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.
Ring gauge: 52
Strength: Full bodied
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.
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.
The cigar comes in various sizes:
The Don Lino Africa is handmade by famed cigar crafter AJ Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua.
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.
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.
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