The Azan cigar brand is manufactured by Roberto Duran Premium Cigars and was first announced in July of this year by its President, Roberto Pelayo Duran. It debuted at the 2013 IPCPR show in Las Vegas.
Per the press release, Azan is particularly unique as it is the only Cuban cigar brand ever founded by Chinese immigrants. The release goes on to say ”In 1928, Kwan Ben Sen (Domingo Azan) and his brothers starting producing handmade cigars in Manicaragua (province of Villa Clara), in Cuba. With the traditional Oriental dedication, focus and with a strike of good fortune, Domingo Azan was able to build one of the most successful tobacco brands in the center region of Cuba. We are fortunate to revitalize Azan as the great-granddaughter of Domingo Azan, Maria Isabel Alvarez Azan stands proudly with the Roberto Duran team.”
The brand is represented by two lines, White and Burgundy and are manufactured in Estelí , Nicaragua. The White Premium line features a long filler which is a combination of specially selected leafs from Jalapa and Estelí in Nicaragua and from Matafina in Brazil. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian corojo leaf.
The White Line is available in 3 vitolas: CAMPANA (5 1/2 x 52), ROBUSTO (4 7/8 x 50) and ROBUSTOS EXTRA (5 1/2 x 52).
The Burgundy Line is made with a selection of tobaccos from Nicaragua, wrapped in a medium dark-brown Ecuadorian Cuban seed Corojo leaf.
The Burgundy Line is available in 4 vitolas: PETIT CORONA (5 1/8 x 42), ROBUSTO (4 7/8 x 50), SHORT ROBUSTO (4 3/8 x 50) and SHORT CAMPANA (4 3/8 x 46).
For this review, I received one Robusto of each line from the manufacturer.
The simple white band has a thin gold line on top and bottom with the name Azan in gold script in the center.
There is a heavy cedar and tobacco aroma from the wrapper and a big, sweet raisin / tobacco scent from the foot. The wrapper is medium brown in color with some minor, visible veins.
The cigar was firm to the touch and had a slight resistance in pre-light draw once the cap was clipped.
The cigar has a slow, even burn and a thin carbon ring. The ash that developed was flakey and white. There is a strong peppery spice sensation in the exhale that emerges within the first inch.
The burn becomes a little wavy about halfway through but, that was not an issue. The cigar produces a good amount of smoke.
The flavor profile is fairly one dimensional with the primary flavor of tobacco and a faint hint of cedar.
If I had my eyes closed, I would not be able to tell the difference between the White and Burgundy lines from smell alone. They were identical to me.
The ash on the Burgundy was much tighter and lasted longer than the White. The rest of the burn characteristics were also identical to the White. The smoke volume was also just as good.
While there was a peppery spice sensation during the exhale, it was not as pronounced as the White’s blend.
The flavor profile was a woody tobacco with a medium finish. At the start of the final third, the finish had some slight bitter / sour notes that disappeared towards the very end of the smoke. The Burgundy blend seemed to be more earthy to me and much “smoother”.
Essentially, this is a “First Look” review for each blend since I only smoked one sample from each line. The White and Burgundy are both very well constructed and did not require any touch ups. Flavors were very similar with just a few noticeable differences. If I had to choose between the two blends, I would have to say I enjoyed the Burgundy blend the most.