Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique generously sponsored by our member tuck0411 (Todd). The cigar provided for this round is the">Blackbird Cigar Co. The Rio Gran Toro.

This cigar is an exclusive to Privada Cigar Club. The folks at Black Bird Cigar Co. had an aged cigar at their factory that they had been smoking for personal consumption because they couldn't sell the blend with their branding on it due to FDA regulations. They reached out to Privada, who fell in love with the blend. It has a rare combination of Brazilian wrapper and Brazilian binder. Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. Aged 2.5 years in the Dominican republic. They named it The Rio. The color, the Christ the Redeemer statue, and the font. DOPE. Collectible. Rare. Exclusive. Aged. Sounds perfect for Privada!

Blackbird Cigar Co. The Rio (Privada Cigar Club Exclusive) Gran Toro

Blackbird Cigar Co.
The Rio (Privada Cigar Club Exclusive) Gran Toro
Ring Gauge:
Country of Origin:
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
Colorado Maduro
Average Member Purchase Price:
Average Member Rating:
3 star rating based on 2 Review(s) (2 Review(s))
This cigar was enjoyed with Water

Pre-Light: 7 Points of 10 Possible

This cigar has a dry looking medium brown wrapper, with four (4) very prominent veins running the length of it. It has a double cap and a somewhat rustic appeal. The band with the Christ the Redeemer monument is quite unique.  Feels solidly rolled with no soft spots.  Pre-light draw reminded me of black tea.

Lighting and Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

The cigar lit easily enough and had a wavy burn line throughout the entire smoke.  However, this required no touch ups or relights and really didn't detract much other than the need to tap the inch off after every inch to insure that it didn't fall on me. Its burn was cool and never too hot. The ash was solid and bright white with a few black speckles.  The volume of smoke seemed adequate.

Construction: 26 Points of 30 Possible

The cigar was solidly rolled but had some prominent veins. It burned with a bit of a wavering line but never needed to be corrected.  The cap was only a double cap, and the foot was cut a bit unevenly, but that didn't affect the smoking experience ... it just looked a little sloppy.

Flavor and Aroma: 32 Points of 45 Possible

Upon lighting, the first few puffs open with a pleasant nuttiness, some pumpernickel and mild heat (something peppery, but not in-your-face). A bitterness developed after about an inch into the cigar, but subsided by about the 1/3 point.  Notes of creamy earthiness started to come through on the second third, with the nuttiness, pumpernickel and mild heat still present. Then the bitterness returned by about the half way mark, and was a bit distracting from the otherwise overall pleasantness of this cigar.  The cigar repeated this pattern on the final third.  The strength seemed to be medium the entire time.


This cigar had me scratching my head.  At some points it was quite pleasant (monotone, not complex, but pleasant). At other times, a bitterness would appear and ruin the mood, then disappear again.  The cigar burned quite cool, so the bitterness was not due to hot-boxing the stick.  It was the first Blackbird cigar that I have tried, and I would like to try some of their other blends to see how they compare.

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