Ring: 50 - square pressed
"While aging, these cigars have been slowly infused with the delicious flavor of gourmet mocha, morphing a traditional Nicaraguan cigar into a incredibly rich cigar filled with hints of mocha that smokes smooth from start to finish, leaving an extremely pleasant aroma in its wake..." - CI
I had one of these gifted to me by a friend (who is a fan of Rocky Patel cigars in the toro vitola), and I have to admit I was actually looking forward to trying it. I know JD roams the boards, so I'll be as proper as possible... I'm just not a fan of Acid cigars, and my Kuba Kuba experience made me too-hastily write off anything from Drew Estate. I now know of the Liga Privada line, and seeing the Java in my CI bathroom material had me curious.
I believe the cigar has been in my buddy's humidor for about a year, and I had it in mine for roughly one month. I had it dry boxing for the last two days, or so, before lighting it up today. Weather outside was mid-40's, gray, breezy and just shy of miserable. I had a Diet A&W Root Beer.
I'm not a fan of box-pressed cigars, though I will admit that the wrapper was dark and beautiful, and the perfect square press had edges you could sharpen a pencil on. I'm not experienced enough to throw around quantitative ratings, but I will just say that the appearance was very inviting, and the DE folks know how to put a cigar together. After the initial aesthetic inspection, I noticed that the stick was spongy. It was evenly spongy from head to foot, but spongy none-the-less. Definitely the softest cigar I've ever felt up. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but nothing else seemed out of the ordinary.
When I got the cigar, I thought it smelled like church incense. Pre-light sniff was altogether different, however. It smelled of chocolate; rich, deep, dark chocolate. Not entirely unpleasant in the least. No coffee scents that I could pick up. After a messy clip of the cap with my aging and dulled guillotine cutter (I can't wait for my Xi to get here), I stepped outside and lit it up. The square end took easy, and a small wedge that didn't light initially quickly caught up. As I suspected it would be, the draw was very light and airy. This produced a good deal of smoke, and though it wasn't a razor crisp burn line, the cigar burned consistently with no major imperfections or other issues. As I also suspected, due to the spongy feel, the ash was held together loosely and flaked like crazy. It held on to the cigar for close to 2" (might have made it more, but I ashed it, myself, to keep from dropping all over me), though I would hesitate to call it "tight". As with the aesthetics, I was impressed with the burn and ease of smoke. Thumbs up here, too.
Now, for what everyone paid their admission for: the taste and flavor. I really didn't know what I was going to be getting into here, and I was fine with that. I expected some "unnatural" flavor, though I stopped short of expecting an artificial impression the way the Kuba Kuba struck me. First thing I can say, is Thank God this thing didn't taste like patchouli, too! From the first lit draws, it had a distinct taste of cocoa powder. That wasn't a bad thing, mind you. It was distinct, but not overpowering. There was still a strong tobacco taste behind it. If I had to describe it, I would say, "Cocoa up front, with a Rocky Patel Decade finish". Hey, it's my review and that's what I got out of it. I did not know what I was going to get, strength-wise, though I must say that I was a little surprised at the kick I got blowing the smoke through my nose. That aside, I guess I would have to drop it on the lower end of the "medium" shelf. No nicotine reactions whatsoever, and I even accidentally inhaled a little of it here and there.
This was a 6" cigar. I smoked probably 3.5" - 4" of it. Roughly 2/3s. The cocoa was not bad, but by that point it was just getting to be a little too much; a little overpowering. I felt like I just put a spoonful of Hershey's powdered cocoa in my mouth. Just a little too much of that flavor for too long. It was not a bad cigar, though I not once caught a hint of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised. I think that the 5" or 5.5" vitola would be a bit better suited for this cigar (for me, anyway). I don't think it's a cigar I'd smoke often, though I wouldn't be surprised if I pick up a few in the future just to have on hand if the mood strikes me. Overall, a good experience, and I got to try something new.
Edited by kann, 24 February 2012 - 03:52 PM.