When I first started going to Holt's in Northeast Philadelphia, I got to know a lot of the employees there. Most of them seemed to point me towards this particular cigar. One of the employees, Chris, told me that is was one of the best cigars that he ever smoked. Given that he has access to just about any cigar, I had to try this one out. The next time I went, I picked it up, but didn't want to review it right away. I have smoked a couple of these now, but this one is the original one I bought over two months ago.
The wrapper on this cigar instantly drew me in. The dark brown color makes it look like dark chocolate. The box press is perfect with sharp edges. There are a couple of very thin veins that run through this solid cigar. The cap is made up of only of layer of tobacco which lies perfectly flush with the wrapper. There is a very sweet smell, like chocolate, that comes off of this cigar as well. Since this cigar is packed so perfectly and evenly, it cuts very clean and is very easy to light.
Once I lit this cigar up, I got a strong woody flavor with a very creamy background. After a few puffs I started to gets little notes of pepper, and as the cigar progressed, the spice picked up. It wasn't until about the half-inch mark that the earth flavors really came out. It seemed as though that when the woodiness built up, the earthiness came out a little bit more.
By about an inch of the way into this cigar, the flavors really opened up. Along with the strong wood and earth tones, I started to get some strong espresso flavor. It seemed as though the pepper flavor went away and let some new, sweeter spices come out. I couldn't quite pinpoint what exactly this spice was, but I was leaning towards cinnamon.
When the second third started to burn, by palate was coated with a very creamy flavor. But along with the creaminess was the new cinnamon flavor. The spice flavors mellowed out a little bit and allowed the earthiness, woodiness, and creaminess to all pick up. The espresso flavor was still a great accent to the flavor profile.
By the halfway point, there was a very strong leather flavor that built up rather quickly. It seems as though once the halfway point was hit, the flavor profile changed, almost like I started smoking another cigar. Instead of the woodiness, I started tasting some toast and the espresso flavor became much stronger.
The last couple inches was by far the most complex part of this cigar. It seemed as though every flavor from throughout the entire cigar came together. All of the spices were very light, the creaminess was very strong, but the espresso, wood, and earth all made up a great profile.
The ash was a marbling of medium and dark shades of gray. The ash also held on until about the halfway point and was perfectly layered. The burn was perfectly even all the way through, which is always good. The draw was a little tighter than I am used to, but is still produced some thick white smoke clouds. The smoke also gave off a very woody and spicy aroma.
The worst thing about this cigar is the size. It ended too quickly. Other than that everything was great. I cant recommend this cigar enough. If you get the opportunity to, and most importantly, the money to, try this cigar. You wont be disappointed. And if you aren't a fan of maduro wrappers, it also comes with a natural wrapper. This cigar deserves nothing less than a 9.5 out of 10.
Thanks for reading,
Zack the Stogie Man