Tasting Notes: The body and cold draw on this cigar are confusing. Some samples had an aroma of cinnamon, others floral, some both. The cold draws were even more dynamic ranging from nuttiness to black tea to simply floral and others had a cocoa butter note. The cigar starts off slightly underwhelming in the first puff or two…and then slowly creeping in, the flavor train leaves the station lol. Cashew butter, salt, fats, florals, and white pepper. These are then followed by white pepper ramping up and florals taking the center stage. Then comes bliss. Vanilla custard. This will be the dominant theme of the first half. Vanilla custard, powdered sugar, and candied nuts. sweet, cream, powdery, vanilla, and nutty all at once. WOW. The retro, on the other hand, is leather, salt, full white pepper, and florals to die for. The retro on this thing is PERFECTION. The vanilla custard starts to turn to creme brûlée as the flavors sear. This thing is a dessert dream. But it’s subtle, so smoke in a cool dry place. At the middle point, I start to notice Italian herbs in the retrohale as well. The vanilla umami and the sugary sweetness along with the white pepper and a caramel note make this the ultimate luxury cigar. In the final third the body kicks up a notch or two. The flavors mend together to become sweet, tangy, salty, leathery, and floral. Lemon, leather, and pepper are the things to look out for. In the end, it reminds me of an Opus X when they smoke well. Holy wow. Pairing Notes: Creme Brûlée. Vanilla Custard. Vanilla Oreo. White teas. Wheat beers. Islay scotch. Brandy. Aged rum. Anything vanilla.
Honduras. Raices Cubanas Farm and Factory. Hugo Sanchez. 25 years in business using traditional Cuban methods. There’s no farm or factory like it. I truly believe some of the best cigars in the world come out of this factory. This is the man behind Padilla, Viaje, Alec, Illusione… and the list goes on. All of their best stuff comes from Raices. So it is truly an honor that they have allowed us to raid their vaults. These are the cigars that were forgotten. These are the cigars that were never paid for. These are the resting vampires of this factory. VAULT. Any time you see this cigar brand, BUY IT! No one in the world can get their hands on these right now except you. But at some point, cigars from this brand will be available in stores. Each edition is totally different from the next. But, we have them first! Damn, we are lucky. When I tell you that we may never get a cigar that produces these flavors again, I am not exaggerating. I recommend this for the morning with a vanilla coffee. Something happens to certain cigars during the aging process. And aging at the factory is dog years compared with aging in the states. It’s like the age on scotch vs. the age on bourbon. Some aging resonates faster.