Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

French Collection (by Jochy Blanco) Cardinal Mazarin
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: DRuff

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 French Collection (by Jochy Blanco) Cardinal Mazarin.

Jochy Blanco is a fourth-generation tobacco grower, a second-generation cigar maker, and the the CEO of Tabacalera Palma. Jochy visits France from time to time to explore vineyards and 300-year-old churches. On a trip about 5 years ago he visited an art gallery, and noticed many Old Master painters focused on religious figures as their subject matter. He was intrigued and started to research these figures, mostly cardinals. He became inspired to make cigars named after a few of them, that would pair well with wines. Art inspiring art. His ode to France and its rich history of wine, art and culture. No one could understand the branding, so he decided against selling them as a line, but these cigars were so damn good Jochy didn't mind taking up some space and aging them for his own stash. Privada Cigar Club came along and was able to get their hands on these to sell.

French Collection (by Jochy Blanco) Cardinal Mazarin

French Collection (by Jochy Blanco)
Cardinal Mazarin
Ring Gauge:
Country of Origin:
Dominican Republic
Colorado Maduro
Toro Gordo
Average Member Purchase Price:
Average Member Rating:
4.5 star rating based on 1 Review(s) (1 Review(s))
This cigar was enjoyed with Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Pre-Light: 9 Points of 10 Possible

Wrapper was a beautiful even color and was fairly smooth with a few veins, but nothing major. Had a nice leathery/woody aroma. Straight cut, cap held together well, no cracking. Cigar was pretty firm and consistent top to bottom.

Lighting and Burn: 12 Points of 15 Possible

Burn from the start was very nice and even. Ash was a gray/white color , medium volume of smoke. Very nice even burn, solid ash that held up well. Started to tunnel slightly in the first third but straightened itself out. Tunneled again in the second third and needed touching up a bit. Smoke volume remained consistent. Other than touchups for the tunneling it need no relights.

Construction: 25 Points of 30 Possible

Nice easy draw, a trouble free enjoyable cigar to smoke from the start. Draw remained consistent throughout. Tunneled twice but not severely, 2nd time required a touchup. Construction was pretty decent for the most part.

Flavor and Aroma: 36 Points of 45 Possible

Flavors in the beginning not very prominent or strong. Mellow earthy/woody flavor with not even a hint of spice.  Rather one dimensional to start, I'm hoping it builds a little. Medium strength. Developed a slight metallic note at the end of the first third but was not unpleasant. Metallic note diminished in the 2nd third, more of a woodiness and slight bitterness developed. Bitterness dropped of at the end of the 2nd third, and flavors became a bit more interesting.  Wood, leather, and earthy but strength remained medium. Paired well with the bourbon.


This cigar was pretty good. Not a flavor bomb and definitely not in my usual wheelhouse, but a decent smoke for the most part. Medium strength with some flavor transitions, and a few burn issues but nothing major.  Construction was very good. Thanks Tuck for letting me participate in the critique!

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