Here is the second blind review that I’ve done for Benjamin over at Cigar Jedi. He has a great site set up, and I was really honored when he asked if I would like to be a guest reviewer. You can find my reviews at cigarjedi.com along with reviews of other cigars that are hard to get in shops here in Montana. The second cigar is a new one from IPCPR.
-Country – Nicaragua
-Wrapper – Dominican Criollo ’98
-Binder – Mexican San Andres
-Filler – Dominican Piloto Cubano, Dominican Criollo ’98, Nicaraguan Esteli
-Size – 5.5 x 44
-Price – $7 online
A nice woodsy aroma comes off this cigar and is intensified on the cold draw. The cigar itself is evenly firm and covered in a beautiful wrapper with minimal veins. The color is light brown, and just teetering towards colorado.
The first few puffs are creamy, smooth, and sweet. There is a little wood in there also, and if the sweetness was a little bit more up front the combined flavors would remind me of a toasted marshmallow.
The draw is a touch tight, but smoke production is good. About a quarter-inch into the cigar the wood flavor takes over the cream, and red pepper comes through on the retrohale. An almond nuttiness presents itself when I take smaller puffs, and it flits in and out of the taste profile once I realize it’s there.
The finish is crisp and clean without being too short or leaving any bitterness behind. So far the burn has behaved well by catching up to itself anytime the line wanders away from straight. The smoke has a pleasant mouthfeel without being heavy, and the strength becomes noticeable toward the end of this first third. Although, I haven’t eaten much today so this could just be a symptom of an empty stomach.
By the second third the sweetness has morphed into a cardamom spice that is noticeable on the palate as well as the retrohale. The aroma coming off the Freyja reminds me of Indian restaurants in London with its mixture of spice and floral scents. Halfway through this third and the cigar just went out on me. I took a puff and blew out the delicious smoke and the next puff… nothing. Hmmm…
I just knocked off the ash and relit the cigar and the flavors were instantly back to what they were: sweet spice with a touch of floral/woodiness. No harshness and no ash taste on the relight. The strength has remained steady, it’s there, but not overwhelming. The almond flavor is faint now, but still pops into the mix occasionally.
The last third is continuing much the same as the second. Occasionally some sweetness flits in and out, sometimes it’s the nuttiness, and the pepper has ramped up on the retrohale.
The strength has picked up, and I would almost call this a sneaky-strong smoke if not for my empty stomach. This Freyja is an extremely tasty cigar, and fairly unique in its flavor progression. The spice, wood, cream, almond, and subtle sweetness have all been more or less present from the start, but it’s as if they’ve all been choreographed into a wonderful smoke-dance.
Every five or ten puffs one of the flavors saunters forward, only to be replaced a few minutes later by one of the other “dancers”.
As I’ve been smoking this cigar, the five elements (spice, wood, cream, almond, and sweetness) have all grown steadily deeper while staying true to what they’re all bringing to the smoking experience.
This is truly an exceptional specimen of the blender’s craft. At the time of smoking I didn’t know it the Freyja had a price tag of $6 or $20, but at $7 it is a steal. The smooth, medium-full body matches the complexity and balance of flavors almost perfectly.
I would think a novice smoker might get a little green from this cigar’s strength, but for anyone with a bit of experience and some food in their system this will sit well with them. I’d call it full, but sneakily so, and on the lower end of that spectrum.
Flavor – Medium
Strength – Medium-Full
Body – Medium
Construction – Excellent
4 out of 5 A truly exceptional cigar, especially for the price.
You can find my rating system here.