Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 88 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 48
Strength: Medium
Price: $6.75

Today we take a look at the Edition One Cloud Hopper No. 88.
I bought a 5 pack online.

BACKGROUND:
“The Cloud Hopper cigar was formed by two brothers, Kyle and Devin Gellis, who conceptualized the blend from their constant travels. Devin is the younger brother of Kyle Gellis, founder of Warped Cigars, and they worked together to create a cigar that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The term ‘Cloud Hopper’ comes from all of the time they spent in the air while traveling. This is the first release from Devin’s new company Edition One. The cigar is made at TABSA located in Esteli, Nicaragua utilizing 100% Aganorsa tobacco. This cigar is a medium-bodied blend that offers an array of fruit, molasses, and toasted sugar almost like marshmallow profile. The Cloud Hopper is one cigar from 2017 that you won’t want to miss out on!”

DESCRIPTION:
A solid stick with a sandy, gingerbread hued wrapper. Smooth as silk. Seams are tight with one long vein running the length of the cigar.
The triple cap is totally seamless. The cigar band is simple and to the point.

SIZES AND PRICING:
5.25 x 42 (No. 53) $6.25
5 x 48 (No. 88) $6.75

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell a bevy of lovely aromas such as caramel, malts, peanut butter, sweet cream, cedar, milk chocolate, black licorice, citrus, white pepper, and freshly ground espresso beans.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell (see above).

The cold draw presents flavors of baking spices, malts, caramel, cream, milk chocolate, marshmallow, cedar, peanuts, white pepper, café latte, and salty pretzel.

FIRST THIRD:
Earth, leather, wood….lol. It is required by the Loyal Brotherhood of Cigar Reviewers’ bylaws to start each review with the aforementioned three flavors. Good. That’s out of the way.

This exciting and breathtaking adventure begins with little bits of marshmallow, chocolate, spiciness, malt, cream, cedar, and peanuts.

The start of the Cloud Hopper does not assault the senses with the first puffs. More of a dormant approach waiting to lift itself from hibernation.
Strength is mild/medium. Not my favorite. I love punch and pizzazz in my blends.
The draw is spot on. And the burn line is adorable.

At this price, I expect a good knock around cigar. Good; but nothing special. We shall see.

This little stick just spews large clouds of smoke until my faithful cat, Sammy, takes a hike as he doesn’t like excessive smoke in his puss (No pun intended).

Coffee makes a big surge along with a dusting of chocolate powder and baby marshmallows floating on the top instead of foam.

Strength is persistent with a limp dick mild/medium approach. I can count on 1.5 hands the mild/medium blends I like. So far, the Cloud Hopper ain’t one of them.
It reminds me of a non-descript Torano creation. The kings of $5 unpalatable cigar blends.

Yes. I am reporting flavors but there is no complexity. Zero transitions. And a short finish. On the optimistic side, I’ve not begun the second third yet so maybe there is hope.

Salted caramel and a big dose of creaminess are running the show. Spiciness was, apparently, deemed unnecessary for this blend. Bad news for a spice junkie like me.
The coffee dissipates dramatically. The milk chocolate is a mere afterthought.
Black pepper arrives like a gorilla in the mist. Barely there but now more obvious as other flavors fade away.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 20 minutes.

The biggest disappointment is the total lack of complexity in the Cloud Hopper. And an absence of interesting transitions. So far…a one trick pony.

And then the flood gates open and in rushes some semblance of interest to my palate.

Creaminess and malts make a dynamite duo. Lemon citrus appears giving a nice offset of tartness and slight bitterness.

Have you noticed that when experienced manufacturers try to diversify and go from a signature strong cigar to a mild one that it is barely a 50/50 proposition of success? I believe it is more difficult to attain perfection in a milder smoke than it is for a knee knocker. And the milder blends find themselves in the Clearance category of all the major online catalog stores.

I give Gellis props for keeping the price low. But I am left wanting on the taste level. Where is my complexity? Where are the gorgeous transitions that keep my palate interested and delighted?

I’m having burn issues now. Nothing major but requires attention.

There is a slow creep now. Flavors are emboldened. But I think I am so desperate to find something fantastic about this blend that I am stretching the boundaries of my imagination.

The black pepper is very prominent now. Oh wait…did I forget “leather, earth and wood?”

At the halfway point, no dramatic improvements…just that frustrating slow creep of improvement that won’t find its denouement til the last third. Too little, too late.

I did read a couple reviews and there is a consensus, albeit in very short reviews, that this cigar blend deserves a 90. It’s a shame that the Loyal Brotherhood of Reviewers doesn’t require piss testing.
The lemon zest is propping up the flavor profile now. Makes an interesting match with the less than effervescent malts.

I’m kidding myself if I think a Jesus miracle is going to happen. The Cloud Hopper is what it is. An inexpensive, bland blend. Then again, maybe it needs 6 months of humidor time. Although…the reviews I read occurred less than a month after the cigar was released. So go figure.

The Cloud Hopper is totally devoid of any complexity. Transitions are non-existent but with a bit of a longer finish.

This is where I normally place a photo of the cigar at its halfway point. If this was a great cigar, consider it done. But not today.

Generally speaking, despite the lack of an appealing flavor profile, the construction is excellent. Gellis didn’t skimp on using good rollers.
I was impressed with the marshmallow element but alas…it disappeared into the wind.

The Edition One description of an “array of fruit” seems to have bypassed my experience with this blend. Unless you consider citrus an array of fruit.

Just before the last third begins, the Cloud Hopper aims to please. Finally. My palate recognizes a weak attempt at complexity. Finally. Transitions begin.

Still, the strength of this blend is just barely on the cusp of medium. I want a stronger cigar or a better tasting one. Either will work for me.

If you check out my list of 174 regular production cigars ($5-$8) that are inexpensive but good buys, it becomes apparent that the Cloud Hopper will not be a new addition to that list.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 50 minutes.

There is an inconsistency running through this review. There are moments of impressive flavors and then there is a reversion to the land of blah. I believe we men call that a prick tease.

Here they are: Creaminess, black pepper, malts, cedar, citrus, caramel, coffee, a touch of steak sauce, baking spices, and the tiniest amount of milk chocolate.

I am a big fan of Warped Cigars. I’ve given all their blends rave reviews. This will be the first time I give one of their blends thumbs down.

Clearly, Gellis knows how to produce near masterpieces. Kyle just didn’t nail the mild/medium status. As this may be the first time Kyle’s brother Devin got involved in the blending process, it may be his influence that turned the Cloud Hopper into a dud.

I feel let down. I feel guilty. I am disappointed.

Raving like a lunatic about a great cigar is a lot more fun than dissing it. Like getting a boner but no place to put it. The cat is nowhere to be seen.

With an inch to go, the flavor finally shows some potential. Very spicy. Strength hits a solid medium. Complexity has settled in. And transitions are at acceptable mode. The finish is now long but overdue.
This is what I’ve been expecting this whole time. A blend with spunk.

You should make up your own mind about the Cloud Hopper. At these low prices it can’t hurt to decide for yourself.
Final smoke time is one hour 15 minutes.

RATING: 84

And now for something completely different:
1975.

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. I think Curved Air would have been better suited to play live in the studio to give the music some authenticity.

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 pin ball 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.

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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2 replies

  1. Thanks Katman. Even your reviews of cigars that are nothing special, are special.

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