The words luxury, class, dapper and sophistication are a few that come to mind when talking about Mike Edwards and the Aireyys brand. The terms strong, determined, driven, hustle and Champion have been added to my description of what I see in this Brother today.
Some of us know Mike as the man behind the first Black owned cigar company in the UK. Many of us know him as the triumphant athlete posing with his cigar after being selected to rep Nigeria in the commonwealth games in Australia. Personally, I have a more simple memory of Mike. As a member of a huge Bearded Brotherhood and community (BeardedVillains), I remember getting messages from his company regarding beard oils and grooming products.
Fast forward to now and this Brother strikes me as more of a Global Ambassador. He is a fine example of how Beardos and Black Men are changing perceptions in different arenas.
Today’s arena involves cigars and the craze of the “Monthly Subscrption Box.” Mike has partnered up with Brian from Privada Cigar Club to bring his exclusive UK stogies to the special members of this club. Let’s get into this experience I had with the “African Roots”. This is one of three cigars being offered from Aireyys.
The Roots has a rustic appeal visually. It is adorned with a light milk chocolate colored African Cameroon wrapper. There is a slight sheen and there are visible veins and seams. I cannot find the seam(s) in the rugged crown at the head of this cigar. There is a small crater in the foot with some leaf stem protruding, creating a sharp prickly texture.
I’m getting light tobacco and a good dose of a sweet musky aroma on the wrapper and foot. Also, on the foot, there is some wood, chocolate and a cross between bran muffin and bran cereal. Sorta like raisin bran without the raisins.
On the cold draw i got dry woodiness, oat cereal, hay and a very very light roast coffee.
First Third | Bran Muffins are Healthy?
The initial puffs are very smooth and nutty with little blasts of that pencil shaving mineral character that plays with my nerves in many cigars. There is a trait in this cigar that has extended from the cold draw and I’m happy about it. Bran Muffin! My mind is like, “Yeah, it’s a muffin…but it’s a nutritionally packed muffin!” The smoke is smooth and thick with a heavy richness to it, even though this is mild experience so far. Also, the not so noticeable spice is like a secret stowaway on this ride. Through the nose, I can literally taste dirt and that is NOT an unwelcome earthiness.
The flavors are significantly muted towards the middle of the first third. Nothing is really standing out, which is a bummer considering how we started. I have been having some issues with the burn line and the rate of combustion. Nutty mineral is all that’s going on at this point.
Second Third | Searching for my Roots
Although my ash was a bit flaky, it held on until right before the end of the first third. Unfortunately, I’m still not getting any real flavor transitions. The cigar is still very minerally and almost metallic at this point. I’m not getting the nuttiness anymore and I almost feel like my little battle with the pufferation rate could be a factor. The only other nuance fighting to be relevant is that bran muffin that i was starting to savor. But, it is being trumped by soil and metal. Ugh!!!
Alas, a little further into the third I was greeted by some citrus and toasted bread. However, its no match for the flavors that have been running the show. We still have thick clouds and a minimal amount of spice in the background. The ash and burn line haven’t been perfect but they require no corrective action. I have been looking for some sweetness to balance out the earthy mineral dominance but its only in the retro and at a peek-a-boo pace.
Final Third | Victory Lap or Nah?
OK honestly, I almost didn’t make it to the final lap with the African Roots. The dancing around of citrus and the introduction of some light cream and burnt caramel kept me optimistic. Even with the consistently pleasant aroma, the toasty bread really needed an assist to coincide with with the sharp metallic earthy notes that have been dominating.
I can almost promise that this cigar will be a hit with some smokers in my circle but I can say respectfully, it wasn’t my jam. Especially at around $15 a stick. With the struggles to get the flavors I thought would move me, I will say this cigar ended on a higher note than predicted. Closing notes include warm toasty bread, white pepper, overpowering metallic mineral, a slight cream and some nuttiness. These are all obviously flavors that can work if balanced properly. With that being said, I have another that I’ll try a little later on. It’ll be paired properly with a good coffee on the redo.
Thanks again guys for taking the time to share my experience with the Aireyys “African Roots”. Although this wasn’t my favorite cigar, it’s one that I am proud of on many levels. Cheers to Brian “Privada” and Mike Edwards for bringing this level of dopeness to smokers worldwide!!!