Don Mateo No. 7 Robusto

Oct 2014
Seal Beach, CA
So I snagged one of these at a San Diego area tobacco shop for about $2 when I was buying butane, and the tobacconer threw it in to make up enough for me to use my credit card since I had no cash. Under the circumstances, I was skeptical, but I figured I may as well try it.
Appearance: It has a light, Connecticut looking wrapper with a few veins visible, but a reasonably smooth wrap. Mine had a small nick on the edge of the leaf (maybe my fault, as I have to transport everything in a backpack; I sold my car and only ride a motorcycle here). Filler appears to be consistent, and a squeeze along the stick shows a pretty even roll with no noticeable tight or loose spots.
Aroma/cold taste: It smells a little bit barnyard-ish with an underlying tobacco sweetness. (According to my wife: it smells like manure and wood.)
Light up: I'm still match lighting, since my torch isn't here yet, but it took two matches, and lit easily after toasting the foot. Initial draw is a bit bland.
First third: Mellow, a bit grassy. Tobacco flavor is the predominant flavor, with a relatively thin smoke. It has a very slight creaminess, and it produces a ton of smoke that has a mildly sweet aroma. No real spiciness to speak of, but exhaling through the nose is smooth and adds to the grassy nature of the smoke.
Middle third: The tobacco flavor intensifies in the sweet spot of this stick, covering up the greenness of the initial smoke. A toasty, almost bread like flavor emerges. It's not complex by any means, but has enough going on to keep me interested.
Final third: The last 1.5" started smoking a bit hot for me. The tobacco and toast flavors intensify to the point that they are masking even the taste of the wrapper on my lips and tongue. I nabbed it with about an inch left.
Burn: It burned evenly, despite a slightly crooked light, although the burn line wavered throughout the smoke. I didn't have to touch up my light, and it only got hot right at the very end.
Ash: The ash was a medium gray, and very tight. It fell with around 2" of ash, and at that it was because the ash began to list off to one side and I gently rolled it off to prevent a lap full of ash. It took a bit more effort than I imagined to roll off, though. I realized it wasn't necessary, and it fell once more before I finished the smoke when my dog bumped my chair.
Overall, I was pleased with this Honduran cheapie. For the price, it was well worth it, and I have a feeling that resting them for a while may actually improve the smoke. A couple times I detected a slight ammonia scent that told me that a few months in a humidor might improve them a bit. Should I run across these again, I'll definitely pick up a few, as long as they aren't above $3 a piece.