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This review is part of a series of blind reviews I am doing in conjunction with Jamie of Zen and the Art of the Cigar.  We each exchanged three unbanded cigars.  The only previously agreed upon criteria for the exchange was the there would be one value cigar, one mid-range cigar. and one premium cigar.  The cigars were numbered randomly.  I will be reviewing cigars number 1, 3, and 5.  Cigars numbers 2, 4 and 6 will be reviewed by Jamie and can be read on his blog.  The reviews will be posted over the next two weeks and at the end of the series a summary of all the blind reviews will be posted.

Cigar #1

This cigar looks to a be a Robusto, 5″ x 50 or 52 ring gauge.  The cap is sloppily applied.  The wrapper is veiny and dry looking.  Inspection of the foot reveals several small stems.  I expected to find the same in the head after clipping it, but there were none there.  Its pre-light aroma was a nondescript tobacco.  The flavors were a bit muddled but I picked up notes of leather and tobacco and flashes of grass.  The finish was long and bitter.

Construction wise, this looks and smokes like a cheap cigar.  The burn was all over the place and I found a huge tunnel in the filler less than an inch into the smoke.  The gaping hole continued all the way down until the last 2 inches.  The ash was loose and flaky requiring that it be tapped frequently.  It was medium bodied and one dimensional. There was also a lot of sticky tar in the head.  I ran my finger across the head and strings of brown tar came off the head and stuck to my finger tip.   I really didn’t enjoy this one very much.  The construction issues make me think this was either a cheap bundle type cigar or a bum stick that slipped through someones QA department undetected.

Now I am going to take a stab at identification.  I expect to be very wrong here.  I freely admit, when you don’t know anything about a cigar it is very difficult to identify it.  I don’t think I’m that good, but I’ll give it a shot here with the wrapper at least.  I think the wrapper is Sumatran.  The cigar reminded me a bit of other Sumatran wrapped cigars I’ve tried like the Flor de Oliva.  I can hardly wait to see how far off I am…

Be sure to check out the review of Cigar #2 over at Zen and the Art of the Cigar.

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