– Juan Cancel, co-owner of Cubariqueno Cigar Co
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Cigar Dojo enthusiasts and stick connoisseurs alike swarmed and claimed all 500 Limited Edition bundles of 10 from Famous Smoke Shop. Both online and at an in -store release party.
Priced at $89.99 per 10ct bundle, the Protocol Nightstcick is comprised of an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper. The 6 1/2 x 54 Toro Gordo boasts both binder and fillers fron Nicaragua, including fillers from Condega and Jalapa. The Nightstick was manufactured at the La Zona factory in Nicaragua.
On Point is exactly how this cigar hits the eye. It is very inviting and makes you want to smoke it immediately. My patience was certainly tested early on, as I really wanted to see what the hype was all about. I tend to let any newer cigar rest awhile before lighting up as a rule. But, I had also heard from a few folks that the cigar needed a little time. Needless to say, I also had a few people rave about it. The quintessential yet cliche, “One person’s trash” ideal was ultra present in this case. The good part of course, is that I get to find out for my damn self!
Packed well and firm with a slight spring to it, this officer’s club is triple capped with tiny veinage along the wrapper. Is veinage an actual word? If not, you gon learn today! on the wrapper I’m getting an almost sour musk and faint leather. the foot is blessing me with chocolate, a raisin or fig like nuance and cardboard. Honestly, the cold draw is lack luster and not providing any real previews to the ProDojo Show. A generic baccy and that same cardboard from the aroma test are all that I can detect.
First Third | Walking The Beat
Initial puffs from the Protocol NightStick were earthy and mineral driven with a hint of bitter cocoa. Already, I’m getting the impression that this cigar is carrying youth but has potential if the contents are allowed time to blend and marry. However, we are only a few puffs in so before I jump on the bandwagon, let’s see what comes.
It started slow but midway thru the first third, the spice picked up bringing the flavor along with it. There was a nice combination of caramel and raisin, parallel to a generic leather (pleather). The potent spice was a cinnamon and black pepper tandem coated with a touch of brown sugar.
“Damn, Damn, Damn!” My 5 to 7 minute flavor explosion was short lived by burn and draw issues. The cigar kept dying on me and the burn/mascara line suffered right along with it. As I sit and pray for a revival, the room is filling with aromas of charred oak and leather.
Second Third | Ping Pong Smoke
Starting off with the coining of a new phrase: “Ping Pong Smoke”, the flavors of the Nightstick are going back and forth. Although this isn’t a new occurrence, this is the first time I named it. LOL! Basically, on one puff, I want to throw the cigar across the room into a wall. On other puffs, I want to rub the cigar against my chest and talk dirty to it. Actual flavors are consistent with the 1st third when they are on the good side of the ping pong table. At this point, it’s less of me talking dirty to it and more of the cigar just doing me dirty.
I’m reassured of my original assessment and in agreement with a few of my fellow smokers that this collab definitely needs a moment to get right. It might even be really good by my next birthday. Ughh! It went out completely by the half way point after fighting with it and numerous re-lights.
Final Third | Go With Your Gut
Lesson of the day is to trust your instincts. It got you this far in life. I literally re-lit this Nightstick at least 8 times. In any other case I would have tossed this cigar along time ago, but for the sake of this review, I kept fighting. Of course, the constant relighting, puffing and correcting destroyed any chance of getting back to the tasteful yet brief moment in the first third. And although the cigar isn’t getting ample time to heat up it is a complete sponge at this point. So soft to be exact that my fingers are imprinted in the cigar itself.
The closing flavors are wood and pepper balanced out by sheer frustration and disappointment. For the record this was my first experience with protocol and I have 2 more of these for later review, which I’m hoping and assuming will be better experiences. I try not to judge cigars on the first attempt but I also like to share my initial experiences with the Family.
Since my bout with the ProDojo collab, I was blessed with a regular production Protocol and I was very impressed and satisfied. This negative experience will not tarnish the image of either company in my eyes. Hell, I’m not even mad at the cigar because I will certainly be smoking it again once I feel it has had a decent amount of time in the humidor. I’m no expert or Cervantes, but my thought is that this NOT a blend issue but a time thing.
Thank you again for taking the time and sharing this experience with me. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback. Stay smoking and keep trying new things. Don’t be afraid to wander outside of your usual lane and be willing to give cigars that didn’t move you a second chance. There are many variables at play when it comes to what you can and cannot taste. On that note, I say Cheers and Salute to my Family of the Leaf!