Swag SoBe Edition | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Habano
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican Ligero
Size: 5 x 54 “Lavish”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $6.40 MSRP ($4.50 at Thompson Cigars)




Today we take a look at the Swag SoBe Edition.

This is the third Swag blend. It made its debut at the 2012 IPCPR trade show.. So yes, once more I am the last man standing to review this cigar. The first Swag was introduced at the 2010 IPCPR trade show.

It did get a 91 rating from Cigar Aficionado.

And if you’ve been living in a cave in some remote Pacific island alongside an old Japanese gentleman who still thinks WWII is on baby…well you already know that SoBe means South Beach..a district in Miami. (Wasn’t that were Robin Williams and Nathan Lane owned their transvestite night club in the movie, “The Birdcage)

The cigar comes in four sizes:
VIP: 4.5 x 48
Lavish: 5 x 54
Infamous: 6 x 54
Ego: 6 x 60

My soon to be adopted son, Brian Austin, sent me a bunch of sticks to smoke and review; all good to go. He sent me the VIP size and I smoked it last night. If the Lavish comes close, we are going to be spanking each other, bitches.

Rafael Nodal of Boutique Blends was the daddy of the Swag line. As I’ve read, the SoBe is to commemorate the Miami Heat’s 2012 winning of the NBA championship.

First things first. This cigar has more clothes on it that I do while writing this review. The pink and teal colors are lovely, Twink. Underneath the foot band and the main cigar band lays a fancy tissue/parchment paper.

It slides off easily. Revealing a rustic stick. Visible seams. Lots of small veins. A very standard brown color to the wrapper which is very smooth.
I clip the cap and find aromas of herbal notes, spice, nuttiness, citrus, chocolate, and a pleasant float note.
Time to light up.

I’m inundated with a lot of flavors: Cream, spice, caramel, chocolate, nutty, and some citrus.

The draw is fantastic. I have to double down on the fan.

The VIP size (4.5 x 48) started off totally different. With a big bang. A spice bomb.

The char line is a little wavy but not touch ups required.

The Swag SoBe starts off at barely medium bodied. Very mild. Brian told me has had these marinating for about 5-6 months. It is obvious. The Swag SoBe is very smooth and nuanced. No big bang theory going on here.

This is like a different cigar compared to the 4.5 x 48 size. That was a firecracker. Me want more.

Only a small amount of pepper has shown itself. And that’s exactly what this blend needs: A kick in the ass. Some oomph.

The strength hits a strong medium body.

Of course, the thing to remember is that this is a DR puro. A blend not generally known for its power and sword wielding ability.

But that’s OK. Sometimes, I get tired of reporting to you the same Nic puro flavors over and over: Spice, chocolate, coffee, nuts, toasty, cedar, wood, caramel, leather, citrus, and dried fruit.

I could start a 12 step program for Nicaraguan cigars. “Hi. My name is Felipe. I’m a Nicaraguan puro.”

I’ve beaten this to death but some cigars are just better in that 3-4 months of humidor time. After that, a lot of blends go limp. Sure, they become smooth. But they also lose their oomph. I should have tasted an explosion of flavors from the start. Instead, it was a limp noodle.

The second third begins and I do believe, Mr. Watson, that this device has managed to inexplicably broken free. What to make of it?

Flavors perk up.

The ash is a tough old bastard. What do I do? Go for the gold? Or wait til it falls into my lap? Can the Katman get one good “Long Ash” photo? Probably not.

The char line needs a big touch up.

The floral notes are much stronger and fragrant. The sweet factors storm the beach. The chocolate and cream are much more potent.

There is also some saltiness. Quite a bit, actually. I sip my bottled water and it disappears.

I read some reviews and they seem to be on the same wave length. But they report more robust flavors than I taste.

There is zero spiciness. Bummer.

There is something to an extended humidor aging process that can kill a cigar. Friends sent me cigars, in the past, that had oodles of humidor time. And I remember being surprised how bland they were. One fella sent me a bunch of La Bombas. Strong cigar, right? They never got above mild bodied. And no spice bomb at the start. Same with a lot of other notably strong cigars.

I reach the halfway point.

The Swag SoBe is a nice cigar but my advice is not to let it marinate it too long. While it didn’t hurt the 4.5 x 48 size one bit, the 5 x 54 “Lavish” size suffers for it.

Those perky flavors lie down like an exhausted golfer.

Flavors are just skimming the top of the palate. Some hitting it, others careening and skipping off it like throwing a stone on a lake.

I truly find myself unhappy that I cannot report to you that this is a great cigar. It may have been a few months ago. But its heyday has come and gone. Maybe the last third will redeem itself.

There is zero complexity. No balance. And no finish. Should have reviewed the VIP size. Drat!

But dang nab it. I’m going to suck some flavors out of this stick if it means voting out all of the current Congress. I hear Burger King is hiring, fellas.

You ever notice how beautifully coiffed the Republicans in Congress are? Most look like 1960’s country music stars. Just a thought. Probably dementia.
Spice! Spice! It shows up with less than half to go. Halle-fucking-leujah!

The burn on the Swag SoBe has been atrocious. Every 5 minutes requires a touch up.

The last third begins. Come on 7.

The Swag SoBe makes an improvement. But not the experience I was hoping for.

Then in a blink of an eye….flavors flourish.

Super creamy and nutty. Loads of chocolate. Wild floral notes. The caramel almost dripping.
Now it tastes like last night’s smoke minus that wonderful spiciness.

The strength is dead center medium body. I think the humidor time also removed the possibility of it becoming medium/full as advertised.

I betcha’ a buck that this is what the cigar should have tasted like from the start.

The Swag SoBe is basically a good cigar. Just too mellow for my tastes.

The last 1-1/2” finds the stick very soft. Like a wet sponge. The cigar didn’t feel overly humidified when I started. It was solid and jam packed.
The remaining stick is like a flattened drinking straw.

Only due to the wonderful flavors I got with the smaller cigar last night can I recommend this cigar. Today’s Swag SoBe had a lot of construction issues. Especially, the burn line. And I had to re-light it a few times.

The last inch reaches full bodied.

Because it has been around a while, pricing is all over the place. The MSRP of $6.40 is fair. Even better at $4.50. Look around and I’m sure you can find it for whatever price your heart desires.

Strange though. CI doesn’t carry the blend. It carries the others but not this one. If Thompson cigar carries it, shouldn’t CI carry it as well? So no shots at it on Cbid.

Just a reminder, if you buy the Swag SoBe, don’t let it rest past 3-4 months.

And now for something completely different:

I was busted, disgusted and agents can’t be trusted.

My partner at the recording studio embezzled us right out of business to maintain his coke habit. The record company, Rocshire Records, went to prison for embezzling. I lost my home because I sunk every dollar I had into that stupid Eddie Munster project. And there was a lookout to nab my car.

I found myself in some dingy club in Orange County, CA. The band was really good. I mean, really good. So I introduced myself. Turns out, I went to high school with the band’s leader.

I was now homeless going from one friend to the other to sleep at night…basically living out of my Nissan Maxima station wagon.

I had nothing left and the boys in the band offered me an opportunity to manage them. I had nothing in Long Beach to hold me there so I went on the road with them. They paid me as a full member of the band and they played out a lot so I was living on $350 a week. LOL. Of course, remember this was 1984. So it was worth at least $375 in today’s money.

The band leader’s wife came from a rich family and they owned a very nice cabin in South Lake Tahoe. This was the base of their operations.

For 6 months, I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor. It was like a bloody commune with everyone and his brother living there.

I slept in one bedroom along with a woman friend of theirs. She got the bed. I got the floor.

One morning, their 4 year old daughter was watching a Star Trek movie on TV. We had played the night before and I was out cold.

I was awakened with a start when I heard: “Khan! Khan!”
I sat up in an instant thinking someone was calling me. I ran to the living room and just hung my head in stupidity.
That’s not even how you pronounce my name. Kohn. Like an ice cream cone.

The woman that stayed in the cabin was a 21 dealer at Harrah’s. Not a bad looking broad but I wasn’t interested. On the other hand, she had a crush on me. I found her constantly in their hot tub in the back, naked, giving me those googly eyes. I turned and high tailed back into the house.

One night, she was dealing during the graveyard shift. She had one player at her table. A man in his 40’s. Nicely dressed. Quiet. No trouble at all.

Somewhere around the 50th time he lost, he took a revolver out of his pocket and blew his brains out all over the 21 table and the woman.

For the next week, the woman lay in the fetal position in her bed. Never said a word. Barely ate. And only came out to use the bathroom.
This was weird and horrifying at the same time.

In Tahoe, the band was a big deal. So there was no shortage of places to play and no shortages of good looking chicks.
So I had my pick.

The drummer and the keys player were born again Christians. One time they invited me to go with them to some chick’s house in Carmel. Very upscale neighborhood.

The chick that lived there lived with her parents but they were traveling in Europe at the time. She was gorgeous and made all the right moves towards me.

The other chicks at the dinner went “Woof.”

And the boys wanted nothing to do with them. So here I was with this great looking chick that had friends staying with her and my ride home to Tahoe was with the boys.

Couldn’t have been later than 10pm. “OK. We have to go now.”

The girls begged for us to stay. I wanted to stay. They didn’t.

Now here was this rich, good looking Jewish girl and I was being ripped from her womb like a backstreet abortion.

As the boys were trying to get their things together to leave, the chick told everyone she wanted to show me something. No one gave it a thought as they were begging the brothers to stay.

She took me into the spacious bathroom. Threw me down on to the bidet. And gave me one of the best blow jobs I’d ever had.

I wobbled out of the bathroom with a shit eatin’ grin on my face. While I was saying my goodbyes, the brothers yanked me outside and into their car.
The chick and I conversed via phone for a couple weeks.

And then I met Charlotte….

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