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Freyja Sessrúmnir

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 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

Appearance, Pre-light
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.

First 3rd
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.

Second 3rd
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.


Last 3rd
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.

Blind Reviews Part 13

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.

The Smoke
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.

The Reveal

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…

Las Calaveras

Las Calaveras

Short Smokes for Winter Part 3

Part 3 – Debonaire First Degree

“Winter is coming…”

…and with winter comes a time to enjoy all the smaller cigars in your humidor! If you live in the northern part of the USA and find yourself without an indoor lounge, it’s almost time to put those churchills and 6 x 60s away. Winter is a great time to get to know some petit coronas, small perfectos, and other cigars that don’t take quite so long to smoke. For the next few weeks I’ll be featuring some of my favorite short smokes for winter because, let’s face it, nobody wants to freeze their fingers off for two hours just to enjoy a good cigar.

Next up is a Quickie Review of the Debonaire First Degree. This is a “mini Salamone” measuring 4 x 44. The small size serves as an introduction to the Debonaire line, an ultra premium line of cigars.

Debonaire First Degree

-Wrapper – Nicaraguan Habano
-Binder – Dominican
-Filler – Dominican, Nicaraguan
-Size – 4 x 44 Petite Salamone
-Price – $6-$7


The Debonaire First Degree has a very classic profile. I get sweet tobacco, hay, and some slight spice on the retro-hale. Because of the shape, there is quite a bit of complexity from front to back. The flavors really open up once the burn gets past the small Salamone-shaped foot, and a little savoriness comes through for the rest of the smoke. This would make a great morning cigar or an accompaniment to drinks before a fine dinner. If you like the flavors this cigars offers, I would highly recommend the rest of the Debonaire line, just be prepared to pay premium prices for a premium experience.

Flavor – Medium
Strength – Medium-minus
Body – Medium
Construction – Excellent


A very tasty cigar that delivers a complex experience in a small package.

3 out of 5