It seems like a year ago since I met up with Barry Stein at the Chattanooga Tweetup. Had with him samples of a robust new cigar called KILO he blended with the help of his employer, Miami Cigars. At the time, the fate of the cigar was a bit of an unknown. Barry was passing them out, and feedback would play a big part in deciding whether or not it would make it to shop shelves.
I burned one shortly after IPCPR, and my instinct was that it would be well received, it had plenty of strength and plenty of power. And it looks like I guessed right, the KILO will be arriving in 24 stores on January 24th, 2014. (As of the time of this writing, the exact list of stores hasn’t been compiled, so if your shop would like carry them, you might want to contact Barry or Miami Cigar Company.) In addition to the Robusto size, Corona and 6 x 60 will also be produced.
As you can probably guess from its appearance, there are plenty of references to gold surrounding this cigar. The band was inspired by bars of gold stamped with “1 KILO” and the date and number of shops carrying it are a reference to 24 karats, a high measure of gold purity. For a full discussion of creative process, and how Miami’s infamous past plays a part, take a look at Barry’s write up on the Miami Cigar Company Blog.
Let’s find out if Barry’s the (former) cigar blogger that laid the golden egg.
Size: 5 x 50
Filler: 2 Dominican Ligeros, Nicaraguan Ligero, Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Price: MSRP $8
The KILO is a sharp looking smoke with a shiny golden band and fairly rustic wrapper with a touch of a red hue. The veins varied from stick to stick from fine to medium, most had a sporadic tooth, and well constructed triple cap. I found minor visual imperfections on a few of the cigars smoked for this review in the form of rough edges, but no actual holes or tears.
The cigars were pretty consistently firm with just a little give to them and the wrapper gave off a light but funky cheese-like compost aroma. Once clipped, the cold draw had a sweet rich tobacco flavor but also a slight peppery bite. Drawing on it pleasantly reminded me of the unique smell of a cigar factory, but it also hinted at the potency of the blend.
The KILO nearly earns a gold medal for burn characteristics. It produced tons of thick smoke, solid light gray ashes and drew perfectly. The burn line was usually in check, but every now and then it needed a little help in the form of a touch-up or less frequently, a relight.
The profile was pretty consistent from end to end, with the cigar giving off thick, heavy and lingering flavors like earth, cedar, pepper and a syrupy sweetness that at times had a hint of anise to it. Notes of chocolate and to a lesser degree leather also made appearances here there. And did I mention how long the flavor lingered? If you waited for it to dissipate between puffs, it would probably take hours to finish it.
The price seems reasonable, the KILO is a lot of cigar for $8.
The KILO seems to be following the trend of bold cigars with big, straightforward flavor. And while I do enjoy cigars that are a journey, it’s hard to argue with a stick that consistently tastes great from start to finish. But most importantly, it’s a cigar that doesn’t sacrifice flavor in search of power, it illustrates nicely that there is room for both. The KILO is definitely a smoke I’ll be buying when they come available. Barry has done fine work with this blend, and I hope he will have the opportunity to produce more of them in the future.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.