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There exist a few cigar flavor “families” that most experienced cigar lovers can recognize and agree upon. We are not referring here to “flavored” or infused cigars but rather to the flavor tones that can be detected in various natural cigar blends. Some cigars are earthy, some are leathery, some are cedary, while others show a bright or citrusy aspect. (Many blond Connecticut-wrapped cigars fall into the latter camp.) Yet another important and sought-after cigar flavor profile is one that conjures thoughts of chocolate or cocoa. To this reviewer, the velvety-smooth, silky, medium-bodied Horacio rules the roost among chocolaty cigars.

Horacios come uncellophaned, in the Cuban style—something most American consumers won’t be accustomed to—and you can buy them in Habano or maduro wrapper, but even the Habanos are dark enough to provide a natural sweetness. When you first touch the cigar and get a sense of its firm construction, and note the oily sheen on the flawless wrapper, you almost mourn that smoking such a beautiful thing necessitates destroying it. And what a sight to see, when you open a new box of Horacios and witness the cigars lined up like so many chocolate-colored cannons. It took an hour and a half to smoke the large 7 x 70 XXL, and that was rushing it. Pre-light weigh-in revealed a cigar that tipped the scale at 1 1/4 ounces, so the rollers pack a lot of leaf into every one of these sticks, which accounts for their hefty feel.

The Horacio manufacturing operation began in Costa Rica before moving to Nicaragua, and to this day the cigars incorporate some measure of Costa Rican leaf, though the exact nature of the blend is kept a mystery. Even the importer does not know whence the wrapper leaf hails. No matter. Even if the leaf comes from Neptune, this is a cigar worth stocking up on. (You can be sure this reviewer did so before writing publicly about the brand.)

Horacio is one of those labels still flying under the radar of most American consumers, but if ever you gain entrée to a yacht or chalet owned by well-connected people who appreciate nice things, this is exactly the style of cigar they would stock. Because you are reading this page, you now have a chance to smoke like a billionaire without being a billionaire, or spending like one. Horacio is not exactly a cheap cigar, but it certainly remains a bargain, so far. If ever the Horacio brand gains a larger following, its price will rise. So get while the getting is good.

Horacio cigars can be found online at

For more reviews, check out Isabela’s “Sparkle” Robusto

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