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 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: Red 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 Red Label. This blend sports an Ecuadorian grown Connecticut Shade wrapper and Dominican fillers. Before the recent reblending, a Honduran binder was used, I can only assume that the binder is the same in this blend as the information is not readily available on the Jameson Cigar Company Website.
Cigars are available in four sizes which include a Toro (52 x 6.00), Robusto (50 x 5.00), Perfecto (54 x 5.00), and a Corona (44 x 5.00). Sample packs are readily available for purchase direct from the Jameson Online Store.
After passing out the unbanded cigars to the guys, I asked that they remove them from their cellophane sleeve and give them a good looking over. The response was the same across the board and everyone felt that the cigars were of good quality and were free from any wrapper flaws.
Small veins were noted as well as a dry appearance. The color was noted as light brown and aromas included wood, floral, and processed tobacco. After being cut, the results reported were little to no pre light flavor with a middle of the road type of draw.
Once everyone got situated and the pre-light inspections were complete, we moved on to the lighting process. Just as to be expected, everyone got their cigars evenly lit and producing a steady supply of smoke in little time.
The initial impression was that this cigar started off very mild and exhibited virtually no flavor that anyone could detect. The finish was noted as quick and mildly creamy with occasional tastes of black pepper. In the flavor department, descriptors used were flat and grassy. In two instances where coffee was being consumed, the flavor simply could not stand up and was washed away.
As cigar #003 turned to ash, everyone felt that the burn rate was good and produced a mild room aroma. The draw remained middle of the road and produced a decent amount of smoke with each puff. The burn line was thin and even while producing a firm ash with a mottled grey color.
As we progressed further into the tasting, we all reached the second third at about the same time. The guys felt as though the body and strength of the smoke was picking up slightly. The finish was still noted as mildly creamy and short on the palate.
The flavors were starting to come around at this point. Descriptions such as leathery and woody were used. In once instance the flavor was referred to as becoming a little sour. This was a pleasant change over the amount of flavor picked up in the first third and the guys were visibly beginning to enjoy the cigar more as it burned on.
One of the interesting topics discussed at this point was the level of nicotine that the cigar produced. Earlier on only one individual felt that there was a noticeable level while everyone else felt it was very low. As they progressed everyone mentioned how they started to feel the nicotine coming on, and as a result the cigar may be better suited for early afternoon smoking.
After about forty minutes of smoking, everyone reached the final third of their cigars. The body was said to have progressed steadily through the second third and was now resting in the mild to medium category. The finish transitioned to more of a spice but remained slight.
The volume of flavor picked up dramatically at this point and the guys were visbaly enjoying the cigar much more than during previous thirds. The general feeling was that the smoke picked up a pepper and spice combination that was easily distinguished. Secondary flavors of leather and earth were noted as being in the background.
The burn rate of the cigar was about average for a robusto and produced a thin and even burn line. When allowed to rest in the ashtray for an extended period of time the cigar remained lit and properly burning, The ash continued to be a mottled grey color across the board while also being firm and compact. The draw remained middle of the road and produced a decent volume of dense smoke.
The general consensus seemed to be that the guys enjoyed the cigar after it was given plenty of time to develop. In the early stages of the smoke it was very mild with little flavor. Even the mild bodied smokers of the group went on to talk about how it started off much milder than they prefer.
Towards the final third, the cigar picked up dramatically in terms of flavor and body. At this stage the guys appreciated the smoke much more. When asked if they would purchase this stick in the future, the response was mixed. Some said not for themselves but for a newer smoker while others said they certainly would.
During the review, a questionnaire was filled out in regards to the cigar at hand. One of the questions asked was, what the individual would feel comfortable paying for this stick. That price averaged out to be $4.71.
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.
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other cigar topics in between portions of the cigar review?
If so, what would you like to hear their opinions on?