AKA Cigars – Respect

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AKA Cigars – Respect

AKA Cigars - Respect - 1

A few weeks back we received an email from AKA Cigars asking if we would be interested in reviewing their product. We were happy to give the cigars a try and a short time later, samples arrived at my doorstep.

While I waited for cigars to arrive, I headed over to the AKA Cigars Website to do a little reading. Up until that point I really didn’t know much about the brand. What I learned from the AKA Cigars website was that the brand is loyal to the armed forces and has an entire line dedicated to honoring them.

The Respect, which I opted to review first, is made up of six sizes and honors each branch of the armed forces. For instance, the Guard is a 44 x 6.00 honoring the National Guard and Coast Guard. Anchors Away is a 52 x 4.50 honoring the Navy, Hooah is a 50 x 5.00 honoring the Army, Aim High is a 50 x 7.25 honoring the Air Force, Reserves is a 54 x 6.50 honoring the Reserves, and the Devil Dog is a 60 x 6.00 honoring the Marines. To make things even better, a portion of sales from the Respect line goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project.

The makeup of the Respect is an Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper, aged four years, Honduran Corojo Binder, from the Eiroa family and aged four years, fillers made up of four and five year aged Dominican Corojo Ligero and Honduran Corojo Ligero from the Eiroa and Kelner families.

At this point, I was pretty excited to give the AKA Cigars Respect a try. Between the powerful makeup and the supportive nature of the cigars, I was sold on them before I even lit my first one. When it came down to inspecting the cigars prior to smoking, I was impressed.

Construction

The wrapper color seemed not only consistent between my five samples, but from head to foot as well. Veins were fairly small and did not protrude. The cap was neatly applied and the cigar felt evenly packed with tobacco.

Once clipped, the pre-light draw was fantastic in terms of resistance. The flavor on the cold draw was kind of washed out and I couldn’t pick out any discernible flavors. The lighting process was painless and before long I had a thin and even burn line which remained that way throughout the smoke.

The construction of this cigar was beautiful. The Respect produced plenty of dense smoke that was effortlessly pulled through the cigar. The ash was firm and held strong for over an inch. The resting smoke was a bit heavy but the room aroma was pleasant.

Flavor

Lighting up that very first sample, I was excited. All of the Ligero components had me expecting an absolute flavor bomb. When the first plume of smoke passed over my tongue, all I could think was “Wow”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the good kind. The smoke felt like an all-out assault on my palate. All of that Ligero goodness that I was expecting was simply harsh and aggressive.

After about an inch and a half, the aggressiveness settled down, allowing the flavors to shine. I could taste pepper, spice, and a wood flavor that reminded me of the way oak smells when it is cut. The flavor combination was interesting and made all the more enjoyable by a creamy finish.

The texture and flavors lingered on the palate for a short while before fading. As the pleasant flavors faded, a terrible aftertaste drifted in. By this point my tongue felt furry, my palate weary, and my throat scratchy from the overly-aggressive smoke in the first portion of the cigar.

Final Thoughts

When the harsh and sour aftertaste entered the picture, it simply broke my spirit and I knew continuing on with this cigar was going to be an uphill battle. It was a love-hate relationship, of sorts. The construction was excellent and the initial wave of flavor was enjoyable, but the after-taste was dragging it all down.

I smoked four cigars for this review (we leave the fifth just in case the cigar on video explodes or doesn’t match our experience with previous samples), and I hate to say it, but there was only one that I would say that I ‘finished’, in that I smoked it down beyond the band.

There is a chance that I received a bad batch, or that I just got it wrong with the AKA Cigars Respect, but this line simply wasn’t for me. I’m sure that there is a market for aggressive cigars with stellar construction. If that sort of cigar is up your alley, you are definitely going to want to give this one a try.

enjoying cigars since 2005

20 thoughts on “AKA Cigars – Respect

  1. Great review Walt I love the Military support this stick stands for. I hope they sell a million of these cigars for just that reason. Hope all is well

  2. Id say there is a market as many of today’s smokers desire in your face power. I prefer medium to full cigars and know from reading your reviews for years that a cigar that is too in your face for you would knock me out!!!

  3. Thanx for the review. This is not unlike some other reviews I have heard about this cigar. It sounds like how I feel about almost all of the Gurkha’s I have smoked. Keep up the great work Walt.

    1. Interesting comment about Gurkhas. I don’t enjoy ’em either, and I’ve suspected for some time they were trying to pawn off substandard grades of tobaccos as first rate ones.

      Perhaps that’s the case with AKA cigars as well.

  4. Walt,

    Thank You for your review of our AKA Respect. I appreciate your honesty of how the cigar smoked for yourself. I would like to note that the Honduran Corojo Ligero Filler is a Special Corojo Strain that is also used in Camacho’s Triple Maduro. We knew going into this project that this paticular corojo does have a different affect on some people’s chemistry and hits them harder than other people just as the Camacho Triple Maduro does for some people. Possibly this is what happened to you? I would also like to note that many full body smokers have commented that the Respect smokes like more of a medium to full body for them so it’s good for people to understand that some tobaccos just affect different peoples chemistry differently than others. I hope this doesn’t deter you or others from trying the Respect and other AKA Products. Thanks Again !!! Jay Lundy

  5. assault on the palate, that’s what i am talking about. can’t wait to try it. As a Marine who supports Wounded Warrior i may be bias.

  6. Walt gotta say I love your brutal honesty, great review, this was on my to try list, I was wondering If maybe you think the cigar needed a little down time in your humidor would that have helped out

    1. Hey Jesus,
      We have many full body guys that think the Respect is an Awesome “Medium to Full Body” cigar to them and others who think it’s an Awesome Full Body Cigar that’s right up their alley. Please remember that different cigars just affect people differently. It all has to do with our body’s chemistry and how different tobaccos/tobacco strains may affect us. Walt did an Awesome and Honest Review of how the cigar affected “Him”. Thanks Bro !!!

  7. Walt, thanks for the review and the support for our troops. In regards to the Respect line, the flavors are bold and the construction is superb as you had mentioned. As for my palate and the enjoyment of a good cigar in my book, the Respect line is a favorite. My apologies but in my opinion, Tom and Jay have hit a home run with this one. Thanks guys! Hooah!

  8. Walt – Glad to see a full featured review. I hope this is the beginning of seeing more from you.

    I agree with what Rich said above me. I think the Respect is a great cigar. A very different cigar and maybe thats what through Walt off. For me, the Respect is one of my favorites.

    Either way, its great to see SR feature this cigar.

  9. I love the concept behind this cigar with regard to our troops and everything, but it sounds like another cigar out that is just strong to be strong with no flavor behind it. At the same time a few posters have said that it is one of their favorites so I think I will have to track one down to try, but what is the point of strength if there is no good flavor out of it. I don’t want to feel like crap after smoking a cigar unless it is worth it in the flavor department.

  10. Great review Walt. Best I’ve seen in a while. Keep up the good work. I hope to see more of these boutique cigar reviews

  11. I had one of these last night. I picked up some of the sour aftertaste you mentioned, but it only lasted for the first quarter or so. It turned out to be a pretty good cigar. I think I prefer the red label Hybrid, though.

  12. Walt – You should be applauded for your honest review! I look around the “blogosphere” and see so many sites giving praise for this cigar and even some having a giveaway. For example the two guys at TikiBar give it a 9 and a 9.5 out of 10 and coincidently “teams up with Jay Lundy” for a giveaway? Seems a bit sketchy to me…why doesn’t Jay offer up cigars for a giveaway here on SR and/or all the other sites he sent samples to? Because you didn’t give his cigar a glowing 9.5 review?

    Reviews like this is the reason why SR is the go to site for honest reviews where the reader doesn’t have to wonder.

    1. Hi VIC,

      Thanks for your comments. I too have commented above to Walt for his Honest Review on His Opionion of our AKA Respect. I have also sent him a Thank You Email which of course you would not know about. Also, when I originally contacted Jerry I did ask about doing a contest here for all their guys which I’d Still Love To Do, so that is in their hands. I do still give many Thanks to Walt. He did give some very nice Praises in his review however the cigar was just not for him which is very understandable as not every cigar is for everyone.

      “FYI” Here is a quote from Jerry from his last email to me.
      ” I smoked one of the last samples I had from IPCPR that you gave Brian and I and really enjoyed it. ”

      Thanks !!!!
      Jay Lundy

  13. Walt, have you been able to try the hybrid? I tried both blends in different vitolas and definitely prefer the hybrid. It is not as strong and has a lot of spices.

  14. Great review, and the honesty, as always, is always appreciated! Different strokes for different folks! The AKA Hybrid is a cigar that didn’t hit my palette right, the Respect, on the other hand, knocked it out of the park. I love the intensity of the flavors and the peppery finish, it reminds me of some of the old Camacho Coyolar stuff. Goes to show you that everyone has their own wheelhouse and palette.

    Spence

  15. I smoked one of these tonight of a recommendation. I think it was the worst cigar I’ve ever tasted. Bitter and one dimensional. It’s not aggressive in like a fun, brilliant sort of way. It’s agreessive in an tough sort of way. If you appreciate nuance and a thoughtfully designed cigar, this is not it. Passion and good intention maybe, but talent is missing from this conceptipn.

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