Tasting Notes: The body has a pungent lemon oil scent with an almost chemical smell like I have smelled before in manufactured furniture. Very unique. I know this cigar is completely natural, so I am very intrigued by this. The foot is lemon oil and slight cedar. The draw tastes like lemon iced tea with notes of dried oregano. Dry oak, salt, baked bread, heavy white pepper retro, and buttery smoke are the start of something special with this one. I get notes of lightly burned butter which I love, along with herbs and dried flowers or some type of floral. Earthy, herby, buttery, minerally, salty with white pepper and dried floral notes enveloping the palate. Further in, I get hints of lemongrass and a slate-like finish with notes of honey as well. And then begin some notes of bread, oak, cinnamon, and butter. We are off to a great start. The second third begins buttery with florals and oaky smoke along with a mineral finish and salty zing. I’m reminded of sunflower seeds. Sweet florals, oak, butter, salt, and a hint of anise every now and then. Some vanilla too. In the final third I get vanilla, oak, florals, slight salt, and a phantom grapefruit note along with wood and minerals. The floral smells remind me a little of marijuana or a pungent flower of some sort. The grapefruit and vanilla mixed with the oak make this thing a superb and unique smoke!
Pairing Notes: Amber or lager beer. Cognac. Honey. Bourbon. Cream soda. Cinnamon anything. Orange tea with honey. Toast with butter and coffee with cream and sugar, medium roast. Anything herby like herb-crusted bread or herb butter. Rye whiskey. Flan or vanilla pudding with whipped cream and cinnamon.
Let me explain something to you. When you are from the Dominican Republic, and you are not born rich, you don’t typically get presented with a whole lot of opportunities. Depending on who you are around in your everyday life, the tobacco business can be one of the very few ways to make a better life for yourself. A way to hone your craftsmanship and create a product that you can not only be proud of, but that may be the only way to get noticed by people outside of the local area and in some cases like this, in other countries. In DR, there’s a bunch of young tabacaleros trying to get their brands off the ground. They work under bigger, more well-known blenders, and take a shot at being someone in the industry. G-d bless each and every one of them. I’ve been through struggles in previous careers myself and trying to get noticed by the masses, especially when you are coming to the table without a million dollars or Instagram fame can be very hard. This year I vowed to dig deeper. I owe you. I owe you the best. I wanted to find cigar makers that have something to prove. With so much to gain and an amazing amount of passion. Allow me to introduce a young Dominican cigar maker out of Santiago DR. Marcos Rodriguez. Marcos studied under a wild blender named Chico Rivas. You will hear that name a lot more this year. When Marcos is not making cigars, you might find him, or I should say hear him, blasting through the mountains of tobacco fields and the roads surrounding Santiago on his Harley Davidson. His blends are tough, yet nuanced and delicate. These are true blenders out of DR. In Nicaragua, dare I say it is much easier to create good blends. Clark and a few friends went to DR a few years ago. This is one of the cigars they brought back. I was fortunate enough to smoke it and within a week, Marcos and I were on the phone together. I love my job. I love finding you the best cigars. Enough said.