cigar review

Don Lino: Africa Kifaru Belicoso

The next cigar I will try as part of my cigar challenge is from the Don Lino cigar brand. I will be smoking the Don Lino Africa Kifaru Belicoso.

The stats:

Length: 6.25
Ring gauge: 52
Strength: Full bodied
Origin: Nicaragua

Don Lino Africa Kifaru Belicoso

Background:

Cuban Nestor Miranda founded the Don Lino brand in 1989 with his wife, also known for establishing the Miami Cigar & Co.

Don Lino cigars were big business back in the day, but at one point, they were put on a halt when business ties were cut short unexpectedly. Nestor talks about this in an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine

You can also hear the guy himself talking about his business below…

It’s fascinating hearing how sales of the Don Lino cigar increased massively after he was interviewed for Cigar Aficionado. Which sounds obvious, but a reminder of the power of a magazine back in the day. That particular issue sold loads of copies as the cover featured Demi Moore.

Nestor’s interview with Cigar Aficionado can be found here

Nowadays, Don Lino cigars are handmade in both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

This particular cigar, the Don Lino Africa, was inspired by the continent that holds a special place in Nestor’s heart following a safari that he took. It was released in 2003, then revamped and re-released for Miami Cigar & Co‘s 30th anniversary in 2019.

Promotion for the Don Lino Africa cigar

The cigar comes in various sizes:

Don Lino Africa cigars being promoted by Nestor’s son in law Jason Wood at The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, 2019

The Don Lino Africa is handmade by famed cigar crafter AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua.

AJ Fernandez

My experience:

This cigar is a full, box-pressed (or ‘rectangular’ pressed, as that describes the shape better) torpedo. It smells bloody lovely. The double cigar band features a single ‘A’ in the first band, followed by the words Don Lino Africa in the second band.

Getting the cigar ready to be lit

Upon lighting you can immediately taste the full flavour of this cigar, it has a very spicy, peppery kick to it – something I just wasn’t expecting somehow. Looking at other reviews out there on the same cigar, folk state that they can taste chocolate and cocoa – I definitely can’t taste those. It’s interesting as this cigar also reminds me of a previous cigar I smoked, the Arturo Fuente: Opus X Perfection X.

Cigar ash

My rating: 7.5 out of 10 – a wonderful cigar! I would recommend if you are into your full flavoured cigars. Did it feel like Africa? That I’m not so sure ;D

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