Taken from the humidor after 2 months @ 71%
Setting: On the verandah in the afternoon overlooking the pool surrounded by palms, my favorite spot.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Candela
Binder: Honduras & Nicaragua
Filler: Honduras & Panama
Construction: Slick and oily, smooth to touch candela wrapper. Some minor veins, very tight seams, double cap.
Stick felt reasonably consistently packed, it was a little spongy at the foot and rock hard at the head & band point (In this stick band point is right in the center)
Smell: Wrapper - Green but dry hay with a cool refreshing feel like cucumber.
Foot - Brown dried hay like a freshly filled horse stable.
Cold draw: Perfect resistance on the draw. Tastes of Toasty caramel & very smooth coffee, the stick also imparted a spice on to the tongue which I can’t quite quantify.
Initial Light: Very prevalent spice which I still can’t put my finger on which lingers forever on the finish, very dry smoke with a burnt ash taste. Good smoke production.
Aroma – burning hay, very pleasant.
First 3rd -25 min
Light to medium in body.
Slightly dry smoke, tastes of salty caramel without the sweetness, good reduction in the spice from the initial light but it’s still there and a primary contributor to the profile. The stick still has a charred ashen taste spread across all the flavors. It has a long finish which is primarily spice. I bumped the ash off at 25mm as I didn’t feel like wearing it as I always do when I try for a long ash.
It had an excellent burn and the wrapper is physically changed which I found curious, it got smoother and oilier which felt very unique to touch compared to other sticks.
Second 3rd - 50min
Body is still a light to medium. Smoke in the second third started to thicken and feel slightly moist. Toasty, salted caramel, with spice, I finally managed to identify the spice in this stick as wasabi, a very electric spice right on the tongue rather than the whole of mouth which comprises the long finish.
This stick needs to be smoked very slowly. Over smoking this early in the stick is already producing ashen flavors and heat.
Third 3rd 1 hour 30min
No change in body. During the transition from second to third the smoke started drying out. The caramel taste pulled right back and the wasabi and salt were the primary flavors. The stick is appearing very savory overall. A salted pretzel came to mind because of the dry consistency with salt.
1 hour 45min
Late into the 3/3 with 60mm remaining on the stick it felt like the whole show fell apart flavor wise, the taste rapidly went into an exceedingly dry metallic/ galvanized taste which I drew parallels with of blood. No heat in the stick as yet.
Over smoking produced Ash, heat and burnt plastic flavors
Put the stick down at 2 hours with 45mm remaining
Overall the stick exhibited a brilliant burn, no touchups or relights were required.
The most favorable parts of the stick were the first two thirds, the wheel seemed to fall off the cart in the last third.
Overall the stick was consistently dry and savory with the wasabi spice from start to finish.
I believe this would pair well with a wet lager or even better with a wet citrus Marlborough (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc.
Personally I didn’t like this stick, I found it to be a little boring dry and jagged with the spice.
The punchline of this stick is DON’T smoke it fast, it goes south fast if it gets a good cherry glow going.
Thanks for reading!