Paul 85 – Medium brown, matte finish, dry looking wrapper, minimal veins, smooth, no soft spots, uneven cap, rich tobacco aroma on the wrapper, excellent cold draw with dark fruit and marzipan. First 1/3: Toasted tobacco, coffee and cream, medium amount of thin smoke, light gray flaky ash, mild strength, light body and a medium finish, smooth, ash falls at ½”. Second 1/3: Same flavors but fading, surprising spicy burn on the retrohale, excellent draw. Last 1/3: Flavors continue to fade, scalloped burn. This started strong and disappointingly faded.
Rob 99 – Somewhat unique stick; it is an osuro oval/square press, but not what I would conclude is a ‘box press.’ It has a very oily wrapper with no veins nor visible seams. I mean no veins or seams visible to the eye. The cap is wearing a perfectly placed large double cap. It has a firm pack, with no soft spots and does have some weight to it. On sparking up the stick, it lit very easily. Immediately it delivered a creamy smooth smoke. I am a bit disappointed with a slightly firm draw, however, the smoke output is generous from both the cap and foot. As the cigar heats up, I am getting a smooth tobacco along with a tiny bit of cocoa and some toasted nuts. At the half way point the draw has now eased and is perfect. The burn is razor sharp, needing absolutely no attention at all. The smoke is still more than adequate and quite smooth. At the 2/3 point the burn has continued to be razor sharp. The cigar has a medium body with just a tad of nicotine making itself present. I took the cigar down to below 1 inch. Still has a razor sharp burn with a cool smooth and creamy smoke. I give the stick a wow factor, as both its appearance and performance were both virtually perfect. I rarely find that combination!
Jim 89 – Nice dark brown maduro cigar which seems to be loosely box pressed. The head did crack when I punched it. Luckily, it only took off one of the caps. Initial smoke is smooth and creamy with a caramel flavor. More flavors are developing fast… dark chocolate, bakers spice and a cinnamon finish. Ash is dark and firm but the burn is uneven on one side (something I find all to often with box pressed). As it continues the dark chocolate flavors and body is gradually getting more intense and potentially too strong as it might be on the verge of getting muddy. The ash that started out very firm has transitioned into a flakey crown. As I approach the halfway mark the cigar has mellowed a bit and seems to be way better balanced. One annoying issue I’m having with this cigar is that it keeps going out. The burn has evened out (although wavy) it has been fine through the remaining experience. In the final few inches there is a smokey wood flavor that added to the combined flavors. I did enjoy this cigar as the balance of flavors really worked out on this cigar. My rating would have been higher if there weren’t several construction and burn issues.
Artie 95 – Chocolate brown in color, with a smooth leathery wrapper, this fat toro (58 ring gauge?) looks delish. The aroma wafting off itself is of lush tobacco, similar to what you smell when you first enter a cigar factory. The bunching looks perfect as does its cap. Cold draw is pure licorice and molasses. I’m smoking this at noon so my palate is completely clean and ready to appreciate a good cigar. With an easy draw, this stick lights quickly and puts out a lot of smoke. An inch in, the ash is slightly flakey, with a scalloped burn that self-corrects. So far, I’m picking up notes of dark chocolate and molasses…a bitter sweetness typical of a good maduro cigar. I’m smoking and writing this review simultaneously so I need to put the cigar down to type, but this cigar manages to stay lit while resting, a bonus feature as far as I’m concerned! As I approach the mid point, I am truly enjoying this stick. It’s smooth and creamy, with tons of umami. Like drinking a nice Bordeaux…this cigar is very complex with complimentary flavors. There’s fresh herbs, smokey meats, and it’s a got just enough strength to make you giddy. The burn is now perfect and this cigar just wants to be smoked. And an hour in, I’m only halfway done. Finally, at the nub, this cigar hasn’t had much flavor transition, but its creamy richness never diminished, and two hours later I was sad to see it end. A great cigar.
Will 91 – 6 x 54 Toro with a gentle box press and a very toothy oscuro wrapper with tight seams and a sloppy double cap. The stick is well packed and firm from head to foot. The cold nose is toasty tobacco with white pepper and cuban coffee, a 2 sneezer. After making a single pass with my Xikar V-cutter the cold draw is similar to the nose but with a light cinnamon finish. Upon ignition I’m getting a chocolatey cinnamon flavor with a cocoa powder on the finish. I’m thinking this wrapper is Brazilian Mata Fina?? As I get into the second 5 minutes of this stick I am now getting a salty leather flavor with a bit of earthiness. There is lots of smoke and the ash is dirty gray and holds on well. This stick has lots of flavors and at the 30 minute mark I am getting a toasted marshmallow on the finish. I’m enjoying this stick and it stays smooth and balanced until the 85 minute mark where it turns bitter and mushy and I let it go. Overall an enjoyable smoke.