The Cabal original cigar is the product of two years of hard work, culminating a powerful partnership that has Chris Arolfo’s brand poised to make it big in the world of tobacco. After searching high and low to find a manufacturer that could satisfy his blending demands, Arolfo found a like-minded individual in Hendrik Kelner Jr., the son of the master Davidoff blender. Kelner himself was in the middle of establishing an identity for his Kelner Boutique Factory (KBF) brand, and decided that Arolfo’s blend would make the perfect flagship stick for it. The two hit the ground running as soon as they made their partnership official, taking a year to determine optimal sizes and flavor profiles for the blend.

The stick is produced with a Dominican Bonao wrapper, a double binder from the Dominican and Peru, and fillers that include plants from Nicaragua, the Dominican and Pennsylvania. The Cabal Original cigar is rolled at KBF’s factory in the Dominican, so Arolfo is getting his big break, in a way. As for his smoke’s appearance, it is dark for a Bonao, likely because the stick makes use of higher Bonao priming. It is webbed with small veins, though the seams are hidden well, and the simple black and white band is slim and features nothing but the name of the blend. It comes in three sizes, including a Short Robusto (4 x 52), a Robusto (5 x 50) and a Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 46). The cold draw is emblematic of classic Davidoff blends, evoking earth, mushrooms, red pepper and some citrus fruit peel.

The first third of the Cabal Original cigar immediately jumps in with complex flavors according to reviews. The strongest right away is a cedar note, backed up by the citrus peel detected on the pre-light draw. The citrus peel slowly takes on an orange flavor and pairs with the cedar for top billing. Other flavors include dried fruit, earth, hay, pepper and some sweetness. The pepper is more apparent through the nose than anywhere else, and one reviewer tasted some peanut butter about an inch in, thickening the profile up considerably.

In the second third of the stogie, the pepper cools down some and allows the rest of the flavors to emerge without the heat. The cedar and orange flavors are still the major notes in this part of the stick, though the earth and nutty flavors are boosted as well. The profile is not quite as sweet at this point, but the dried fruit plays a tertiary role.

During the final third, the cedar flavor tails off while the orange and pepper notes grow even stronger. The pepper not only grows stronger, it also transitions back to the palate, and this combination of heat and citrus is what defines the Cabal Original cigar down the stretch.

With a Kelner in the fold, aficionados would expect nothing but top flight construction from this one, and they won’t be disappointed. It offers a superb burn and draw, and though the Cabal Original cigar offers a complex range of flavors, it is relaxed enough to fit into any smoker’s palate.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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