Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tabak Especial

Size: 5 X 54
Shape: Robusto
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoke Clock: 1 hr 10 mins

A few days ago, knowing that I would be smoking the Drew Estate Tabak Especial Coffee Infusion, I got up early (about 9am), made a cup of coffee, and headed out to the porch to light up this stick of infused sweetness.

Passing this stick beneath my nose reveals lots and lots of rich milk chocolate and sugar flavors. These flavors are also very dominant in the pre-light draw. I have a feeling I may have to brush my teeth after this one.

When I put a flame to the foot of this guy, I tasted a lot of sugar with a hint of cigarette tobacco, which surprised me. The cigarette taste, however, was high quality, more akin to American Spirits than your run of the mill cigarette.

The cigarette taste hung around in the background for the majority of the smoke and was eventually forgotten due to the sugar, cotton candy, and chocolate notes which took dominant rolls throughout the smoke.

By the third quarter, I began to taste a little bit of a coffee note, as if I’d been drinking cream and sugar and someone had slowly been using an eye dropper to add coffee to my drink. At this point, the coffee that I’d been sipping along with the cigar was finally able to provide some support to the cigar and helped to boost the coffee flavors which became present in the profile.

With the finish came little change, except that the coffee notes intensified a little after their third quarter arrival.

Overall, I’d say this cigar has a lot of fine qualities when compared to run of the mill flavored cigars: the construction is decent, the tobacco is all long filler, and the draw wasn’t bad. However, this cigar is not really for me. I’d recommend this stick as a huge step up in quality for anyone who enjoys flavored cigars.

Presentation: 7/10 – Nicely designed double bands, but the colors don’t present much contrast, keeping this cigar from being eye catching.

Appearance: 6/10 – The wrapper has a consistent light and creamy coloring to it with only very minor blotches, but the wrapper is quite wrinkly and has a stretched appearance to it. The rough foot is an interesting visual touch.

Construction: 27/35 – The draw felt a bit tight through this stick, but provided copious amounts of smoke anyway. The cigar felt like it had a lot of give when pressed, illustrating a loose but consistent pack. How I got a tight draw with what felt like a loose pack, I may never know.

Flavor: 40/45 – I found the flavor to be overly sweet and candy-like with very few, if any, flavors that one would associate with high quality tobacco. The infusion made this stick taste like I was smoking hot chocolate with a splash of coffee and about 10 spoon fulls of sugar added to the mix. However, to say that the flavors were low quality would be to lie. The flavors that this cigar offered were very pure and of the highest quality for what the maker sought to create. Even though it wasn’t my cup of tea, I have to say that this cigar was executed extremely well given what they sought to create.

Overall: 80/100 – This cigar is a fairly well done, high end flavored cigar, utilizing their own flavoring methods by “infusing” instead of the usual flavoring practices. The construction is decent and the blend well done. However, this stick is not really my cup of tea (or coffee for that matter). I would recommend this stick to anyone who enjoys flavored cigars and is seeking a huge step up in quality in that category.

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