Your web browser is no longer supported.
Cigars International is committed to providing you with the best web experience possible.
Click the icons below for product information.

Dark Shark

The Shark is back!

This top-selling handmade ain’t the prettiest girl at the prom but it may be the least worst option in this price range - especially if you like maduros. That’s ’cause this mild-medium number really ain’t half bad. Crafted with a dark Broadleaf maduro wrapper and an all long-filler blend of Cuban-seed tobaccos, Dark Shark is indeed a lot more premium than it appears at a glance. And that’s probably why I’ve had such a damn hard time keeping these things in stock. Expect rich, mellow maduro flavor for as low as $25 per mazo of 20. I’m done with the sales pitch....Dark Shark sells itself. Buy it or don’t - doesn’t matter to me - I’ve got a long list of guys waiting for their usual 5-10 mazos per month.

Pack In Stock MSRP Price Qty Cart
Churchill (7.0"x50)
BDL OF 20 In Stock $100.00 $29.99
Gordo (6.0"x60)
BDL OF 20 In Stock $110.00 $34.99
Robusto (5.0"x50)
BDL OF 20 In Stock $80.00 $24.99
Toro (6.0"x50)
BDL OF 20 In Stock $90.00 $27.50
Overall Rating 4.49 out of 5 Based on 57 Ratings

Customer Reviews of “Dark Shark”

Write A Review
5 out of 5
5 Star
4 out of 5
4 Star
3 out of 5
3 Star
2 out of 5
2 Star
1 out of 5
1 Star
Showing 1-50 of 117 Reviews
5 out of 5
Great Smoke at an Insanely Tasty Price!
Glad I took a chance on these babies the first time. Worth the money for the smooth cocoa-y goodness. Great humidor stuffer.
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
great smoke for a budget
damn good smoke for the price.
5 out of 5
Dark Shark Smoker
I like the Dark Shark because of the way it taste and the way it burns. I've smoked more expensive brands, but I didn't like the taste nor the way it burned. Dark Shark burns pretty well all around with the tobacco burning down evenly. I've tried more expensive brands where the top burned down and the bottom didn't, what a mess. I also like the taste, it's not too harsh, but does have a taste I like. I'd recommend Dark Shark to anyone that likes Maduros.
5 out of 5
Cheap cigar with an expensive cigar taste
I reviewed my first Dark Shark in a sampler. Initially my thoughts were that the silly name meant low quality. The truth is that this cigar is surprisingly high quality. The construction is less than desirable. I purchased more of these because I can smoke them daily and be as satisfied as if I was smoking a good Romeo Y Julieta or Alec Bradley. Very nice stick.
4 out of 5
Best value
Finally found a good low priced cigar
5 out of 5
Dark Sharks are for real
Read the reviews. Got a mazo of 6 x 60 size. The reviews were right on the mark. Excellent cigar for the price. I've had cigars that cost a lot more that were not as good as this. At first I had thought this brand was some kind of joke. Well, I was wrong. The Shark is for real. Great job C.I
5 out of 5
Good smoke
I enjoyed this brand. They were flavorful and long lasting. Thanks.
5 out of 5
Great every day smoke!!
This is a great smoke for the golf course or on the patio with a cigar. Can't beat the price either.
5 out of 5
Inexpensive - Consistent - Delicious ... I'll reorder again !!!
For an inexpensive smoke, I found these to be consistent and delicious ... I'll reorder again !!!
3 out of 5
Good for the price.
Good knock around every day smoke.
5 out of 5
Dark Shark
great value and very tasty- I'll definitely order again.
1 out of 5
Good! Don't put my name
Good! Don't put my name or city in your catalog!!!!!!!!
3 out of 5
Dark Shark Toro
Well constructed, clean burn, not to complex in flavor. Good cigar.
5 out of 5
Best knock around cigar yet for me
I have not had a better smoke for the price. Definitely strong and earthy. This won't be winning any huge awards, it's not meant for them. But for a strong everyday smoke. You found it.
4 out of 5
Dark Shark Churchill
I've ordered these cigars on several ocassions and have always been happy with the quality. They are nice blend with a bit of spice, particularly in the second half of the smoke. Very consistent and a good price for a daily smoke.
3 out of 5
great smoke for the price
great smoke for the price
5 out of 5
Good Smokes!
I live on the inexpensive end of the cigar spectrum. CI supplies me with good smokes for the buck. A customer for years.
5 out of 5
Good service
5 out of 5
Great Value
Great flavor, excellent burn and the best cigar value in town. Predictable and dependable and the best bang for the buck I've found!
4 out of 5
dark shark delivers
good construction,good burn and draw. very consistent, love it! try them, you will too
5 out of 5
Dark Sharks
Excellent cigar for the price. My everyday go to.
4 out of 5
A good cigar compared to mid to high end cigars, and a steal compared to others at its price point
A great tasting cigar ignoring price. When you figure in the very reasonable price, its a great value in my opinion! A spicy and nutty smoke with the spice making its presence first with a nutty finish. Medium draw, not difficult at all but enough resistance. Draw seems much more dependent on humidity than other cigars Ive smoked. When they arrived I couldn't wait to try them but their humidity was VERY high from shipping and the draw was too tight to enjoy. Let them stabilize in my humidor for a week and they smoke like a dream. We definitely buy again!
5 out of 5
Pleasantly surprised
Ok I'm surprised just how damn good this cigar is!! Just received them and grabbed one right away and was so impressed with the quality razor sharp burn taste was very good sweet nutty and spicy so good!!! Will be buying more for sure!
5 out of 5
Great Buy and A Great Smoke
A real buy good flavor, no bite at the end.
1 out of 5
Don't waste your money
I guess I could have gotten a bad batch. 3 out of 20 sticks had a decent draw....the rest were pretty much throwaways. Will not be buying these again. They are cheap but I still felt like I threw my money away.
5 out of 5
Get rid of the shark save the stick!
Great buy for the money. Fortunately you don't smoke the label as it is the only detraction.
4 out of 5
Wonderful Value based Cigar. More enjoyable than many pricier cigars I've smoked. It's become my go to any time, any reason, smoke.
5 out of 5
Really nice smoke
For me these are very good. I am really impressed with how well these taste and the price is incredible. Out of 20, none failed to satisfy.
5 out of 5
Good bang for your buck
Good flavor and speedy delivery
5 out of 5
Dark Shark
I find them to be a wonderful smoke and the pricing is awesome. I hope you keep these in stock and at the current pricing/
4 out of 5
daily smoker.
5 out of 5
Decent Cigar , Decent Price
Dark Shark is a hefty and hearty smoke. A few in the bundle burned inconsistent , but more often than not it was an enjoyable smoke. It starts off strong and continues to the nub. I recommend this to anyone who likes Honduran cigars.
5 out of 5
Dark Shark Churchill
Great chocolatey cigar with a lot of good chew.
4 out of 5
A nice "everyday" cigar
I don't smoke these when I want to sit down and enjoy a cigar, but they are great to occupy my time while I'm mowing the lawn or doing other chores.
4 out of 5
Bargain cigar that just ain't bad
You know... I've been a bargain cigar buyer for a long time. Frankly there's only so many recipes for a cigar so it comes down for me if the cigar is rolled well and uses good tobacco. The issue with some bargain cigars is just that. You sometimes get a cheap cigar and it might as well have been rolled in a puddle on the side of the road with that tang that just hits the top of your mouth just right and you get a Daffy Duck look on your face. I've enjoyed 6 Dark Shark cigars and I must say that they were actually a pretty good cigar. No, it's not the greatest cigar but so far they have all been a good smoke. I've enjoyed them with a plethora of beverages from coffee, scotch, beer, and kool-aid (kool-aid is weird with any cigar). No complaints. I would recommend Dark Shark for a kick-around, bargain cigar that you can enjoy and not be a Daffy Duck face on a regular basis.
5 out of 5
Dark Shark . . . this Shark Definately Doesn't Bite . . .
This is my everyday cigar . . . it's hard to believe that these used to be on "the Unsmokables" list. the price still isn't bad for these cigars . . . and they are not a mild smoke by any stretch . . . all i know is i like them and always order two bundles at a time. these are worth a try . . .
5 out of 5
Dark Shark Churchills always please and burn GREAT. Have been enjoying them for some time. Have tried othere at a much greater cost and always return to Dark Shark. Thank you CI for offering them.
5 out of 5
Dark Shark - Churchill
A very good value for the price
5 out of 5
Noumber one in my book
Noumber one in my book
5 out of 5
Dark Shark Churchill
great cigar
5 out of 5
Dark Shark's Good Smoke
Been buying the The Dark Sharks for a few times now. Slow burn, mellow flavor, very enjoyable and at the right price.
5 out of 5
Good quality, nice smoke
This cigar is a great value and is as good as some higher priced cigars.
5 out of 5
Great smoke
Good flavor, good, easy draw.
5 out of 5
Good cigar at a great price!
Good cigar for an every day smoke, easy draw, good smoke and flavor. Others have complained about bitter cigars but after 100+ Dark Sharks I have not had a bad one yet.
4 out of 5
Dark Shark Churchill
In the glory days I could afford the best smokes but retirement and other things bring humbler times. These are acceptable everyday cigars that serve the purpose OK. Quality is subjective and these are not my beloved Fuentes… but, sigh, they’ll do.
5 out of 5
Good purchase
I like to write reviews after trying a few. This cigar is very relaxing and enjoyable to smoke. Stays lit very well, I liked the price I paid, and as a young college student on a budget price is everything. Cost to taste ratio, great. Especially for something of this size. Smooth taste, I even enjoyed it over some of the Man O' Wars I have smoked (And AJ Fernandez is a MASTERMIND!)
5 out of 5
Great Fine for a cheap smoke
Great Fine for a Cheap Smoke !! I bought a bundle not expecting much more then a smoke while mowing cigar. Wow very impressed smokes smooth, stays lit, and at a great price
4 out of 5
Dark shark is a good, basic cigar. Well made, few problems with them, smooth full flavor; but nothing extremely special. A great every day cigar.
2 out of 5
only fair
some smoke poorly do not burn quite right makes a not so enjoyable smoke
5 out of 5
A favorite inexpensive maduro
Maduros are my go to smoke. Dark Shark fits the flavor profile I enjoy and they're priced so I can always keep some in the humidor. Wrapper is a little thin, but the stick gets my thumbs up.
5 out of 5
Great inexpensive smoke
Great inexpensive smoke
5 out of 5
dark shark a nice catch
I get these for my dad. He usually prefers a fuller bodied cigar, but raves about these. I'm sure it is a combo of price, size, flavor, and best of all, a fun name. The fact that he lives in Florida and loves to fish for black-tip sharks doesn't hurt either!
5 out of 5
Great cigars at a fantastic price
Great cigars at a fantastic price
5 out of 5
james Cleveland Ohio
Very good smokeNot as smooth as a Perdomo but for the price and taste wonderful. Delivery was almost as fast as just logged out the computer and they were there. Have bought before and will keep buying
5 out of 5
dark shark
a dark cigar at a great price good combination.
5 out of 5
Good cigar!
For the price, it's a really good cigar! I buy them by the box and usually have one a day!
Customer Testimonials
Great budget smoke.
Wow! I received them yesterday and am trying one now. They light easy. Quite a bit of smoke, just what I like. Extremely smooth and creamy. Hold ash great and burn even. I've smoked some that cost three times more and were no better. I have had no problems with having to relight. The Churchill easily burns for an hour to two. I will be ordering more!
I have ordered 60 Sharks, the last batch had some loose rolls & was a tough draw. Overall a bargain, just know that the roll is a bit inconsistent and you might get some that might frustrate you.
Not a bad cheap stick. 2nd buy and would buy again.
This cigar had a great draw and some bite to it. If you are venturing into uncharted waters, the Dark Shark is a great stick.
As others have said, great outdoor smoke. More on the mild side of mild-medium, which was somewhat surprising. Good construction and a nice wrapper. I get about 3 ashes (roughly halfway down the cigar) before it gets harsh and I stop enjoying it. That's about 45 minutes - perfect for outdoor grilling!
I received these when I purchased the "Bender-ender" I believe and was very surprised at how smooth and tasty they are for a low priced cigar. My cigar expert friends were also pretty impressed. Slow burn and great taste.
I have not bought or tried every cigar; however, after 15 years of cigars, I do believe that the Dark Shark is the best value. I have had a few $8 cigars that were better... but at this price point or any other price point, this cigar is hard to beat.
Wow what a good smoke for $1.25 a stick. I smoked alot of them at least 75 or more and have not had one bad one yet. This is a great everyday smoke I will always come back to.
Best bang for the buck ever!
Good for the price. Decent smoke.
You people really should stop praising this sweet ceegar. They get backordered WAY too often now;)
Decent cigar. If you look at it from this perspective, you are getting a lot of cigar tobacco for the price. I'm smoking one now and you can taste the sweetness first thing.
Received a double bundle from my son as a birthday gift, first timer and I fell in love with the #darkshark, and will be getting more in the near future. At first I read all the reviews I saw when I googled #darkshark and was thinking why did I pick these ones, but after the first smoke im glad I did. Added to my ATF list thank you CI!
Great plumes, smooth draws, rich and mellow flavor. Great all day smoke and inexpensive enough to share.
These are truly underdogs. I believe these are my new favorite daily smoke. CI, you've got the best selection in town.
This is a great cigar!
Excellent smokes, and got them at such a great deal on CI's "Make Me An Offer" I can afford to hand them out to friends. Don't under estimate the sharks!
A great everyday smoke, for me anyway. I see these are on Backorder. Here's to hoping CI gets more in soon!
This cigar was way better than I expected. I had to try one right away straight out of the box and I loved it. I'll be letting the rest age properly and rehydrate in my humidor awhile to get the full flavor effect and I will be getting more of these to use as my knock around cigars.
Ok stick for the price. Definitely alot of flavor. Would buy again.
A nice smoke for cutting the lawn or washing the car. I enjoy this cigar and it's at a reasonable price.
Love em Here's to Face Book friends and Cigars
Great value in a buck and a quarter cigar. I have paid a lot more, and got a lot less. Probably the best in it's price range. Can't be beat for an everyday cigar.
Great cigar for the price. I have shared them with friends and they like them. Better than some more expensive brands. Have been my favorite for two years. Unfortunately on back order now. Hope they'll been in stock soon
Read all of the reviews, and thought it's too good to be true. So I bought a bundle, and much to my surprise...the reviews were spot on. Not the greatest, or best looking. But damn it's got pretty good flavour for about a buck a piece! Will definitely buy more soon, very soon. Thank you CI!
Great cigars. Can't be beat for$25.00 for 20. Unbelievable.
I work as a contractor in the middle east and smoke these beauties daily. (Thank the gods for APO.) Easy to lite, lots of smoke, smooth draw and even burn. It's the ones I carry on me as my go-to smoke. Luv 'em. Nuff said.
Dark Shark are VERY good and priced right = I highly recommend them and would compare them to any top shelf brand. They remind me of Cohiba cigars of the same style. Enough said!!!
I totally enjoyed them.. nice burning. just rite..
Very goog cigar, slow burning, great aroma, but the flavor is the best. You can not find a better cigar for the price
Good smoke for the money!
You cannot beat this deal, I've got all of Dayton, Ohio smoking these.
Exactly what the description said it was. Not the best cigar that I've ever had, but definitely worth keeping in the rotation (especially for the unbeatable price). Great golf course cigar.
Bought it...... Love it........Each puff is freaking..... WOW!!!!!!!! Became an instant fan.....Should have bought 2 mazos instead of something else I ordered......Hats off to Dark Shark........The Dominican Republic....The land of beautiful women and great cigars....
As an avid Maduro smoker, I am continually looking for reasonably priced sticks. This cigar is a huge find. My only regret is it's only offered in one size. The 7x50 is a 45 minute endeavor and I prefer a little bigger ring. Great roll, great flavor, great ash. In a blind taste test, I would put this cigar up against those costing 3 times as much.
A solid, but frustrating, cigar. Inconsistent to say the least, BUT man oh man, you can hit the jackpot with the good ones. In my bundle, I had probably 5-6 that were "holy cow, this is bad". Incredibly bitter, leaving that terrible taste in your mouth that you don't often come across these days. But on the other end, there were also about 5-6 cigars that were INCREDIBLE, particularly for the price. The good ones were much smoother than expected, with a more-than-fair amount of flavor, and even burn throughout. Given the price of these, I'll likely be buying again just for the upside of the good ones.
I am now a big fan of this cigar. I actually disagree with the blurb by the company, this is a very good looking, and well constructed cigar, made with quality tobaccos. I would agree with all of the positive comments here.
Got the Dark Shark because I heard so many reviews about it. The first day I got them I smoked one and it fell apart, it was very very dry and the taste was very strong. The flavors throughout the whole cigar changed. After two weeks in my wineador they acclimated quite nicely. The cigar has the perfect feel. And the wrapper is staying intact. Although it is very peppery at the beginning the rest of the cigar is very nice for the price. Good consistent burn and plenty of smoke. I think I will let the rest of the mazo sit and try them again two more weeks. I recommend trying it for the price.
I didn't expect a whole lot from this cigar...Don't get me wrong this is not a bad smoke but the flavor was unexpectedly strong and it's a flavor dark shark owns all to itself! For a point of referenceas to my taste my go to stick is a Punch maduro. All in all the Dark Shark is worth the little money it costs.
I bought a bundle based on the price/reviews. They are pretty well constructed and burn pretty evenly. The best thing I can say about the flavor is that its not terrible, just not very good, instead of pepper I get a touch of bitterness. I've paid more for worse cigars and these would be tolerable or even an enjoyable change of pace for an occasional smoke, but not an everyday 'gar for me.
I ordered a mazo of 20 of these based on the fan mail that I have read on these. I'll say that for a buck a piece you really can't beat it, especially if you're looking for a maduro on a budget. I've smoked about 8 of the 20 I received. The day after I received them I lit one up. As I lit the first one, the first 1/4 of the cigar wrapper began to crack from the heat. This could have been due to temperature fluctuations or maybe being a little drier than optimal from transport. The cigar burned fairly well with an even burn with a max of 3/4 inch of ash before falling off. Flavor was good and pretty smooth. Since the first one I've had others that have wrappers crack during the smoke. It may not be a great cigar but it's decent. Take your time and enjoy this smoke slowly. Take care not to puff too frequently and over heat the unburning tobacco in the cigar. In this cigar I've noticed that harsh flavors will creep in from smoking too quickly. Great for outdoors or for some decent smokes to hand out to guests.
Have turned a few of buddies on to this stick. They can't believe what this one costs. Never fail to impress anybody I give this to.
I bought my first bundle of these a few years ago and was the first to review them. At that time the wrapper was a medium brown and mottled. The wrapper is now considerably darker and a true maduro. It is also more firmly packed now than it was years ago. I also find that is a different blend in my opinion. I might be wrong. It doesn't seem as spicy or as sweet as it used to be. Still a pretty good stick, with a little more robust body than it used to have. A good buy none the less.
Well my worst fears have come true. Just smoked my last one. Have been trying to reorder but on backorder. Hope they get them soon. Really don't like the thought of this being my last dark shark!
I have smoked alot of cigars in my 44 years. For the money I have yet to find anything close to these. Hope they keep these for a long time or at least let me know if they are going to quit carrying them so I can order up a bunch of them. Better than alot of smokes that cost alot more.
Wow, these are great smokes. And not just for the price. I spent a weekend camping with my buds up in the mountains. I took along a 20 pack of DS's and handed them out all weekend. The guys flipped. Great taste, smooth aftertaste and even burn! They couldn't understand how I could be handing out $3-$4 cigars like they were Swisher Sweets! I'll never tell. lol
This is a damn good smoke. Got a batch of them delivered here in Afghansitan, and they are the perfect end of the day smoke. Don't let the price fool you, they are a good smoke.
Wish we could get these in bundles of 25 instead of 20. Super good smokes that I realized how good they are after smoking other brands from CI and another company. My wife doesn't smoke, but even she smoked one the other day and actually liked it. (Hope she doesn't like them too good or we might fight over them) Hope CI doesn't run out of them!! To me, these are as good or better than the high dollar premiums.
I am surprised that these are not at least $3 each. I have tried each of the unsmokeables, this is by far and away the best of the group. I have had $5 cigars that were not as good. These are quickly turning into my regular daily smoke.
This is my go to cigar for working in the yard, put them in the humi for a month or two they get better with age.
As my interest of cigars has been growing I have decided to help others pick the right cigar for them by rating every one in my collection. These are my opinions and are not meant to be taken too critically. Scale 1-5 Wrapper: (5) Perfection! Never seen a better wrapper Taste: (3) Wierd aftertaste, but it grows on you quickly Burn: (5) Perfectly even and smooth! Almost a flat tip burn Feeling: (3) Relaxing and the kinda cigar you can kinda just carry around and puff as you please This in my opinion is a good cigar and is in the wrong section. Price wise, it is king. Can compete with cigar selling 5 times as much
I remember when these first came out, I bought them just for the box. The cigars inside were not mind-blowing, but for the price and the novelty factor, they were an excellent buy. Grab your favorite imperial stout and let the good times roll.
Yesterday, I smoked one of these, then I smoked a Partagas 10. The Shark was the better smoke. Yes it was because the Partagas had a toothpick in it, and burned like a canoe. But the Shark could have been a MUCH worse cigar, and I still would have enjoyed it more!
Hey for a buck a smoke who is complaining. Burns even with plenty of smoke and tastes pretty good. Let them rest in the humidor and you won't be able to tell them apart from the cigars costing more.
What can I say that hasn't been said? Great every day cigar to enjoy when you don't want to break out the expensive sticks. Perfect when I want to kick back with Monday Night Football at the Fox N Hound...
Not too shabby (Dark Shark)... especially for something costing less than a buck a stick (auction 5-pack). Decent go-to cigar for futzing around the shop.
Once you get past the goofy name and cartoon band, (the reason I bought them) you have a nice cigar (Dark Shark). I have already smoked about a dozen and each Dark Shark burn even, has an easy draw, and a spicey medium strenght. Ordering more now before the rush.
Because of the price I decided to try the Dark Shark. Cheap and yes the band is cartoonish. Yet I am cheap and always looking for a decent cigar at a discount price.This ain't a bad cigar. I bought the Churchill for !9.99/25. It is a decent knock around cigar that is medium in body with a significant spicyness and a slight sweet undertone. It burns flawlessly and has a very easy draw--almost too easy as it seems to burn quickly and draw too easily. The wrapper is not a maduro. The wrapper is medium dark and mottled in color. Perhaps a Sumatra? Over-all it's a good everyday, knock-around cigar with good flavor, yet don't confuse it with a premium. It's a a very good affordable cigar.


With pure delight in my fingers, I write this review. This has been one of my favorites for years. I'm like a kid who just found Dad's stash of nudie girl magazines. Dark Shark is one of those elusive brands that has just the right mix of the good, bad, and the ugly. About 4 years ago, I smoked my first. It had a dark Sumatra wrapper on a nice Dominican filled cigar with a surprising punch in strength and flavor. Kind to the wallet and the senses, it had more strength than some Nicaraguan cigars and made you say "WOW, that's cool."

The latest version of this brand was just released about a month ago and it does not disappoint. This time, a similar Dominican fill with just the right amount of oomph! that makes your tongue tingle, yet a very dark (almost black) maduro wrapper. It's not like a traditional, slightly sweet, CT broadleaf maduro. Rather, more like an extra-dark Sumatra wrapper. The Churchill I just lit torches up with incredible ease. The draw is easy, even at over 7 inches, and the smoke is not over-powering. I wish I could describe the flavor more poigantly. It leaves no chalky, dry throat aftertaste. It's just smooth and even better than I remember. It burns even and neat. The ash will hang until you're ready to push it off. The maduro wrapper feels slightly oily to the touch and very well-manicured.

This cigar is a great change of pace and will enlighten all of your senses. The Churchill seems huge, burning slow, giving you a solid 1.5 hours. I think this cigar would be perfect for a port wine or perhaps an after-dinner brandy. I wish I had one of those handy, but buying port wine or brandy just isn't in my vocabulary. So, I reach for Keystone Premium Lager (really, at $8.95 a case it does taste just like Coors.) The most surprising feature is the body. So mild in flavor, it still offers that oomph! I knew from the Dark Shark of old. The maduro wrap softens it considerably, and it does seem milder, but I'm just giddy how pleasant this cigar is.

So where does the bad and ulgy come into play. Well, in the name obviously. How does a company market the name Dark Shark with a goofy, almost cartoon image of a shark bursting through a hole on the box and label? Obviously, they give away freebies like a free t-shirt with every box. That's what we're doing. The sad thing is you shouldn't have to. The cigar speaks for itself, so try just a 5-pack and you won't be disappointed.

The finish is just as solid as the start. It might be a little green - I had to relight about 3 times, but give it a few weeks in the humidor and this baby will shine. I smoked it down to about 2 inches and it started to get a little hot, but the flavor held through and through. Well, my head is getting a little wobbly, so I better run.

Dark Shark

For the last several years one of the most popular week-long segments on television is “Shark Week.” Something I’ve learned from the ominous documentaries of these man-eating monsters is that they can literally smell fear. 
Normally, the fear is detected through the substance commonly known as “shark sugar”. This, of course, is when the individual bobbing up-and-down haplessly in the murky shark-infested waters become so nervous about their fate that they essentially…well, you figure it out.
The key to survival in this precarious situation would be to remain calm (easier said than done) and not create “shark sugar”. By nature, sharks generally do not favor the taste of human meat.
On the flipside, we humans tend to dine on the fine delicacy of shark steaks and filets while finding the flavor to be quite rich and plentiful. Since we watch sharks on television and feast on them in restaurants, why not take our obsession of sharks into the cigar world?
I get it…ridiculous segue from sharks to cigars. But the Dark Shark is THE BEST moving bundled cigar in the CI Super-Store and I’m going to tell you why.
This blend is quite different than the other cigars which comprise “The CI Unsmokeables.” Many of the anonymous cigars that are categorized into the ‘Liga Unsmokeable’ I would describe as “vomit-inducing” or “capable of gagging a maggot”. However, regarding the Dark Shark, this is an obscure gem.
Let’s take a look at this Nicaraguan handmade. The Dark Shark has a solid midnight-black maduro wrapper that hails from Brazil. The “Brazilian Aripiraca” wrapper takes on its oily, dark characteristic during fermentation, where the tobacco leaves change from a light brown to a darker hue as the sugars extract from the tobacco. Typically, Brazilian maduro tends to have a full, peppery flavor although the wrapper on the Dark Shark possesses a smooth, natural sweetness. The shiny, Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper encompasses aged, Cuban-seed Nicaraguan fillers, giving the blend a rich, sweetness with just a touch of black pepper.
I hope you’re not looking for a quick smoke in this Nicaraguan-made cigar; the Dark Shark is only offered in a Churchill (7.0”x50). However, for a churchill-sized cigar, they don’t burn particularly slow either. Out of a bundle of twenty, you may find a few under-filled. Overall, the Dark Shark is fairly light in the hand, but, despite my criticism, has moderately good construction.
To put it bluntly, there are certain cigars for certain occasions. My Man O’ War Armadas, Puro Authenticos and Ave Marias are normally for the balcony with a glass of rum in hand. My 5 Vegas Golds, Rocky Patel Connecticuts and Morro Castles are the everyday “go-to” sticks. Then, there’s those grass-cutting, pooper-scoopin’, take-my-dog-out-for-a-walk-cigars. Inappropriately prejudiced toward the Dark Shark, I brought one with me to the “place where all bad nights end,” R-----‘s Pub in Bethlehem.
I’m with my friend (for sake of argument, let’s call him Qbert) and after a long night of striking out with the young ladies, we end up at R-----‘s (yes, I’m censoring myself because a good friend of mine works at said “Hell on Earth”).
Upon lighting up the Dark Shark with dirt cheap lager in hand, I’m pleasantly surprised as a giant cloud of white smoke fills the air and my palate is surrounded by a subtle coffee bean flavor. I know I had myself a few ‘Stoli and tonics earlier but I’m not even half in the bag so I confidently stand by my current notion.
Throughout the middle third and finish on the cigar the Dark Shark remained fairly consistent and I don’t notice much change in flavor. However, something notable about this blend is that, strength-wise, it touched medium bodied after about the first half inch. My pre-conceived thoughts were that this blend would be fairly mild.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised as the Dark Shark surpassed many expectations. The Shark was a solid smoke, decent flavor, above-moderate construction and dirt cheap.   At a buck a piece, this is one of the best values CI has to offer.
Qbert was fairly confused as I declared the Dark Shark as “a tasty morsel”. Of course, he had loaded up on Vodka and Rhino Energy Drinks before we ventured about town so he was quite bewildered beforehand.
I reviewed the ambiguous Dark Shark because I can’t keep them on the shelves. Customers are buying them two and three bundles at a time! If you happen to stop by the CI Super-Store in Bethlehem and pick yourself up a bundle, you will be greeted with an uproarious "SHARK ATTACK!" declaration by the expert-friendly staff. Anyway, maybe there’s something I’m missing, but if you’re looking for 20 cigars for dirt cheap, buy these bundles and see for yourself!
Expert thought for the day: “Why do they call it a drive-thru if you have to stop?”