JD Howard Reserve HR54 – tasting notes.

JD Howard Reserve HR54

Artie 80 – With lots of barnyard aroma, this fat robusto is dark brown and has a rustic look. Cutting its crude triple cap reveals more stems than I’m used to seeing in a premium cigar. But the draw is adequate and rich tobacco flavors are expected from the aromatic pre-lit draw. This cigar lights easily and the first few puffs are more tart than I would have expected. An inch in the ash is very flakey, and the flavors I detect are grassy with a hint of black pepper. The burn is quite uneven with one side burning more aggressively than the other. Here the stem content of the blend might be affecting its burn. Further into the cigar a bitter cocoa flavor is present. Mid way an unpleasant taste builds in the mouth. The finish of this cigar is bitter and I’m putting it down. Disappointing cigar.

Will 82 – 5 x 56 robusto, dark maduro or oscuro, dry nose was earth and manure, dry draw tasted like wet dirt, heavy in the hand and hard to light even after almost 2 weeks in the box. I smoked this in the garage as it was windy and rainy outside.  I double punched a figure 8 but the draw was very tight so I removed the cap with my Xikar. Very salty leather on the light, no sweetness on the finish at all. The draw is absolutely terrible, like trying to suck air through a pinched straw.  I use a tool I bought 15 years ago called a draw poker to try and open this stick. It helps a bit and the flavor now includes a sweet finish to the salty leather. I also get raisins and roasted peanuts, reminds me of the old CAO Brazilias. The cigar keeps going out and the draw problem is so annoying that I let this cigar go after 20 minutes, aarrgg.

Rob 87 – Wrapper is beautiful:  invisible seams, with a matt chocolate brown wrapper.  A nice barnyard aroma from the pre-light.  Upon lighting, the stick had a smooth sweet retrohale.  The flavor is herbal, with notes of grass and has a black pepper  tingle on the tongue.  Very uneven burn, with two small holes forming in the body of the stick: had to correct the burn mid way.  The grassy/hay flavor continued throughout the entire stick.  There was no spice on the palate at all.  Very reasonable amount of smoke production throughout the entire smoking of the cigar.

Jim 84 – Clean appearance with a rich dark brown wrapper. First initial draws are medium in strength but flavors not defined.  As it heats up I’m starting to get some rich combination flavors of earth, leather and coffee.  Now an inch in and the cigar is starting to balance out.  There is some spice but it is so slight I can’t quite define it but this cigar is still full of flavor. Burn is slightly uneven. Draw is slightly stiff but sufficient enough to get a decent draw.  I was really starting to enjoying this cigar then in the second half its flavors starting to get muddy.  Maybe some months left alone in a humidor will improve its character. This cigar had the potential to be a very good cigar but it really fell off the second half.

Paul 94 – Dark mottled maduro colored wrapper, minimal veins with some tooth in the wrapper, very hard, no soft spots, manure and cocoa aroma on the warpper, firm cold draw.  First 1/3: Rich tobaccos flavor, leather, vanilla cream, tart, mild plus strength, medium body and finish, razor sharp burn line. Second 1/3: leather and wood, fleeting floral notes, some dryness on the palate, flaky ash, medium plus strength, body and finish.  Last 1/3: Wood and leather toned down, malt, draw still deliberate, medium strength, shorter finish, alternating acid and dryness, some tannins at the end.  Overall a solid medium strength smoke.   

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