Brand: Old Powder Keg
Ring Gauge: 52
Filler: Nicaragua and Connecticut
Country of Origin: USA
Price: Around $4.00
The Old Powder Keg is a creation of Battleground Cigars. All cigars created by Battlegrounds are named in such a way to honor the Civil War, for instance this very cigar was named after the Hazard Powder Company. At one point during the Civil War the Hazard Powder company was producing 12,000 pounds of powder per day (40% of all gun powder used by the union). On June 13th 1913 the Hazard Powder company ceased to exist after a massive single explosion, which is said to have been heard in Hartford Ct. some 20 miles south.
These cigars are manufactured by Connecticut Valley Tobacconist in Hazardville, CT. Connecticut Valley Tobacconist was recently recognized by SmokeShop Magazine for its efforts to revive cigar rolling in Connecticut.
As I began to look over my Old Powder Keg, the first thing that stood out was the wrapper. From head to foot there are several medium to large sized veins that make for a lumpy appearance. When handled the texture of the cigar was lumpy at the veins and smooth and oily between them. When pinched the cigar felt firm and consistently packed with tobacco.
The aroma at both the head and foot are heavy with a hay like smell. The same aroma/taste follows through on the pre light draw while the draw itself is free with virtually no resistance.
After a quick and painless toasting and lighting session, I had my Old Powder Keg evenly lit and producing a good amount of smoke. Right from the start the body is full while the finish is a little on the rough side. The most noticeable flavors are black pepper and spice with a leather and salt aftertaste.
As I settled in on the cigar a bit, the body backed off slightly but remained firmly seated in the full range. The finish remained a little rough while being relatively easy on the palate. The base flavors remained that of black pepper and spice at the core while the salt and leather tones faded and were replaced by a subtle citrus flavor.
The ash was dark in color while being firm and compacted. The burn line was thick yet even while producing a light resting smoke. The resting smoke produced a room aroma that was about medium in strength while the draw remained very free with no resistance.
At this point in the cigar the body remained in the full range while the finish was still rough around the edges. The base flavor moved towards a natural tobacco flavor while the black pepper and spice became more of a secondary flavor. In addition there was a medley of flavors fading in and out of the background which included salt, leather, citrus and pine. All of which seemed to come and go with no rhyme or reason. The flavor variation was nice as well as frustrating. When a flavor settled in and I began to enjoy it, it seemed to fade and leave me wanting more.
The burn was a little finicky now that the cigar has been ashed a few times. It seems as though the heavy ash that the cigar formed was insulating the burn and keeping it in good working order. Now that the insulation has been removed the burn would get a little uneven until enough ash built up to straighten it out again.
As my Old Powder Keg winds down to its final third, the body is finally starting to make a move which is taking it deeper into the full spectrum. While the smoke is still short of “blow your head off”, it has a nice oomph to it. The finish remains rough around the edges and is becoming a mild irritant to the back of my throat.
The core makeup of the cigar remains a nice natural tobacco flavor with a sweet and spicy secondary component. The aftertastes continue to be all over the place and continue to change between citrus, pine, hay, leather, and cedar. All lasting for a short period of time before molding into a new medley of flavors.
While removing the band I found it to be stuck quite well to the wrapper and managed to damage the leaf during removal. Even with a tear in the wrapper the cigar smoked without issue. The ash remains dark in color and firm. When the ash is more than a half inch in length it does a good job of insulating the burn and keeping it even. After ashing, the burn becomes a little finicky and doesn’t correct itself until the ash has a chance to develop again.
Overall I think that my Old Powder Keg by Battleground Cigars was an enjoyable smoke. While the finish was rough around the edges for the entire smoke the medley of flavors easily made up for it. The flavor changes were both nice and frustrating because when I found a flavor combination that I enjoyed, it never settled in for very long.
With a price point of around $4.00 per stick I think that this is something I’ll definitely keep in the humidor for when I want a full bodied smoke that has a little of everything in terms of flavor.