Before the Bespoke brand was released in The Netherlands the distributer handed some samplers to a few of his resellers and one of them, my friend Berry, owner of Van Lookeren in Amsterdam, gave me this Costa Rican made salomone to try.
I love the shape and the milky chocolate colored wrapper has a few veins. I spot a little damage and I feel a soft spot in the middle and the tip is a bit crooked. The aroma is pleasant. The cigar band needs some work, what’s on that black band? It’s a drawing of a fan, but with what? The predraw is fine, sweet with quite some pepper.
I light the cigar and direct after the tip I have to relight. I taste white pepper with some wood. The pepper slowly fades away and a little bit of leather appears. It is a nice combination with the wood and after three centimeter I also taste some citrus.
After a third I taste a mild pepper, leather, wood an toast. The leather slowly grows and the citrus returns. The flavors are very subtle. It’s leather and toast, pepper and citrus with a slowly growing toast. The last third starts with toast and some leather, the white pepper is gone but slowly reappears, and slowly grows stronger, just as the leather. At the end it’s a nice mixture of the toast, leather and pepper.
The draw is fine but I also get false air. I get enough smoke which is medium thick. The silver gray ash isn’t too firm but the burn is sharp, only at the end I have to correct once. This cigar is medium bodied, medium flavored and lasted me for two hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? I would if it wasn’t €12,80 fixed price here.
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 8
If i would have seen this cigar in a cigarshop i would not have bought it for two reasons, it’s a CAO, a brand that somehow never seems to hit my palate with exception of the La Traviata although I like the creativity of the brand and the color of the wrapper that looks like a Connecticut shade. But Rick Rodriguez personally handed me this cigar at the Dutch Big Smoke of 2014 so I’ll give it a try.
The cigars are made by Scandinavian Tobacco Group in Esteli, Nicaragua with a Nicaraguan wrapper, a Cameroon binder and filler from Brazil and of course Colombia, cultivated in an coastal area of this unusual tobacco country. The pale yet shiny wrapper ain’t that attractive and the band doesn’t add to it, although it’s clearly a CAO band and uses the colors of Colombia so that’s cool. The construction feels good and the cigar has a pretty strong and sour aroma, I’ve had it for a year so it can’t be too young. The predraw is fine, a little peppery and harsh.
I taste coffee with some pepper in the aftertaste. After a few puffs the cigar gets bad, a nasty soapy flavor with herbs. When the soap disappears my worst cigar fear comes through, that typical musty Connecticut shade flavor.
After a third the worst part is over, I taste a mild wooden flavor although the Connecticut shade mustiness is still noticeable. Halfway it’s just a mild wood, just a little harsh on the background. The final third loses the harshness too and the burn corrects itself. But still, it’s not my kind of cigar, even when a little pepper shows up.
The draw is fine, but I only get a small amount of thin smoke. Allang the way gets acceptable though. The draw is fine but the burn is crooked. The ash is salt and pepper colored and firm. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and mild flavored. The smoke time is little over an hour and a half.
Would i buy this cigar again? Sorry Rick, I’m grateful that you gave me this cigar but it’s not for me.
Smoke & ash: 6
Aroma first part: 5
Aroma second part: 6
Aroma third part: 6