Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

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

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 This cigar was enjoyed with spring water

Pre-Light: 8 Points of 10 Possible

There was 3.5 inches of gold foil over the cigar just below the band, easily slipped off without damaging the wrapper.  The wrapper is on the darker side of medium-brown, with an even color and just one small vein, firm with a matte finish and a slightly dry texture to my fingers.  Dry Smell from the foot is slightly fruity, slight hint of leather and indicated rich, well cured tobacco from the Dominican Republic.

Lighting and Burn: 12 Points of 15 Possible

Pretty even burn, only one slight touch up in the first third. Solid firm ash and average smoke output.  The burn was slow and even throughout.   The color was predominately white/grey, with some light black striping.          

Construction: 28 Points of 30 Possible

The draw was perfect beginning to end, I used a round punch. Great construction, no soft spots.  The cap stayed intact after cutting, and held for the duration of the smoke.   The bunch and wrapper were excellent. The ash was strong and held on for about an inch at a time.    

Flavor and Aroma: 42 Points of 45 Possible

The first puffs are pleasantly rich and full, with a slight leather/cedar accent and bread and almond on the finish.  It's a fairly full flavor and aroma to start the cigar, while the body of the smoke is medium-plus and strength starts out and remains around medium. Hints of cedar and fruit in the middle.  Solid and firm ash.  Smoke 'em if you can find them.


It was well-constructed with well aged tobaccos, had a perfect draw, and just enough complexity in flavor to keep it interesting.  I really enjoy well aged tobacco and these were aged for 6 years according to Jochy Blanco. I would like to thank Todd for including me in this review.  Very enjoyable hour and a half.

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