Black Label Trading Company on puts out 1000 boxes per year for each of the size blends. And those blends are: Royalty, Benediction, Salvation, Redemption, Lawless, and Last Rites. Very foreboding.
From the BLTC website:
“Earlier this week, we caught up with James Brown about his new cigar company – Black Label Trading Company. James can be a difficult man to get a hold of as his work takes him to some of the more remote parts of the world. An avid adventurer and modern-day explorer, James also runs No Limit Expeditions. No Limit is a guided 4×4 adventure company that treks through some of the most remote and inhospitable jungles of Central America.
“Before this, I had a normal life as a Sommelier in the US.
“Today my favorites, outside of Black Label of course, are Ezra Zion, Paul Stulac, Viaje and I will still happily burn a Padron anytime.
“I’m a huge fan of Nicaragua tobacco in general, in my opinion; they offer the best filler possible right now. With wrappers you have endless possibilities. I love each type and style for their own unique characteristics. Maduros are my favorite, but I also love Habanos, San Andres Mexico, and the list goes on. If I had to choose my style of cigar, I would have to say a medium to full-bodied, earthy, box pressed Maduro in a 5×54 vitola – specifically our Black Label Last Rites.”
There is a lot more to read about on the BLTC web site.
When you get the six blend sampler, they include a sheet that is a breakdown of all the leaf stats for each blend. The Royalty was on top so I thought I’d start with that.
So let’s take a look at this cigar.
The wrapper is tan with a bit of oil. And smooth as satin. It looks like there is a triple cap but cannot be sure. Seams are invisible and very few veins. The main cigar band is one more band with a skull as its main theme. Only this time, the skull has a crown above it. The secondary band at the foot merely tells us the blend’s name.
I clip the cap and find aromas of strong cedar, spice, leather, earthiness and baking spices.
Time to light up.
There is a strong meaty component. Campfire meaty. The sweetness is accompanied by spice. Red pepper.
The char line is spot on. The strength is classic medium bodied.
There is a lollipop quality to the blend. Like it should be on a stick and I should be licking it.
I get the start of a V burn on the front side and I quickly attend to it.
The two previous cigars I reviewed were good to go in a very short time. This stick seems to need a little more time…I taste some nice potential but I don’t think I am getting the full extent of the blender’s intent.
It is real easy to get spoiled by the New Breed Tattooed Ones’ style of blending in which their cigars are good to go quickly.
I just received a nice bunch of cigars from a boutique cigar company. They are woefully old school. I found out about them by buying a box 5-6 months ago. It took a full four months before they were ready to smoke. But then they turn around and put out a cigar for a veteran charity and the cigar was ready to smoke in less than a week. Go figure.
Cinnamon makes a strong showing. And a nice floral note appears. I can even smell it.
The char line has behaved itself since that first touch up.
The second third begins without change. Still hanging at medium body.
The cigar is a nice tasting cigar but clearly needs more time. I screwed up. I think there is a lot of potential there. But I won’t return to the rest of the sticks for a month. That will hopefully be enough time. There is no hurry. I had such good luck with the previous brands I thought the same fairy dust would be sprinkled on this blend as well.
The main cigar band is giving me a real tussle. Too much glue. I am forced to cut it. Man, there is so much glue on the band that I can’t budge it. I really don’t want to tear it. I finally get it off, slicing the wrapper in the process. And that piece of band is still glued like it was welded to the rest of the band.
The second half sees flavors improve. They are clear and concise. The spiciness becomes stronger.
The back side of the cigar is a mess because I had to cut the band.
The second half is a lot better than the first half. Here are the flavors: Spice, cinnamon, sweetness, leather, cedar, cocoa, coffee, and a nice nuttiness.
The last third begins with stronger flavors and with a little upward kick of the strength.
I believe I am much closer to the blender’s intent now than I was in the first third.
In fact, the flavors are now coming at me so fast and furious it seems it is about to turn into a bona fide flavor bomb. This totally surprises me.
The nuttiness turns into peanut. Peanut butter. It takes over as the most prominent flavor. Creaminess really kicks into fourth gear.
The cigar is kicking the teeth out of my palate. Now this is what I’m talking about. I’m sure with more humidor time, this late stage flavor burst would occur much earlier in the cigar.
I am very impressed now. I just smoked it too early, plain and simple.
The strength stays at classic medium.
The cigar is buttery smooth. Nicely balanced. Loads of finish. I have to say one thing about the construction. While the back side of the cigar is a complete mess, it hasn’t gotten worse. I feared it would disintegrate but it did not. That is quality construction. But they have to be really careful with the cigar band gluing process. Under normal circumstances, I would just have ripped the thing to shreds to get it off. It happens on a lot of cigars. But it is that little detail that shows off the quality control.
I’m really enjoying the finish to the cigar. The peanut butter and creaminess mixed with cinnamon is scrumptious.
It’s my bad that I smoked the stick too soon. But it did have a holy redemption in the second half.
None of these blends are cheap but still within the parameters of a good quality boutique blend. So no complaints here.
Cigar Federation sells all the blends in both 5 packs and boxes. And to their credit, the 5 pack price is the same as the box price.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS