On September 20th, I packed up my gear and made my way across town to Kensington Tobacconist for another Blind Cigar Tasting. Just like last time, I was armed with two different cigars, with bands removed, for the guys to evaluate. The write-up covers the second of those two cigars.
The purpose of these blind tasting are to get the average cigar smokers opinion of a cigar with absolutely no information on the smoke at hand. The guys didn’t let me down and did a great job once again of sharing their open and honest opinions.
Manufacturer: Jameson Cigar Co.
Facing: Black Label
Ring Gauge: 50
Jameson Cigar Company is a relatively new name on the cigar market. Despite the similarity in name with Jameson Irish Whiskey, there is no correlation between the two companies. At the helm of Jameson is President Brad Mayo. Brad’s primary focus is to create cigars that can be enjoyed among his peers.
Cigars are crafted by one Luis Sanchez of Tabacalera STC in Santiago, Dominican Republic. One of the other boutique cigars created by this company is the La Tradicion Cubana which has become a staple in many humidors across the country.
The blend featured in this tasting is the Black Label. This blend sports an Brazilian Ariparaca wrapper and Dominican fillers. The binder is an unknown component of this smoke. If I had to guess, I would think that it probably matches the binder in the Red Label and may be Honduran.
Cigars are available in five sizes which include a Robusto (50 x 5.00), Torpedo (54 x 6.00), Perfecto (54 x 5.00), Corona (44 x 5.00), and a Churchill (50 x 7.00). Sample packs are readily available for purchase direct from the Jameson Online Store.
After finishing up the first cigar of the afternoon, everyone got themselves a beverage and prepared for last cigar of the tasting. Once everyone was situated, I handed out an unbanded Jameson Cigar Company Black Label and asked that they remove it from its cellophane and look over it.
It was visibly clear that the guys thought this one was dramatically different from the first cigar. Upon closer inspection, three cigars were found to have patches on the wrapper leaf. All cigars were thought to be a little light for a traditional Maduro and had a rough appearance to them due to pronounced veins.
When handled, the cigars were noted as being firm with a good weight and feel in the hand. The aroma on the wrapper and exposed foot was earthy and nutty. The same aroma carried through to the cold draw once the head was opened up. In addition to earth and nuts, a sweetness was mentioned on the cold draw, which was more appealing to some than others.
Once the formalities of the pre-light inspection were complete, everyone moved on to the toasting and lighting process. Just like the Red Label, the cigars were quickly lit and burned evenly from the start. A good draw and a decent supply of smoke was experienced by all.
The body was noted as starting in the mild to medium range and slowly progressing throughout the first third. The finish was light on the palate while having a lingering woody aftertaste. At this stage in the game, the guys were a little surprised by the smoke. They were expecting it to be a bit heavier in body and strength due to the appearance and aroma.
The flavor came across as well aged with little bite. Flavors of pepper and wood were noted and the cigar was said to have a developing complexity about it. One example of the complexity was explained as putting Vidalia onions on a salad, then taking those same Vidalia onions and sautéing them to bring forward a more complex and caramelized form of flavors.
As we progressed deeper into the cigar, the body and strength did the same. The progression in body was slow and steady, reaching the medium range by about the half way point of the second third. The strength, in terms of nicotine level, was noted as moderate and less offensive than the first cigar in the tasting.
Flavors that this point were mentioned as being consistent with the previous third but included an additional flavor of cocoa. The coca flavor added to the overall complexity of the cigar. When asked what the guys would do while smoking this cigar, the most common answer was to simply sit and enjoy what it had to offer. The combination of flavors, body, strength, and complexity were said to make a very inviting smoke.
The burn line was thin and even for the most part. On occasion, the burn would become slightly wavy but managed to correct itself over the course of a few puffs. The ash was firm and held solid for most of the second third while producing a pleasant room aroma. The burn rate was described as average as was the draw and volume of smoke produced with each puff.
After about forty-five minutes, the guys were burning through the final third of their unbanded cigar. Just as you would expect from the earlier thirds, the body slowly progressed and became heavier. It came to rest as a solid medium bodied cigar with a quick and smooth finish.
The flavors remained the same but were becoming more pronounced and complex. The guys mentioned that there were plenty of flavors dancing around in the smoke, but were difficult to pick out and identify.
The burn rate was on par for a Robusto sized cigar. The burn line was thin and crisp while self correcting any minor burn issues along the way. The draw was about average and provided a decent supply of dense smoke which seemed to be enjoyed by all. The ash was compact and held firm for long periods of time before being forcefully knocked off into the ashtray.
After about an hour of smoking, it was about time to set the cigars down for good. Overall everyone seemed to enjoy this one much more than the first. The guys felt that this one provided them with the level of body they preferred while being complex and enjoyable. When asked if they would smoke this stick again, the answer was a resounding yes.
Just like before, a questionnaire was filled out which posed a question asking what the individual would feel comfortable paying for this stick. The answer averaged out to $6.50. In addition to value, I asked what they would feel paired best with this smoke, that answer was either Red Wine or Single Malt Scotch.
After the tasting was over and I began packing up, I was asked what I thought about the appearance of the cigar. I personally felt these were very rough in comparison to my previous samples (before and during the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas). I chalked it up to simply being a rough batch and would expect them to look much better in the future. The reason for the question was that this individual thought that giving this cigar to another smoker might result in them thinking poorly on the cigar due to its rugged appearance.
All in all, both cigars were enjoyed but the second stick of the batch was the clear favorite.
Participants: (from left to right)
Once again I’d like to thank the guys for doing a great job with another blind tasting. I’d also like to thank Kurt, President of Kensington Tobacconist, for allowing me to use his private lounge to record another successful blind tasting.
MP3 Version: Right Click > Save As