In 1990 a certain Mr. Yan decided he would create a cigar for diplomatic use of the Sultan’s Palace in Jogjakarta, a place that I visited on the same trip that started my cigar passion back in 2005. I didn’t see this cigar though. The cigar is an Indonesian puro and the tobacco comes from within the walls of the Java kingdom, is aged for five years and being rolled at the oldest factory of Java that was established a century ago. And I decided to publish this review on the day that the Dutch government declared defeat in the Indonesian independence war back in 1949 after a bloody 4 year war, a part of the Dutch history that we cannot and should not be proud of since the Dutch behaved like animals.
Tobacco cultivation and cigar manufacturing is staple in Indonesia, but most of the tobacco is ment for short fillers, dry cured cigars that are still very popular in western European countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium. Only a little of the tobacco is used for longfillers but one of the strains of tobacco made its way to Latin America and is being grown locally and used in premium longfillers after all, that tobacco is named after the Indonesian island it came from: Sumatra.
The cigar is 7×50 but for some reason it looks a bit thicker. The wrapper is smooth and soft and has a bit of a green glow to it, but its smooth, the one visible vein has been rolled flat. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice look to it. The ring is nice, its not a glossy ring but matte and starts with a black ring on the bottom with green letters saying ‘hand made long filler aged tobacco’, then a golden ring with black letters saying ‘original’ and then a white square on a green background with green wings and a black crest with golden letter Sultan. On the green there are some figures in a language I don’t recognize in a golden print. On the side the ring says “Cigar van Java” which means ‘cigar from Java’ in golden letters. The mild aroma reminds me of a walk through the forrest.
I punched the cigar. The cold draw is great and i taste a spicy herbal flavor. I lit the cigar with a jet flame. I taste herbs and cinnamon. After an inch I taste dry soil, herbs, pepper and lemon. After a third the cigar gets a little harsh with a strong pepper flavor but a different flavored pepper than for example a Nicaraguan cigar. Halfway I taste a nasty tar flavor so I cut a piece of. The tar is gone but the cigar remains harsh and unpleasant.
The draw is flawless and the light colored ash is beautiful and firm. The smoke is too thin and too low in volume for my liking. The burn is alright. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Not for the $13 msrp. This cigar doesn’t fit my profile but it’s nice to try it and taste the difference in tobaccos between Asia and Latin America.
I got in touch with Frederiko Ferry from the Indonesian cigar maker Sultan cigar and he was so kind to sent me a sampler of Sultan cigars for me to try. Now some of you know that I actually started to smoke cigars on a vacation to Indonesia and the first review on my blog is from another Indonesian cigar. Sultan Cigar is located at the beautiful city of Yogyakarta, famous for the Borobudur and Prambanan temples and is worth a visit if you ever get the chance, I know I loved it, I fell in love with it, not just Yogyakarta but the whole country, the flora and fauna, the people, the food and I really need to get my fat ass back there soon.
This 5×50 robusto has a beautiful medium brown and oily wrapper with a nice band. The construction feels good and I smell a strong aroma of straw. The predraw is fine and I taste a dry tobacco flavor.
I taste a dry earthy and coffee flavor, quite full but very dry and tasted a mild bitter note with the flavors. I could clearly taste that this tobacco is different from the Cuban, Nicaraguan, Dominican and Honduran tobacco that I usually smoke.
The coffee disappears after at third and so does the mildly bitter flavor. The cigar gets a bit spicier instead and somewhat later I incidentally taste some cacao powder on the background. Halfway I also discover a herbal flavor with the earthy flavors, the spices and cacao powder. After two thirds I also taste pepper.
This cigar didn’t last me as long as I expected, just an hour and usually it takes me longer to smoke a robusto sized cigar. I got a lot of smoke from this full flavored medium bodied cigar and the smoke was reasonable thick. The firm and tight ash was light gray.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah I might, depending on price and availability. It is something different, which is nice every once in a while.
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10
Back in January 2006 my flight from the small Bali airport to Jakarta was delayed several hours so to kill the time I visited the only shop and I found a cardboard box with 10 cigars called Bali Djanger. The box mentions “hand made, pure Sumatra tobacco, made in Indonesia” I bought a box of those cheap cigars, just out of curiosity.
I had a few left when I got back from Indonesia and put them away and forgot about them completely, until a few days ago I was transferring al my cigars from my old humidor to my new big one and I decided to smoke it again, for sentiment’s sake. I could remember that I didn’t like them to much when I smoked them sitting on the porch of a friend’s house in Jakarta, but to my surprise the cigar was better than I could remember, maybe because it has aged another 15 months.
When I removed the plastic packing I could smell a distinct smell of hay, the cigar had a smooth and easy predraw, was easy to light and the burn was close to perfect. The smoke was rich and full and the ash was quite firm. There is nothing wrong with the construction of this cigar. It is a bit hard to name the flavors because the cigar is light bodied and I usually smoke medium to full bodied cigars, but I could taste a hint of leather and something sweet which at times became bittersweet, and when I reached the middle of the cigar there was a light cacao flavor noticeable.
This cigar isn’t a top class cigar, but it’s not bad at all. Nice to have smoked.
Would I buy this cigar again? If I’m in Indonesia again, I might buy it, just for the sentiment.
Appearance: 7 /10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10