Black Label Trading Company “Benediction” | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 54
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.00



I bought a 6 pack sampler, from Cigar Federation, which contained the entire line of BLTC cigars. Two reasons: First, they are not cheap and I wanted to decide which blend I preferred and, second; it gave me 6 different blends to review without purchasing six 5 packs. That would have been $240.

I’ve reviewed three of the blends: Lawless, Royalty, and Last Rites. And have had only so so luck with them. I don’t know if they are just old school blends that need loads of humidor time or the cigars and I am not in sync. I’ve had the cigars for a little over three weeks. Based on the PR machine, it appeared to be a forward thinking blending operation and I truly expected a New Breed Tattooed One experience. That didn’t happen. I seem to be alone in my opinions based upon a couple reviews I’ve read.

So today, I am trying the Benediction.

Like all of the blends in the BLTC line, construction is impeccable. Solid and jam packed. Tight seams. A modicum of veins. Very oily with some tooth. A beautiful triple cap. And very striking double cigar bands. More skulls.

My only criticism is that now that I’ve reviewed four blends, there has been too much glue applied to both the foot bands and the main cigar bands. I’ve had to cut them off with an X-Acto knife. They need to take a serious look at the quality control of the folks who glue these bands on.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, ginger, cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, fruit preserves along the shaft, a strong earthiness, and cedar.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are very sweet. I taste that rich earthiness of the tobacco. The ginger element shows itself. Tangy. I also taste a chocolate doughnut with sprinkles. That is definitely a first.

The draw is a little tight. So I roll the cigar gently in my hand. That helps quite a bit.

The leather takes over as the strongest component. And then black pepper arrives. Starts off slowly and builds.

I cut the wrapper fighting with the foot band. I had trouble with the main bands on the previous cigars and because the paper used of the bands is so thick, it is very difficult to remove with a sharp implement. And I end up cutting the wrapper in a place that doesn’t forgive a slit wrapper.

Well, here I am..a little over an inch into the cigar. The flavors are muted. And it is like smoking the other three reviewed blends. Either these blends need months of humidor time or this is how they taste. Period. Bland. No flavor bomb status in its future.

I am so glad I bought a sampler instead of a couple 5 packs. Because based on the four cigars I’ve smoked, I’m not all that impressed.

In a lot of cases, guys with bucks, go down to Central America and visit dozens of tobacco farms. They sit and try a multitude of cigars until they find the right blends that suit their palates. Sometimes they ask the farmer to tweak the blend, other times; they take the cigars as is.

I go back to the BLTC web site, which is very impressive as a marketing tool. Very hip. But nowhere does it give the background of the company. No bios telling us who blended the cigars or how they came about. That reinforces my hypothesis that this is a bucks up organization that doesn’t have any true aficionados on staff..or for that fact, the owners.

I approach the end of the first third and the cigar is virtually tasteless. Methinks that this is a perfect class in PR 101. All smoke and mirrors.

The cigars are not bad. They just aren’t great as the price point would have you expect.

Even if the cigars do need months of humidor time, after three weeks, I should at least taste the potential. I taste no potential. Just another blah cigar. If I were to blind taste test this cigar, I would put it in the $3-$4 range. A yard ‘gar.
I know that’s pretty harsh and I hate to have a negative impact on my friends at Cigar Federation who sell them. But I have a responsibility to my readers first. Friends, second.

The cigar needs constant touch ups and the triple cap came apart long ago.

The flavors are mostly weak tobacco, barnyard, hay, spice, leather and a bit of cocoa. Pitiful.

I am at the halfway point and if this cigar is going to surprise me, now is the perfect time.

I’ve read a couple of reviews and I completely disagree with their descriptions. How can we be smoking the same cigar?

I can tell you right now, that after I fight with the removal of the cigar band, this cigar’s life will be cut short.

Removing the band is utterly ridiculous and I end up tearing it off so I don’t slice and dice the wrapper.
I can’t be the only one having these troubles.

The cigar becomes a little bitter. I hope that doesn’t last long.

Normally, I post a link to a new review on my FB page but I will not do that today out of respect to Cigar Federation. I have a lot of followers and if they choose to read it, so be it. But I am not going to advertise this review on FB.

I nicked the wrapper trying to get the cigar band off and now I have a 1” crack emanating from the foot. I try to glue it back but it’s a complete mess.

Hopefully, I can burn past it and it won’t travel.

I am sitting on the start of the last third and absolutely nothing has changed in the flavor department. In other words, totally devoid of flavor except for some black pepper.

And then a few flavors return: Cinnamon, sweetness, and cocoa. But very subtle.
The burn line is also a mess.

But with less than a couple inches to go, the cigar livens up a bit. Creaminess appears.
I should have tasted something like this from almost the start.

Clearly, this is a very old school blend. 3 weeks or less is not enough time for these cigars. The BLTC makes a solid pitch for being hip and with it but forget to follow in the footsteps of the blenders that know what the public wants. A cigar that is ready to smoke in just a few weeks; not months like a CAO or a Fuente.

Flavors being rolling in. I apologize for being so negative about this cigar but I had the exact same experience with the other three reviewed.

If you choose to buy any blends of this brand, do yourself a favor and don’t touch them for at least four months.

I had a similar experience with two other expensive cigars: Joya de Nicaraguan Cuatro Cinco and the Blanco Liga Exclusiva de Familia Connecticut cigars. Both excellent cigars but took 3 months and 4 months respectively before they were ready to smoke.
The flavor profile begins to dim once more.

I’m outta here.



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