A Cigar Made in Ybor City
This is a review of cigar that I actually observed being rolled in Ybor City near downtown Tampa, Florida. The cigar is not only available at the Gonzalez y Martinez Cigar Store and Factory by the Columbia Restaurant, but these cigars may also be available online at www.gonzalezymartinez.com (site has some technical difficulties), or by calling (813) 248-8210. The cigar that I purchased was a Corona measuring 6 ½ inches long with a ring gauge of 46. Instead of smoking the freshly rolled cigar, I placed it in my humidor, where it had the opportunity to age for a full year. Freshly rolled cigars have a unique taste, and if you do not smoke them in a day or two, it is recommended that you let them age in a humidor for a least a few months. The cigar contained Dominican filler, and cost $6 for a single stick.
The cigar was medium-to-full in flavor, with just the right amount of spiciness. The cigar started off more on the medium side, but after about one-half inch, the complex flavors became noticeable. The cigar was very tasty without being overpowering or too strong, and would have to be considered mild-to-medium in strength. Strength is a measure of the cigars kick based on its nicotine content, as opposed to flavor, which is how full the cigar tastes. In my opinion, the best cigars are those that are mild-to-medium in strength, but medium-to-full in flavor.
Draw and Construction
The lady who rolled the cigar really knew what she was doing, as this cigar had an excellent draw, and was very well constructed. The cigar burned evenly, and held a long ash. When purchasing from a store that rolls its own cigars, one might be more skeptical about the quality of construction than when purchasing a national brand with a reputation for strong quality controls, including draw testing and other review and inspection procedures. However, in many cases, it is the small cigar store whose owners, managers, and employees pay very close attention to details and posses the greatest cigar rolling skills.
Since there are a lot of good cigars out there for under $3 a stick, a cigar really has to be more than just good to command a $6 price. The Gonzalez y Martinez corona is such a cigar, much better than good, and comparable in price to other cigars that I have smoked of similar quality (Gonzalez y Martinez coronas actually costs less than $6 each, when purchased in packs). The corona may not be affordable as an everyday cigar, but it is certainly reasonably priced as a special cigar for special occasions, or for just an occasional treat.