Paul 74 – Mottled dark maduro color rough wrapper with large veins, toothy, spots, some soft spots, wrapper has an 1 ½” split at the midpoint, very light tobacco aroma, several large stems at the cut foot, little resistance on the draw. First 1/3: Grass, malt, medium amount of smoke, area at split very soft, flaky very light gray ash, another ¼” split appears near the foot, black pepper on the retrohale, medium strength, body and finish. The cigar is expanding like a sponge at the midpoint. The split is growing and the wrapper is starting to unwind. The burn has gone to hell, but that is the least of this stick’s problems. Second 1/3: More grass with more splitting at the foot. It goes out several times as the wrapper comes completely off. Whoever rolled this should be embarrassed. Un-smokeable. Tossed it. Hope everyone else got a better example.
Rob 90 – This churchill cigar has a maduro dull brown wrapper with tight invisible seams. There is 1 vein that runs the entire length of the stick, but is not terribly prominent. There is a nice double cap on this rather heavy stick and very firmly packed stick. Using a guillotine cutter I sliced off the cap and was provided a fairly tight draw; presumably due to the overly packed body. There is a nice earthy flavor coming through on the cold draw. Upon further examination of the cigar, I found that there was a patch placed on the cigar to repair a square centimeter sized hole. The patch was done very nicely, however, a premium cigar (if this is one) should not have repairs to it. If not perfect, it should have been tossed during factory inspection as imperfect. Hence the low rating mark on construction. On sparking up the cigar I am getting a mouth full of of flavor. There is no bitterness related to ignition charring. The soft creamy smoke contains some leather, cedar and oatmeal. No harshness whatsoever. The smoke output is average. At the 1/3 point; the ash is solidly packed and holding very firmly. The burn is not razor sharp, however not bad at all. The draw is still way too firm. Not severe enough to require a repair, but not comfortable either. Flavors have stayed stable. There is still an average amount of smoke from the foot. I had to set the stick down for 7 minutes to take a phone call, and upon my return, it was still lit and ready to continue. With 1/3 left, the flavors have changed to a nice meaty mild tobacco with mixed nuts and cedar. I do like its flavor profile. There has been no bitterness throughout the smoking experience. The burn has straightened out nicely (still not razor sharp) but I am now having to relight the stick every five minutes to keep it lit. Good enjoyable smoke, and am disappointed that the construction rating due to the repair is lowering the overall rating.
Jim 89 – A very well crafted cigar by appearance. A darker brown rich looking wrapper that is firmly packed full with tobacco. This was rolled with some care as the cap is near perfectly applied as I have ever seen on a cigar. I do get excited when I see great construction, now I hope the flavors hold up! Draw is tight on this cigar. I actually snipped a little deeper with same results. It is densely rolled but I also hope it eases up as I progress. The initial smoke is smooth with a cinnamon finish. As it heats up I’m getting some unsweetened cocoa with a very rich espresso finish. There is a very slight tinge of spice on the finish as well. The ash is very firm an strongly holding, the and burn is very straight. Over a third of the way in and this cigar is gaining strength and richness. I do wish the draw would improve. As it continues I’m getting some strong earthy flavors. I am also feeling the nicotine… much stronger the second half versus the first half. Flavors started getting muddy so I let it rest and it helped. Overall this was a good cigar and it improved as I progressed. One of the best constructed cigars however, the draw was the most disappointing throughout the experience and effected the rating.
Artie 85 – This cigar is best described as a fat churchill (kinda like the real guy, huh?). It’s quite long, maybe 7″, firm to the touch with a smooth wrapper of colorado color. Its cold aroma is tart. Looking at the foot I see nice entubado bunching, so I anticipate a good draw and even burn. A guillotine cut reveals a draw that is a bit more firm than I would like. But lighting is easy and there is plenty of smoke. My first impression is that of spicy, well fermented tobacco, with vegetal notes…I’m curious to see how the cigar will evolve. As I smoke, a firm ash develops and it is a solid cylinder that doesn’t want to fall. Black pepper notes are strong and at the mid point, flavors of baker’s cocoa and black coffee coat the tongue. So far, the burn has been perfect and no corrections are needed. The cap never unravels and stays solid. This is a well-made cigar. As I approach the nub I find the strength has had a gradual build, but the flavors didn’t evolve. It never gets creamy and there is a lack of umami, something I look for in a cigar. In the end my high expectations were never realized.
Will 84 – 6.5 inch x 48 dark chocolate wrapped corona, minimal veins, packed well. Cold nose was toasty tobacco with a faint barnyard, zero sneezes. Cold draw was toasty tobacco and black walnut. Upon ignition the initial flavor was nutty with a short peppery finish. This cigar had a very tight draw, not plugged but tight, minimal smoke output. I found it medium bodied and not very strong. The flavor profile never really changed for me and 30 minutes in I poured myself about 3 fingers of 12 year old Irish to see if that would help. It didn’t. Overall the cigar was boring, not bad but missing a lot for me.