Search Content

Search form

Explore the World of Cigars
Staff Reviews

Don Lino Casa Verde Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

Don Lino Casa Verde is a green cigar, and it smells as good as cold, hard cash as far as I’m concerned. I’m smoking it in a 7-by-50 Churchill, and at $3.49 apiece, I can practically pay for one with the loose change in my pocket.

We affectionately call Don Lino the “Don of Discounts” around Holt’s headquarters, but it’s done out of pure respect, friends. Don Lino is one of those old-school holdout cigars from the boom days of the 1990s when I was but an embryonic aficionado, standing in long lines to get my hands on a few random handmades from my local smokeshop – long before my tenure among miles of warehouse aisles began at Holt’s. Now I can mostly smoke whatever I want around the clock, as long as it meets my prudent benchmark for price. Don Lino is in that club, and it’s my good fortune Casa Verde is a budget-friendly entree.

Green cigars, also called candela cigars, were commonplace decades ago, but they’re a rarity by any measure today. The handful of premium brands that still crank out Candelas, including Arturo Fuente, Argyle, and Rocky Patel, do so because nothing compares to their taste. Candela cigars are especially mild, and they look green because the wrappers are harvested before they’re fully matured. The leaves are then heated and rehydrated prior to the sorting and grading process.

Don Lino cigars hail from the hands of talented artisans in one of the Dominican Republic’s most proficient cigar factories. Since Casa Verde cigars come enclosed in glistening, cellophane-clad 20-count bundles, there’s no need to worry any of your paycheck is getting spent on cumbersome upgrades like fancy, lacquered boxes. Every cent you part with is parlayed into the tobacco, and when you slice open a fresh batch of Casa Verde, the quality is abundantly clear.

A seamless emerald-green Candela wrapper is drawn over a magnificent core of long-filler tobaccos harvested from the fertile Dominican landscape and aged for perfect flavor. Don Lino Casa Verde isn’t simply green in color. You can smell fresh alfalfa, green tea, and fennel before the cigar is even lit. When I clip the cap and take a few cold puffs, a chewy sweetness reaches the tip of my tongue and excites my entire palate.

After a few flicks of my soft-flame lighter, Casa Verde permeates the room with silky clouds of smoke. Grassy aromas accompany notes of buttered toast with hints of honey and pepper. I could push the smoke out through my nose for hours on end because it’s as approachable as a Butter Cream Yankee Candle. The draw is flawless as the cigar settles into a luscious profile of cashew, English peas, and white pepper.

After twenty minutes, I’ve tapped a firm ash into my ashtray twice. Casa Verde is put together by expert cigar rollers, and it’s evident there was no skimping on the materials. Tasting notes of Himalayan Green Tea, edamame, and fresh hay lay a soft and succulent foundation throughout the entire smoke, but plenty of sweetness stays on board. Traces of spearmint surface, but my palate could be simply playing tricks. A good Candela like Casa Verde deserves a long size like a Churchill due to its easygoing taste. You won’t want to put it down too soon.

As I peel off the black-and-gold cigar band and prepare to deplete the nub after about fifty minutes, creamy and leathery notes of pepper punctuate an overall nutty and grassy finale. There’s nary a complaint to report from yours truly other than that I wish my Casa Verde would last another hour.

After the Cigar Boom cooled off, Don Lino cigars spent a spell entrenched in blowout bins around the country, like an occupying force too stubborn to surrender, before truckloads were dutifully relocated to the Holt’s Closeout Annex where a conveyor belt conveniently initiates their voyage to your front door. You can take my word to the bank – Casa Verde is money, son. There’s no reason to save this green cigar for St. Patrick’s Day when you can stick a batch of one of the best Candela cigars in your coolerdor right now.


Featured Products