Perdomo Fresh-Rolled Cuban Wheels November 1st, 2005 Gonz Share: Well my friends, I've got a doozie for you this month. Like my last pick, this too is very different, not quite as "out there" as the green one, but close. I'm sure I'll get my share of "gonz, I wouldn't try that if you paid me to smoke it" emails, but it's your loss. To legitimize my selection, I'll quote an email from one of my loyal readers (TC of Enid, OK) "you should review the Perdomo Cuban Wheel you guys sell - great product, great price, you can't go wrong!" I've been thinking the same now for months, but it's such a hard cigar to describe. OK, here it goes... A few months back (at least 6 months or so), this little hottie from Tabacalera Perdomo's factory in Nicaragua was at our store rolling fresh-rolled cigars. She had a line out the door - no kidding, and I lined up with the rest of them to try one of her cigars. I was always told "don't buy those friggin' cigars just after someone has rolled them, they stink, don't burn, have a tight draw, and you'll just throw it out anyway." Well, I finally found a reason to take a chance. I found it to be a wonderful cigar, didn't burn poorly, had a different, kind-of "get up and dance" flavor, and a knee-knocking strength (oh, maybe that was the roller - never mind). About a month later, we had hundreds of these fresh-rolled "cuban wheels" - 50 cigars in a bundle with a cute ribbon holding the thing together. Geez, someone must have really liked 'em (or her). Well, if that Nicaraguan hottie rolled 'em, I'll smoke 'em. Since then, I've smoked about 50 of these now. The bare bones bundles of 50 (yeah 50!) says it all. Made by Perdomo (who, last I checked has sold a gazillion cigars) lends itself to be a pretty powerful cigar. Granted, this isn't a "holy crap, I've got to tell everyone about this cigar" cigar. But, I go back to it regularly. Why? $1.60 per stick, that's why. It's a legitimate premium that's been rolled well, burns well, and is guaranteed fresh. But, what does "fresh" really mean? Pipe down, Francis, I'm gonna tell ya. Fresh doesn't mean you have to be standing there next to a roller lighting it up right after he puts the wrapper on. Close, but not quite. "Fresh-rolled" cigars often have about 3-4 weeks of aging on them (at least the fillers). The fillers are prepared and aged sometime before the wrapper is actually placed on it. Most of the popular "premiums" usually have a minimum of 6 months of aging. That's why these have such a unique flavor b/c it hasn't fully matured yet and doesn't have the consistency from stick-to-stick, so don't expect it. They burn extremely well, but drag regularly, they're extremely moist and will go out a little quicker if you set it down for too long. The full-bodied flavor is very robust, no dry-mouth, but is a little rougher and sharper on the finish. A peppery spice will catch you mid-tongue. It really satisfies, and the construction is top-notch quality. Each stick might be a little different, you can almost expect it. And, as they sit in your humidor, they continue to age, so the flavor changes constantly. Once it hits that 6 month mark, they'll settle down a bit. Smoke, chew, whatever, and as TC of Oklahoma said "you can't go wrong!".