Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
Binder: Dominican Criollo
Filler: Nicaraguan Condega Viso
Size: 5.7 x 60 “Figurado”
Price: $17.00 MSRP
Humidor Aging Time: 2 Months
Today we take a look at the Bespoke Cigars Super Belicoso.
Thank you Jeremy Casdagli for the samples.
This is the last of the Bespoke blends I’ve reviewed: Basilica C#1 (Rated 94), Cotton Tail (Rated 100), and Grand Café (Rated 98).
Country of Production: Dominican Republic
Blended by Hendrik Kelner Jr
From KBF factory:
Traditional Line: Cotton Tail, Grand Cafe, Robusto, Super Belicoso
Basilica Line: Basilica A, Basilica C # 1, and being introduced this summer : Basilica C # 2, Basilica C # 3
Mareva Line: Gran Mareva, Gran Mareva Gold & Mareva Especial
Cabinet Line: – coming this autumn – The Rosetta : a beautiful coned cigar – 4inches ending with 46 gauge – using an 11 year old Bonao opus X binder
From Costa Rica – using Peruvian, Nicaraguan and Ecuador Connecticut wrapper
Daughters of the Wind Line: Pyramide, Dahman, Salomone.
From Cigar Journal:
“Jeremy Casdagli, founder and co-owner of Bespoke Cigars, has been crafting his own blends of long filler cigars for 20 years. Since 2014, his production has been concentrated at the Kelner Boutique Factory (KBF) in the Dominican Republic, which is headed by Hendrik Kelner, Jr. (of Davidoff fame). Within months, Bespoke Cigars developed a reputation in Europe and the Middle East for complex, uniquely sized cigars. Since November 2015, his full line has been available in a retail and distribution partnership with Biggs Mansion in Chicago. “Being based in Tallinn, it was natural to develop first in the Nordics,” Casdagli explains, “but, while looking for another possible sales platform for my cigars, I kept an eye out for buildings reminiscent of my family’s ancestral home, Villa Casdagli, in Cairo. “When a friend encouraged me to visit his club, the Biggs Lounge in Chicago, I thought, ah, America!” he says with a laugh.”
This is a mighty fine gorgeous cigar. The oily wrapper is the color of milk chocolate/caramel/gingerbread. There is mottling of colors that change like a prism in light.
The rounded cap is absolutely flawless without lines showing how many caps are used.
The Super Belicoso has two simple cigar bands.
The foot is shaggy. Like Jeremy.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell milk chocolate, red pepper, heavy cream, floral notes, cappuccino, fresh cedar, and toffee.
From the clipped cap and foot, I smell strong red pepper (Here come the sneezes), creaminess, chocolate, espresso, cedar, caramel, and hay.
The cold draw presents flavors of strong red pepper, espresso, wood, leather, salty pretzel, cedar, and leather.
Damn. The spiciness makes me sneeze three times in quick succession. And then it happens again. I love it.
A real flavor explosion out of the gate: pepper, creaminess, cappuccino, chocolate, roasted nuts, cedar, caramel, and you can taste the aged tobacco clearly.
I want to chomp the stick but it makes for terrible pics.
There is a pineapple sweetness. Very unusual. The blend is throwing the kitchen sink at me.
Strength starts off at medium/full.
I rated the Bespoke Cotton Tail 100 as I considered it perfect.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso seems to be heading in that direction.
I smoked one yesterday and was impressed with a super perfect char line needing no corrections.
This is a luxuriously, slow smoke. The stick is packed tight but has the right amount of give when squeezed. After 32 years of marriage, I am an expert at squeezing.
I’ve got the classic rock station on cable TV blasting away. The Doors playing “Light My Fire” live. Saw them once in the 1969 at the L.A. Forum. Jim Morrison was so drunk that he was stumbling all over the stage. He walked and sang while holding a bottle of Jack Daniels.
Then in 1975, Jose Feliciano came to England for the first time and because our PR guy for Curved Air was a good friend of Jose’s, he played on a bunch of our already recorded tunes. He was hip to my progressive bass playing which, at the time, was unheard of in London. So I got to do a gig with him that week and I had the chance to play his version of “Light My Fire.” Very cool. Jose promised to send me a tape but, of course, never did.
I believe the gig was at the famous jazz spot in London: Ronnie Scott’s.
I’ve been puffing away on the Bespoke Super Belicoso for 30 minutes and I’ve only smoked 1-1/2”.
Burnt marshmallow shows up. Now if I only had some graham cracker to complement the chocolate and marshmallow, I could tell the campfire story about the escaped convict with a hook on one hand.
Jeremy is sending me the Gran Mareva next. The man has 15 blends. And the sheiks in Saudi Arabia smoke them so you know they better be good or Jeremy might lose the part of his body above his neck.
Nothing about the Bespoke line tastes anything like the Davidoff line. Bespoke is better.
Gawd. It’s Wednesday and the gardening crew is outside mowing the lawns of the apartment complex. This goes on for hours. I wonder if police forensics would figure it out if the men just disappeared. Mossad taught me to beat the lie detector test.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso is super complex now. All those wonderful flavors are still in place but now spinning around my palate like a swirling Frisbee.
I am very critical of cigars in the double digit price range. For $17, I can get Charlotte to have sex with me. So far, the Bespoke Super Belicoso has met the criteria of what an expensive cigar should attain. A booming start. Complexity. Loads of flavors intermingling. And an earthy, aged tobacco flavor that is very distinct.
Smoke time is 45 minutes.
Strength reaches full body. A small amount of nicotine shows itself.
The char line requires no adjustment.
The complexity doubles down.
Smoke the Bespoke Super Belicoso in your man cave or your backyard patio on your own. The only way to truly appreciate the complexity with no distractions. Music is OK.
Holy crap. The blend tastes like a million bucks. The blend has a lot of zest, character, tone, and a rich savory note.
A sip of water and flavors mount an assault on my palate. The flavors win.
Here they are: Caramel, sweetness, creaminess, espresso, cedar, burnt marshmallow, lemon zest, cocoa, liver and onions (Just checking to see if you were paying attention), wood, and vanilla toffee.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso is one of the most decadent cigars I’ve smoked. The tobacco is pure manna. If a cigar is going to press you for $17, the pure tobacco flavor should be beyond outstanding. And the star of the show.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso was made for the most discerning palates. I swear it tastes like the finest Cubans. The richness and lavishness of the blend is mind blowing.
For me, all the mainstream $15-$17 cigars on the market are a joke compared to this blend. Pure rip-off.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso is now smooth as glass.
The strength has mellowed out and the nicotine is minimal.
I’m having a great time. Sitting in the second bedroom. 66° outside. Windows are open. Music is playing. And I sit smoking a fantastic cigar. Can it get any better than this for a senior citizen? I don’t think so.
I’m at the halfway point.
Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso is now very full body.
I’m amazed how such a big ring gauge stick has such a consistent char line.
You know how you tell a cigar is a great one? Time stands still. You enter a parallel universe and enter a black hole. Traveling at the speed of light. No sense of time passing. Normally, I get very tired when a cigar looks like it is going to hit the 2 hour mark. Not in this case. I am enjoying every nano second.
Both cigar bands come off like a dream. Nothing pisses me off more than having to rip the paper to shreds.
Smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.
Only Biggs Mansion in Chicago sells the Bespoke line. You can reach them at 312-809-244.
The creaminess comes to the forefront. The Bespoke Super Belicoso has remained spicy throughout. But it is now black pepper.
The depth of the tobacco really shines now.
The Bespoke Super Belicoso is not a flavor bomb. It is one of the most sophisticated cigars I’ve smoked. It nearly defies description. It is absolutely worth your mortgage payment. Or $17. Whichever is cheaper.
As much as I love Ezra Zion, Paul Stulac, AJ, and Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust…the Bespoke line has become my deserted island cigar.
Speaking of The Beatles, we found all of our posters. Back in the early 2000’s, when I was still working; I collected rare Beatles posters. Mostly the “Yesterday And Today” album covers with the doll heads and raw meat covering the group. I have a dozen variations of them. I even have one album cover that has all their autographs on it. So now they cover the apartment walls; to my wife’s dismay.
I also bought the first known poster showing the Beatles playing in January, 1961 at Hambleton Hall.
The Sweet Spot is upon me. Flavors burst like a piñata.
I believe Jeremy signed a pact with the devil. No one makes such consistently magnificent cigars. And I take my rating system very seriously. So you can take my scores to the bank. That and $5 will get you a Starbuck’s coffee.
ZZ Top is playing “Tush.” I wonder how many ZZ Top fans thought that the group made up that name? If they did, clearly, they had no Jewish friends.
“Would you like a patsh on your tushy?”
For such a full bodied cigar, the nicotine is very mild. I like that. I hate hallucinating before noon.
I cannot think of anymore superlatives for this opulent blend.
If you have the dough, contact Biggs Mansion and score a few. I’ve gotten feedback from readers that told me they are very nice people.
Thanks again to Jeremy Casdagli for the Bespoke Super Belicosos.
And now for something completely different:
Haven’t told this story since February, 2014.
Curved Air was recording at Island Studios in London…in the Jamaican district. It was my second album with the band.
Food was great there. It was nice being a rock star because you could tell the production assistants what to do; like “Go get me some food. Get the money from our tour manager.”
The building could accommodate two separate studios. So we were in Studio A and the Baker-Gurvitz Army was in Studio B. For you old timers, you remember Ginger Baker? The drummer in Cream? This was a follow up with two guys that were brothers from NYC.
I had to baby sit my girlfriend’s 3 year old daughter, Jenny, while she worked. I had basically finished my chores of laying down the bass tracks. Back then, we laid down the rhythm section first and then layered the rest of the instruments.
Hanging out in the booth during the rest of recording and mixing was a blast and I certainly didn’t have anything better to do. I was a star inside that building and got treated as such.
The studio had a nice lounge. And a couple of pin ball machines.
I was sitting on the lounge couch, eating my lunch, when the “Army” came out for a break. Ginger walks over to one of the machines and drops some coins in. He plays for a few minutes when Jennifer slowly walks over and stands next to him, looking up at Ginger.
Ginger stops playing and grabs a milk crate and tilts it on one end. He motions Jennifer to stand on it. Now she’s at the perfect height to observe and even play as Ginger teaches her.
Ginger never says a word, even when a direct statement is pointed his way. He is completely focused on the game. Jennifer is making little screeches of joy as she gets the hang of it. Ginger is shaking the machine to make the ball do what he wants it to do. Jennifer imitates his motions. Remember, she is 3.
They do this for an hour. The band’s manager has been telling Ginger that they need to get back into the studio. Ginger ignores him for a while, but finally relents. He asks Jennifer her name and she hugs him. His eyes widen and it was the only time in a month of recording that I saw him smile.
As the days and weeks passed in the studio, Ginger’s time at the pin ball machine got longer and longer. I was happy because little Jenny was happy. Every night, she would chatter incessantly to her mother about her new friend, Ginger. This astounded her mother and she took me aside early and asked if I was always in their company? I nodded yes. There wasn’t a weird bone in Ginger’s drug addled body when it came to Jennifer. He was a Papa Bear.
During this time, the band’s manager pleaded with me to leave Jennifer at home. This was costing them a fortune. He even brought in the band’s wives to volunteer to baby sit her. Jennifer didn’t want them. She wanted Ginger. So, I refused. I told them that I didn’t know them and I wasn’t leaving her in their care.
So their manager got a hold of our manager, Miles Copeland, and pleaded with him to do something. He just shrugged it off and told the guy to control his talent. Not his problem.
At the end of a month, we were done in the studio. Ginger still had another month booked. It was a very tender moment when the two said good bye. Jennifer cried and hugged and hugged Ginger. She wouldn’t let go when I tried to take her away. Ginger looked at me and I could actually see tears welling. The man still had never said a word to me.
Jennifer asked every day if we were going back. She cried every time I told her no. I was sort of heartbroken for her. She had found an adult in her life beside her mother and I that she bonded with. And remember, we wrenched her away from all of her grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins when we took her to Europe. So this was the first genuine “love affair” she had. And she felt safe with Ginger. And with his reputation, that was rare.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
Oh man I got to try this blend for the reputation of hendrik kelner and son!
What a beautiful story! You’ve got enough of ’em to fill several lifetimes, Phil! (And if you haven’t already, please check out the great documentary “Beware Mr. Baker.”)
1hr 45min of Nirvana….OMLS! Super Belicoso by Bespoke…am wiped out…all I can say is WOW! Entering coma now….later.