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Cigar Review | Pepperbox Cigar

Pepperbox, or Pandora’s Box? The Pepperbox Cigar Review.

I like unique and unusual cigars, and I was really intrigued by the design of the Pepperbox. My curiosity caused me to ante up $65 for a box of ten (they’re not sold in singles).

The Pepperbox is crafted by Plasencia for J-R Cigar, as a follow up to the Shock and Awe. It’s named after a civil war era pistol that was comprised of multiple revolving barrels that shared a center axis. Plasencia groups four small cigars (4 x 32) in one Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, resulting in an approximately 4 x 60 square box-pressed cigar.

Pepperbox Cigar

The binder is Central American, and the fillers come from Mexico and Honduras. There does appear to be a slight color difference between the small cigars contained within, which would suggest that each may be a unique blend. The cigar is well made and was beautiful in appearance. The Pepperbox had a deep, sweet, fragrant tobacco smell that wafted up from the freshly opened box, and the draw on the unlit cigar was equally pleasant and evoked a certain sun-dried quality like a fresh bale of hay in the summer.

The Pepperbox was easy to light and didn’t require many touch-ups as it progressed. The ash was firm, square, and well formed. The first ten minutes of the Pepperbox is miserable at best. The initial flavors fight each other, there’s no resonance or harmony, and the 4-in-1 cigar concept is truly at its worst.

Pepperbox Cigar

Imagine randomly picking four cigars, blindfolded, from an unfamiliar humidor and smoking them at the same time- you get the idea. There was nothing recognizable or unique in this, just lots and lots of unhappiness. To draw smoke through the cigar requires work, and there’s no great reward for the effort, only thin, anemic clouds.

About an inch into the Pepperbox, it begins to settle down some, giving a more singular note. If you’ve ever toasted nuts in the oven and let them go just a little too long, the Pepperbox will instantly transport you back to that moment. Still very hard to draw, and truly unpleasant.

The Pepperbox finishes much as it started, confused and muddled, leaving the operator to contemplate better names for this concoction. A reasonable suggestion might be the “Gang Bang”. Think of waking up Saturday at noon, missing a sock, your underwear on backwards, and a crumpled Rohypnol foil package laying on the kitchen counter… you can’t really say for sure who you were with, there may have been four of them, you only know for certain that your lips are tired and you got screwed.

Written for iROBUSTO by LongGone

15 thoughts on “Cigar Review | Pepperbox Cigar

  1. True Stogies says:

    “toasted nuts in the oven and let them go just a little too long”, I agree and love the analogy. I got a lot LOT of pepper out of one of these. Luckily I was able to get just one, I would say it’s worth it to try one, but a whole box….NEVER. At the most it was interesting. I’ve had worse. And IMO it adds to the disappointment that it’s supposed to be something unique and great, I’ve had way too many of those recently. Great review!

  2. LongGone says:

    I tried the Pepperbox a 2nd time tonight, and still had the same experience, perhaps I got a bad batch. I have almost always had great luck with J-R Cigars custom lines and alternatives. This cigar is the exception. I subsequently smoked a CAO Camshaft and a Mr. B’s Lonsdale to explore if my taster was off. Both were excellent smokes. Thanks to all for your comments and input.

  3. CutLightSmoke says:

    Great review! Love the creativity in your writing!

  4. BMD_I_B says:

    I am glad I read this review. I had received an e-mail promoting this cigar from JR, and was on the fence about purchasing. It is a bit surprising to see a negative review as JR Cigar usually has pretty solid “exclusives”, whether it is their alternatives or a special blend made for them.

    I enjoyed the last paragraph very much. I am more of a slobbering bulldog than human when smoking cigars, and tend to associate a cigar’s value with a memory or descriptive scenario.

    Thanks, you just saved me $66!

  5. Aaron Taubman says:

    I really enjoy the Pepperbox! Being able to stuff some of the cap in between the gap stops the airy draw. I found massive amounts of pepper and a very nice sweetness about it. Worth 60+ bucks? IDK, but if I’m able to get a pepper stinger with some sweetness out of it, it might be worth 40 bucks. And that’s what I paid. Cutting the cap is a chore, small plug cuts are ideal. Good cigar, not fantastic but good!

  6. LongGone says:

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  7. iROBUSTO says:

    @aaron_taubman:disqus TOO MUCH SPICE! 🙂

  8. Aaron Taubman says:

    OH brother!! You’re killing me Mark!! LoL!!! ;-P
    Is it spice or pepper? Pepper with spice? Pepper and spice? Peppery with spicy notes? Spicy with Pepper on the Retro? Black Pepper and Cinnamon Spice? White Pepper and All Spice? Spicy Pepper? Peppery Spice?…….. LoL!!!!

  9. BMD_I_B says:

    I appreciate the input Aaron. I am a two year smoker, so I still hesitate when it comes to what I perceive has a high price unless it is a “proven home run”. Maybe if it was availiale as a single I would try it.

  10. Aaron Taubman says:

    For me, I have all sorts of coupons and discounts at JR’s so it really didn’t cost me all that much. In my 25+ years of smoking I have learned to be very open minded when it comes to cigars and willing to take chances. It is only a box of 10 and it isn’t a bank breaker either. Im a pepperhound and that’s one thing I did like about the Pepperbox was the consistent pepper that it provided. If you don’t take a chance, you will never know!! Some may hate it but I know some that really like it!! I happen to be in the camp that thinks its good. I love the pepper and sweetness but that’s all I get. For me, if that’s what I want in a cigar for the evening, then it suits its purpose!!

  11. Aaron Taubman says:

    Well you have to consider, what is a “proven home run”? CA ratings? Buzz on the internet groups, G+? Each Palate is different and you have to taste it for yourself and not rely on other reviews. They are nice guidance but they don’t influence me. One mans treasure is another mans Dog Rocket. I try for myself and you should too (maybe not this one), it opens a whole new world of cigars and smoking experience, step out of the box. don’t rely on rating or what others say, As LeeMack says “The best cigar is the one you like”.

  12. LongGone says:

    Thanks for reading!!!

  13. BMD_I_B says:

    Your review says that it is a follow-up to the Shock and Awe that was made for JR. I did purchase a box of those and they were wonderful. But, I like a big, meaty cigar that makes me know I just smoked.

  14. iROBUSTO says:

    @bmd_i_b:disqus would you believe that we are supporters of JR Cigars?@disqus_VAx3D8LDlt:disqus @l@disqus_Akff0R8bHb:disqus and @lapanatela:disqus tell it like it is. If we can save you cash on stuff we thumb down then we hope you’ll take the opportunity to believe in all of the other stuff we post on this site. Thank you for taking the time to make your comment! iROBUSTO DO U?

  15. BMD_I_B says:

    I love JR! I have the JR Plus membership. Free shipping with no quantity or price minimum for one year at a cost of $29.95 is WAY worth the cost. It has allowed me to taste so many more cigars than I would have since I can buy a single, or a pack of five without the extra shipping cost.

    I would suggest that anyone who frequents that site purchase the Plus membership.

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