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 Half Ashed host’s THIRD unbanded, because apparently he is so special he gets 3 cigars… From Kip…
Dimensions: 5.5 x 42 ring
Color: Medium brown; some slight mottling
Complexion: Dry to the touch, with some “microtooth”
Pack: Evenly distributed throughout
Prelight: Draw was exceptional; firm but free. Provides sweet hay and slight cedar flavors cold. Aroma faint but dark and syrupy
Overall Construction: A seemingly well made cigar.
The first puffs from this cigar were…almost…salty. Like, “western shores of the Isle of Skye, in the tall shadows of the Cuillin Hills” kinda maritime saltiness. Bold, but fleeting. I like it. This is followed up with some pepper – not dried, crushed pepper; fresh, vegetal green pepper. Again, I like it. The pepper falls off from the flavor after a few minutes, but remains clear on the retrohale. A bold start.
By the second inch the cigar begins to have a drying effect on the palate. The flavors are sharper, and still carry some of the early saltiness (albeit to a lesser degree).
By the final leg of the smoke, the spice has kicked back in. The earlier peppery flavors have returned, and I get a noticeable nicotine burn on my soft palate. I’m smoking it first thing in the morning, and have to say if it was a Churchill I’d be in trouble. Thankfully, in this smaller corona it’s a bit more nicophobe-friendly. I’d deem these latter flavors a bit more leathery than the earlier portions as well, with an occasional rogue puff that had a slight medicinal quality to it.
This cigar strikes me as straight-up Nicaraguan, with its peppery core and nicotine edge. While it has some Pepin-like characteristics, it doesn’t “feel” My Father-ish like the other two from zedman. Unless it’s a one-off AJF that doesn’t fit his normal mold I don’t think it’s one of his either (although the dry spice is a bit reminiscent of his style). It reminds me of some of 1502’s offerings, but that’s a vague recollection and not something I’d put any money on.
That “Bad Boy” in question was the:
La Casita Criolla HCBC Oct ’11
I bought those too in ’13 from someone. I knew I liked them, but wanted to know how a complete broadleaf cigar aged. I like them a lot still for that flavor profile.
You and I get a lot of the same flavors from the cigars in your unbanded, which means that I need to keep an eye on your reviews a bit more closely from here out.
Good job Kip.