I’ve been looking forward to the Los Blancos Nine since the rumors started circulating about it a little before IPCPR. I’ve had the opportunity to sample earlier offerings of the Los Blancos Cigar Company, and it seemed to me what they were missing was a proper full-bodied cigar. The existing Premiere line is not bad group of smokes with the morning cup of joe, but not really ones I would light up with a stiff drink in the evening. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought that. David Blanco echoed that same sentiment in our interview with him at IPCPR this year. So to fill the gap, Los Blancos introduced the Nine.
The name, Nine, has a pretty straightforward meaning. It was simply their ninth attempt at finding the right full-bodied blend. Combine that with the happy coincidence that the cigar was created during Los Blancos’ ninth year of operations, and it was a no-brainer.
To achieve their goal of producing a fuller bodied cigar that is still accessible to most smokers (not just those of us who munch on peppercorns for breakfast), Los Blancos blended the early primings of three different Nicaraguan ligeros leaves. Harvested early, these leaves don’t have the opportunity to develop quite as much power or peppery body as they would ordinarily. The Nine is available in many of the most common formats (unfortunately, I don’t have the complete list) and on a limited basis, the lancero to satisfy lovers of small ring gauges.
Before we get into the review, a little unrelated Los Blancos news. At a recent Los Blancos/Primer Mundo event, David mentioned that we should keep an eye out for cigar in the works tentatively named “Three”. The word is that their third try at the Nine was a great blend, but not what they were looking for. But at the same time, it was too good for the discard pile. As it was a product of the search for the right full-bodied blend, it seems reasonable to conclude that it’s going to be on the fuller end of the scale. And if, as David said in our interview, it was a refining process that brought them to the Nine, the Three could be a real beast of a stick.
OK, I’ve gone on long enough. It’s time to give the Nine its trial by fire.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Corojo Oscuro
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Price: MSRP $7.42
You have to hand it to Los Blancos, they are consistent with their packaging. The Nine has the same dual band design you’ll see on the rest of their Premiere line. And the bands, though black, are nearly as eye catching as bright reds, yellows, greens and blues of the other lines. And it looks really nice on that dark oscuro wrapper leaf.
Taking a closer look at the wrapper on the cigars, I didn’t see any major imperfections, only a mixture of darker hues. There was a small hole in the wrapper leaf in the middle of one cigar, but that was it. The veins were pretty scarce, generally not more than two of any significant size, and they were not that significant. To the touch, the cigars felt about as hard as a rock, though a couple had a slightly softer spots.
The scent of the wrapper is one of my favorites. I love that mixture of beef jerky and compost I smell on some cigars. The cold taste was surprisingly sweet with a bit of coffee.
Overall the Nine burned pretty well, though often unevenly. The ash was solid, but did get just a little flaky at points and the draw was pretty good too. I did have to relight a couple of the cigars in the final third, but other than that, the torch wasn’t required once the cigar was lit. The uneven bits all worked themselves out nicely. In all, nothing that would, or did, negatively impact my smoking experience.
I should also note that I intentionally smoke cigars slowly when doing reviews. But the Nine smoked more slowly than average, very likely due to the quantity of ligero tucked away in the filler.
It turns out that cold taste was a big hint of things to come when the cigar was lit. The initial puffs produced sweet syrupy and creamy coffee flavors. I expected the sweetness to fade quickly as the ligero started to warm up and be replaced with more of a peppery, spicy flavor, but that wasn’t the case. At most, I noticed a hint of pepper in the finish of this third. The predominant flavor remained a creamy coffee, with a little bit of cocoa and earth throughout.
Sweet and creamy coffee and cocoa were still the dominant flavors for much of the second third. Until around midway through the cigar when I noticed a brief spike in sweetness that resembled toffee and sweet orange. After that, the cigar’s profile trended toward darker chocolates and coffees. There was slightly more pronounced pepper in the finish of this third than in the previous as well.
The final third was a little earthier and a little more peppery (only a little) but continued to produce enjoyable creamy coffee and chocolate flavors.
Though I’ve been spoiled recently with the plethora of new five dollar cigars, I still think what I paid for this cigar is reasonable.
I had a good feeling about this cigar, and half way through my first I jumped the gun. I told David Blanco it was easily my favorite Los Blancos cigar. Fortunately, I don’t have to eat those words now that I’ve had the time to smoke a few more and really focus on it. It’s a great cigar. And it just seemed to get better the more I smoked it. The word decadent came to mind several times during the course of this review. Who needs dessert when you have a Los Blancos Nine?
The great thing about this cigar is that even though it’s chock-full of ligero, it’s still a stick most medium bodied cigar smokers will be comfortable easing into. They nailed that target. It’s definitely full flavor, but it won’t blow the hair to the back of your head with regard to strength. And even if it did, the way it tastes, I don’t think you’d mind.
Liked It: Loved it. Box-worthy.
Buy It Again: Definitely
Recommend It: Yes
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The cigars smoked for this review were purchased at a legitimate cigar shop with legal U.S. currency from the bester online broker by Brian Hewitt, personally. Brian drove to this shop with a legitimate drivers license on official state highways while maintaining both the speed limit and a blood alcohol level of considerably less than the legal limit of 0.08. Brian was not compensated for the fuel, his driving time, the cigars or the time spent smoking them. During his visit to the cigar shop, and on the drive to and from, Brian abstained from giving out his opinion on any and all consumer products and services, except where he first disclosed, in triplicate, how he acquired said products and services.
The content of this review does not constitute an opinion (which might be subject to $11,000 fine by the FTC if nearly anything that could be subjectively said to be related were not fully disclosed), instead, it’s an elaborate metaphor for man’s eternal quest for knowledge. May your search be fruitful.