Ares Contreras, founder and president of Pride Cigars, Inc., has his new 809 value-priced premium cigar line, which consists of one of the broadest choices of cigars in the industry, including multiple shapes, wrapper shades, and blends. A rarity in the industry, Contreras created the 809 as both a hand-made long filler cigar (Black band), and the hand-rolled medium-filler Red band. Both fall into the value-priced category … suggested retail pricing for the long-filler Black band tops out at $2.50, while the medium-filler Red band retails for up to $1.60.
Today I am reviewing the Black Band, Connecticut churchill cigar.
Ares Contreras, founder and president of Pride Cigars says this about his 809 line;
"The filler blends and binders vary, depending on the wrapper used. Pride Cigars’s main thrust is focused on boutique premium cigars, so the tobaccos we use for 809 are the same extra-select tobaccos … both the Black and Red. As such, 809′s performance and quality surpass those of many top-flight premium hand-made cigars."
809 Black is offered in Robusto (5" x 50), Corona (5-1/2" x 43), Churchill (7" x 48), Torpedo (6" x 52), Toro (6" x 52), Corona Gorda (5-1/4" x 52), and Grand Toro (6" x 60), which Contreras describes as "suited perfectly to large-cigar fanciers, looking for a lot of cigar for not a lot of money." 809 Red includes all these shapes, except for the 6" x 60 Grand Toro. The cigars are cellophane-tubed and presented in bundles of 20.
Regarding the packaging of the 809 cigars Contreras says,
"eye-pleasing, conspicuous in the humidor, and creating the impression of a higher-quality product than their modest pricing would indicate. But, with the extra-select tobacco and craftsmanship that goes into the 809 lineup, the cigars hold up to smokers’ expectations."When asked where the cigar's name came from Contreras explains,
"Simple … it’s the telephone country code for the Dominican Republic."
So, the cigar sounds nice and the price point is unbeatable. Now it's time to see what it's like for myself.
Video review HERE.
The test draw was very good. The initial flavors were not discernible so I let it sit for a minute.
About an inch in it was very typical of a Connecticut cigar; raw almonds with a hint of grapefruit citrus and nice pepper. The finish was raw almonds. The cigar is very mild at this point.
A couple inches in the cigar changed to vanilla notes on the spice and the finish is more of a vanilla flavor. There are some underlying notes of coffee on the spice; almost like coffee with cream. The cigar is still quite mild.
At the midpoint there was some richness in the spice, The vanilla and raw almonds are somewhat rich. Not at the point where I like it to be but it has moved in that direction. The pepper is nice on the draw. The finish is long with a pronounced vanilla with a mix of raw almonds.
The cigar has a bit of bitterness. The spice flavors remain the same; vanilla and raw almonds. The finish is also one of vanilla and raw almonds. The pepper is nice on the draw but it does not linger on the finish.
At the end of the cigar it remained very mild with some nice vanilla and raw almonds on the spice with some richness. The pepper was nice. The finish pretty much mirrors the spice without the lingering pepper. The cigar, if based on it's price, would score much higher but I am judging the cigar simply on it's merits. Beginners or shop owners looking for an inexpensive cigar to offer their customers would like this cigar. The cigar is well made and burned perfectly. Mr. Contreras has shown his ability to make a good cigar and this one shows he can do it inexpensively. That being said, I found this cigar to be too mild for my tastes.