Cubariqueno Cigars – Protocol Probable Cause
A few months prior to the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, Cubariqueno Cigars, a police-owned business, announced Probable Cause, the second release under the Protocol brand. The initial release contained two sizes: Robusto and Churchill. A lancero was added in 2017 and, in April of this year, the Corona Gorda joined the lineup.
Manufactured in Nicaragua at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona, Protocol Probable Cause features a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. There are currently three vitolas on the market: Corona Gorda 5 ⅝ by 46, Churchill (6 ½ by 48) and Lancero (7 ½ by 38).
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Size: 5 ⅝ by 46
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 minutes
Probable Cause by Cubariqueno Cigars wears an extremely dark brown, nearly black wrapper. The leaf is loaded with bumps and a fine tooth making the cigar rough to the touch. A couple of medium-sized veins run the length of the cigar.
The wrapper gives off barnyard, smoky bbq, and wet earth aroma. A big aroma of chocolate and graham cracker is found on the foot of the cigar. A cinnamon spice and some cedar are on the cold draw that has a good amount of resistance.
The flavors come out of the gate full and thick in the mouth. There is Latakia-ish flavor and pencil shavings, paired with a hefty amount of pepper and an underlying sweetness to the smoke. The smoke production is satisfying and the burn is even. To avoid the ash falling my lap, I lightly tap it in the ashtray at three-quarters of an inch.
The pepper spice is medium in the mouth, but as I retro-hale the smoke, it is full in the sinuses. The burnt/charred wood Latakia flavor continues as the central flavor in the Probable Cause profile. This smaller cigar carries a good amount of strength that I am already beginning to feel by the middle of the cigar, moving me into a relaxed state of mind. The flavors have settled with the main components remaining the same.
The Latakia has evolved to charred wood and there remains the sweetness to the smoke as I enter the last leg of the smoke. The burn is not as even and the ash is flakier in appearance than earlier, but I have no need to touch-up the cigar.
The Protocol Probable Cause Corona Gorda may be a smaller cigar, but it bumps out big flavors, a good amount of spice, and a sweetness that pulls everything together. When you light up this cigar, you instantly know you are smoking Mexican San Andres tobacco and, while dominant, it doesn’t overwhelm the flavors. The Nicaraguan quality still shines through. There were no problems with the construction which I have come to expect with La Zona made cigars. The boys in blue have created a great cigar through their partnership with Erik Espinosa and La Zona. There is a lot of competition at $10, but this is still a cigar I feel is worth the price.