Alright let’s get straight into this one. I had this yesterday and I’m not sure the flavours I’m picked up were much in common with other reviewers.
[Edit: I think this is because when I smoked this, I was coming down with a cold/sinus infection. Will have to retry this one again]
Appearance : A rustic looking wrapper, hidden well by the darkness of the maduro leaf. Its moderately rough to the touch so there must be a bit of tooth. Vein are fairly visible, can see and feel a couple of stems running down the shaft. The maduro colouring is very dark and uniform, a credit to DE. The cigar band is handsome in gold and dark blue/grey — sporting a gold lion’s crest — a lion sitting on top of an upside-down crown (or undercrown). Ring gauge feels like a 52? Overall very pleasing to look at.
Construction : Wrapper seams are nice and tight. Finished off with a well-done double cap. Cigar feels very solid all the way down to the foot, densely packed. Overall excellent construction. Feels really to hold and roll between the fingers.
Cold draw :Opting for a double V-cut. Draw feels firm, firmer than I’d like. Distinctive aroma of dark chocolate and hazelnut. Toasted nutella, if that’s possible!
Time to get lit.
- Moderately tight draw, excellent smoke production.
- Pepper is a 6/10 out of the gates, but this settles down almost immediately to a 3/10.
- Main flavours are a rich chocolate, nuts and cream, a bit of wood, a bit of earthy mustiness.
- This thing is throwing off smoke like a BBQ pit!
- Buttered toast coming in. Earthy. A fleeting hint of minerals.
- Hint of fruits.
- Medium finish, medium strength. Not overly complex but enough in there. Nice start.
- Ok I’m starting to identify the broad mixture.
- Not an overly sweet cigar…its there but doesnt escalate.
- Balance is about 70% dark chocolate, earth // 20% buttered toast, nuts & cream // 15% musty leaves, leather
- The overall balance is about the same, but that suggestion of fruityness comes and goes.
- That musty forest undergrowth has somewhat increased, at the expense of the chocolate.
- Balance is now 60% dark chocolate, earth // 15% buttered toast, nuts & cream // 20% musty leaves and leather // 5% fruits
- After a touch up to ensure the binder is burning, the rich chocolate flavour becomes more lively again.
- Sour tangy fruits more noticeable in this portion of the cigar.
- A bit of oak woodiness coming through
- That fruity tanginess has been a dominant characteristic since midway through the second third, its almost like a kiwi fruit taste. Chocolate has dialled down significantly but its still a major element.
- There’s an interesting finish to the aftertaste…its like mustiness mixed with lavender at time.
- Such a well contructed cigar, feels solid and great to hold.
- Balance is now 40% dark chocolate, leather, earth // 10% buttered toast & cream // 45% tangy fruits and musty leaves // 5% wood and nuts
1 hr 14 mins
- That buttery toast & cream has dropped away from the smoke, but lingers on the palate.
- Balance is now 15% dark chocolate, leather // 70% tangy fruits and musty leaves // 50% charred wood and soapy lavender.
1 hr 24 mins
- A significant transition towards the wood and lavender notes as we nub this thing
- Finish is approaching full, mouth is getting a bit dry.
- Balance is now 10% dark chocolate, leather // 30% tangy fruits and musty earth // 40% charred wood and soapy lavender // 10% roast coffee beans, wet paper, pencil lead.
1 hr 42 mins End.
Flavour wise, I wasnt sure what to make of this cigar. There was an initial wave of richness in chocolate, but it took me a good 15 mins to really start building a relationship with this thing as I struggled to understand how it was playing out.
In retrospect I think the chocolate was fighting to hold down the tangy fruits & musty earth. I really liked the creamy toasty chocolate flavours of the first third, but it was clear the tangy fruits of the second third were waiting in the shadows to ascend. I’m not a huge fan of the fruits & earth combo when the transition came, but it was unmistakable and interesting.
Even more interesting was the transition into the final third with wood and soapy lavender being the dominant flavour. I’ve never experienced lavender in a cigar before, and other reviewers have not mentioned this, so I’m a little unsure.
Ah well, I’ve got at least 3 more of these in toro format so I’ll revisit again later.
One of the most well constructed cigars I’ve seen so far. It was a delight to hold and look at, and the smoke throwing off it was pretty outstanding.