The Wednesday review for this week brings us back to a cigar we first reviewed back in October with the Dale and Bob (or is it Bob and Dale?) from Dogwatch Social Club. Back in October, the Lot 23 had only been out a short time and was only available with an Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut shade wrapper. The maduro-wrapped version was recently released and I managed to acquire a few of the belicosos (5.75×54) and couldn’t wait any longer to give one a try.
The wrapper was dark, but not overly dark for a maduro, and had a few small veins running lengthwise but was rather oily looking and very supple to the touch. The cigar gave just the proper amount when squeezed with no particularly hard or soft spots to speak of. Since it was a belicoso I started off clipping the smallest amount from the cap as I though possible. It is always so easy to just take a little more off the head so this is often the approach I take with figurados (belicoso, torpedo, perfecto, etc.). I was rather surprised by the fantastic draw from such a small opening which I feel speaks volumes to the construction of the Lot 23.
It started off with the slightest bit of spiciness, which faded quickly and was replaced by pleasant leathery notes. Similar to the natural wrapper, the body is fairly medium and the finish is not terribly long. The burn was fairly even from the start, even though it seems to take forever for me to get a 54 ring gauge cigar lit evenly (one of the reasons I prefer a smaller RG). The ash left behind wasn’t very firm, getting quite flaky around the edges, and was a dark gray color with even darker, sometimes black, spots.
As the burn progressed into the second third it became uneven a bit more frequently, requiring a few touch ups causing an even more unattractive and flaky ash. There wasn’t much build to the body, never breaking above a medium. Even with the maduro wrapper it didn’t seem much more full or spicy than the natural version and actually seemed a bit less leathery as well. Similar to the Indian Tabac from last week, the flavors presented were enjoyable but there just wasn’t the complexity of different, changing flavors that makes a cigar memorable.
The cigar never really "turned", getting hot or bitter, but after an hour and twenty minutes of smoking I just grew tired of it as I started getting into the last third and set it down. Similar to the opinions formed of the natural version back in October, I think this would be a fantastic cigar for a person new to cigars or as a first cigar of the day. However, if you are looking for full-bodied, complex cigar you might look elsewhere.