Artie 84 – Dark brown with a rough texture, this toro shows few veins, and has a rich look about it. This appears to be a well-rolled cigar…nice cap and good bunching of the filler. Very slight cold nose. After lighting, initial flavors are that of bitter chocolate and leather, with an ammonia component. It’s got a bite that hits you in the back of the throat. Tons of smoke with a burn that needs regular adjusting. Ash has a nice solid core, but is flaky. Mid way this cigar gets a black pepper zing going. As I approach the nub, the flavors get sweeter, with a walnut note. But I’m not sure if I’m enjoying it or smoking because I have to for this review. It’s lacking the umami that I love in a good cigar. At the nub I can taste the tar build up. Ultimately, I’d say the flavor of this cigar has character, but somehow ends up flat and gooey tasting.
Paul 87 – Deep brown, maduro color wrapper, medium veins, no soft spots, some tooth on the wrapper, barnyard aroma, sweet dark fruit on the cold draw. First 1/3: Toasted tobacco and oak, medium amount of thin smoke, nasal burn on the retrohale, flaky ash drops in ½” increments, scalloped burn line, acid notes. Second 1/3: Oak, pepper on the lips, medium strength, body and finish, some canoeing. Last 1/3: some leather and oak, ash blooming, smooth, sweetness.
Will 94 – 6 x 50 toro with a sloppy cap and a toothy dark very oily oscuro wrapper. Hard as a rock even after almost a month in the humi. The cold nose was black pepper and barnyard, 1 sneeze. Cold draw was cocoa and spice. A very firm draw brought woody chocalate walnut creaminess with an earthy metallic finish that reminds me of Cuban tobacco. This stick was so oily that even the ash had tooth. The flavor just gets better and stronger and I slow myself down because I am smoking this stick too fast. Super consistent flavor and the strength was sneaky, the nicotine was creepy as it slowly built up as I smoked. . My only issue with this smoke is that the burn got wonky and needed a slight touch up with the torch on 2 occasions. This dropped a few points off the final score. For me the best of this round by far.
Jim 95 – This 48 ring by 6 inch cigar has a darker maduro wrapper looks well constructed and very densely filled. Immediately after light-up, I am tasting a creamy chocolate candy bar. As it begins to heat up, black pepper spice is developing on the finish and hangs on the back of the throat. At this point, It is really just starting to develop but I am already intrigued and enjoying this experience with anticipation of where this cigar will go. Just a half inch in, the sweetness has backed off but a more unsweetened cocoa flavor is still predominate. The flavor is rich and the body is full. The burn is wavy but relatively straight and the ash is firm. The draw is good. As I hit the halfway point I am still tasting that deep chocolate base but now with the addition of jammy dried fruit or maybe even raisins paired with a slight cedar flavor mix with the pepper finish. It got strong down near the nub but that was suspected by the overall richness of this cigar. Wow, did I just smoke my new favorite cigar?
Rob 93 – This is a very dark brown oily toro. Somewhat lumpy, but it has tight invisible seams with almost no veins. Lite up generates lots of thick creamy smoke. The first third provided a slight cocoa and baking spice flavor/aroma. I put the stick down for over 5 minutes, and found it still lit and smoking when I picked it back up to smoke. Half way point had no change in flavor with the creamy smoke retention. Moments later a black pepper kicked in and began to tingle my tongue. The last third continued with the creamy peppery slick in my mouth.