A couple months ago I received this cigar in a trade. From what I learned this cigar is a "house brand" for a shop out of St. Augustine, Florida. The JC stands for Julio Cardenas who rolls these locally in St. Augustine. I am not one who usually reviews house blends because they are usually only available to people that go to that particular cigar shop. But, because a friend asked me to review it for him, I was more than willing to review this one.
This cigar's wrapper was a light brown shade. It was a little bit darker than a Connecticut shade, but not by much. The cigar itself was very smooth with a couple thin veins running through it. The cap appeared to be made up of four layers, all of which were perfectly flush. This cigar was pretty solid, but the first third seemed a little softer than the rest of the cigar.
There were a couple thin cracks in the wrapper, but there was a large crack at the foot. I think these cracks may have been due to the process of getting them to me. So I wont hold these against the cigar. Also there was a strong earthy smell to this cigar.
Once I cut and lit this cigar carefully some strong earthy tones came out. I cut and lit this cigar carefully in hopes as to not crack the wrapper more. After a few puffs, the flavor became very creamy and quickly coated my palate. Once the earthiness and creaminess built up, some wood tones started to form.
At about an inch of the way into this cigar there was a very mild spice that formed. Also, the woody notes picked up some power and became a prominent flavor. There was still a strong earthiness but not like earlier. Like the earthiness, the creaminess mellowed out a bit. Once these flavors mellowed, there was a light leather flavor that started to form and build on the palate.
By the second third the the earthiness built right back up and dulled out the leather tones. The mild spice was still there and added a great accent to the earthiness. The creaminess of this cigar seemed to follow in the footsteps of the earthiness yet again and pick up as the earth did.
When I got to about the halfway point the flavor got a little bit bitter. There was a definite black coffee flavor that came out. The spice picked up a little bit more as well. The woodiness became more defined and seemed to be a combination of oak and pine. My palate was on overdrive because the spice and bitterness combines on it.
The last third was my favorite part of this cigar hands down. All the flavors that were present balanced out perfectly. The wood tones, the leather, the spice, and the earth all were very prominent and noticeable in just about every puff. Most of the bitterness went away, which was nice. The oak and spice tones complimented each other perfectly to create a very pleasant and flavorful finish.
The ash on this cigar was a medium to dark shade of gray. The ash held on for about two inches at a time and was nicely layered. The burn canoed most of the way through the cigar and required a couple touch ups. After the halfway point, the burn seemed to stay even for the most part.
The draw was easy all the way through and produced a very thick white smoke. The smoke was definitely plentiful. The smoke also gave off a light and earthy aroma.
Luckily the band helped to not allow the wrapper to split much more than it already did. I counted three separate cracks in the wrapper. Only one was large though, and that was the one on the foot. This cigar was a mild to medium body smoke and was right on the line between them.
This wasn't an amazing stick by any means, but for a house blend, its definitely not bad. I have had some house blends that were terrible and some that are actually pretty good. This is up there with the better house blends I have tried. I think this blend would shine in a robusto or corona. Overall I think this cigar deserves a 5.5 out of 10.
Thanks for reading,
Zack the Stogie Man