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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 #5

Cigar number 5 is a good looking cigar.  The wrapper is smooth and silky with very few, small veins.  The wrapper is expertly applied as is the cap.  Inspecting the clipped head and the foot revels a good looking bunch of the filler tobacco and the pre-light draw is perfect.  It has a mild earthy aroma and the wrapper is leathery, and a uniform rich brown in color. It looks to be about a 46 ring and is 5 inches long. There was a small patch on the wrapper near the head about the size of the nail on my pinky finger.  What is particularly interesting about this patch is that I almost didn’t see it even given the fact that I went over this stick with a fine tooth comb.  Because it is a blind review I paid closer than usual attention to the physical appearance of the cigar and I still almost didn’t see this patch.  It was simply the best patch job I have ever seen on a cigar.  Even with the patch this is the best looking of the three cigars.  That alone doesn’t mean it is the premium stick in the bunch, but if I had to guess just based on appearance this would be my pick.

This cigar is very smooth right from the start.  Mild to medium bodied. The flavors are balanced and delicate.  It smokes like a cigar with a little bit of age on it.  At the beginning there are notes of espresso and bakers cocoa.  It wasn’t long before this smoke started changing on me.  It developed woody/oak overtones with smooth creamy notes.  Halfway through it got more robust but was still on the mild side of medium in body and flavor.  It developed a leathery core complimented with roasted coffee beans.  It always put off thick clouds of creamy white smoke and had a wonderful room bouquet.  The finish was long, smooth, and pleasant.  The ash was well formed and firm.  Flavor and construction on this cigar was superb.  It was a complex, well balanced, delicate smoke.

After all that, I have no clue as to what this cigar was or where it came from.  I can take a wild stab and say, due to its mildness, that it is a Dominican cigar but I really don’t know.  That is just a wild gues on my part.  It was a very good smoke, not typical of the robust powerhouses I have grown most fond of, but I must say as good as this was, I could see myself enjoying this cigar more regularly. Putting together its appearance, flavor, complexity and construction I would think this is a premium top-shelf smoke.  If it isn’t then it is a heck of a value.

Check out  the review of Cigar #6 at Zen and the Art of the Cigar

So now all the reviews are done for this little project.  I have to say it has been a lot of fun up to this point but now comes the most exciting part.  Jamie and I will be hanging out tonight at our local cigar shop and we will be discussing all the cigars.  Expect a wrap-up to be posted in the next few days.

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