Paul 89 – Dark oily wrapper, some mottling and tooth, minimal veining, very dense, no soft spots, mild tobacco aroma on the wrapper, draw a little firm with dark fruit. First 1/3: Leather, slight mint, medium amount of light bodied smoke, even burn, medium gray ash, toasted tobacco, mild retrohale, tannins. Second 1/3: Baking spice and cinnamon on the finish, medium strength, body and finish, pepper spice on lips. Last 1/3: More smoke production, leather and baking spice, strength medium plus, medium body and finish.
Rob 86 – Cigar has a dull silky wrapper with a sloppy triple cap. Tight invisible seams and one prominent vein are apparent on the wrapper. It is extremely firm with no soft spots. Surprisingly, there is a loose draw with this firm pack… Very easy to light up, with a hugh wallop of cocoa which envelops my palate. Only a tiny sweetness surfaces on a lengthily finish. The cigar is providing a silky smooth smoke with a razor sharp burn and very long finish at the 1/4 point. At 1/2, the stick is getting a bit warm and the chocolate bitter sweetness is getting a bit tiresome. Burn, construction and smoke output are still outstanding. With 1/3 left, the stick is getting quite hot. There has been no flavor/aroma transition. Sorry, but even though a nice flavor and performance, it is a boring stick………….
Jim 85 – This appears to be a densely rolled maduro robusto. I can see some clumsy edges of the wrapper as well as ridges from the cap. After the initial light, I am getting some smooth creamy smoke with a developing nutty flavor. As it heats up I’m getting some unsweetened cocoa with a very slight peppery spice on the finish. Burn is slightly uneven but ash is very and strong. As I get a full inch smoked, I’m beginning to get some earthiness and cedar added to the flavors. As I hit the halfway point, the earth flavors are starting to dominate and the taste is getting kind of muddy. This was a medium cigar that went strong and full. The spice totally dropped off. Now there is also a dark chocolate flavor in the after taste. The burn eventually evened out on its own. I think the first half of the cigar was better and was more balanced than the second half. Overall a decent cigar but might improve if it aged a bit more.
Artie 87 – At first glance this is a very inviting cigar. It’s the classic NC Robusto size that gained popularity about ten years ago. I’d say 5×52. The wrapper looks great: dark brown (almost colorado) and shiny when viewed under sunlight. Bunching looks good as does the cap. I love the cold nose and draw…very pungent…can’t wait to fire it up. Here goes…First off, I can see where the foot band had stuck to the wrapper, causing a small tear. Now as heat is applied, the tear has spread, exposing the binder. I hope this doesn’t continue. I hate smoking cigars with a detached wrapper! But this turns out to be a non-issue. The cigar burn is perfect and an inch in I am past the tear. So far this a moderately complex cigar with flavors of roasted walnuts and dark roast coffee, although there is a underlying charcoal finish (something I’m not to crazy about). Mid way the cigar has expanded, splitting the wrapper in two places. Looking up the weather I see the humidity is 67%, so the wrapper issue is not a result of dry air. Strength-wise, this is a true medium strength cigar. As I approach the nub I can feel the cigar getting hot. At this point, the flavor remains unchanged and the cigar seems a bit one dimensional, but it’s not a boring stick and I want to keep at it. At the nub, the cigar has no bitterness, and remains smooth. This is a pleasant smoke, with no outstanding qualities.
Will 85 – Dark brown fatty, 54 ring? Well rolled but a sloppy double cap. Cold nose was woody toasted tobacco, no sneezes. Cold draw was the same with faint notes of hickory and campground marshmallow. Upon ignition the initial flavor was day old reheated coffee with vague chocolate on the short tacky finish. Burn is sharp, not as much smoke as I expected from such a dark wrapper and I must double puff to create any. At the 10 minute mark the flavor is consistent and includes a black cherry char along with the roasted marshmallow sweetness. This flavor profile reminds me of the Punch Signature but not as nicotinic. Fuller side of medium. No wow factor. Artied it at the 30 minute mark because I lost interest.