Wrapper: Nicaraguan “El Corojal”
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro”
NOTE 4-6-2014: I was just notified that Cigar Federation online store now carries the entire line in 5 packs.
From Total Flame Cigars web site:
“What man does not dream of riding into the sunset? To not make any stops, but just be one with the road searching for answers to all their questions about life, enjoying the stretch of highway beneath the chrome?
“It was a dream of Vladimir Roshchin and Maxim Privezentsev that became a reality. The owners of Total Flame Cigars met a few years ago at a cigar event in Moscow, Russia, and found they shared two common passions; cigars and motorcycles. Their ultimate dream was to develop a premium cigar that would be made of the finest tobacco the world had to offer, and to ride their motorcycles across all seven continents.
“In 2010, the first goal was accomplished. Total Flame Cigars was born. Vlad and Max traveled to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua to develop their perfect blend. Smoking up to 30 cigars a day, over a period of many months, when they were finally were satisfied and were convinced their cigar was the best.”
The rest of the story can be read on the Total Flame web site.
So this is a very strange story. The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.
Clearly, the entire theme of this brand is based on the love of bike riding. It isn’t the first and won’t be the last. The real proof will be in the pudding.
I was one of eight members who won an eight pack sampler of these cigars on Cigar Chat on Cigar Federation moderated by Robby Rasmussen and Logan Lawler. Representing Total Flame was their director of operations: Callie Pullen.
CF had a contest in which the best questions posed to Callie would win. My questions were the most brilliant (Did I say that out loud?). Winning, for me, was a combination of the questions, and long ago and far way, I was Robby’s and Logan’s gynecologist. That’s right. I took an 18 week course at Belarus U and got a Certificate of Authenticity as a “Lay Gynecologist.”
Not having a lot of dough to start, I bought one of those mobile vans used for dog grooming and converted it by installing a chair with stirrups. And as an extra benefit of using my service, you got your nails clipped for free. That’s how I met the fellas.
FTW means Forever Two Wheels. Or at least that is what Callie said it meant. She said there are alternative names using those initials; but not good for business.
Smoke Magazine gave the entire line ratings of 92 and 93.
Total Flame made their debut at the 2013 IPCPR trade show.
Cigar Federations represents 39 different boutique brands in their online store and plan to add Total Flame. At the moment, the only place they can be purchased are at local B & M’s. Check their web site for their 36 locations.
This is a real pretty cigar. A gorgeous chocolate brown with lots of veins. A nice oiliness and smooth to the touch. They went all out on the presentation. Three cigar bands. The main one is silver and gold and a little similar to the CAO Flathead. Although, I like the Total Flame better. A secondary band is also gold and silver with the black letters declaring: “Limited Edition 2013.”
And the foot band declares the blend which in this case is FTW.
I could not find out anything about the cap. It is so well executed that I cannot tell if it is a triple cap or not.
I clip the cap and find aromas of massive amounts of cocoa and berries. There is also spice, cinnamon, a buttery smooth creaminess, and mocha latte.
Time to light up.
I took a wild ass chance on this review. ½ of 1% of the time I will review a cigar the day after I receive it. A gut feeling that the stick is good to go. And I am proven right about 75% of the time of the ½ of 1%. (I’m lost.)
Cocoa rears its pretty head. Clearly, this is a very well made cigar. If I remember correctly, the line’s price range is $6-$10. And since the FTW is sort of their flag ship blend, I assume that this cigar is in the latter portion of the price points.
Here are the flavors as the first third nears completion: Creaminess, spice, berries, cocoa, sweetness, nougat, oak, cedar, and an almost hickory flavor. There is a bit of leather in there as well.
The cigar officially becomes a flavor bomb. Had I been patient and let it rest 2-3 weeks, I am sure it would have attained that status in the first inch. But I am not a patient man. And I am a great purveyor of potential and this cigar gots’ it baby.
The char line is razor sharp. The strength started out as classic medium and is now moving quickly to medium/full. I take out my crystal ball and predict I will be doing the two step with the dog before this cigar is done as a good dose of nicotine is on its way. Although, my crystal ball has been wrong once or twice; like the time it predicted that Fidel Castro would die of old age…uh…wait…
So my crystal ball and my gut were right. This blend is going to be a huge seller.
The cap has really behaved itself and I am going to stick my neck out and say it is a triple cap because of its tenacity. The char line remains impenetrable.
By the halfway point, the cigar is just damn ridiculous with flavor. I’m not kidding. This is a 7.1 on the Katman Richter Scale of temblors. The ground is shaking, rattling and rolling with this blend.
The berry element eludes me. It is either raspberry or blackberry. I can’t be sure. It reminds me of Passover when I was a kid. And there was a little dish of chocolate rings with a berry jelly inside. And I would sneak one, over and over, while no one was looking. I gotta look that up. (I just did and it’s raspberry).
The last third begins. The flavor profile remains the same. No change in the lineup except for the higher intensity. Not to mention that a deep complexity has been reached. For me, whenever a cigar digs its heels in and becomes complex, a certain thing happens; the flavors begin rotating like a disco ball shooting out flavors at random intervals. Subtle and nuanced.
Then, like a whirl wind, the flavors become incredibly intense. And boldly go where no Puppy Gynecology van has gone before.
The strength remains at medium/full and not a lick of nicotine has shown itself.
The stick is on cruise control. Once more with feeling: Cocoa, creaminess, sweetness, berry, spice, coffee, nougat, oak, cedar, hickory, and leather. That’s some menu.
And here it is…the nicotine. My vision blurs and my dead relatives begin to motion me to the light. But the strength remains at medium/full. The spiciness returns with extreme prejudice. Wow.
The last third finishes out beautifully. Not a hint of harshness or heat. The strength moves to full bodied.
I highly recommend this cigar. As you know, I don’t rate cigars as it is a subjective opinion. But I have to concur with Smoke Magazine’s opinion on this.
Seek out these cigars like you are a guided missile. Go to Cigar Federation to purchase these cigars.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS