Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic Criollo ’98
Filler: Dominican Republic Corojo and Havana 2020
Factory: Top Secret Nest
Price Range: $8-$10
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My first experience with Chogui Dos 77 was courtesy of CigarMas on Instagram. I remember notes of leather, wood, cream, graham cracker, and nutmeg – all flavors I know and love! And, when you’re done enjoying this little gem, there’s a surprise waiting for you on the back of the band just like the trailers after a movie.
If you’ve been following along with Chogui, they were initially only available to the U.S. through Cigar Hustler. Recently they’ve become available at Summit Cigars, Small Batch, and in a couple weeks I’ll be able to pick up the Dos 77 at my local slice of heaven: Governors Cigars.
On the name Chogüí, he writes:
The name comes from a very popular indian legend from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay region. That was turned into a sung and has been interpreted by different artists. One of them, Wilfredo Vargas, [is] a popular merengue artist from the Dominican Republic. My father used to play the song on our way to school and I was always intrigued with what a Chogüí was since it is mentioned in the chorus of the song. My father explained. I have always considered that memory of going to school with my sisters and father while listening to the song in the car as a very happy memory. So the purpose is that people can have or reminisce happy memories while smoking Chogüí.
The guaraní legend:
A Guarani young Indian woman had a child who had no one to play with; his only amusement was looking at how birds were flying so free and happy. The small indian boy loved to climb the orange trees, and eat the oranges. His mother, every time she went to work, would tell him not to leave the house, fearing a wild animal could come and hurt him. He promised to obey always, but most of the time his mom arrived and could not find [her] son, which attracted by the woods would wander. One day she strongly punished him with a stick and made him promise not to go to the forest. For a long time when the mother returned he was home. But one day he was on the top of an orange tree at the side of the road watching out for his mother, so he could run back home. He did not see her coming. When the mother came to the ranch and found none, she called the child [loudly] and he heard. Wanting to go down so fast, his little feet slipped and he fell. The mother heard the fall and rushed to his body. The little indian boy closed his eyes forever in his mothers hand. His body underwent a transformation such that became a chogüí bird, like those he had admired so much. He flew and sang above his mothers head and went with the whole flock of chogüíes. According to legend, the Indian boy comes every day and visits his home, accompanies his mother to work and goes to the orange groves to pick oranges that are his favourite fruit.
Original Melody can be found here.
Merengue version with lyrics can be found here.
On the naming of Dos 77, he writes:
“The first release we had was Chogüí ~ Primera Edición ~ 6×43, which was a limited release of 300 boxes, all numbered. When we took the cigars from the factory in Tamboril, Santiago to Santo Domingo, box number 277 was lost. In honor of the lost box and that no good cigar should be forgotten, Dos77 was born. The first batch of these cigars were all manufactured in August 2014. They are being release with almost a full year of resting.”
Chogui Dos 77 – First Thoughts
Removing the cellophane, there’s a LOT of raisin coming off the foot. Chocolate covered raisins, according to the pregnant Domestic Engineer. Black cherry and woodsy notes also come off the foot and wrapper after several more smelling sessions.
Removing just a thin layer of cap yields a promising draw: not too tight, not too loose. Raisins, cocoa, and tobacco notes are prevalent in the cold draw.
We’re carefully pairing the Chogui Dos 77 with a pour of Blantons, copious amounts of coffee, and water. Apologies in advance for lack of pictures, I’m also watching the kids play in the backyard.
Chogui Dos 77 – First Third
Leather, Cocoa, Raisins, Oak, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Cinnamon, Apples
First puffs? Leather. Unadulterated leather. As it begins to open up, subtle notes of cocoa, raisins, and oak drift in and out of my senses. I’m always surprised when a cigar is different than what I remember, but that’s what happens with time in the humidor.
At roughly 6 minutes in, the oak becomes more prominent with a very faint peppercorn flavor on the finish.
How bout the pairings? My coffee from the Sirens gives the Chogui Dos 77 a distinct ammonia profile that’s very off putting. I’m benching the coffee for the rest of this review. Blanton’s, on the other hand, is perfect in every way. The woodsy notes of both compliment each other nicely and the bourbon forces this cigar to delve deeper into those leather notes.
At nearly an inch in, the bold oak flavors are giving way to a softer, sweeter profile. Raisins are making their way back to the foreground, and I’m getting a hint of oatmeal raisin cookies for several puffs. It’s gone quickly, but noticeable enough to note. A subdued fruity note of some sort is trying to come through also.
How about the mechanics of the smoke? Well, smoke output itself is on the lower side. The draw is just slightly tighter than I prefer, but I’m sure it’s spot on for most folks. The burn line is even and maintenance free.
As the first third almost wraps up, I’m picking up some very interesting flavors. Subtle cinnamon is lingering on the tongue, and the fruit note that I couldn’t distinguish earlier is now unmistakable: apples. WTF? Yeah. Now that I’ve officially written down apples I find it easily.
All in all, it’s easy to get carried away with rabbit-hunting some of these flavors. To be clear, oak dominated most of the flavors of the first third with the above mentioned notes being secondary.
Chogui Dos 77 – Second Third
Oak, Bourbon, Charred Wood, Apples
You know the deal: drop the ash, wait a sec, take a puff. Lots of oak in the first few moments of the second third, and it’s revitalized without the ash attached. And then there’s a subtle tickle of bourbon when washing the smoke around in the mouth. A retrohale tells me I’m missing something – flavors that I can’t pick out because my nose sucks. Damn.
The more I think about it, bourbon is about as perfect a descriptor as is necessary as we approach the halfway mark. Blanton’s and Chogui Dos 77 compliment each other really well, but the similarities are equally startling.
The oak keeps see-sawing between nuances of rich oak and a charred wood flavor. The smoke towards the end of the second third picks up in body without picking up in strength.
And, at the end of the second third: apples! With as wood heavy of a profile as this stick has, the apples really make for an enjoyable finish on a long draw.
Chogui Dos 77 – Last Third
Oak, Apples, Bourbon, Leather, Christmas Ham
Not picking up a noticeable difference upon entering the last third of the Chogui Dos 77. Varying degrees of oak is still dominating in the flavor department, and an apple-esque sweetness pops up here and there. Leather also makes a reappearance in the last third.
It does appear to be getting spongy on me, but it hasn’t affected the performance of this cigar.
With around two inches left, the point where I normally toss most cigars that I’m not reviewing, a couple baking spices begin to develop. Is that cloves? I’m thinking so. And ham. Wow. Like a Christmas ham. If you’re unfamiliar with my way of reviewing cigars, I believe in just calling it like it is. I’m sure there’s a more traditional way of describing it, but to my palette of a palate that’s exactly what I’m picking up from what the Chogui Dos 77 is laying down. In fact, the aroma coming off the foot is very much like cloves right out of the Domestic Engineer’s spice cabinet.
If you don’t want to be surprised by the reverse of the label, click here to view it. Pure awesomeness.
As light begins to fade (and my phone camera begins to suck) more leather and oak battle it out.
Wonderful First Third
Great Bourbon Pairing
Monotone Second Third
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