BLK WKS Studio NBK by Black Label Trading Co. | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 46 “Corona Larga-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium
Price: $9.00




Two photos below courtesy of Black Works Studio:


Today we take a look at the new BLK WKS Studio NBK by Black Label Trading Co.
Thanks to a reader that prefers to stay anonymous.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Yes, I’m writing on Christmas morning. I figure if I write through the 8 days of Hanukkah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, I can write through Xmas.

This morning’s musical entertainment is brought to you by Spotify. I saw on the news that The Beatles finally allowed their entire catalog to be heard streaming live. Spotify is one of those who snagged the rights. And as I am a huge Beatles fan; I am currently listening to “Revolver” with a pair of really good ears (a headphone set that is recording studio quality). Ahhh…bliss. I haven’t heard “Revolver” in quite a while. I’m going to have serious trouble concentrating.

The cigar has a soft box press with a closed foot. For me….that means fireworks when I torch the foot. The wrapper is a maple syrup brown with well-hidden seams. Very few veins.
And it looks like it has a quadruple cap.
If you wondered what BLK WKS Studio means, well….it means: Black Works Studio.
The stick is super solid with just a touch of give.

From the shaft, I smell fruity sweetness, dark molasses, espresso, cedar, dark cocoa, and malt.
From the clipped cap, I smell dark cocoa, spice, fruit, espresso, cedar, and honeysuckle.
The cold draw presents flavors of malt, dark chocolate, coffee, spice, sweetness, honeydew melon, and cedar.

The draw is perfect.
And immediately, I get a giant wallop of pepper. Watch out! Spice Bomb ahead.

And then flavors pile in: Chocolate, creaminess, malts, burnt marshmallow, floral notes, maple syrup, black cherry, nutty, and warm French bread.
Yikes. All from the first few puffs. I shall take it easy and let the flavors develop. Rather than puff away like Yosemite Sam.

This is so cool. I will go through the entire Beatles’ catalog before I listen to any other band or artist. Or maybe listen twice in a row. The Beatles bring back my teen years. Every single song can be tied to an event, or experience, in my life.


Strength is medium body. But it wants to go higher. You have no idea how many manufacturers I’ve heard from who yell at me for getting the strength wrong…in their eyes, of course. “You dummkopf! How can it be a full bodied cigar when it has an Ecuadorian Habano Connecticut Mata Fina San Andres Cameroon wrapper? Huh? Tell me that!!!”
Really, that shit happens.

The char line is truly behaving. I didn’t notice a single imperfection during the torching of the foot ceremony. I also cheated and clipped the closed foot. That creates uneven burn so off with its head!
The BLK WKS Studio NBK is very complex and has been so since nearly the start of the cigar. Nice balance. Long finish.

Caramel enters the picture. It is also very woody. Like me.
The malt flavors are the usual suspects. But they are truly very strong influences.

“Revolver” is over. Next up: “Abbey Road.”

The BLK WKS Studio NBK is a fine, fine cigar.

Flavors are slightly different now: Chocolate, malts, caramel, creaminess, nougat, cashews, spice, cedar, gingerbread, cinnamon, yeasty bread, dried fruit (dates, raisins, figs), and butterscotch on the finish.

This is very impressive. It’s a shame that after my 3rd or 4th cigar of the day, I can’t taste half of those flavors as my palate begins to get crispy.

I know most reviewers, and readers, laugh at me for being able to detect so many flavors…that is seems outlandish for me to have the balls to write it down. I guess when you’ve smoked cigars for nearly 50 years; you will have a palate like mine. (Right now, I’m sticking my tongue out, and giving them the raspberries, at those naysayers).

Smoke time is 35 minutes.
And now to the crown jewel: “The White Album.”

Time to share my favorite Christmas present. Charlotte and Katie chipped in together to get me a huge 14” diameter stainless steel wok with steamer.

I do believe they bought it for me so I can cook once again with little trouble and endless possibilities. My Alzheimer’s has made it damn near impossible to cook…I’ve always loved to cook. But that dreaded disease took that away from me. So what better way to get me back in the deep end but a simple way to cook just about anything. Thank you my darlings Charlotte and Katie.




And did you see that wonderful comment Kyle Hoover of Ezra Zion made on the right side of the home page? The Ugly Hanukkah Sweater. “And it’s all mine…It’s mine, I tell you, all mine!” What a wonderful thing for Kyle and Chris to do for me.

OK. Back to the BLK WKS Studio NBK. This is just a killer blend.


Flavors taste like the tobacco has been aged for years. You know what I’m talking about. That incredible “thing” that happens to a good cigar. I swear it reminds me of the RASS.
I know. Bold statement.

Odd thing happening. Having The Beatles in my brain with every musical nuance at my disposal helps me think.
I can say right now that the BLK WKS Studio NBK is worth every nickel of that $9.00. The folks at BLTC could have easily charged more…double digit hell. But they didn’t. And I take my hat off to them.
I made the mistake of lighting one up ROTT and oh boy…Nicht gut. Had to throw it away. But after only a couple weeks, it is rarin’ to go.

The spiciness returns in such strength that my nose is running. And my nasal passages are wide open.
Transitions. The magic word. And there are plenty of them right yonder in that stick in my ashtray cooling its heels waiting for me to put cap to lips.

The complexity is from Mars. And I’m from Venus. Or something like that.

Each puff takes the cigar experience up another major notch. It’s as if I’m on the 90th floor of the 100 floor Hancock Tower in Chicago. The first week we moved to Chicago, a buddy I worked with took me there and we went to the top. It is spellbinding.

The flavors haven’t really changed much. They move around in order a bit but all still accounted for.
Halfway point reaches 45 minutes in smoke time. Surprising really that I’m getting as much smoke time from what seems like a small cigar. Box pressing always creates an optical illusion for me.


The BLK WKS Studio NBK is just a masterful blend.
There are two other blends by BLK WKS Studio: Rorschach (Ecuadorian Habano wrapper: 5 x 38 $4.30) and Killer Bee (Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper: 4.5 x 46 $7.50).

I would love to try all, but the NBK is the perfect size for reviewing. The other two are good for doing errands or lunch breaks.
I’m having zero construction issues and the char line hasn’t needed a single touch up.

Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
I am so grateful to the reader that sent me these cigars. Yeah, I wasted one due to impatience, but I still have 3 left that I will let rest a bit longer. I want to see how a month or two more of humidor affects them. That’s not saying that they aren’t perfect as is with just two weeks humi time.

I made the promise to myself that I would not promote a certain online store that sells mainly boutique cigars because they didn’t show their appreciation at Christmas like Small Batch Cigar did. I like to give my readers a heads up where to get the deal. But this outfit was the only one that never bothered to even thank me for constantly promoting them.


You know who I’m talking about. But the place is run by young men and they haven’t learned their manners yet.

Black Works Studio doesn’t have an up and running web site yet. The company is called Oveja Negra Cigars. The owner is James Brown. The hardest working man in the cigar business. Oops. Wrong James Brown. “Hit me! “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine”
They do have a Face Book page.

The BLK WKS Studio NBK is just blowing my mind. And it’s been 40 years since I took acid. A flashback, maybe?

“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.”

One tends to forget the brilliance of The Beatles. All of their early recordings were done on 3 track! Unbelievable. And with headphones on, I can hear every brilliant note McCartney played on bass.

Nothing left to say about the BLK WKS Studio NBK. Brilliant blend. I never heard of James Brown but then I’m not in the cigar biz. But this guy is something else. I can only imagine what his future is. If this is his fledgling blend, I have my fingers crossed that the next ones keep getting better.
The cigar finishes at a strong medium/full body with a touch of nicotine.
Final smoke time is 85 minutes.


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1 reply

  1. Thanks Phil for the heads up and the cigars. I know your Jewish so Happy Holidays. I have been smoking cigars since I was 12 and I truly enjoy them. Reading your reviews opens my eyes to flavors I would have never tasted. I’m not afraid to see the flip side. When I go it will be with a cigar in hand. Thanks again.

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