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Cigar Review: Protocol Probable Cause by Cubariqueño Cigar Co.

Protocol Probable Cause by Cubariqueño Cigar Co.
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Protocol Probable Cause is the second release of law enforcement themed cigars from Cubariqueño Cigar Company. Cubariqueño Cigar Company was founded in 2015 by police officers Juan Cancel and Bill Ives.

The Protocol Probable Cause is available in two sizes.

  • 5 x 52 Robusto
  • 6 1/2 x 48 Semi-Box-Pressed Churchill


Protocol Probable Cause Pre LightThe Protocol Probable Cause is double banded in metallic silver, black and red. The primary band is a large 3-D “P” along with “Protocol”. And the back, being a law enforcement themed line, has none other than “C.I.A”. The secondary band has the line name “Probable Cause”.

Dark roast coffee bean dark brown, the Protocol Probable Cause Mexican San Andreas maduro wrapper is rustic with a pebbly finish. The roll is very, very firm and finished with a triple cap. The press release on the Probable Cause in May, 2016 specified a closed foot, but specs must have changed because this robusto has an open foot. And there is no box press on this cigar that earlier release articles mentioned.

Pre-light aroma is all earth and the draw is just plain easy, which is a nice surprise with how firm the roll is.


Protocol Probable Cause First LightProbable Cause is starting out smooth, very smooth. And very mellow with a perfect draw, the cigar is already producing a blend of cream, honey, chocolate, pepper and almond. There is also a cherry note on the finish and a lingering char, as in a burnt, woody flavor.

The draw is nice and easy with a rich, full smoke.


Protocol Probable Cause cruiseThe initial mellowness and medium strength is moving up to medium-plus with a lot more pepper coming through by the first inch of Probable Cause, and then it begins to back off again. This is going to be an interesting smoke.

The burn line is fairly sharp and the ash is a firm mottled black and grey and hanging on to the two inch mark. The second cigar needs some touch-up as the burn line is getting too far off.

Retro-hale is a white pepper blast along with a cherry and a distinctive honey sweetness. The strength is back to a firm medium with milk chocolate coming through along with cream, cherry, honey and black pepper. There is a dryness to the smoke that leaves the mouth, well, dry. The smoky charred wood is dominating the flavors and somewhat overwhelms them. On the second cigar, I am not getting the same level of smoky wood, and it is resulting in a much more balanced flavor profile by midway. Even the dry effect is at a much lower level on the second cigar. It almost tastes like there is a different mix of tobacco in this one, but with the same wrapper.

“The strength is back to a firm medium with milk chocolate coming through along with cream, cherry, honey and black pepper.”


Protocol Probable Cause final thirdThe Mexican San Andreas wrapper is bringing in lots of milk chocolate smoothness while the charred wood smokiness is backing off a bit to let some other flavor notes surface. A dried cherry subtle sweetness, honey, some malt, almond, cream, and pepper round out the flavor profile. The finish is firmly black pepper and charred, smoky wood.


Construction is excellent with a very firm feel while delivering a perfect draw. Overall, the strength is a solid medium with a decent level of flavors.


  • Milk Chocolate
  • Honey
  • Cream
  • Cherry
  • Black Pepper
  • Almond
  • Charred, Smoky Wood


Protocol Probable Cause conclusionProtocol Probable Cause is somewhat overwhelmed by charred, smoky wood that is not balanced until the final third. There is a dry mouth feel from the smoke, as if the Probable Cause just sucks up the moisture in the mouth. The Mexican San Andreas wrapper performs beautifully as always with milk chocolate creaminess and is the star of this cigar blend.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good cigar. Per our Rating System, it is actually a Very Good cigar.

If the entire cigar performed like the final third, the Protocol Probable Cause would have earned another two points. The second cigar smoked actually pushed the score up an additional point since it did not have the high level of charred, smoky wood of the first cigar. I admit, I am confused by the differences in the two cigars, which were both purchased at the same time. The discrepancies in press release descriptions of a closed foot when both of my cigars were open and another website describing the Robusto as box-pressed when mine were not? I have no explanation for this and can only guess that Cubariqueno Cigar changed their specifications after the initial release.

Cigars Smoked for review:  2

Cigar Smoke Rate:              89

Size:                                  5 x 52 Robusto

Strength:                           Medium

Wrapper:    Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder:       Nicaraguan
Filler:         Nicaraguan
Country of Origin:   Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Cigar Factory, Esteli, Nicaraguan

MSRP:         $9.69

Cigar Smoke – Est. 2010
Cigar Smoke
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