Black Label Trading Company “Last Rites” | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Size: 5 x 54
Body: Medium/full
Price: $12.00




I recently became a member of Cigar Federation. They have their own online store of 40 different boutique brands.

Several members have told me that the Last Rites will do me just fine on only a week’s worth of humidor time. I am not divulging their names in case I have to kill them. But this is my third review so humidor time has been two weeks. I reviewed the Loyalty and the Lawless.

Black Label Trading Company 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:
“Our attitude re-thinks standards for cigar making, and caters to cigar lovers and aficionados tired of a mainstream, mass produced approach to cigar making. At Black Label Trading Company, we have created a market for those with the attitude that they deserve the best, and the confidence that they deserve to experience the Black Label Experience.

“Our philosophy is Less is More; Small is Big; Small is Elite; and finally, Fine Tobacco making is Fine Art. Much like when we experience fine art, the Black Label Experience involves slowing down, taking in, being in the moment and letting expectation be replaced by surprise, and ultimately, total satisfaction.

“Black Label Trading Company creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality in small batch, highly limited quantities. This allows us to meticulously select the finest tobacco from the richest tobacco-growing regions of Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico and Ecuador. This allows our master blender, expert growers and hand rollers to produce utterly unique cigars of unsurpassed quality and flavor. Finally, this approach to cigar making replaces the standard cigar experience with the Black Label Cigar Experience.”

There is a lot more to read about on the BLTC web site.

The entire line of BLTC cigars are constructed perfectly. Solid, jam packed. Perfect amount of give. An impeccable triple cap. A very dark coffee bean wrapper that is very smooth. Lots of oiliness.

I clip the cap and find aromas of coffee, spice, tobacco earthiness, and sweetness.
Time to light up.

The start is a race between cocoa and pepper. A sweetness accompanies the two. It is very earthy probably due to the maduro wrapper. The draw is spot on.

Both the previous cigars reviewed were fantastic. I expect a little more from this stick as it is $3 more per cigar. So something is going on.

The spice is really pumping it out now. The sweetness and cocoa loom large.

There are only two Maduros in the BLTC line: Last Rites and Redemption.

The burn line needs immediate attention and I’m on it.

Halfway through the first third, the cigar’s flavor profile is on the edge.

The second third begins. Additional flavors don’t show up. The trifecta of cocoa, sweetness and spice are the main event.
I’m not sure why this stick is $3 more than the rest. Common sense dictates that it is the scarcity of the tobacco. I’m not sure. But $12 is a lot of dough. The main problem with boutique cigars is twofold. The first is that they are always limited production cigars which jacks up the price. The second is that because they are limited runs, they cannot be loaded into the big online stores where you can get deals. So, you always pay the retail price. Buying them online at Cigar Federation Store is the cheapest you will find these. For the simple reason that no taxes are incurred.

While the BLTC web site shows a total of only 13 B & M’s carrying the cigar, it has a “Shop” link which directs you to CF.

Most of the 13 are in Texas where the company is based. The Texas cigar rate is confusing but using an average cost, a $10 cigar adds around $1.00 per cigar. Which is very reasonable compared to a lot of states like New York.

The halfway point sees no change. The sweetness, cocoa, and spice are the only flavors. And the spice has moved to the background. The two elements are very flavorful but sort of a one trick pony.

Could it be that two weeks of humidor time is not nearly enough and this is an old school blend? I quickly check other reviews and find they taste what I taste.

This is a pleasant cigar but I expected to be bowled over; especially because of the two previous cigars and the price. Hopefully, the last third will open up the flavor profile.

I get a large wrapper crack about an inch long not far from the cap. Not good. Can’t fix it.

I begin the last third and the flavors are disappearing. Also, there is no complexity. The cigar is close to being stagnant.

The cigar is reduced to nothing more than a pleasant cigar. For $12, I expect more than that.

I’m going to finish it because I want it to achieve something. And I won’t know if I put the cigar down.
The cracked wrapper is flaking off and exposing the binder.

This is a premium line of cigars. And I can’t imagine that what I am experiencing is the blender’s intent. It must be an old school blend requiring extensive humidor time.

The cigar is beginning to disintegrate before my eyes. Each puff causes more damage.
I’m done.
Check out my reviews of what I consider better representations of how good the BLTC cigars are: Royalty and Lawless.


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