Photo Credit: Ian Hummel of The Oliva Family of Cigars
On Tuesday I got word from my Oliva Representative that he was out to visit my local shop, Kensington Tobacconist, and left a cigar for me to pick up. The cigar in question was the new Cain by Sam Leccia. Unfortunately, he only received six samples in all and needed to spread them around wisely, so I could only have a single cigar.
During his time at the shop, he and Kurt, my local shop owner, sat down and each smoked one of the few Cain Cigars in his possession. During their discussion the rep mentioned that I should get the message to “Smoke this cigar first”, so that I could take in the whole experience.
On my weekly visit to the shop, I picked up my sample and spoke to Kurt a little about it. He passed along the message to smoke it first and went into telling me about his experience with the cigar. I laughed it off and picked a Camacho Connecticut out of my bag of purchased cigars. Removing it from the cellophane, I got a look from Kurt and he said that he was serious, the rep wanted me to smoke it before I had anything else.
Now, you should know that I have smoked some serious power bombs with this rep and I immediately knew what he was getting at by telling me to smoke it first. With a sigh, I tossed my Camacho Connecticut back in my bag and took out the monster 6.00 x 60 (I’m guessing) Cain and began looking it over.
I mentioned to Kurt that since I only had one I couldn’t possibly smoke it now and had to save it for a review. He laughed and said something along the lines of “not everything has to be reviewed on Stogie Review”. As Kurt walked away to take care of business in the shop, I reached for my cutter, considered this a challenge from my rep, and got underway.
Knowing that I just had to relay my Cain experience with the folks of Stogie Review, I did the only thing I could think of. I used my Blackberry to do a play by play review on Twitter, with random pictures along the way.
About a half inch into the cigar, I asked Kurt a little more about his experience and motioned to my burning Cain Habano in the ashtray. With a smile spreading wide across his face, that reminded me of the Grinch who stole Christmas, he laughed and went into his account.
Below you can find the conversation I had on Twitter about the Cain Habano as well as my play-by-play account. To makes things easier to follow later on, I used the hash-tag #First_Cain so that it could easily be searched.
Tobacconist recommended, think its gonna hurt this early.
Walt: Pretty stout to start. Aroma off lit foot is kind of pungent. Body very full but draw too loose, smoke mildly lacking.
DaByrdman33: What size vitola?
Walt: Its a monster, looks like a 660 (which I don’t normally smoke). Looks great, thin veins, consistent color, oily.
DaByrdman33: I’m jealous mine was a toro (about 50 ring & easily 6 inches long). I wanted that 60 ring “powerbomb”.
Walt: Leaves a very thick texture behind with each puff. Curious if it will become more powerful as it goes or if it levels out.
homebrewmstr: have the Cains been officially released yet?
Walt: No, not released yet. One was left for me at my local shop by a rep I know. They come out at #IPCPR
OlivaIan: when you going to get a review up Walt? Is this your first one?
Walt: This is my one and only. I was told I had to smoke it first today, that’s why all the tweet updates. Will post on SR.
OlivaIan: nice. Looking forward to hearing your final thoughts.
soxnfinsfan: My first question is, did you enjoy it?
Walt: Still smoking it. Very potent this early but I’m enjoying. Very full bodied and surprisingly smooth.
Walt: Having a little difficulty picking out a dominant flavor. Doesn’t seem to be one standing out among the others.
Walt: Notable flavors include a sweetness that I’m having trouble describing. Almost like caramelized meat or something. Leather & wood
Walt: Sheer strength of this cigar is a little rough on the palate. Not that the cigar isn’t smooth, just makes palate feel tired out.
Walt: Body seems to have leveled out. Very full with mildly creamy finish. Nicotine making me feel a little shaky though.
Walt: A touch up quickly took care of that wavy burn line. Also needed a couple touch ups to keep lit.
Walt: Touch ups are expected due all of the ligero in the cigar. Hasn’t been too bad though, better than I expected.
madoqa: I like tweet review also:)
Walt: Next time Ill have to organize it a little better so that people can participate in the fun.
Walt: While I am not feeling cigar sick from the Cain in a nausea sense, I feel very wobbly and may need to sit down before its done.
Jerry: are you seeing double yet?
Walt: No double vision yet lol. But I feel like drank a pot and a half of coffee and got the shakes. Very potent stick.
Not bad, but can really start to feel heat.
Brian Hewitt: The mighty @waltw brought to his knees by his #First_Cain! LOL
Walt: Not brought down yet but if this thing was another inch longer I might just be on the floor. Potent is best description.
Brian Hewitt: What size is that Cain, and what cigars is it similar in terms of potency?
Walt: Not sure, maybe an El Cobre on steroids? It is what appears to be a 6.00 x 60
with Sweetness, Leather, and Wood.
Walt: Coming down the home stretch now. Smoking slower solved the heat issue. Very consistent in flavor, body, and finish.
Walt: May sound stupid but it feels like I have lost some hand to eye coordination due to these shakes. Harder to type.
OlivaIan: lol, I’m loving it.
When it was all said and done, I like to think I passed the Cain challenge. What I mean by that is that it was my first cigar of the day and was smoked before lunch. This is a common practice for me with much milder cigars but in this case the Oliva rep knew that I would be strolling into the cigar shop at 11:00 AM for my weekly visit.
While this cigar never made me sick to the stomach, the niccotine content gave me the shakes and made me feel a little wobbly. Smoking this cigar so early in the day is probably very foolish, but in my case it came down to one of those “man up and smoke the cigar” type moments. Because I managed to not fall down or vomit, I’ll consider myself as having passed the Cain challenge from here on out.
If smoked under the same circumstances, I think this cigar could easily have a few single word descriptions; potent, strong, full, and maybe even wicked. If you were to smoke this later on in the evening, I think it would be tolerable in regards to strength and body. Its surprisingly smooth for all the ligero that it is loaded with and I could definately see myself smoking these in the evening among cigars like the El Cobre, Top Shelf Signature Select Red Label, and La Flor Dominicana Cheroots.
After the IPCPR trade show, when these are released, anyone
else up to giving the Cain challenge a shot? 😉