Cigar Review: Wayfarer by Serino Cigars

Background

This cigar was reviewed in a different vitola by Keith back in September. He explained the origins of the cigar there, so I would encourage you to read that review. My personal experience with Wayfarer started earlier in the year when Carson Serino came by Burns. We talked about my earlier reviews of Serino’s releases and about bringing the lines into the shop (we haven’t done it yet, but it hasn’t been ruled out). He told me a little about Wayfarer and showed me some design concepts they were working on for the band. I think I smoked one with him, too…and looked forward to when the cigars would ship.

Wayfarer is made in the La Corona Factory in Nicaragua, a factory many would best remember from such brands as Cubanacan and HR. They use Nicaraguan fillers from Estelí and Jalapa, an undisclosed binder, and an Ecuadorian Corojo ’99 wrapper leaf.

As noted before, I believe I’ve smoked this blend once before, though that was months pre-release. This is my first actual shipping version that I’ve smoked and I bought it while I was out in California at Maxamar Ultimate Cigar. Small Batch Cigar is the online arm of Maxamar, does sell these cigars, and is a sponsor of this site.

Prelight

The images Carson showed me months ago didn’t do justice to the final band artwork. At that time, they all looked fairly busy and chaotic. When asked, I chose the least busy-looking of the options and I think that’s the one they ended up going with…but because of the execution of the design, the others might have worked, too. It’s a black background with gold ink and a little embossing, for the most part, but the gold foil for the trim and blend name really make those elements stand out. It’s difficult to proof how foil will look when it’s done…here it looks great.

The wrapper leaf was oily to the touch. The color was light-to-medium brown with a lot of darker mottling on it. Veins were very visible, though most weren’t so big they could be felt prominently. The “109 cap” on this cigar is definitely interesting. Apparently that’s a Cuban style that takes a parejo (rounded cap, straight sides) and extends it slightly toward a more torpedo-tipped shape, before then completing the rounding of the cap. Not quite a parejo, not quite a belicoso.

The Corojo wrapper leaf smelled of cedar and earth, with just a touch of grassiness. The foot of the stick had a rich earthiness, with a hint of sweetness in the mix. The prelight draw was decent, though a little tighter than I would prefer. It had a definite woody note up front, with a touch of earth and a little astringency.

Wayfarer_angleFlavor

Once fired up, the Wayfarer burned well with an excellent draw, dismissing my slight concerns from the prelight test draw. The flavor profile was mostly cedar and grass, with a slightly earthy undercurrent and a touch of citrus sweetness. The retrohale had some nuttiness and a slight pepper burn. The first third continued on with a mellow and subtle mix of cedar and earth, hay and pepper.

As I got into the second third, I noted that the earthiness backed off a bit, allowed a more floral note to come through and the citrus sweetness to increase a bit. There started to be a slight pepper burn on the palate, replacing the burn on the retrohale.

In the last third more sweet floral notes came through and there was a lot more hay and grassy flavor. Earth and pepper were more subdued, while cedar still provided an important accent.

Construction

The draw was very good, the burn line was even and the ash was solid.

Value

Price point on this Wayfarer is better than the original Serino series when they debuted and is very fair for the experience it delivers.

Conclusions

While not my favorite Serino Cigars offering, I really enjoyed the Wayfarer and appreciate its place as a solid next step and unique product for the catalog. It is decidedly medium in body and mellow in execution, like many great Cuban cigars, which is what Carson was shooting for.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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