Paul 92 – Dark, maduro color, mottled wrapper, some soft spots at the foot, minimal veins, several stems visible at the foot, barnyard and rich tobacco aroma on the wrapper, several large stems at the cut head, good cold draw, dark fruit, raisins, and sweetness. First 1/3: Great draw, lots of medium bodied smoke, malt, leather, spicy on the finish, toasted tobacco, med strength and body, long finish, sweetness, slightly scalloped burn, medium gray ash, getting spicier on the finish. Second 1/3: Umami, lots of smoke, spiciness fades, leather, medium strength and body, long finish, cherry notes for a minute or two, then gone. Last 1/3: Umami, leather, toasted tobacco, smooth, spiciness gone, medium strength, body, and finish.
Rob 92 – This is a medium brown robusto with tight completely invisible seams and a triple cap. Pre-light provides a pretty firm pack with a resulting tight draw. On spark up, OMG, I’m getting a very smooth smoke, (Only on the draw, so we know its not a Drew Estate) with a slightly bitter chocolate flavor. At the first third, the bitter chocolate has faded and has been replaced with a substantial creamed coffee flavor on both my palate and retrohale. The is no sweetness detected at all. It is still incredibly smooth with no spice or pepper. The second third finds the stick staying one dimensional with creamed coffee. Smoke is staying nice and cool. The burn is razor sharp with a dull grey flaky ash. Final third: Smoke has stayed enjoyably cool. Burn is still sharp with flaky grey ash. Still creamed coffee coming through, now with a pinch of black pepper on the finish. Just realized, that throughout the smoke, the cigar has left my mouth feeling very dry, somewhat like a dry wine. Other than that not changing much other than chocolate to coffee. A very respectable stick.
Jim 98 – A very nice looking cigar with a nice dark brown wrapper. Very well rolled as I can barely see the seems in the wrapper. Looking at the foot, it seems like the ligero is bunched to one side so we will see how even it burns. This is also a well packed cigar that is very firm to the squeeze. Initial draws produce semi-sweet cocoa and a black pepper tinge on the finish. A very interesting flavor is starting to develop… savory in character. It reminds me of meat smoked in hickory. I am now getting a bourbon like finish. WOW whatever this is, I really like it. Burn is slightly wavy and the ash is very firm with an interesting color pattern of bright white lines and very dark spots. Draw has a little resistance but well within acceptable airflow. Halfway through, the flavor profile hasn’t changed too much except maybe a bit more mellow. The draw has loosened up as well and is now smoking perfect. I did need to touch up the burn at this point. I smoked this down to the nub! Excellent cigar experience! I really loved this one!
Artie 96 – This fat toro has a deep colorado-maduro color, and the heavenly aroma of ripe fruit and rich tobacco. Its wrapper has a nice even color and shows no prominent veins. The cap is well formed and holds up to the guillotine cut. Heavy in the hand and with a firm draw, there’s a lot of tobacco is this stick. The cold draw has a damp, musty taste. Examining the foot I see both a dark, almost black tobacco, and light brown filler leaf. Once lit, this cigar puts out a lot of spicy-sweet smoke. Right away this cigar is impressive. Notes of leather, peat, and dark chocolate are strong. There is also the underlying sweetness of marzipan and honey. This is a complex cigar for sure. The tobaccos in this blend are well-fermented, and I can taste the rich tobacco is every puff. An inch in and the flavors just get more intense. Mid way the burn line has gone wonky but soon self-corrects. Towards the nub, the chocolate notes turn to dark roast coffee, and a charcoal grilled meat flavor emerges. But that underlying sweetness is ever-present. Throughout the length of this cigar, the ash has maintained a pointed cone shape. The thick, ultra-fermented ligero, the tobacco I mentioned earlier as almost black, is perfectly rolled into the center of the filler. An hour or more after lighting I am at the nub, and there is no bitterness…only sweet, rich tobacco flavor. This is a great cigar. Lots of wow factor. It’s a finger-burner!
Will 93 – A 5.25 x 56 fat robusto with a dark brown oily wrapper. This stick is very dense and heavy in the hand with a nice triple cap. The cold nose is floral soap and cinnamon, one sneeze. The cold draw is chocolaty cinnamon toast. The pre-lite draw is wide open. Upon ignition the flavor is the same, cinnamon toast with a long tangy sweet finish of hazelnut creme. I’m 5 minutes in and the draw is not nearly as open as it was pre-lite, I run my home made drawl tool through the stick twice and that does the trick, the draw improves and lots of sweet flavor coming through. So far this is a yummy dessert stick. I would love to pair it with a rye whiskey or a sour mash to offset the sweetness but I stick to water. About 25 minutes in and the flavors are still popping although the finish has shortened up and I get a toasty malt flavor. My only real negative with this stick is the flaky gray ash that falls off in 1/2 nuggets. The flavors are still really good at the 60 minute mark, I am nubbing this. With about an inch to go I put it down as it is too hard to hold.