Popular Post Chef Posted April 14, 2019 Popular Post Share Posted April 14, 2019 Box Code: Unknown Humidor rest time: 49 days Humidor conditions: 65% RH, 68*F Smoking conditions: Outdoors, 49*F, 60% RH Initial Observations: From a visual standpoint, this cigar is a true, chocolate brown – a Heryshey's milk chocolate bar. If I were to be a brown, I'd pick to be this hue. Pure nostalgia. The wrapper is slightly veiny, but thin. The seams are tight. The cigar has been rolled full and well. I like that. On longer, deeper inhalations, the wrapper's aroma is a combination of rich chocolate and a bit of a humid, musty barnyard, like up in the rafters where the mold forms. On shorter, lighter whiffs, it smells like cocoa dusted cardboard. Oddly, there isn't much of anything coming from the foot except tobacco. I thought I might get whacked with some chocolate or dry cocoa here, too, but no. Okay, well, let's cut it. The pre-light draw is pretty ideal for me; about a 4/10, where "1" is a wind tunnel, and "10" is filled with rocks and sand. The flavors are relatively light, but there's some cocoa, a type of kitchen spice, and some wood. There's sweetness on my lips, too, but also very light like someone through some sugar at my face and just a dash of it stuck to my lips. Interesting: I think I'm getting an earthy note, but again its very faint, and I've already had too many sips of this Flor de Cana to care much more about anything "pre-light". Let's get this thing lit, shall we? Smoking experience: I put my soft flame lighter to the foot, and there it goes burning and smoking right away. I took this stick out this morning, but my morning cigar plans were foiled. So it's been sitting out of the humidor all day, and I’m sure it’s released quite a bit of moisture in the last eight hours. It's pretty dry inside the house. The first third is going well. No burn issues to speak of. It's pretty sharp actually. The smoke output is satisfactory. So far, so good. The draw is pretty heavy on the cocoa. Nice. On the finish, however, there's way more earthiness than I expected. I mean, I do like me some earth. I just didn't expect this much from this particular stick. Still, the cocoa is dominating here. There’s a hint of that mellow kitchen spice I got on the pre-light draw, as well as a light peppery sensation coating the back of my palate to the throat. The combination is like those Chocolate Teddy Grahams I ate as a kid that have been buried in dirt. Yum? Deep into the second third, the chocolate and earth swap seats. The flavor transition occurs as the ash falls off, which has held on gloriously 'til just now – almost two inches! I’m quite impressed with that considering the ring gauge. I’m not really getting that deep mushroom flavor and aroma that I like from an earthy core anymore. It’s a bit greener and fresher. It's fine, though. I wonder if some age would develop a richer earth further into the stick. I hope it does, as I've got a box of PSP Monte No. 4s on the way. I just knew I would like this cigar. The ash drop seems to have increased the volume of the kitchen spice as well – it's louder, sharper, especially in the nose. At the halfway mark, there's a dark, roasted coffee bean note that swings in and out about every other puff. Hmm. Ya know what? For some reason, I was under the impression that this stick would be all chocolate the whole way through. Suffice it to say, I was under the wrong impression. I guess it just goes to show that everyone’s palate is different, and the fun of smoking a cigar for yourself and sharing your experience, is not only a part of the journey, but the joy of it. Fun, fun, fun. Speaking of chocolate, most of it is sort of, well, gone. The coffee replaced the cocoa? I guess I can't have both. As I lick and smack my lips, though, I do taste a light dusting of cocoa. But that's about it. As I push on toward the band, which is pretty much where the second third transitions into the last, I start to smell the chocolate off the foot again. The earthy, toasted spices are fading into a light woody note on the retrohale. There's still the coffee keeping things alive, but the spice is significantly subdued; stale even. Ya know that oversize container of cinnamon from Costco that's been sitting in your cupboard about three years past its expiration date? Yup. Approaching the nub, boom, nuttiness shows up. It’s very apparent. It’s on the retrohale and the finish. That's cool. I like nuts. The ash drops again, and the the roasted coffee is turning bitter. Blech. And oh, no, the nuts are trying to ghost me. Draw, exhale, draw, retrohale, draw, exhale. See, sometimes, I exhale and/or retrohale with the cigar still in my mouth. The smoke gets trapped just enough and interacts with the air in that fleeting moment before all the smoke escapes my mouth. I like to magically rescue the flavors this way. There's probably no good science behind it, but I'm convinced I can taste more this way. In this case, however, the nuttiness is conflicted and introverted, excusing itself with an awkward goodbye. NUTS! So, I put down the nub and bid the No. 4 farewell, too. Closing thoughts: My second review, and I'm having good luck so far. Nothing to complain about, and much to speak well of. Certainly more complex than I thought it would be. My favorite portion of the stick was in the middle. Yes, I like my dessert-like chocolate bombs. But that dark coffee, earth and spice found in the middle third reminded me so much of one of my favorite bags of coffee, a Sumatran blend that showcases similar flavors. I don't know how old this No. 4 is, as it's a part of this sampler pack I'm going through. But if it relatively young and this smokable, I'm going to mow through this box that's coming. 5 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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