(I submitted this review in a contest at Cigar Inspector. I was lucky enough to win the contest. Be sure to go visit Cigar inspector to see this an many other great cigar reviews.)

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Natural
Filler: A Family Secret
Size: Double Corona 7 5/8″ x 50 ring

A couple years ago I attended a cigar event at my local tobacconist’s shop. At this event I met a man who is generally considered one of the best, if not the best, cigar reps in the South East US… may be the best in the country. I first met Chris Harper when he was working for another cigar manufacturer. He now works for Perdomo and apparently they recognize his talents as well because he has quickly risen through the ranks there and has gotten himself a nice promotion that has expanded his responsibilities to a national, rather than regional, level. Chris is one of the friendliest and most genuine guys I have met in the cigar business. I count myself lucky to now call Chris a friend. Chris is a knowledgeable and passionate cigar guy with an insider’s knowledge of the industry so he is full of great stories about cigars and the cigar business. He once relayed to me the story of the Perdomo family which is a truly amazing story. Here is a brief synopsis of what Chris told me. You can also find a more detailed version of the story on the Perdomo website.

The Perdomo family story has all the makings of an excellent A&E Biography or perhaps a great made for TV movie. The two Patriarchs of the family endured a lot on their road to success in the cigar industry. In Cuba, both Silvio Perdomo and his son, Nick Sr., were making names for themselves as master craftsman in the Cuban cigar industry. Then in the midst of all this success their worlds were turned upside down by the Communist Revolution and Castro’s rise to power. Both were and are peaceful opposers of the Communist rule in Cuba. As a result, Silvio Perdomo was arrested and jailed. He endured 12 years of torture and mistreatment. The whole time he was imprisoned he refused to compromise his beliefs, never once conceding to demands that he show public support of Castro and the Communist party. Silvio’s son Nick Sr. almost lost his life because of the family’s anti-communist views. He was shot and critically wounded by communist guerrillas. Close friends of the family hid Nick and cared for his wounds. Before he could fully recover from his gunshot wounds friends were able to sneak him out of the country bringing Nick Sr. to the United States. Eventually Silvio was freed as well and rejoined his son in Miami. The two began making cigars again in their Kitchen and it wasn’t long before Nick’s son, Nick Jr., joined the family business. Now, from those modest beginnings the Perdomo family cigar business has a location in Miami and a huge factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

That’s the short version of the story of Tabacalera Perdomo and the Edición de Silvio line of cigars. Nick Jr. created the Perdomo Edición de Silvio as a living tribute to his late grandfather and mentor. The ultra premium selection of tobaccos that go into the blends of this line are a closely guarded secret known only to members of the Perdomo family. You can enjoy an Edición de Silvio in one of three wrappers. It comes in either a Natural, Maduro, or an exquisite (I speak from personal experience) genuine African Cameroon wrapper. There are six different vitolas available which are rolled exclusively by the factories five most skilled rollers. They are the Robusto, Toro, Petite Corona, No.2 Torpedo, Double Corona, and a monstrous Salomon.

Today, thanks to the generosity of my friend Mr. Harper, I am enjoying a Double Corona sporting a beautiful Natural wrapper. In my haste to get out to my local shop and smoke this cigar, I regretfully forgot to snap a picture of it so all I have is the scan of the band displayed above. Given the special nature of this cigar I decided that it should be treated with an extra measure of respect so I used Gordon Mott’s “Three Match” technique to light my Edición de Silvio. Click here to see Gordon explain the technique. That is exactly how I lit this cigar and it worked beautifully. The Natural Double Corona sports a decadent looking light brown wrapper with the look of expensive leather. It has a slight tooth and fine veins running throughout. In the traditional Cuban style it has a masterfully applied triple cap that clipped perfectly with my Palio. The draw was spot on with the perfect amount of resistance allowing it to produce thick clouds of white smoke. The smoke started off a bit peppery and a little harsh but that didn’t last for more than a few puffs. It quickly mellowed delivering a rich creamy flavor of toasted nuts. Further in the flavors changed to a pleasant spice with a slightly citrus undertone and a woody finish. As I neared the end of the smoke it picked up a bit becoming more robust and peppery making for a good finish to the experience. The construction of this cigar is predictably superb. Well filled with a perfect bunching of the filler, it had no soft spots. The burn was perfect from start to finish and the ash was perfectly formed and held firm. It had the whitest ash I have ever seen on a cigar.

The DC runs about $22 to $25 a pop. With a price tag like that, this smoke is a something that is reserved for special occasions unless you have an unlimited cigar budget. The Edición de Silvio is a superb cigar that you’ll want to have one or two on hand for that special celebration.

Rating – A+