Several weeks ago I was sitting in Sir Stogies, shooting the breeze. A variety of topics were discussed, one of which was potentially holding another blind tasting. My first blind tasting held at this shop turned out well and all in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves, so I grabbed my phone and looked for an available date.
Around the end of February, I headed down to the shop to setup for the tasting. We wound up with fifteen participants (which worked out well since all I had were fifteen cigars to hand out). The information below is the result of that blind tasting. Video footage has been edited down to about twenty-five minutes and is available at the bottom of the review.
A couple of hours before the blind tasting was scheduled to get under way, I spent some time removing the bands from each cigar. This is typically a time consuming process because I don’t want to tear any of the wrappers while removing bands. Fortunately, I was able to remove all bands without damaging a single cigar.
Having the cigars in my hands for an extended period of time, I had the opportunity to get a good look at them and found them to be rather rough. While there were no defects that would affect smoking, there was not a single cigar in the batch that I would have called pristine. To my surprise, no one in our group felt the same way. Every worksheet remarked that the cigars were oily and attractive. One sheet went as far as to say the cigar was “scrumptious looking”.
The Sir Stogies crew also noted that the cigars were firmly packed with tobacco and exhibited small veins. When clipped, all cigars produced a comfortable draw with a variety of cold flavors. Those cold flavors included sweet spice, butter, earth, pepper, and coffee.
Once lit, all cigars produced a good volume of dense smoke. This steady supply of smoke continued throughout the cigar. Cigars burned well with the exception of a select group of people. Judging by the worksheets and the video, it would seem that the people which had the most difficulty were those seated below the smoke eater. Considering the smoke eater was cranked up to keep pace with fifteen burning cigars, I am not totally surprised that there was a slight problem and wouldn’t fault the cigar under these circumstances.
The worksheets point out that cigars remained firm and cool until below where the band would typically be located. Beyond this point, experiences varied based on the individual smoker. Ashes were light in color and held firm for roughly an inch.
The flavor portions of these blind tastings are always the most interesting. For the most part, everyone notes the same core flavors but secondary flavors and aftertastes vary greatly. Because taste is a very subject thing, this is the type of thing that I like to see on the tasting worksheets.
As I expected, practically every sheet noted this cigar as being medium to full bodied with notables flavors that included pepper and coffee. Secondary flavors included licorice, sweet, toast, and chocolate. The finish was described as smooth, with the exception of two individuals. These two people found the smoke to be a bit harsh on the palate and tongue.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to get the feeling that you were there based on the video (problems I aim to correct in the next blind tasting). Having been there and able to walk around and talk to everyone, I got the impression that the La Aurora 1495 – Brazil was well received. Many put it in the $5.00 to $7.00 price range and commented that they would certainly purchase them if available.
In a group of big ring smokers, I wasn’t surprised to hear people remark that they would love to smoke this cigar in a larger format. When asked if it would perform well in a smaller size, people felt that it might be too peppery but something larger would be right up their alley.
A special thanks to Sir Stogies and everyone that participated:
- Keith B.
- Tim M.
- Matt M.
- Bud W.
- Andy R.
- Bob T.
- David G.
- Brian K.
- Mike H.
- Debi G.
- Matt C.
- Jim J.
- Kyle M.
- and the person that forgot to put their name on the worksheet