Oasis

I am a Baltimore City Native with a Love and Passion for smoking cigars . I am also intrigued by the History, Lifestyle and Culture associated with cigar smoking. I have worked as a retail tobacconist for 2yrs. and I've been smoking cigars since 2013 but not seriously or correctly for that matter until 2015 after being schooled by a good BOTL of mine. I still consider myself a student to the game even though I teach people about cigars regularly and for some time even, professionally. With that being said, I do not consider myself a know it all nor do I call myself an Aficionado (besides an occasional Instagram hashtag, LOL). I'm just a guy who loves everything about cigars and sometimes, I have an opinion. I'm here to be a part of something special, to learn, to possibly teach and to share some memorable experiences with you all. Cheers and Salute!!!

Cigar Review | Viva La Vida Robusto

As you guys may have already figured by now, I like to do reviews on cigars that could be considered “Under the radar”, or “Quiet riots.” As a result, you may be privy to read about something you may have not otherwise been exposed to. But in this case, if you haven’t seen or heard of this cigar in your chat groups, trips to the local lounge or on numerous IG stories, then you’re probably living La Vida Hermit! LOL

This cigar is a collaboration from Artesano Del Tobacco and AJ Fernandez, who I have to say is one of my favorite Master craftsman across the board. The guy is sheer genius and he doesn’t break our pockets trying to experience his masterpieces. With a 25yr history in the tobacco game, Artesano Del Tobacco is a small boutique company out of new York City. Formerly known as New York Cigar Inn, housing the only Cigar Aficionado lounge in the world, they changed their name before reaching out to AJ to create the “Live The Life” cigar.

  • APPEARANCE – The cigar is dark brown with a reddish hue to it. There isn’t a seam in sight and there are tiny vascular vein patterns with one or two slightly more visible veins. The rugged single cap is the only non perfect component of this cigars build and I like it.
  • AROMAS – The wrapper smells like puppy fur, wood and Autumn leaves. No BS, Autumn leaves!!! From the foot I’m getting wood, chocolate and chalk. Oddly, the aroma coming from the cap is a more intense smell of musky earth

First Third | Fiesta Caliente

I was power blasted up front with a combination of red and black pepper. There was a caramel like sweetness that came in behind it , cleaning up the mayhem. I love when spice is done correctly. I don’t mind having my mustache singed as long as the flavor is “Vida”. In the retro, I’m getting a spicy cinnamon citrus kind of flavor and that’s totally enjoyable. I can’t put my finger on the specific type, but there’s a nutty component at play in the nasal nuances. The finishing touch at the end is a rather pleasant toasty oak. I’m completely satisfied and impressed with the first third experience.

Second Third | The Hype is Justified

The toasted/charred oak is ramping up but it’s borrowing an element of sweetness from elsewhere. It’s probably clinging to the now baking spices that started as a cinnamon spice in the first third. The citrus vibe that I was experiencing is now a more darker fruity element. My nose is still tingling from the pepper spice. However, my head isn’t buzzing and the strength is not overpowering. Along with the pepper spice on the retro, I’m getting a nice rich leather attached to hints of molasses. Rounding things out at the finish and in between puffs, there is a solid aged dry tobacco. This is one of those flavors that move the spirit of any so called cigar connoisseur.

Final Third | La Vida Loca

Wow. I told myself several times that I would not use Ricky Martin song references for this cigar. However, I digress because this thing is crazy! This cigar is jumping to and fro and moving around in the most insanely flavorful way. Notes from the first third are returning and nuances from the second are morphing in and out. So basically, you could light this cigar from the front, back or middle and it would still be a hell of a party. And let’s not forget, this is only the Robusto.

In brief synopsis, this cigar finished beautifully. Still spicy yet sweet, with a woody rich tobacco core. The fruity-dark berry nuances are still dancing around my olfactory warehouse via retrohales. I pretty much smoked this Robusto down to my fingernails. Roach clip worthy for sure. LOL!

In a nutshell, all i can say is that this cigar is a must try. The hype is there, but it lives up to it in every sense. As I said earlier, I’ve only smoked the Robusto vitola. But you can be sure I will be trying all of the sizes.

I’d like to to thank you all again for taking the time to share this cigar smoking experience with me. As always, I look forward to the feedback and conversation about these experiences whether it’s in opposition or agreement. I’d also like to send a special Salute to my Barrel Burner Sisters & Brothers of the Leaf. I know you guys are HERFing heavy with the Vida this weekend.

CHEERS & SALUTE

Cigar Review | Patina Habano

Patina cigars are made at Mombacho Cigars S.A.’s Casa Favilli factory in Nicaragua. Creator and owner of the Patina brand Mo Maali, is also the National Sales Manager for the Mombacho brand. The Patina cigars are also the first time Casa Favilli used tobaccos from outside of Nicaragua.

The med plus to full Patina Habano has an Ecuadorian habano wrapper, and Nicaraguan and Pennsylvanian binders and fillers.

The med plus to full Patina Habano has an Ecuadorian habano wrapper, and Nicaraguan and Pennsylvanian binders and fillers. Also, they come packed in 16ct boxes, commemorating the number of steps on the stairway at Casa Favilli.

“When we flew down to Nicaragua to meet with the factories we had an idea of what we were looking for, but not necessarily a specific factory in mind. After we met with Mombacho, it became clear early on that ours and Mombacho’s visions and values were very similar…We wanted more than a factory that could produce us a cigar, we wanted to be a part of a family, and that sums up the relationship between Patina and Mombacho.”

This Patina Habano is sheer perfection to the eye. First off, its incredibly smooth, seamless and oily with a med dark leathery sheen. There is also a double cap and very tiny veins adorning the wrapper.

This Patina Habano is sheer perfection to the eye. First off, its incredibly smooth, seamless and oily with a med dark leathery sheen. There is also a double cap and very tiny veins adorning the wrapper. And again, I cannot find a seam here! absolutely Stunning!!!

The Aroma coming from the wrapper smells like chocolate covered socks, but socks right after you take your shoes off. To any new readers, don’t fret, these are good aromas in cigar language, LOL! The foot gives off chocolate covered nuts, wood and musky soil. The cold draw was medium firm with tones of hay, tea and wood. A far cry from the rich potent aromas on the wrapper and foot.

This Patina Habano is sheer perfection to the eye. First off, its incredibly smooth, seamless and oily with a med dark leathery sheen. There is also a double cap and very tiny veins adorning the wrapper.

First Third: How You Doin’!!!

Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m in love…I think. I’m immediately hit with a powerful yet balanced blast of spicy black pepper, sweet red pepper and woody nuttiness. I’m experiencing old leather, raisin and baking spice thru the nose on the retrohale. What an amazing start to the Patina Habano, with a perfect draw and an admirable cloud output. The smoke is not as thick as it feels but it is raging off of the foot.

Later on in the 1st third, I notice a slight metallic mineral flavor that isn’t off putting in this case because it’s balanced by the initial flavors. Also, there is a refreshing cream flavor floating around on the palate as well as the retrohale. I couldn’t have scripted a better introduction to a cigar.

I'm immediately hit with a powerful yet balanced blast of spicy black pepper, sweet red pepper and woody nuttiness. I'm experiencing old leather, raisin and baking spice thru the nose on the retrohale. What an amazing start to the Patina Habano,

Second Third: Habano Love

Just as I thought the spice factor had warn out it’s welcome, it came charging back at my palate and nostrils in the form of a black and white pepper grenade. A creamy cedar is leading the flavor parade at this point and the woody finish lingers on my tongue quite a bit. At the half way point, I start getting blessed with a hint of a dark cherry licorice like sweetness and some subtle warm baked bread nuances. I guess it’s also fair to say that the strength has reached full because I’m getting a head buzz!

A creamy cedar is leading the flavor parade at this point and the woody finish lingers on my tongue quite a bit. At the half way point, I start getting blessed with a hint of a dark cherry licorice like sweetness and some subtle warm baked bread nuances.

Final Third: Best Blind Date Ever.

Cedar, leather and cream are the contributing factors opening up the Patina Habano finale. Also, the flavor of white pepper is noticeable but not the spiciness of it. we’re at a smooth level of bonding at this point. However, I am still getting satisfying blasts of dried fruit and citrus in the nose. Before I reached nub territory, I clipped the head again to open the cigar back up a bit. I guess drooling over your cigar from sheer bliss will inevitably cause a little tar build up, LOL! This alleviated any bitterness from ruining our night together. I Put the cigar down in the ash tray for the final time with semi sweet creamy cedar coating my palate.

Cedar, leather and cream are the contributing factors opening up the Patina Habano finale. Also, the flavor of white pepper is noticeable but not the spiciness of it.

I can’t help but to reiterate how beautfully made this cigar is. It’s quite possible that I stared at it for at least 20min, admiring it’s craftsmanship. After thinking, I realize that Casa Favilli only puts out works of art, considering the Mombacho line. I’m on the verge of diving into both brands as I’ve sampled 1 from each, including this one. But, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to the experience!

I’d like to give a special S/O to my Brothers Shad Bates from Janus Tobak and Mike aka @EmojiStogies for providing all the Patina and Mombacho cigars in my humidor. I would also like to Thank you guys for taking the time to share another cigar adventure with me.

Don’t forget to register on iROBUSTO.com for up to date info, reviews and giveaways. Be sure to leave comments and feedback on these reviews so I can share your thoughts and opinion on the cigars I review.

CHEERS & SALUTE

Cigar Review | Bespoke Club Mareva: Grand Mareva

The Grand Mareva was launched by Bespoke cigars at the opening of the International Private Member cigar club in Split, Croatia. Club Mareva adopted this cigar as its “House Cigar” and the emblem on the band is the club’s logo.

I have been really diving into the Bespoke line in recent weeks and I’m quite impressed by some of their blends. Anytime the name Kelner is involved with a cigar, you have to at least be curious. With that being said, I was enthusiastic and ready to begin this journey thru the Bespoke halls of tobacco!

This particular cigar was blended by Hendrik Kelner Jr. of the world renown Kelner family of Master blenders at the KBF factory in the Dominican Republic.

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap.
  • Wrapper – Brazillian
  • Binder – Dominican
  • Filler – Aged Nicaraguan, Dominican & USA
  • Size – 5,6″ x 42

Pre Light

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

The Gran Mareva has the color of a damp wet paper bag and a curled pigtail cap. It is rustic looking with a slight sheen, some pronounced veins and a closed foot. There are aromas of soil, nuts and a mild Dominican funk coming off the wrapper. I twisted off the curly pigtail, leaving a tiny raw opening. However, the draw was wide open, even with the closed foot still intact. On that note, the cold draw gave me hay, musk and a mild sage. Also, I had that crystal crunch in my mouth that you get from certain cigars. Almost as if there were sugar crystals up in the club. LOL!

First Third|Up In The Club

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

Once I convince myself that this isn’t a Drake OVO cigar, I spark this little bad boy up. Initial flavors are toasty and dark as the closed foot burns away. It’s almost a charred thing going on. Soon after, it opens up and blossoms into floral cuts with a thumping bass consisting of some powerful cinnamon, cardamom and cracked peppercorn. The club is lit! The retro tastes like cream and rose petals sandwiched between 2 honey teddy graham crackers. There’s also a brief cameo appearance of a metallic nuttiness on the track. I think this song is called, “Wow Complex!”

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

Second Third|Up In Here, Up In Here!!!

The savory flavors of Sage, Cardamom, salted Nuts and a floral backdrop are dominating the sweet tones. However, the DJ is slowly mixing in a raisin melody, making an even more complex mix. All this partying is stirring up room notes of sweet, creamy baking spice. Who brought monkey bread up in the club!? Towards the end of this track the raisin beat started morphing into a black cherry with cedar moving to the forefront.

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

Final Third|Slow it Down

As the mood in the spot dies down and the music slows up a bit, the flavors are straight forward and to the point. There’s Honey, Charred Cedar and Dried Fruit bringing the party to a close. While the Slow Jams are playing, the texture of the smoke is smooth and you can still get subtle hints of that baking spice thru the nose. The charred wood is actually tolerable as far as taste but it leaves a bitter finish on the tongue. As a result, the lights came on and the bouncers yelled, “It’s time to go!!!”

The color of a brown paper bag with a beautiful black and gold band adorned with the Club Mareva Owl and a curly pigtail cap

All I can say at this point is that if you have not experienced any of Bespoke’s Cigars, do yourself a favor and check them out. The only gripe I have with Bespoke is that the price point on a lot of their sticks is out of my usual range. At the same time, I’m a hypocrite! Because as a cigar adventurer, if I feel the urge to try something, Im going for it regardless of price. The problem arises when I actually like the cigar. I can’t be paying that price too often Family! LOL. Again, I thank you guys for taking the time to experience this ride with me.

CHEERS & SALUTE. Until next time. – Oasis

Cigar Review | Flor y Nata Flower of Courage

I came across the Flower of Courage from the Flor y Nata brand by chance. My man Gabe from Cigar Pointe cigar shop in Texas threw these in a sampler for me. He put together one Hell of a package with some heavy hitters, and they were all sticks that I hadn’t tried yet. As a matter of fact, this was intentional because I like trying new things when it comes to smoking cigars. I knew what the majority of them were gonna be, but this Dominican Puro corona was a bonus.

Flower of Courage

Modern Tobacconist Art, the Dominican based company that created this cigar, entered the US market in 2015 after initially launching in the D.R. in 2013. After revamping the image of the brand, Joan Manuel Rodriguez gave the collection a name, comprised of two lines. The “In the Garden of Good and Evil” Collection includes a maduro line (Temptation) and a natural line (Loyalty). Each vitola has it’s own name as well. Today we’ll be talking about the corona aka The Flower of Courage from the “Loyalty” line.

The Flor y Nata "Flower of Courage" is a Dominican Puro with a Natural wrapper. It's a corona at 5.5 x 46"with a  buttery brown leather complexion.
Dominican HVA wrapper – Dominican Negrito binder – Dominican Corojo, HVA & Habano 2020 fillers

The Pre-Light

  • The color is medium brown with a buttery leather texture and sheen. There are some tiny veins and some prominent veins around the cigar. There appears to be a triple or possibly quadruple cap, depending on the angle.
  • On the wrapper I’m getting peanut butter, slight manure laced soil, oats, hay and fermented baccy
  • The cold draw is very musty and woody. That fermented baccy is showing itself here as well.
The Flor y Nata "Flower of Courage" is a Dominican Puro with a Natural wrapper. It's a corona at 5.5 x 46"with a  buttery brown leather complexion.

First Third|Let’s Get Nutty!!!

The pre-light aromas of this cigar almost guarantee that there are some intense flavors hiding inside. I take that first puff and my intuition was right on! I’m bombarded with a very rich combination. It’s sweet, spicy, nutty and peppery with a chalky nuance of cedar, if that makes any sense. Bare with me now, I am just thee Oasis and I’m giving you exactly what i am getting. For example, there is a dominating presence of flavor in the retrohale that I just can’t decipher but I’ll try anyway. It’s like a floral bouquet of roasted mixed nuts sprinkled with red and white pepper. Seriously!!! I’m honestly digging this cigar right now. I’ts a smoke for the adventurer for sure.

The Flor y Nata "Flower of Courage" is a Dominican Puro with a Natural wrapper. It's a corona at 5.5 x 46"with a  buttery brown leather complexion.

Second Third|What is this Nuance?

Getting into the 2nd third, the spice has toned down and the woodsy components are in the foreground. I failed to mention earlier that the the cigar has a medium light draw and is burning perfectly. It’s practically a dime stack minus a flake or two. Besides that, I was picking up peanut butter in the pre-light and mixed nuts in the first third. But now, I’m getting an almond and cashew combination. The smoke itself has a dry powdery texture with an almost perfumey essence, but not in a bad way. I’m sure I’ll learn what this nuance on my palate is later on in my cigar adventures, but for right now, I’m really feeling this Flor Y Nata blend!

Final Third|The Flavor Shift

As I approach the end of the “Flower”, I can say the strength has been a light medium to medium throughout. However, the flavors have shifted a bit, which adds to the complexity of this great corona. Flavors of yeast, burnt caramel and leather have joined the cedar. The remaining hints of white pepper are united with leather, clove and a mildly sweet warm bread through the nose.

The Flor y Nata "Flower of Courage" is a Dominican Puro with a Natural wrapper. It's a corona at 5.5 x 46"with a  buttery brown leather complexion.

I’m telling you guys, I used to cringe at the things reviewers would come up with to describe the flavors in cigars. As a result, I almost cheated myself from taking the time to really appreciate and capture the essence of what I was smoking. But now, especially after delving into the realms of boutique brands created by master magicians, I totally get it! Now, I’m the crazy one.

But you can’t let anyone tell you what you are experiencing in ANY capacity. Whether it be cigar tasting, some type of emotional involvement or how you view life in general. And that’s certainly not why I write these reviews. I’m simply having a conversation with my Brothers & Sisters Of The Leaf about my personal experience with a specific stogie. And hey, if you decide to try something based on my thoughts and fall in love with it, that’s just the beauty of being a part of this dope cigar community!!!

Cheers and Salute

-Oasis

Cigar Review | Emperor’s Cut: Natural Pleasurer

I became aware of the Emperor’s Cut brand after seeing them frequent my Instagram timeline and stories. Then I became intrigued with the look of both the cigar itself, and the simplistic elegance of the band. Later, I had the pleasure of speaking with Greg Willis, who handles Sales, Advertising & Marketing, Social Media and Business Development. He is also one of the founding Members.

Emperor's Cut

Our Story, Our Brand

This is a labor of love! Seeing people receive our product so well, has been a true Honor.” – Greg  Willis 

Greg explains how there were many obstacles while trying to get things going early on. FDA rules, finding the key people to work with, paired with all the stigma that comes with being a newcomer in the cigar game, were a few of the challenges faced. After some time, a Dream, some strategic planning and partnering along with plenty of financial investing, the Emperors Cut place in the game is being well established.

“Finding the best cigar is a never ending story. We’re focused on consistency at a great price point. we want to be a stable with our customers, not a fly by night cigar brand.” – Greg Willis

“The Players”

  • Darnell Streat – Is the Managing Partner and “Our Leader.” His background is in Business and Supply Chain.
  • Maurice Holland – Handles the Customer Outreach and Concierge Program.
  • Gregg Hurt – Handles Sales and Logistics and has an extensive background in international Logistics.
  • Robert Howard, MD, JD – Handles the Legal Affairs.
  • Greg Willis – Handles Sales, Advertising & Marketing, Social Media and Business Development with an extensive background in these fields.
  • Themille Bush – Handles Business Development and is a significant driver to the strategic partnerships and sales.

All are founding members with the exclusion of Themille Bush who joined the team later on.

“The Beauty of having so many experienced palates is that we could articulate clearly what we wanted to accomplish in a stick, and got it right with a few iterations.” – M. Holland (The Louisiana Weekly Newspaper, Aug 6, 2018)

“Natural Pleasures”

This 6.5″ x 52mm cigar is a finely rolled work of art with tiny veins and a leathery Snickers bar colored wrapper. It looks like a double cap and is firmly rolled with the slightest give to it. The foot is packed, while still showing some airflow.

This Nicaraguan puro is emitting an aged tobacco aroma from the wrapper with light soil, tobacco and cocoa powder on the foot.

The cold draw with a woody pencil shaving and a slight brown sugar on the palate.

The Emperors Cut is a dark brown leathery work of art, with seamless construction and a solid burn.

1st Third- Hello Emperor

The light medium draw creates ample opportunity to capture plenty of tasteful clouds. I am greeted with a delicate mix of brown sugar and black pepper anchored by an earthy, woodsy component.

The retrohale is generous with a prominent cedar followed by vanilla and a cinnamon/brown sugar nuance. (Note- At the 1in. mark, the spices of the cinnamon and pepper are slightly muted but still enjoyable.) The burn is perfect with a firm white ash showing off the craftsmanship.

2nd Third- Look at that Ashhh!

The Emperors Cut has a perfect burn with a solid white ash. Impressive construction.

A little roasted coffee and leather began to join the party but the original flavors are still at play. The cedar and brown sugar are trading places as if they were playing a game of leap frog. They take turns owning the spotlight while the earthy, mineral like flavors began to increase their presence as well.

While all these notes are doing their thing, a cream flavor is holding it down in the background. As far as the retrohale, some white pepper is noted as opposed to the white pepper and the leather is present in the nose as well. The finish is lasting longer and the strength is getting into the heavier side of medium.

Final Third- The Emperor Shows His Power

The Emperors cut has performed with grace. You can't help but to gaze at the simple yet elegant band as you take this smokey journey.

We’re getting to the muscle now, as the strength hits that med+ to full realm. A bitter espresso and what I’m gonna call a licorice note have stormed the party, demanding their respect. The minerally earth and cedar wood are still present. There are hints of molasses and a strong white pepper on the retrohale.

A common practice for me when smoking stronger cigars, is to clip the cap a 2nd time. Especially with Nicaraguan cigars, this removes the tar build up from the head. Doing this alleviates the bitterness and opens the cigar back up to it’s intended flavors.

And WOW! After clipping the cap, the bitterness was alleviated in a good way. I started getting a zesty citrus, followed by the cream and white pepper which aslo translated well on the retrohale. The leather at this point, comes and goes with various puffs. What a pleasurable surprise this cigar has been!

The Emperor's Cut Finale

“Emperors Cut is a lifestyle brand, synonymous with good times. The smoker defines the good time; we just want to be the stick that they know augments their fun!” -Maurice Holland (The Louisiana Weekly Newspaper, Aug 6, 2018)

I truly enjoyed this cigar from beginning to end. I was impressed with not only the taste, but the design of the cigar itself. This company also stands as a shining example of Elite African American owned boutique brands making waves in the extremely insular cigar business. I highly recommend giving this cigar a look. I’m certainly glad my curious nature led me to this experience.

Cheers to you all and thank you for sharing this cigar smoking experience with me. I’ll see you all again real soon.

Cigar Review | K by Karen Berger

First off, I must say that this K by Karen Berger is a beautiful cigar! It’s an exquisite sharp box pressed Solomon with a pleasantly dark and shiny marbleized Maduro wrapper. I mean it is flawless!

K by Karen Cigars Head

This will be my 2nd time smoking this beauty, so I already have a baseline of what to expect. The first experience however, was at a cigar lounge paired with good company, some silver screen entertainment and my 1st bottle of Havana Club Rum. The point being, I was a tad bit distracted. I enjoyed it so it was a no-brainer to purchase again.

On this go round, I am in my safe happy place at home where I can focus and hopefully dissect the nuances and characters at play in this cigar. The Dungeon, aka my basement, (which by no means is the place that most aficionados would call a smokers paradise) is where I will be enjoying this cigar. Think of it as one of those basements that my Brother Lee Mack describes when he talks about the musky aroma he gets from certain wrappers in his reviews. Minus the funk. Haha!

I have however created my own little Oasis [no pun intended] for smoking at home. To be honest, once I’m in my zone, vibing with a good cigar and a good bourbon or coffee, I soon forget the struggle and turmoil of Baltimore City, right outside my window. Cigars provide that escape for us as smokers and it doesn’t matter where we are in the world. I’m sure all my BOTL & SOTL can get behind that concept.

As a new writer to the iROBUSTO team, I just wanted to give you all a glimpse into what I’ve got going on as I’m doing my review. With that being said, let’s get into it.

Who Is K. and What is The K

Karen Berger is the mistress of the late Don Kiki (Enrique Berger), and she’s also known as the “Cigar Queen”. The nickname stems from her vast knowledge and experience from being submerged in the cigar industry for many years. She is a native of Esteli, Nicaragua, and this cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro. This particular vitola is the 6×54 Solomon Maduro and as I mentioned earlier, it is a total treat to look at. It also comes in a Habano wrapped version, housed in boxes of 10 and priced roughly between $11-$13.

Pre-Light: (I’m so ready!!!)

Again, this is a dark, oily and marble textured wrapper with a sharp edged box press. The creases were so sharp, one could assume this cigar was ironed. The cap is applied perfectly and the wrapper smells of fermented tobacco, hay and herbs. I was expecting barnyard and musky earth from the look of the cigar, but it was more of a grass and tea kind of thing going on. The foot however, was a whole other level. Because of the tapered foot of this Solomon, I damn near jammed the whole thing up my nose (LOL)! But when I did get a whiff…Wow! I still got the hay, but it was accompanied by a sweet cocoa and milk chocolate blast. [And I did remember this from the 1st time I smoked it] I’m excited and optimistic at this point.

1ST THIRD: (Dessert before Dinner)

Right out of the gate, it was as delicious and sweet as the foot aroma premeditated on the cold draw. This cigar was super smooth too. Honestly, I don’t get my hopes up too often concerning actual palate taste by what I get on cold draws. Especially when there’s sweetness involved, or when the cigar is labeled as full body. It was a perfect match in this case. The tobacco core was almost as if the sweetness was added in some way or another. The chocolate was in cahoots with something that just kept telling my brain, “warm cookies”!!!

I’m puffing away at this gem and I start to notice a transition in flavor as the burn reaches the end of the tapered foot and gets into the body of the cigar. It made perfect sense because there’s no way that sweetness was gonna hold up. I mean, as I said, I’ve smoked this before and I would have remembered smoking a 6 inch candy bar and sure enough, change has come.

As the chocolatey dessert like sweetness mellows, a subtle spice starts to move in. It’s hinting more towards an allspice or cinnamon as opposed to a pepper spice. Then, low and behold, that herbal tea thing that happened during prelight has manifested itself and is peeking in and out, wanting to play along. I’m not mad at all.

2ND THIRD: (Construction, Complexity and Retrohales)

Before I ramble on about what I’m getting from this cigar, lemme just say that the draw and construction has been perfect. It’s not just pretty to look at and well made, it’s functional.

That whole sweet dessert factor has definitely toned down significantly but it has been replaced by a tasty nuance that I’m just gonna categorize as gingerbread since it’s a more subtle sweetness with a warm spice to it. I should also mention that this note is mostly experienced through the nose via retrohale and room aroma. (Sidebar- I’m the guy that retrohales probably 85-90% of the time because from my experience, the tongue and palate can only handle so much. I also prefer to smoke indoors or away from wind, fans, vents, etc., because I like to release clouds of smoke directly in front of me to actually smell the smoke. Not to inhale, but smell. This, paired with the retrohale and my palate, is how I pick up the notes in a cigar when I smoke.)

K by Karen Cigars Half

At this point, the herbal tea is leading the charge accompanied by dark roast coffee and some leather. This cigar is officially adulting now. I can now deem this cigar as complex.

Further along, the tea is morphing from what it has been to a floral lemongrass like note, then back again. The coffee and leather are still very much present while the gingerbread spice is more like a white pepper and cinnamon combo thru the nose. I can’t say that the power of the cigar has been evident before now but at this point it’s at Med+ for me.

FINAL THIRD: (Holy sh*t! She’s Back!)  

K by Karen Cigars Final third. The return of some of the great sweet nuances that dominated the 1st light.

The chocolate sweetness has returned, and here I was waiting for a peppery bitter finale. Not only has the chocolate returned, but the gingerbread is back as well. I’m pretty positive that this is a direct result of the shape of the cigar. The Solomon is tapered at the foot and the head. This means less baccy in these sections, which is where the sweetest most dessert like experiences were. Note to Self…we need a lancero version!!!

As the cigar comes to a close, the coffee has come down to a medium roast. The strength has definitely reached med to full and there is a minerally soil flavor coming thru. As enjoyable as this ride has been, it’s time to put this nub to bed and call it a night.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There were so many welcomed yet unexpected moments with this cigar. I would have never expected such a sweet comeback in the 4th quarter. I’m used to coffee notes getting stronger towards the end of most sticks, not the other way around. I was also expecting some black pepper blast. Although there were spicy moments, they were more of an allspice, cinnamon and maybe a touch of white pepper type of deal.

I was super impressed by the burn as well. We all know how spot on you gotta be when toasting and lighting solomones and figurados, but she burned like a champ from start to finish.

K by Karen Cigars was super complex and delicious down to the nub!

I’d like to Thank You guys for joining me for this ride. I look forward to sharing many more of my cigar adventures with you and I’m also hoping to hear some of your experiences with the same cigars. Please feel free to comment and share this post.

Cheers & Salute BOTL & SOTL

Oasis