Brand: ECCJ 15th Anniversary
Produced By: Altadis
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Ring Gauge: 48
Origin: Dominican Republic
Purchased From: IPCPR Sample
The ECCJ 15th Anniversary Cigar is one that is produced by Altadis in the Dominican Republic. The band bears the Santa Damiana name and is limited to five-thousand cigars in all. Unofficially, I was informed that these cigars would be made available to consumers through JR Cigars.
I first learned of these cigars while attending the ECCJ Awards at the 2009 IPCPR Convention in New Orleans. Cigars were passed out among attendees to enjoy while a variety of manufacturers were presented with awards of excellence.
Before setting fire to my ECCJ 15th Anniversary, I gave a in a once over to check for apparent defects. At first glance, the cigar looked decent overall but there was nothing striking about it. The wrapper color was consistent from head to foot and had a dry appearance about it.
When touched, the wrapper leaf had a sandy sort of texture. There were several small veins, some of which protruded just enough to make the cigar appear slightly lumpy. When pinched, the cigar felt firmly packed with tobacco. I was able to find a single soft spot between the primary and secondary bands.
After opening the head of my cigar, I moved to checking the pre-light draw. What I found was an appealing floral taste on the cold draw with a slight bit of resistance. The aroma on both the wrapper and exposed foot were mild and did not jump out at me as anything specific.
After my pre-light inspection was complete, I moved to toasting and lighting my cigar. Before long I had an even light which was producing an ample amount of dense smoke. The floral flavor from the cold draw immediately came through, but in a much more subdued manner.
As I worked my way deeper into the cigar, I found the body to be mild to medium. The finish was smooth through the sinuses but left me with a slight tingling sensation across the palate. The flavor profile was made up of mainly a woody flavor with the aroma of black peppercorn when the smoke was passed through the sinus.
The free draw of this cigar provided a steady supply of thick smoke, which was easy to manipulate and pass through the sinuses. The burn line varied as the cigar burned and changed from thin and even to slightly thick and wavy. The ash was dark gray and developed to a little more than an inch before falling from the foot.
After nearly fifty-minutes of smoking, I was just about through the second third of my ECCJ 15th Anniversary. Throughout this portion of the cigar, the body made a slow and steady transition towards the medium bodied spectrum. While not entirely medium, it is on pace to settle into medium by the end of the smoke.
In the flavor department, the ECCJ 15th Anniversary has not gone through much of a transition. The primary component remains that of wood while accompanied by a rich natural tobacco taste. When a large volume of smoke is passed through the sinuses, black peppercorns can easily be detected.
The burn line remains a little sporadic and changed from thin and relatively even to thick and slightly wavy. The burn line seems to be in better shape as the gray ash develops to insulate the foot of the cigar. The ash remains relatively strong and hold a tightly compacted shape.
After a little more than an hour and a half, it was about time to wrap up my ECCJ 15th Anniversary Cigar. Just as expected, the body slowly moved further up the body scale as I smoked. It finally settled out in the medium range while the finish picked up a little harshness.
Through the sinuses, I noted a steady supply of black peppercorn aroma while the dominate flavor across the palate was wood. On occasion I was greeted by a nutty flavor which came about after the smoke was expelled. Just like before, there was a also a steady supply of a rich, natural tobacco taste.
When I approached the section of cigar that felt hollow in the pre-light inspection, the smoke density reduced significantly. This resulted in a smoke that felt airy and had a tendency to make the cigar go out more frequently. Because this hollow spot was so deep into the cigar, after I burned through it the stick remained hot from all the additional puffing required to get a decent supply of smoke.
When it was all said and done, I was happy with the ECCJ 15th Anniversary. Even though the flavors seemed a bit simple and lacked any significant change along the way, it went well with my morning cup of coffee.
Because these cigars do not appear to be available for purchase as of yet, I’m unsure of what the price point will be. Due to the limited availability of these sticks, I can only assume they will carry a higher price point than you would expect of the average Altadis product. Even with limited production, I think it would be a safe bet to expect these to have a more modest price point that the previous ECCJ Branded stick, carrying the boutique Illusione name.