Natural

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.