Black Label Trading Company has been making waves in the cigar world for several years. Their approach to the boutique cigar market is in a very unique way. When you are looking in the humidor of your local cigar shop, the different cigar lines from Black Label Trading Company will really stand out and catch your eye. They use a dark, gothic theme in their artwork and names of their cigars which is very unique in the cigar market. Found by James and Angela Brown in 2013, they have been making small batch cigars that have been very well received garnering high ratings. In 2015, they opened their own factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, where James and Angela Brown live after moving there from Austin, TX, called Oveja Negra.
One of the most popular blends is a limited release line that comes out yearly in April in very limited quantities called the Bishop’s Blend. The blend changes each year and I was lucky enough to get some this year. This is the third release of the Bishop’s Blend and I was never able to buy any of the previous two years. I was lucky enough to be gift one by my good friend, Armando Ortiz, owner of The Crescent City Cigar Shop in New Orleans, which is a Black Label Trading Company retailer, when I was visiting the shop about a year ago. I don’t know if it was the first or second release, but it was very good. Let’s look at this years blend:
- Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Maduro
- Binder: Ecuador Habano
- Filler: Nicaragua, Connecticut and Pennsylvania Broadleaf
- Vitola: Robusto
- Size: 5 x 48
- MSRP $11.00/single, 20 count box $210.00
- Cigars purchased at Cigar Federation
Appearance and Construction
The wrapper on the Bishop’s Blend is a nice dark chocolate brown color with a slightly rough appearance. The cigar has a nipple cap which is reminiscent of a bishop’s hat called a mitre. The cigar also features a closed foot all of which looks really good. Even with the closed foot, I’m able to still draw the cigar and get notes of cedar, earth and leather
This first half starts off amazingly well. I get notes of leather, cedar, cocoa, raisin, black pepper and cinnamon. After about an inch in, it develops a nice hazelnut note. The cigar is burn terrifically and puts of a ton of smoke. The Bishop’s Blend is full body with great flavor.
I get notes of cedar, leather and cocoa, which is a little more bitter now, like a dark chocolate. The black pepper is still there but more faint, except on the retrohale which it’s quite strong. I’m also getting an nice espresso note now as well. The leather is the dominate note on the last half of the Bishop’s Blend.
This cigar was outstanding. The notes of cedar, cocoa, black pepper, leather, sweet raisin and espresso meshed so well together. The shape of the cigar really matched the name with the nipple cap made to look like the bishop’s mitre. This year’s Bishop’s Blend is one of the best cigars currently on the market. All this flavor for only $11.00 is amazing. Search this out, right now. The Bishop’s Blend is selling out in most places already so don’t waste time. I’m glad I bought two boxes of these.