Los Angeles, October 15, 2010 – All-Dominican cigars have been all the rage since the Fuente Fuente Opus X line was introduced in 1996 and many of the follow-on Dominican puros have shared the Opus X tilt toward spicy and peppery flavors.
But it doesn't have to be that way. A new puro, the SWAG line from the Habana Cuba Cigar Co. - maker of Oliveros - showcases a different theme in a unique blend. The Swag line also offers a loyalty program, with points for purchases and rewards at varying levels, but we wanted to get into the cigar itself first:
Swag: [Dominican Republic: available in 6 sizes] The Swag range focuses on larger sizes, with four of the six shapes at 50 ring gauge or more. All are elegantly dressed with a double band and a tissue-wrap around each cigar, The blend is full-bodied for sure and offers a toasty and sweet aroma. Where other Dominican puros have been spicy and sometimes peppery, the Swag offers a rich, caramelized sweetness that is extremely smooth. There is also a note of light spice on the finish, which increases slightly in intensity as you reach halfway. The flavor, draw and burn all remain consistent into the second half and the density of the roll means this brand smokes slowly. There is plenty to enjoy, so give it the time it deserves and you'll find a more layered flavor in the second half, with more emphasis on spice. Swag is a highly enjoyable cigar and another new dimension in the blending of Dominican tobaccos for the American palate. It will also be well received by those looking for value, as retail pricing runs from $5.10 to $6.32, not including local taxes, with all shapes available in boxes of 20. Overall grade: : Excellent.
Swag's promotional programs are interesting, but the cigar was more so. The rich flavor marks it as appropriate for almost anytime, including outdoors, but the balance of sweetness and spice make a cigar that can be enjoyed by the connoisseur as well. Now we'll look forward to the Dominican maduro version, and then ... ~ Rich Perelman