The heat of the day beat down on me but didn’t dissuade me from wanting the cigar I had been sent. It had come with a strong suggestion to eat first before enjoying the cigar. The mahogany Rosado wrapper was pock-marked with veins here and there but it still looked good.
I looked up to see the custom blue dune buggy go speeding by. Ah, the sounds of Los Angeles. The black band with the gold bull’s head proclaimed “Minotaur”, suggesting a mythical taste and size to the cigar. It was a decent size at 6×55 and the taste was soon to be discovered. The band came loose as I cut a bit of the cap off.
I enveloped the foot in a small swath of blue flames and watched as the tobacco turned white from the heat. A sweet nutty taste lazily wafted past my tongue. The air filled with a pleasant spicy blue-white smoke that got taken away in the ever random sniff of wind that came by this morning. The sun was determined to be king in my yard and denied the faint breeze to enter.
As I continued into the first third each puff brought a coolness to my tongue as the morning sun became the noon furnace. The solid ash at the end of the cigar was like a reverse set of tree rings, telling the time from when I first started to enjoy it until the moment of my most recent puff. As I looked at my work email, I tasted the tanginess of black licorice on my taste buds. It was definitely a stronger cigar.
The zebra-lined ash remained determined to stay at the end of my cigar until I forcibly removed it so I could relight it. This was not the fault of the cigar but rather my two panting and slightly dense pugs. Apparently good sense to stay inside in the A/C filled room escaped them and they were determined to be near me, even with the hot sun bearing down. I encouraged and brought them inside a few times to keep them a bit cooler. But this meant ignoring the cigar a few times as well.
Relighting the cigar was a straightforward task and it continued as if it had never gone out. The burn remained smooth, the coolness on my tongue continued and the dance between the sweet almond-nut and black licorice went onwards. The construction of the cigar is excellent. It is loose enough to burn well and yet tight enough to remain solid with no splits and tugboat burning. I began to wonder if there were little nanobots inside it, keeping the burn line rigid and smooth.
The cigar isn’t that complex but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes simpler is better. I imagine if I had this after dinner a nice tangy liquor would balance well with it in a cooler breeze. As I neared the end of the 2nd third that mottled ash fell off on its own as a breeze came into the yard. Although still warm the heat was starting to make its eventual exit for the day.
I sipped a cold water and got back to the cigar as a giant yellow Monarch butterfly skipped along the wind into the yard. The Pugs remained oblivious to this intruder into their yard after a morning of chasing passerbys and delivery-type persons. It wasn’t until a skate boarder cluttered by like a miniature train that they got up, defended the yard and then went into the house for more determined siestas. I was left alone to the hum of the A/C and the occasional car or two passing by while I sipped cold water and my stogie.
As I got into the final third, I noticed some of the wrapper becoming loose. I suspect that this was more due to the warmth of the mid-day sun than anything else. I moved a little more into the shade and did a cursory search online about the cigar. It was interesting to learn how this particular cigar, introduced to many at IPCPR (International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers), has been created and marketed towards a France-based audience. I think it could do well here if it weren’t for the $15 per cigar sticker shock.
The last third introduced me to a creamier licorice taste. Even with the loose wrapper the long filler and wrapper still remained in place, a testament to the construction and care that went into this cigar. As I got closer to the nub of the cigar a more black peppery taste came through and nipped at my taste buds. It was a nice finale to the cigar and woke me up for the afternoon of work I was procrastinating on.
I would rate this one around an 8.7-8.9 with the price being something that would cause many to shy away from it.