In 2019, Miami Cigar & Company commemorated its 30th anniversary. Instead of launching new brands, Miami Cigar & Company opted to bring back two of its more popular lines – the Nestor Miranda Special Selection and the Don Lino Africa. The Nestor Miranda Special Selection is named for company founder Nestor Miranda and was brought back with the same blend as when it had originally been released. Don Lino Africa was a different story as this cigar would receive a revamped blend and a new manufacturing partner for Miami Cigar and Company in AJ Fernandez. Today we take a closer look at the revamped Don Lino Africa in the Duma (Robusto) size.
Don Lino is a brand that traces back to when Miami Cigar and Company was formed. It was a brand originally produced in Honduras at the UST factory. Miami Cigar and Company would break from UST in the 1990s, and the brand was moved to the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic. The Don Lino Africa emerged in 2006 following a safari that company President Nestor Miranda took to Africa. He was inspired to create a cigar with an African theme, and thus the Don Lino Africa was born. This cigar would be produced in Nicaragua by the Plasencia family.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Don Lino Africa Duma and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
If one wants to know a reason to do a press release, the Don Lino Africa is that example. I have heard many say that the Don Lino Africa had a Cameroon wrapper. This is incorrect, and the press release validates this. Don Lino Africa uses Cameroon for the binder (and as said the original Don Lino Africa used Cameroon in the filler).
As mentioned, the 2019 Don Lino Africa uses a revamped blend. This includes an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper, Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filler – and of course the Cameroon binder.
For Miami Cigar & Company, this marks the first project the company has done with AJ Fernandez.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: African Cameroon
Filler: Dominican Piloto, Nicaraguan (Ometepe, Jalapa, and Estelí)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A
The Don Lino Africa is available in five sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes with the exception of the Kudu which is presented in a 50-count box.
Petite Corona “Kudu”: 4 x 44
Robusto “Duma”: 5 x 50
Toro “Punda Milia”: 5 1/2 x 54
Gran Toro “Tembo”: 6 x 60
Belicoso “Kifaru”: 6 1/4 x 52
The Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper of the Don Lino Africa Duma was a shade lighter than a milk chocolate color. There was a light sheen of oil on the surface of the wrapper. There were a few thin wrapper seams as well a few thin veins. The cigar itself had a firm square press to it.
The band of the Don Lino Africa itself had a yellow, orange, gold, copper, black, white, and red color scheme to it. Highlights of the band include a metallic gold and copper “A”. Near the upper and lower portion of the band have is a black and white zebra-like pattern to it. To the far right of the “A” is the text “AFRICA” in red font with white trim. Above that text is the text “Don Lino” in thin white font.
Prior to lighting up the Don Lino Africa Duma, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. From that point, it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of floral, cocoa, and earth notes. Overall I did not find this to be a very pleasing pre-light draw. Since the pre-light draw is not factored into the numerical score or value rating, there was no loss of points here.
The Don Lino Africa Duma started out with notes of cocoa, earth, cedar, fruit, and floral notes. It didn’t take long for the cocoa notes to settle in the forefront. The other flavors became secondary notes. At the same time, there were additional layers of cedar and floral on the retro-hale.
The second third of the Don Lino Africa Duma saw the cocoa notes fall into the background with the earth and fruit notes taking over. During this stage, there was a gradual increase in the cedar notes. At the same time, some black pepper also emerged in the background on the tongue. Meanwhile, the floral notes remained grounded in the background.
By the final third, the cedar notes joined the earth and fruit notes in the forefront. There were still notes of pepper, floral, and cocoa in the background. This is the way the Don Lino Africa Duma came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall, the Don Lino Africa performed quite well when it came to the burn. This was a cigar that maintained a straight burn path and had a straight burn line. This was a cigar that did not require frequent touch-ups. The resulting ash was a silver-gray. This was an ash that was on the firmer side. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw to the Don Lino Africa Duma also performed well. For a box-press, this wasn’t “too open” of a draw and in the end, I liked the fact I had to work this cigar a little to derive flavor.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Don Lino Africa Duma was a solid medium from start to finish. There was little in the way of variance of the intensity levels for both the strength and body. There was a nice equilibrium between the strength and body with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Whenever a cigar brand is relaunched and revamped, there is a natural tendency to compare it to the original. It’s been a while since I smoked the original Don Lino Africa, and I didn’t have any on hand when I assessed, so it’s not something I was able to do here. Even if I could, the original Don Lino Africas would have substantial age – so a side by side comparison would not work.
What I can say, the Don Lino Africa is a solid cigar. In the past two years, AJ Fernandez has been delivering a lot of variety in his blends, showing he is not a one-trick pony. Flavorwise, the first third was the most enjoyable, but the remainder of the cigar was still enough to please me. It’s a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again and recommend to others to buy one.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Cedar, Fruit, Pepper, Floral
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Miami Cigar & Company to Bring Back Don Lino Africa
Source: Miami Cigar & Company
Brand Reference: Don Lino
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop