Nirvana Cameroon Selection | Cigar Review

Wrapper: African Cameroon
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli, Jalapa)
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro”
Body: Full
Price: $10.85 MSRP
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This cigar, which was released in December, 2013, finds Royal Gold as the proud owner of the blend. But in a rare instance, convinced Drew Estate to be part of the blending and manufacturing process. It is manufactured at the very busy La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate.

Royal Gold is the new premium cigar arm of Swisher International. I reviewed both the swisher and all three Royal Gold cigars here. I reviewed the Kismet. I reviewed the Casino Gold H.R.S. And I reviewed the La Libertad by Villiger.

The cigar comes in five sizes: 6 x 46, 5 x 52, 4 x 44, 6 x 52, and 6 x 54 (Torpedo). And the price ranges from $9.00-$11.00 each depending on size.

Construction is very rustic with a glistening Cameroon wrapper that is very sandy. And full of veins, both large and small.

The seams are visible but tight. The triple cap is a thing of beauty shown by the care taken to make the striations totally invisible.

The main cigar band is very simple and very DE looking by having a panorama of a Central American town. The foot band is bright gold with the two words: “Royal Gold.”
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The delicate Cameroon wrapper has a translucent look to it with veins forcing the veins to really stand out.

I clip the cap and find aromas of sweetness, spice, nuttiness, cinnamon, and very potent steak sauce. There is also a bit of fruitiness and coffee.
Time to light up.

We start off extremely spicy. Wow. It is as if I bit into a jalapeno. That steak sauce aroma translates to a flavor which is the first for me. A-1 Sauce. That’s it. Crazy.
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I get an immediate vertical crack at the foot from where I removed the foot band and is about ¾” long. Hopefully, it doesn’t travel up and is eaten by the char line.

African Cameroon wrappers are super delicate and fragile. And not used much as wrappers because of that. The extreme cold as of late; and the dryness doesn’t help it much.

There is a nice woodiness and then I get a dose of cocoa that makes the A-1 Sauce a very odd pairing.

The pepper is exactly like the famous Garcia Pepper Bomb experience. I reach for Kleenex one after the other and my eyes are on faucet syndrome. I take it back about the jalapeno. The spiciness was so startling, I thought it to be a red pepper, but it is not. It is black pepper as it affects the farthest region of my mouth and taste buds.
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At the half inch mark, buttery smooth creaminess appears. I grab a bottle of water to put out the fire. The creaminess keeps getting stronger with each puff. The cigar is just packed with tobacco and as a result, a slow burner.

The crack puts the char line out of whack and I touch it up to get back on track.

Here are the flavors, in order: Creaminess, steak sauce, spice, cocoa, sweetness, and wood. This is a very unusual flavor profile. And I like it. What a nice change up.

The black pepper has moved to the middle of the pack relieving me of watering eyes and a runny nose.

The strength, from the start, is mild/medium body. I’ve been on this cigar for 20 minutes and only burned an inch.

This cigar is a total surprise to me. Royal Gold was very kind in sending me samples from the very beginning and I found them all to be excellent cigars. Even the Villiger stick.

The second third begins and it is absolutely delicious.

Here in Wisconsin, we actually had several days in the 50’s. It was wonderful. Now, since yesterday, it is miserable once more with rain and snow and 13°.
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The flavor profile moves around a bit at this point. The creaminess and steak sauce are still driving the bus. But something liquor-like has grabbed hold. And the fruitiness manifests itself. The orange liqueur of Gran Marnier. Nice. And with it, the sweetness moves up the food chain. The spice continues to drop into the background.

There is also a dried fruit flavor…like dates.

The halfway point sees the cigar move to medium/full body.

As the last third begins, flavors mysteriously become subdued. No longer potent. And no sign of any complexity. The Gran Marnier flavor has disappeared. The creaminess is gone. All that is left is some sweetness, wood, and cocoa. The spiciness is just about gone too. This is so odd. It is here in the last third that the cigar should be really shining.
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The cold has gotten to the delicate wrapper and it begins to come apart with just a couple inches to go.

The strength is definitely full body now. The nicotine has kicked in.

But the flavors are close to nonexistent. Which disappoints me greatly. Such a great start and then it just poops out.

Addendum 3-20-2014:
I was absolutely astounded at a review I read by a very respectable reviewer. It was a kitchen sink flavor profile. Nothing was left out. Even I don’t, ordinarily, gush over a cigar like this guy did over this stick. So I picked up a cigar, a week after I wrote this review, and experienced the exact same thing as what I reviewed. Some nice flavors upfront…and then nothing in the last half.
And then, as I finished this gentleman’s review, I noticed two odd things. First, he rates cigars which I do not. Too subjective. I will leave that to the skewed vision of the Cigar Aficionado folks. And after all that raving about the cigar, he gives it less than a 90 rating. So it wasn’t that good, was it? So either he was making stuff up or he got an extensively aged stick. This is an expensive cigar. You can fool your readers once…But if I’m not honest, no one will read me.
And then the coup de grace. He fessed up that the samples were given to him by DE. Aha. Another case of an A List reviewer not wanting to bite the hand that feeds it. If you read the reviews out there, no doubt you will come upon the review I am talking about. Remember, DE gave it to him.

UPDATE 3-27-2014:
Three weeks after this review, I light up another stick. The pepper has been tamed. But the construction is a complete mess. The char line is way out of skew. And has become a large canoe…which I attempt to correct. And the delicate wrapper is totally shredding before my eyes. Possibly, the reason that Cameroon is rarely used as a wrapper. I’ve gotten dozens of cigars since this one arrived and all are just fine. Even in the same humidor with a perfect 69% humidity level.
This photo will show the results of smoking a total of 1″. The other side is just as bad:

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And now for something almost completely different:

I have a few good lighters. And I use them too much because of their reliability. But I am wearing them out. So I went on Amazon and bought this very cool lighter for $10. It is huge.

One of the things I hate about being a cigar chain smoker is that I end up refilling my two rotational lighters once a day, or more. Both are single flame because anything more than that is over kill and will burn the shit out of the foot.

I have a nice S.T. DuPont that I’ve had for 3 years and has never failed me once. And I have that cool looking Bugatti black and gold Zippo type lighter with the butane insert. It’s cool because if the insert fucks up, I just spend another $10 on an insert and off to the races we go.
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With this new throw away lighter, it is stable and there is a bottomless pit of a butane tank on it.

Xikar lighters. I have never had any luck with those things. Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve gone through every model they produce except the ridiculously fancy ones that are too expensive.

Not a single Xikar has lasted more than a few months. I used to send them all back and they would fix it or replace it. I know. Take it to any Xikar sponsored B & M and they will change it out for you. But that ain’t true. The B & M’s I go to won’t do it if I didn’t buy it from them. Bastardos!

I know there are smokers who swear by Xikar and I guess there is some sort of force field that keeps Xikar and me from becoming lifelong friends. I just don’t think they are built well.

I even have a handful of cheap lighters that I paid less than $10 for that I bought years ago and are still running strong.
So now, I’ve put my DuPont away.

I also have a custom made Zippo type lighter totally covered in Camacho cigar bands. It even came with a nice pen with bands on it. The lighters ran around a C note. And you could supply your own cigar bands to customize it even further.
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But the guy went out of business. I cannot remember the name of the company. Now this lighter only goes out of the house on special occasions.

I will post a link to my new $10 lighter in case you find yourself tired of refilling your lighters every day; or want to put away your good lighters before they poop out from excessive use.
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ErgoGrip Multi-Purpose Cigar Torch Lighter

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