IPCPR is a little less than three weeks away, and the preparations for the upcoming Twitter BOTL Cocktail Hour have got me thinking more an more about New Orleans. In the moments not taken up by my day job, and moonlighting as a cigar reviewer, I’ve been remembering the last year’s little after-show adventures and daydreaming about upcoming shenanigans. Also, the char-grilled oysters. With all this in mind, it seems the right time to review the Tres Hermanos cigars I bought last year at a New Orleans-based cigar factory, named simply “Cigar Factory”.
The Cigar Factory has two locations in New Orleans, one on Decatur Street, and the other, the one I know best, is tiny shop right in the middle of the party on Bourbon Street. They’ve been rolling the Tres Hermanos line since 1999. The name, Tres Hermanos (or “Three Brothers”) is a reference to the three brothers that were involved with the business when the cigar was created. It’s available in four sizes, Numero Uno (6 7/8 x 50), Numero Dos (5 3/4 x 52), Numero Tres (5 1/4 x 52) and Torpedo Maduro (6 1/2 x 54). Unlike most cigars I review, this isn’t one you’re likely to see in your local shop. And if you aren’t planning on visiting New Orleans, you can buy them directly from the Cigar Factory’s website. Now let’s take a look at the Tres Hermanos Numero Tres.
Size: 5 1/4 x 46
Wrapper: Connectictut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler: Honduran Cuban-Seed, Nicaragua Cuban-Seed
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $4.00
The flashy silver and black band may grab your attention as it reflects the overhead light, but the Tres Hermanos isn’t what you’d call a “looker”. It can be easy to forget that cigars are essentially rolled up tobacco leaves, and if you have, this stick’s appearance is a good reminder. The rustic looking wrapper has more than it’s share of veins. Each stick I smoked for this review had at least one very large, twisted vein running it’s length, and in some cases veins were almost stacked on top of each other in the rolling process. The head of the cigar is also finished with a large irregularly shaped cap. But in spite of its rough-and-tumble appearance, the only actual flaw I found on any of the cigars was a large patch on one stick, partially covered by the band.
Whatever they may look like on the outside, the cigars were well packed on the inside, offering very little give to the touch. The wrapper had a very light compost aroma, if it had any scent at all, and a offered up some caramel sweetness in the cold taste.
If you were to judge this cigar by the look of it’s wrapper, you’d be in for a surprise. The Tres Hermanos burns beautifully and has a surprisingly easy draw given how tightly packed it is. Though the ash isn’t particularly strong, it is nearly white in color, and emerges from a nearly razor straight burn line. Thick twisted veins, patches and all disappear in a very visually appealing manner.
The initial puffs of the Tres Hermanos Numero Tres were a pretty involved combination of earth, cinnamon and caramel. As the cigar warmed up, chocolate, wood and coffee notes also made appearances and the cigar grew a little spicy.
By the beginning of the second third, the woodiness and spiciness were constant fixtures in the profile but they were joined early on by raisin sweetness and bread. A while later, the sweetness faded and the bread turned toasty.
A little before the final third began, cinnamon and caramel sweetness returned and decided to stick around for a while. Spice and wood were still present, but were more obvious in the finish. But just before I laid the cigar to rest, the spicy wood came back to prominence with a little bit of chocolate.
At only four bucks a smoke (if you buy them by the box), it looks like I’m stealing another cigar out of Mike’s bag of budget smokes. And it looks like these cigars have carried the same price tag since at least 2006, which is impressive. But I should point out that if you buy them from the little shop on Bourbon street like I did, they’re likely to set you back a little more.
This review marks the first time I’ve given the Tres Hermanos my full attention as I smoked it. I have had a few of them over the years when I visited New Orleans, but it was always while strolling down Bourbon Street with an over-sized frosty hurricane in the other hand. Going into this review, I expected to find that my past enjoyment of this cigar had more to do with the festive environment (and a slightly altered state of mind) than the cigar itself. So I was a little surprised to discover that it’s actually a pretty good smoke, even when bead necklaces aren’t flying through the air. Of course, a year of humidor rest probably didn’t hurt either. It does have its rough moments, but it also has a lot of interesting and enjoyable flavors and it’s anything but boring. Not a bad way to spend four bucks, and a great companion for the craziness of Bourbon Street. Looks like I’ll be buying more when I’m in town for the trade show!
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Everytime I visit New Orleans
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.