Wow, this week was a bit of a challenge, and I’m just talking about picking the cigar to review! Every time I had set my mind on a cigar to review, I found Walt and Jerry had already covered it. Sometimes twice! Of course, strictly speaking we don’t have a policy here about never reviewing a cigar more than once, but I generally prefer to cover new ground whenever possible. So it’s a lucky thing that I dropped by a cigar event recently, and let myself be talked into buying a small random selection cigars.
There isn’t a lot of information out there on Alec Bradley’s Trilogy line, which also includes Native Cameroon and Exotic Maduro blends. But I was intrigued by one brief write up I found. It mentioned that the cigar had brown sugar and butterscotch flavors. Well, hey, I’m all about finding oddball flavors in cigar, and this sounded like one I couldn’t pass up reviewing. What’s even more interesting is that the same blurb also mentioned that this cigar could use some aging. Hmm, I thought. If a cigar already tastes like butterscotch, do you really need to age it? That’s a good question. One that will have to be answered in the form of a review.
Size: 7 x 50 (churchill)
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Mexico
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Funny story about the these smokes. The event I picked them up at had a number of reps from different cigar manufacturers. When I walked out of the humidor with these cigars in my hand, several reps voiced their happiness that I chose one of theirs. The funny part they were all wrong. This wasn’t one of theirs. Which I think illustrates the cigar’s unpretentious, down-to-business appearance. No shiny gold lettering or bust of turn-of-the-century Asian warriors here, just a simple, straightforward band. (Or maybe it means the cigar band needs to be a little more original. But I’m sticking with the first idea.)
The band that fooled the industry… reps.
Comical anecdotes aside, I found the cigar to be nice and smooth, with the exception of a few larger veins. One of the two cigars I smoked for this review was surprisingly soft to the touch, which I found a little worrisome. Otherwise, appeared to be pretty normal.
Before lighting up, I checked out the scent of the wrapper. I noted a pretty standard barnyard scent that became deeply chocolaty at the foot. Similarly the cold taste had notes of chocolate as well as molasses.
The best thing about the burn was the draw. Flawless in both cigars, which was a little surprising given the softness I noted in first stick. This bodes well for the cigar, as a bad draw is the express train to a negative verdict in my book.
Initially the ash was pretty solid, building up to a respectable inch and a half in length. But after that first drop, the ash became brittle and crumbly. In the second one it was so fragile that the cigar was never able to hold more than half an inch of ash before it disintegrated into the ash tray. (As you will note from the pictures, there’s not a lot of solid ash at the end of this seven inch smoke!)
Not a lot of solid ash here…
The burn line was similarly flawed. After perfect first third, it starts to lose the plot, drifting a bit before becoming erratic in the final third. One cigar had a large single vein running down the length of the cigar. This vein proved to be a source of the mischief as the cigar smoked.
Like the Gran Habano VL I reviewed last week, I noted a citrus flavor in this cigar that appeared shortly into the first third. But unlike the VL, the citrus flavor remained pleasant and vaguely like sweet grapefruit or oranges. I also noticed a spiciness to this cigar that appeared from time to time, but never while the citrus flavor was present.
In addition to the citrus and spice, I tasted rich nutty leather, dark chocolate and just a little toffee in the first and second thirds. The spiciness I mentioned really seemed to pick up toward the end of the second third, and made for an interesting flavor combination with the chocolate. The final third became more leathery. And then, about halfway through the final third, the cigar took on a sudden salty, spicy harshness that signaled to me that it was time to send it to the big boardroom ashtray in the sky.
It’s hard to complain about a cigar with a four dollar price tag. Even if it does have a burn that’s less than optimal.
I don’t see how you can go wrong with this cigar. Sure the burn left a bit to be desired, but the interesting flavors and the good draw made up for that. And it’s a cigar that’s priced to fit into most budgets.
I was a little disappointed by the abrupt turn in flavor toward the end of the final third, but after around two hours of smoking, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I didn’t have a toothpick handy anyway. Oh yeah, and that butterscotch? Nope, never got it. The closest I got was a pocket of sweet, fruity orange flavor and some toffee early on.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes, it makes me what to try the other Trilogy blends too.
Recommend It: Yes
The Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn. But this time, I’m trying something a little different. A reader by the name of Michael recommend I keep the camera a consistent distance from the cigar to achieve a more uniform, flip book-like effect. Well, I’m giving it a shot here. Let me know what you think.