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Staff Reviews for Reposado '96

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Reposado '96 Maduro


“Wow” was the first thing that came to mind after lighting my first Reposado ’96 Maduro. Not because it’s an all long-filler 7.1” Salomon that retails for $2.50 (which is outrageously cheap). But because the onslaught of flavors that greet you right from the start is so astounding.

If you’ve browsed through the (brilliant!) archives of my past reviews, you know I’m a fan of the other two Reposado ’96 blends. These are the Big Hairy Beasts that rule the cigar value jungle. Solid flavor, excellent construction….pound for pound it’s one of the finest handmade values anywhere. The newest addition to the mix – complementing its Connecticut and Habano brothers – is the Maduro. It’s a homerun.

Draped in a naturally dark, leathery San Andres maduro leaf and packed with a flavorsome, flavoryific blend of Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-fillers, the stately Reposado ’96 Maduro Salomon is an impressive cigar bringing gobs of flavor. It’s actually surprising how quickly it develops. Almost instantly after lighting you’re greeted by a flood of rich and hearty flavors. With dense notes of coffee, caramel, spices and a toasty-sweet finish, Reposado ’96 Maduro coats the palate with a wealth of sensations. Adding to the experience is the warm, bready aroma that fills the air. Medium in body but overflowing with character….Reposado ’96 Maduro is a complete cigar. You complete me.

I burned it all the way down – almost two hours of work – and loved every inch. If I sold you this cigar for $5 or even $7, I bet you wouldn’t balk. But for $2.50? I give it extra points for price. There are a whole lotta cigars that cost a whole lot more, but aren’t nearly this good. So if you like maduro wrapped cigars, say hello to your new friend.

Reposado '96 Habano


Hoo baby! Reposado ’96 Habano Salomons are attention grabbing, 7.1” x 58 figurados. These beauties are dark, oily, toothy and down right attractive. Quite frankly, when I first saw these Reposados (knowing that they were going to be sold for only $2), I was floored. This cigar is a thing of beauty, a work of art, and a wallet-friendly crowd pleaser from AJ Fernandez. This Nicaraguan-bred monster is draped in a lovely Habano wrapper and generously filled with an all Cuban-seed long-filler blend from Nicaragua. Dig in! Spark it up and the fireworks erupt. With the first puff, I’m greeted by a truckload of lip-smacking flavory goodness. The draw is slightly tight, not problematic but a tad firm for the first half-inch. Predominant is a well-portioned dose of spice, some sweet mocha notes, and a leathery character. Once you burn through the little nub of a foot into the meaty section, the draw opens up, and like releasing the doves, the flavor changes perceptibly and for the better. The smoke is thick and exceptionally cool. Delivering a balanced array of soft, soothing flavors, this Habano-wrapped beaut quickly calms the troubled soul. With each passing inch, the flavors intensify. Exhibiting an earthy sweetness nicely offset by a black pepper spice and complemented by a cornucopia of flavors including cream, coffee and cinnamon, Reposado ’96 Habano offers ample complexity.

Medium to full in body, when you spark one of these you’re in for a serene, mind-easing 90-minute experience. Smooth and interesting for the entire 7” of this gloriously proportioned figurado, at a paltry 2 bucks this stick is a complete and utter no-brainer. In conclusion, you don’t have to go home – you’ve just got to go get thyself a fistful of these babies without delay.

I’ll remark on the Reposado Connecticut shortly.

Reposado '96 Connecticut


File under tobacco hysteria: I read an article in USA Today recently how cigar smoking has wafted its way into “children’s” movies. The movies cited were Iron Man and The Dark Knight. C’mon! I liked those movies – but ain’t no way in hell they are children’s movies. And while the article’s author and grievance mongers he quoted huffed about seeing a cigar on screen, nary a word was spoken about the prevasive violence and adult themes in the rest of these flicks. Good grief….

Sorry, back to the review. Reposado, part deux. Not to be out done by its Habano brother, Reposado ’96 Connecticut is its attractive, milder counterpart. With a chestnut-brown Connecticut wrapper that’s smooth and elastic with a nice sheen, this mellow sucker is a looker. Frankly, I’m a sucker for a good Connecticut with some chunkiness in the flavor and heft departments. Offering the same meaty goodness as the Habano, the Connecticut is full of promise, heavy in the hand. An inch in and it’s clearly well-made with quality tobaccos. It billows with thick, creamy smoke and burns like a champ, offering an undeniably distinct character with a mild-medium body and a profile that’s cedary, toasty, nutty and a touch peppery. I’ve smoked about 12 of them so far and the biggest downside is some inconsistency. On some, I detect a touch of harshness and some variation in flavor from stick to stick. When it’s on – it’s a delicious, mild-bodied treat with ample flavor. And given the flavor, 2-buck-a-stick price, and quality, the Connecticut it is a must for mild to medium-bodied fans.

Furthermore, if you’re a patient lad, Reposado '96 Connecticut has great aging potential. Within those I smoked some were clearly better than others – some a bit smoother with more even balance and flavor. A few months of TLC and nap time in the humidor will bring out all the goodness and let these babies shine like they were born to. Since the Habano has just bit more body and richness, this allows any imperfections to hide, but the more open-book, lighter bodied Connecticut has no such advantage. Trust me on this one: while the Habano is great right off the truck, before summer is here the Connecticuts are going to smoke like a dream too.

Reposado '96 - Gonz Live #15