TL Johnson Legend Reserve 63 Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Maduro- (Country Not Disclosed)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Peruvian Ligero, Nicaraguan Habano Seco
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Medium
Price: $7.50
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Oh, my lovelies, do I have a cigar for you today. No need to read the review. Just buy them. There are only 7 B & M’s in the country that sell them and the Cigar Federation Store. And look at the price. You won’t get a cigar of this quality for this price anywhere.

I’ve had to restrain myself from smoking the entire 5 pack since I got them on April 9. That’s right. 5 days of humidor time.
But if you insist, here we go.

BTW- The cigar also comes with a Habano wrapper.

From the Cigar Federation Store web site:
“The Legend Reserve 63 isn’t your traditional maduro. No sir. The Legend Reserve 63 contains five year aged tobacco which is carefully molded into its box pressed shape. It is complex and uses some very distinctive tobaccos, including Peruvian ligero.
“Expect a smooth smoking experience with notes of sweetness, spice, chocolate, earthiness, and leather. It is medium in body but full in flavor.
“If you love Maduros, then you have to try the Legend Reserve 63 Maduro. Many people have compared it to Padron’s, and have gone as far to call it the ‘Poor man’s Padron’. Try it for yourself, and find out!”

From the TL Johnson web site:
“Located in beautiful central Colorado, T.L. Johnson Cigars is a small company owned and operated by avid cigar smokers. With an eye for the old school quality and complexity of the cigars that we were raised on, T.L. Johnson partnered with Clay Carlton, a master blender in Denver, Colorado. Our goal is to create a cigar with light nuances of flavor, a robust quality and a smooth draw.”

The stick comes in five sizes and they are all the same exact price: $7.50:
Robusto: 5 X 50
Toro: 6 X 50
Gordo: 6 X 60
Torpedo: 6.5 x 52
Corona: 6 x 46
Churchill: 7 x 50

If you would like to watch an interview with Terry Johnson, CF’s Cigar Chat had him on and just click here.

The cigar’s tobacco is aged for a minimum of 5 years. It has a beautiful box press with rounded shoulders. And I can smell the chocolate a foot away. The wrapper is a gorgeous mottled chocolate brown. It has lots of veins but no big clunkers. The triple cap is meticulously applied. And the cigar glistens with oil which you won’t see as it is raining buckets and dark outside this morning. And a flash will just completely distort the cigar with my $1.50 Kodak Instamatic.

The cigar band is quite busy with artwork and symbolism. Johnson’s name appears twice and the name of the blend: Legend Reserve.

I clip the cap and find aromas of rootin’ tootin red pepper and gobs of chocolate. I smell wonderful sweet things. No, not me. And some sweet cedar and a touch of leather.
Time to light up this baby.

The draw is terrific. Smoke surrounds my pin head as I type. And then a gigantic dose of red pepper assaults my palate and my sinuses and entire being.

And here comes the star of the show: CHOCOLATE!
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This is how cocoa should be used in a cigar. Not like the Java cigars by Patel and DE. Those are so treacly sweet I can’t bear to be near them. This cigar is naturally occurring chocolate. Not infused.

Sweetness joins up at the quarter inch mark. My tongue feels like I’ve just eaten Mexican food. Nuttiness appears as well. Sweet raw cashews.

I bought a 5 pack and smoked the fourth one last night. Nearly at the very end of the night and it knocked me out silly with its character and flavor. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The pepper continues to get stronger. Very much like a Garcia pepper blast but one that doesn’t let up. But it can’t hide the power of the following flavors: Cocoa, sweetness, nuttiness, earthiness, sweet cedar, leather..and then creaminess shows up as a fait accompli.

I am near the end of the first third when the cigar explodes in my face. Flavors become incredibly dense and delicious. I’m smoking a Snickers bar.
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The second third begins and it is a chocolate carnival. Filled with Oompa Loompas.

At this point, the complexity digs its heels in. Balance and character are everything now. The long chewy finish is lip smackin’ good.

Other flavors show up: Vanilla, candied raspberry, an increase of sweet cedar, a wonderful woodiness, toast, and it is buttery smooth.

The strength started out as classic medium but now it increases to medium/full.

I have no idea what the folks at Cigar Federation made their decisions as to which boutique blends to offer. As every single brand, except one, is ready to smoke in just days after receipt. I found the Black Label Trading Company cigars a little on the old school side needing a few weeks of humidor time which still includes the blends in the New Breed Tattooed Ones realm. One just gets spoiled by the other snap to it brands.

I am in love with this cigar. I bought another blend by Johnson called the Tempio. But it got hung up in shipping and I still don’t have it yet. I truly look forward to the comparison.
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The halfway point seems to be upon me way too soon. No. It did not burn fast. I am so enchanted by the flavors spilling out from the cigar that I lose track of time. Next time, I am going for the Toro for a longer cigar experience.

It seems that all of the CF cigars I’ve smoked, it doesn’t matter the size. They are all flavor bombs and ready to go quickly. And since, in this case, there is no price differential amongst the sizes, so why not the Toro?

Caramel enters. OK. I need to itemize the flavors as the last third begins: Cocoa, creaminess, sweetness, spice, caramel, earthiness, nuttiness, toast, fruit, sweet cedar, wood, leather, vanilla, and brown sugar. Wow.

The cigar becomes even more complex. A bit of nicotine shows up. I don’t care if I’m spinning on the living room floor, I will nub it. And I must have more of these sticks.
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The cigar decides to rest at medium/full bodied.

The construction aspects have been impeccable. Not a single touch up required on any of the 5 cigars I smoked. Not a single wrapper issue. And the char line has been very close to dead nuts the entire time.

I want to smoke another one, but alas, this was the last one.

The cigar nubs out without a trace of harshness or heat. Cool, baby, cool.

Flavors are still pumping out like water from a firefighter’s hose.

I still have several of the 13 brand 5 packs I bought from the Cigar Federation Store to review. It is going to be hell when it comes time to loot the store once again. Each cigar I’ve reviewed has been fabulous.

This is most definitely a blend best appreciated by experienced smokers. Smokers with an excellent palate that can definitively pick out all the nuanced flavors. No one will have trouble picking out the chocolate.

If you haven’t become a member of Cigar Federation, you should. It is the premier site for everything cigars, including the store. They are the nicest bunch of people I have encountered in a cigar format organization. The big Kahunas like Rob Rasmussen, Logan Lawler and Matt Ross are all a good bunch of mensches. That’s Yiddish for stand up guys.

I’ve visited their chat room countless times and no one is respectful and nice to each other. You can tell that all the members are very glad to be there.

Becoming a member is free. And it will give you at least a 10% discount on items purchased at their store. Plus free shipping if you spend more than $75. And once you go window shopping, it is impossible to spend less than that. Tell them the Katman sent you.

The big kahunas are very responsive to any question you might have. I feel very fortunate to be a member.

Make a list of all the cigars I’ve reviewed: Dante, Rodrigo, Nomad, DeSiena, Total Flame, and Black Label Trading Company. Go to my home page and just scroll. Or punch in the names in the Search Window.
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