, however this proved to be cosmetic more than anything. As for the ash, it was a silver-gray color with some dark streaking in it. The ash was not overly firm, nor was it a loose ash. As for the combustion, this performed quite well as the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw performed quite well too. I categorized the draw as open, but not loose. This still this a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
From both the strength and body perspectives, I found that the Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto delivered a medium to full experience from start to finish. I didn’t find much variance in these attributes as the cigar experience progressed. As for strength versus body, I found both attributes balanced each other well with neither overshadowing the other.
The Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto was an impressive cigar. This cigar made a favorable impression out out of the gate – and with each subsequent cigar impressed me some more. While one thing that the Indian Motorcycle Habano has in common with the Debonaire Habano is how well it balances sweetness and spice, the two cigars are also going to have very different flavor profiles. At $7.00, this is also very wallet friendly cigar without sacrificing any quality. Overall this is a cigar I would steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but it’s also a great cigar to graduate a novice to something in the “medium plus” range. As for myself, this is a cigar I most certainly would smoke again – and it’s worthy of a box purchase.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Spotlight on Debonaire and Indian Motorcycle Ultra Premium Cigars
Source: Purchased, Cigars Provided by Manufacturer *
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 158, Episode 163
Stogie Feed: Indian Motorcycle Habano Toro
* Debonaire Cigars / Indian Motorcycle Ultra Premium Cigars is a sponsor of Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks.
A friend gave me one of the 71/2 x 50 Churchill Habano to try and I was impressed with it’s easy draw, low maintenance even burn all the way and overall flavor. The comments on the page and extremely accurate and I will definitely buy.
Indian did NOT go bankrupt in 1953, they were acquired by the the British.
Several sources have reported a 1953 bankruptcy. Its safe to say there was a ceasing in operations back in 1953. We will do some more validation. Thank you.
Smoking my first. Absolutely solid..