By Russ Ouellette
The Brioso brand
from General Cigar was introduced to be sold at brick and mortar (b&m) stores only. These budget smokes are intended to be sold at around $3.00 a stick, and come in four different sizes. The filler consists of tobacco from Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. The binder is Connecticut Habano and the wrapper comes from the Jamastran region of Honduras.

The cigar makes a decent appearance. The wrapper leaf isn’t overly veiny, and seemed fairly firm to the touch, and the pre-light draw was fine. Unlit, I got a grassy taste upon puffing and a hay-like smell with a slightly sour tinge.

This cigar had the elements to be a great value cigar- made by a well-known company, bundled to keep prices down, with a seemingly complex multi-national blend to give some depth. Everything was fine until…I lit it. The burn was okay for the price, pretty even, and I didn’t notice any soft spots. I also didn’t notice any flavor. There was a slight leathery taste and there was a woody quality. I like wood notes in a cigar, like the cedar in a good Cameroon or the oakiness that can be found in some medium-bodied smokes, but this was a very dry and bland woodiness, like balsa.

I figured that the cigar just needed to warm up, and that the flavor would pick up later. Well, just like most of my suppositions in life, I was wrong again. The flavors became more pronounced, but didn’t change. I kept trying to identify the main quality of the taste, but couldn’t pick it out until I removed the band. Paper. That was it, the cigar had a papery quality with a tiny bit of spice creeping in about halfway.

Brioso Corona Cigar Review


Brioso Corona Cigar ReviewThe aroma was nondescript. It didn’t smell as bad as a machine-made cigar with an HTL (homogenized tobacco leaf, that is, tobacco paper) wrapper or binder. It just didn’t smell like much of anything.

This is not a condemnation of General Cigar by any means. I love a number of their cigars and I have great respect for a lot of their people. But I can’t get onboard with this stick. I’ve paid less for much better tasting smokes than this.

To sum it all up– for the appearance, I’ll give it 10 out of 15, as the presentation was good. I’ll give 28 out of 35 on the draw and burn, as it smoked pretty well, but I can’t give it any more than 25 out of 50 for flavor and aroma, adding up to a grand total of 63 out of 100, but, what the heck, they can’t all be winners.

Overall rating: 63

5½ x 44
Wrapper: Honduran Jamastran
Binder: Connecticut Habano
Filler: Dominican (seco & ligero), Nicaraguan, Mexican
Made in: Dominican Republic

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of pipe tobaccos for Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe and in Albany, NY. He has been a cigar smoker and pipe tobacco blender for over 30 years. Russ will be contributing articles in several areas starting with reviewing cigars that are the best bang for the buck – something we anticipate many readers will be interested in during these challenging economic times.

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