-As we all know, we “eat” with our eyes first. The presentation on the lacquered box (posted some ways back) is stunning, and more importantly, the cigars that lay inside were equally appealing. The smooth, oily wrapper leaf glistened with sheen, so much so, that between the glare of the cigars and my bald head, it must’ve blinded my wife lol.
The cold draw presented a mixture of sweet molasses and brown sugar, complimented by baking spices and cinnamon. Yet another cigar I could pre-draw for days.
The 1st third was an explosion of vanilla…vanilla yogurt actually, on both the palate and the nose. Complemented by notes of coffee, this was one hell of an introduction. The smoke had a creamy start but a dry, tannic finish. This wasn’t unpleasant. Comparing it to some wines, these tannins were velvety smooth and showed structure, but of course, left a slightly dry mouth feel. I did pair this cigar with a medium roast coffee and milk, which most likely contributed to the dry finish a touch, but the cigar itself was responsible for 90+%.
The second half of the 1st allowed flavors of fresh leather and sugared lemon rind to grace the palate.
The transition into the 2nd third brought back the flavor profile of the first light, but a touch more subtle. Lemon yogurt with the vanilla now in the background, and touches of sweet tobacco. The aroma consisted of that same sweet tobacco and cedar. Floral forward citrus notes presented themselves, as the vanilla creeped in every so often. The 2nd third finished with a continued sweet element, and the cedar of the aroma took to the palate with just a touch of leather.
The final third brought on a distinct espresso with Demerara sugar. Very particular, we do work often with this type of sugar in our restaurants cocktail programs. The cedar amped up for a moment. It was almost like a piney resin, similar to that of a New England style IPA, but did not last long, as this turned into eucalyptus and leather. Quite a bit happened in the final third. I experienced both dark and milk chocolate at times, followed by a short burst of must with a tongue tingle on a few puffs.
I put the end of the last third to the side for about 10 minutes to take a call. Upon re-light, the cigar found new life, and tons of wonderful toasted bread notes were present, finally ending with a deep “basey” leather on the nub.
Overall: absolutely amazing cigar. The construction and draw were flawless. The cigar never became too hot. Even that hint of must and tingle on the tongue in the final third didn’t last long, and I attribute that to only being about 1.5 years old. Everything about this cigar screams complexity. Smoking very well right now, however, the slightly tannic structure, the array of different flavor profiles, and the brief moments of youth, all tell me that these cigars will age BEAUTIFULLY. I will continue to smoke 1 per year and allow this box 3-5 more years before really diving in. As we all know, some of the beauty of what we enjoy is that every cigar may not taste exactly the same from the same line, or even the same box, but I’m hoping the rest of this box is similar, because this blew me away. I seldomly put a score to a cigar, but this one deserved it: 9.5.