Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habana
Binder: Piloto Cubano
Filler: Piloto Cubano, Criollo 92, Nicaragua Condega Ligero
Size: 6 x 48 “Lord Byron”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $12.00 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the new Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015.
I received a 5 pack from an anonymous source. Thank you, sir.

BACKGROUND:
The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 debuted at the 2015 IPCPR trade show.
From the Felipe Gregorio web site:
“A blend of 7 year old tobaccos, aged in cedar trunks. Dense lush smoke that layers the palate with strong earthy tones and a touch of cashew and salty caramel on the finish.”
And:
“Founded in 1990 Felipe Gregorio Cigars, is the true boutique cigar maker, we have stayed small investing in quality and dedication to the cigars we produce. We specialize in limited batch cigars using vintage tobaccos, each blend is unique in its character.”
From owner Philip Wynne:
“As a cigar maker for over 25 years my respect for the origins of the tobacco and genetically pure seeds has led me to pay special attention to the raw material we use.
“What makes a cigar exceptional is the tobacco used in the blend” Like a great wine the leaves used to make a cigar needs to have the identity of its birthplace and the earth it sprung from. The soil brings out the original characteristics of the blend.”

I’ve reviewed the FG Silencio and the FG Refusion but missed out on the 2014 version of this line.

DESCRIPTION:
This is a beautifully mottled cigar. Almost translucent. The wrapper changes colors from a subtle caramel to a coffee bean brown. It is oily and slightly toothy.
Seams are tight. Lots of veins. And a perfectly applied triple cap. The cigar is packed solid without a single soft spot.

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SIZES AND PRICING:
Goliath 7.5 x 60 $16.00 MSRP
Caesar 5 x 55 $14.00 MSRP
Lord Byron 6 x 48 $12.00 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet caramel, chocolate, cedar, spice, and lime citrus.
From the clipped cap and foot, I can smell strong baking cinnamon, walnuts, spice, sweetness, and nutmeg. Just like a luscious cinnamon roll.
The cold draw presents flavors of very strong coconut oil, cedar, spice, cinnamon, and earthy notes.

FIRST THIRD:
I smoked one a couple nights ago and was surprised at how intense the flavor of coconut oil was. I’m anxious to see if it repeats.
The draw is super perfect as smoke just pours from the cigar.

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First out of the gate is some potent red pepper. Then following the spice is: coffee, sweetness, red pepper, coconut oil, chocolate malt (See Malt Chart), and cedar.
Strength begins at medium/full.

For $12, I expect this blend to come out screaming laughter from the get go. And so far, so good.
Lots of woodiness and nuttiness. Like me. Minus the wood. I’m 65. Any idea how long it’s been since I woke up with a little, or big, pup tent? Don’t ask.

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is a very slow roll. I like that.

It also has a very Cuban-esque flavor profile. Maybe further down the line, I can describe it better in terms of which Cuban I’m referring to.

The char line is behaving itself nicely with just a touch of being out of whack.

I found this great, cheap lighter on Amazon. I didn’t read the description thinking it was a small lighter but the little bugger is 4-1/2” tall and comes filled with butane. I’ve had it for two weeks and not a single problem. Single torch flame. No blow torch. Perfect. And the price? $6.95 + free shipping. I bought it for my wife but I liked it so much I popped for one for myself. Here is the link: GStar® TorchZilla Series Windproof Jet Flames Butane Torch Lighter. (Just a simple public service announcement.)

lighter

Back to the Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015.
I’ve burned 1” and it took 15 minutes. (The ash gently disengages from the mother ship while sitting in the ashtray.)
Finally, the cable TV radio Classic Rock station is playing its first good song this morning: “8 Miles High” by The Byrds. I love the opening bass line. Learned it as soon as the single came out in the 60’s.

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Creaminess makes a bold appearance. And all of the flavors are lifted a couple steps higher in the food chain: Spice, chocolate, creaminess, nuts, coconut oil, sweetness, Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, cedar, cinnamon, and earth notes.
Clearly, the Ligero is doing its job nicely.

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is now super complex. Nice balance. And a lovely, chewy, long finish.
You know what chewy means don’t you? It is the feeling that the flavors are sticking to your teeth. Strange, huh?
The sun has come out. Lovely.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
It’s been a great 2”. Actually, I believe my wife said that to me on our honeymoon in Palm Springs.

6third

This Art of Power line is something relatively new. I couldn’t find out if only one cigar per year will be produced or if the FG folks will spread their wings and increase their output?

This is easily the best FG cigar I’ve smoked. Gregorio is showing the smoking world that he can do every bit as well as any blender out there. Kudos Felipe. (Charlotte calls me Felipe Gonzalez-Gonzalez all the time. I’m now immune to it.)
The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is a grand cigar. There is a touch of RASS in it.

Flavors have mixed their order: Chocolate, coffee, creaminess, spice, coconut oil, sweetness, cinnamon, nuts, Chocolate Malt, Caramel Malt, earth notes, cedar, wood, and raisins.
That is quite the impressive flavor profile. And yes, I did squint my eyes to find those flavors.

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 needs its first minor char line touch up.
Strength is medium/full+. Any second now, it will hit full body.

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A sip of water and the chocolate, creaminess, coffee, malt, and nuts hit my palate like a sea of swarming simbas. This is a cigar blend that is enjoyable with each and every puff. And one you don’t want to end.
This is an expensive cigar but it is actually behaving like one.

HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
What surprises me is that this ain’t your normal FG Old School Blend. It is definitely a New Breed concoction. It has two weeks of humi time at the most.

8half

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is cruising so to speak. An ever moving roulette wheel of flavors and complexity.
And I love the size. While only 3 sizes were chosen for this blend, I do believe that FG nailed it. Something for everyone. There is something about a 6 x 48 size that really delivers all the cigar has to give.

Construction has been flawless. You can feel, see, and taste the love and focus put into this cigar’s production.
And now we have full body. And a touch of nicotine follows.

This is a glorious cigar. I wish I knew who sent me the 5 pack. I would put him in my will. He must have tried them before picking them for me.
You can see in the photo below how gorgeous this wrapper is.

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Here they are: Caramel, chocolate, spice, creaminess, malt, coffee, nuts, sweetness, cinnamon, coconut oil, cedar, wood, raisins, bourbon, vanilla bean, and those wonderful earthy notes.

z71_2

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is running on all 8 cylinders. (How’s that for the perfect transition?)
The nicotine is being held at bay. Thank goodness.

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The cigars came in a box from Small Batch Cigar. I checked and, of course, it is less than everyone is selling them for. Instead of $12.00, it is $10.40. Take away your 10% with your coupon code and it is $9.36. But they have only two sizes: Caesar 5 x 55 and the Lord Byron 6 x 48. But both in 5 packs and boxes and they don’t have very many left. I would stop reading this and snag some. Make sure you tell SBC that the Katman sent you.

A small amount of bitterness shows up. Not good. Fingers crossed it disappears soon.
Otherwise, the Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is still boom large flavors and complexity. No change to the flavor profile.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 90 minutes.
I didn’t expect the cigar to last this long.
The red pepper surges. My tongue burns.

The bitterness has totally dissipated. Good thing. Would have affected my rating.
I’m excited because this is only my second cigar from the 5 pack. I have 3 to go. (Happy Dance!)

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 is a very smooth full bodied cigar. I think this would be a great blend for newbies to try out their resistance. And experienced smokers will love it.

12third

The Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 can now be categorized as a spectacular cigar.
Other than a surge of nicotine in the last 1-1/2”, I have no criticisms.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly suggest you do. You will send flowers to your Uncle Katman.
Final smoke time is just over 2 hours.

RATING: 93

PRICE POINT:
These are expensive sticks. Two things affect this pricing. The first is that this is a 15th anniversary cigar commemorating how long FG cigars have been in business so it will be a special cigar. These are limited run sticks but I couldn’t find out how many were produced.
Would I spend $12? Maybe. They are certainly worth it as far as double digit pricing goes. But $9.36 at Small Batch is a steal. I checked Cigar Federation and they don’t carry the cigars.

SUMMATION:
I believe I’ve said it all. Great flavor profile. Complex from the start. Nice balance and wonderful finish.
Even if SBC runs out, there is no shame in paying $12 for the Lord Byron. I’m hesitant to recommend the other two sizes at $14 and $16. That’s a lot of dough. Because it is a limited edition, you won’t find it on Cbid. In fact, I couldn’t find it on any other online store other than SBC. I suppose that select B & M’s might carry them.
But if you get them at a B & M, you will pay retail or more…depending on the states’ taxes.
If I had the dough, I’d snag a box of Felipe Gregorio Art of Power 2015 and hold on to them for dear life.

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And now for something completely different (Short but pungent):
This is strictly for you oldsters out there.

1969 or 1970. Can’t remember.
My father’s new wife had a friend with connections to CBS Television.

She got us a slew of tickets to TV shows at the time: Smother’s Brothers, Carol Burnett, and many others.
But this story is about the day we visited “Laugh In.”

I took two buddies with me. We had to be there at 2pm. We found the entrance but it was locked and no one else in line.
After 20 minutes, a CBS employee passed by and I stopped him. “Where is the line for Laugh In?
“You’re it.”
We were shocked. About 15 minutes later, they let us in. And not a single other soul.
Big auditorium. We sat in the middle about three rows back.

And there was that famous stage full of props and sets.
The actors were meandering around talking, rehearsing their lines, looking for their marks.

The lights were on in the auditorium and they all saw us and waved and said hello. We waved back and said hello.
“Laugh In” was taped over two days. Apparently, each day was at least 12 hours long.

Taping began. All the things you remember about the show happened right before our eyes.
But they did the bits over and over and over. The actors kept cracking jokes out of character. It took forever to do a 30 second sketch.

One of the actors was JoAnne Worley. A big woman with a huge Ethel Merman voice. Very funny lady.
An hour in, she came up to where we were and sat next to us kibitzing.

The director was in a booth hidden away above us. We could only hear his voice, never saw him.
He kept yelling for Worley to get on stage. She yelled back profanities.

Finally, she got up, kissed us all on the cheek, and got on stage.

I had to pee. I went to the front of the stage and asked where the bathroom was? I was told it was backstage. So I climbed the stairs to the stage and walked through the hallway where the dressing rooms were and found the head. I ran into Dan Rowan who said hello. He said to me, “I’m Fred Farkas.” I had no idea what he was talking about. Turns out that a couple of weeks later, the Farkas family would be a running sketch.

After 3 hours, we were toast. It was fun for a while but now it was boring so we left.

At the Carol Burnett show, she came out before taping began and let the audience ask questions. I raised my arm but was never chosen. Thank God. I was going to ask her if her parents had any children that lived?

OMG! What was I thinking? Can you imagine what would have happened if she chose me? They would have burned me at the stake.
The Smothers Brothers show was a gas. Very organized and no fucking around. We had great seats. And that night, Richard Pryor was on and did his famous stunt where he came out totally naked. They digitally pixelated his privates but the audience went nuts. I think that CBS went to war with the Smothers over this and they were quickly cancelled.

I can’t remember the other shows. But I will get a hold of one of those friends that went with me and ask him. Back atcha’.

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