Rob 84 – This is a fairly substantial stick, with a very dark brown dull wrapper. Almost no visible veins, and had tight invisible seams. There is a substantially large soft area in the center sweet spot of the stick. It took to the torch flame very easily and fired up to a very harsh/bitter flavor. It was a bit discouraging as this taste did last for at least one full inch of the smoke. At the one inch mark, the bitterness faded away quickly, and yielded a mellow palate with coffee and bittersweet chocolate on the tounge. It also started to exhibit some full strength. During the final third, the soft area had burned through, and upon hitting the firmer pack, the draw noticeably tightened. This was not a bad stick, but would suggest it as a last smoke rather than first smoke of the day/evening.
Paul 83 – Deep dark brown maduro wrapper, minimal small veins, no soft spots, very solid, light tobacco aroma on the wrapper, good draw, slight dark fruit on the cut end. 1st 1/3: dark flavors, chary, leather, oak, very dry in mouth, medium amount of smoke, tannic notes, bitter on the lips, medium strength and body, short finish, some sweetness on the retrohale. 2nd 1/3:Flaky ash, scalloped burn line, some leather and tannins. Last 1/3: No changes. It is finished.
Will 86 – This large toro was a veiny maduro wrapper with a sloppy cap. The cold nose was molasses. This stick was hard as a rock. Cut with a Xikar guillotine tore the wrapper leaf. Nothing that a wet gummy couldn’t fix though. Once lit I get chocolate graham crackers with a bit of dirt. Five minutes in there is lots of smoke and very white ash, I expected more power but its settling in to a medium body, medium strength smoke. About 10 minutes in I’m getting a long sweet coffee finish. Nice even burn and a consistent flavor profile that is moving to a very dark roast coffee with a touch of cocoa. I smoked this for almost 65 minutes and it started to get bitter with 2.5 inches left so I set it down. A good cigar but something was missing for me.
Artie 93 – This is a big fat toro, with a dark brown, toothy wrapper. It feels like fine sandpaper in the hand. The foot shows a few stems, but has good random bunching. Before lighting, the stick has a pleasant barnyard aroma, and the cap is crude looking, but stands up well to a guillotine cutter. With a good draw, lighting this stick is easy and it produces lots of spicy smoke. The opening inch is complex, with earthy flavors, black pepper notes, and the tart sweetness of dried cherries. Halfway through, the cigar gets creamy and it’s apparent this is a cigar with lots of Nicaraguan ligero. It’s strong and intensely flavorful. The balance is excellent, and the pepper nuances don’t diminish as the cigar progresses. At the nub, there is a grilled meat quality that is very satisfying. This cigar has huge flavor, burns like a dream, and is quite memorable.
Jim 97 – This Toro size cigar has a maduro wrapper with very distinct appearance of veins. To the feel, it seems very firmly constructed and packed tight with tobacco. Right off the bat, as soon as I light this cigar I’m getting very hearty and rich flavors. I’m initially picking up some rich oak and hoppy favors similar to what you would taste in an IPA beer. As it heats up I start getting some coffee flavor paired with a dull spice like nutmeg. Draw takes a little effort but totally acceptable. Burn is somewhat unleveled but the ash is very firm and very white (indicating high magnesium in the soil). Construction of this cigar seems impeccable. At an inch in now I’m starting to get that leather flavor found in many cigars, However, the balance of all the flavors of this cigar is very good. The after taste on my palate is rich and savory. The strength is full but not harsh. Almost two inches in and the ash is firmly attached with no degradation – it maintains the exact same shape of the cigar before I lit it. Halfway through and there has been a shift in flavors. It has mellowed out as the spice has dropped off. I’m getting more unsweetened cocoa with the oak at the finish. Out of all of the cigars I have reviewed for RobustoJoe, this is the best I have encountered so I’m give it 2 wow factor points. EXCELLENT!