For years, I've been intrigued by the idea of cigar leaf blends, but with one notable exception, nothing has really hit the mark for me, and the one that did, the celebrated Sobranie Virginia #10, has long been out of production. In mid-2000, I began flirting with different ideas, experimenting with different leaf, concocting prototypes, and quickly tiring of them, until, finally, I was shown samples of some exquisite maduro wrapper leaf that stimulated a new interest in finding my perfect cigar leaf blend. After months' worth of experimental recipes, I zeroed in on the blend I'd been searching for, and Robusto was finally born. The cigar leaf would make an overly bold statement if blended with a heavy hand, but in just the right amounts, it provides an alluring spice, a suggestion of the richness of a great cigar, and a creamy texture to the smoke. Cyprian Latakia rounds out the flavors, and smoothes the edges. Ripe, red Virginias provides a modest sweetness while giving the blend structure. Oriental tobaccos fill in the gaps, and make Robusto a complex, full flavored and spicy mixture that is still gentle on the tongue. It's perfect with the afternoon coffee, as a delicious finish to a wonderful meal, or as a stout companion throughout the day. And, it ages beautifully!