Over at the Half Ashed forums we have a little “cigar pass” going on. Each person involved sends two unbanded cigars to another person in the “Blind Review Pass.” For the next few weeks I’ll be posting (with permission) those blind reviews. If you have never smoked a cigar blind, or unbanded, I would highly recommend it. Get some friends together and trade cigars with the bands removed, or have your wife take some bands off a few sticks in the bottom of your humidor. You’ll be surprised at how much a band can affect your perception of a cigar.
Today’s review is our very own host’s first (for 406 Cigars anyway) blind review for you all to read! From the Kipster himself…
Dimensions: a “light” 6” x 50 ring
Color: Dark brown, I’d call it well into maduro territory
Complexion: Very oily and somewhat smooth. Little discernible tooth.
Pack: Evenly distributed throughout
Prelight: Draw was near perfect, providing bright sweet cedar cold. Aroma faint but lightly sweet
Overall Construction: Fantastic. A very well made cigar.
At first puff, I get some moderate spice coupled with a mildly vegetal flavor. It reminds me of grilled poblanos, actually. The herbal nature quickly gives way, however, to some brighter, sweeter tropical spice. I initially thought this was a Pepin Garcia stick, but the amount of sweetness makes me give pause to that thought. The burn is impeccable during this first inch. Very impressive, actually. Coupled with the perfect draw, this is a tribute to the torcedor’s craft.
Going into the second inch, the spice subsides even more and I get a peculiar flavor. Prepare yourself. This is going to sound really weird. The flavor came through for a few minutes as something very much like corn chips. You know….Fritos. I’ve only encountered this a few times in the past, and only consistently with the original Shaggy from Gurkha (the only Gurkha I really ever enjoyed with any regularity). However, this was short-lived and the bright sweet spice came back in spades, intermingled with some cedar. The burn wavered a bit during the midsection, but not too terribly so.
Pushing into the final portion, the flavors became a bit brasher, with an occasional foray into a slightly charred wood kind of flavor. Never over the top; just an occasional hint. Overall, it was nutty at times nearing the end, and the spice picked back up considerably. The sweetness mostly faded away, but had its moments. Spice returned in full force as well. In fact, retrohaling during the final third gave me about all I could handle.
I don’t know that I have a specific guess, other than it seems Nicaraguan (although the most recent Blind Man’s Puff review tells me I’m clueless with regard to country of origin). My gut tells me it’s a Pepin product, but there were some peculiarly sweet moments that put just a smidge of doubt in my head. The wrapper tasted – but didn’t “look” – like Mexican San Andres.
I thought it was somewhat similar to the Leccia Luchador – but it sweeter and didn’t have the little pigtail cap so I don’t think that’s it.
Very good call on the manufacturer. These are what you have said are a favorite of yours many times on the podcast. I love them too. I fell for them instantly the first one I smoked. Went out and bought some of the last boxes I could find online late last year.
The cigar has changed noticably already since I originally got them. Drying them out since new has also helped the burn immensly.
Another Crowned Heads…