At the intertabac trade show my buddy Nasier introduced me to a brand that was completely new to me, Micallef. He knew them because they visited the shops he works at to find out if there would be place for their brand on the Dutch market, so when Nasier saw them at the trade show he introduced me. I got some cigars for a review and this Experiencia Habano Prominente is my first try of any of the Micallef cigars.
I went to their website to get any background on the cigars and this cigar, 5 1/2×58 is made with a four year old Nicaraguan habano wrapper, a four year old Mexican San Andres Habano wrapper and filler from Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. As far as I understood from the website, the family has two factories, one in Esteli, Nicaragua and one in Veracruz, Mexico and this cigar seems to be made in Esteli. The msrp for this cigar is $13
The wrapper is a nice, medium brown color, like a coffee with a little splash of soy milk, it has a little bit of tooth. The construction feels flawless and the head is flat as can be. The ring, well, that looks kinda eastern European to me, and let me explain that. There is another brand, Bossner, Russian owned and they have these over the top designed ring, very Russian stylistics and this ring has a bit of that but in a more modest way. The red and gold letters, the crest, the golden medals and yes, maybe its a prejudice because of the name too, I will admit that. The ring is nice though, just not something I would design or have designed for my brand if I had one. The ring is in two parts, the eastern European top with a greenish blue bottom that just said Gomez Sanches Family. The foot ring is in the same color with golden and white lines saying experencia. The cigar has a medium strong smell of horses.
I cut the flattened head. The cold draw is good. I taste raw tobacco and herbs. After lighting the cigar with my vintage lighter I taste sweet coffee. Soon some walnut shows up too. After an inch I get sweet wood, red pepper and nuts. Halfway the cigar gains in strength and the flavors are getting cleaner and stronger. The honey sweetness, the pepper and the wood are also more balanced. The cigar turns more full bodied in the final third. The honey like sweetness is still there with some soft wood, a hint of truffle creamy chocolate all with a little rough edge. The flavors are becoming a little creamy too. The end is very peppery.
The draw is good enough not to complain but not perfect either. The grayish smoke is thin and low in volume but the smoke is getting thicker and white along the way. The ash is light gray with dark smears. The ash is dense and firm too. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored in the beginning but the second part is more full on both accounts and more to my liking. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Not for $13, shave a few dollars off and I’ll be happy to light one again, the last part was very enjoyable.