Cigar Obsession Final Third | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.5 X 54 Torpedo ~ Box Pressed
Strength: Mild/Medium
Price: $16.50 MSRP

Today we take a look at the Cigar Obsession Final Third.
I only have one so this is a complete crap shoot. Very few reviews so I don’t have a clue what to expect. The only flavors mentioned in the reviews are your standard Nicaraguan tasties. Let’s see if there is more.

Debut at the 2017 IPCPR trade show.
Regular production.
From Neptune Cigars:
“For years, Cigar Obsession has been a trusted online source for cigar smokers everywhere, and David Blanco of Blanco Cigars has contributed his own widely-respected expertise towards creating a line of cigars that shows appreciation for Cigar Obsession and their mission to provide invaluable information to the smoking community. The ‘Third’ series of cigars consists of three distinct blends, composed of a ‘1st’, ‘2nd’ and ‘Final’ entry, all available in multiple sizes and all of which offer something completely different. The Final Third is a box-pressed medium-bodied cigar hailing from Nicaragua and manufactured by Plasencia. Available in a number of different vitolas, each one will smother your palate with a delicious barrage of cream, cedar, caramel, and almonds.”

With a caramel, cinnamon, penny hued wrapper, this cigar is a masterpiece of construction. A beautiful cigar with hidden seams and only a few veins here and there.

It’s also a heavy mother. I squeeze this puppy and it’s solid as a rock. Which gives me some concern about the draw. Will I need my PerfecDraw cigar poker or am I being fooled by this little tawny brick?
The triple cap is flawless with a pointy tip that looks like a baby’s anal thermometer. The simple, yet classy, gold cigar band is perfect in design. And lastly, the wrapper is super smooth without a hint of tooth. The arctic cold weather here in Wisconsin takes a toll on my cigars. Removed from the humidor, I hear snap, crackle, and pop from the wrapper. I take out my PerfecRepair cigar glue and fix it. But this usually means I have more wrapper issues to deal with as the cigar heats up. I do hope I get to publish this review as it is the only stick I have.

Robusto 5 x 54 $13.00 ($9.10) Online price from Neptune Cigars – typical for list
Toro 6 x 54 $15.00 ($13.50)
Lancero 7 x 38 $14.00 ($12.60)
Torpedo 6.5 x 54 $16.50 ($14.80)
I found that these cigars are pretty much price controlled by David Blanco. No one is offering real deals. But Neptune Cigars seems to be giving smokers a break on the price so if you so choose to purchase a few, this is the place to go. And tell the good folks at Neptune, the Katman sent you. They will laugh at you of course, but that’s half the fun.

From the shaft, I can smell rich caramel, milk chocolate, an array of floral notes, black licorice, fresh citrus, vanilla, cream, and red pepper.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell barnyard, milk chocolate, strong black pepper that makes me sneeze, caramel, vanilla, mixed nuts, citrus, heavy malt, and whipped cream.

The cold draw presents flavors of almonds, vanilla, milk chocolate, red pepper, citrus, coffee, and licorice.

OK. I know this is another overpriced cigar. I hate them. The greed in the cigar business is without stop signs. For over $16, you can buy some wonderful cigars. At this price point, I expect a cigar and a blow job…that would be worth it.

So, if this blend doesn’t send me to the moon, Alice…well, you will hear it from me pretty early on.
The cigar has received months and months of humi time so no lame excuses allowed. Here we go.

I have a plug. I grab my PerfecDraw cigar poker and clean its guts. I now have a mini Holland tunnel that provides free and clear access without my cheeks collapsing from sucking through a flat straw. The poker has a new lower price.

First puffs are tasty: Red pepper, caramel, sweet cream, a sweet raw nuttiness, and licorice.
I often hang the cigar from my lips while typing. I can’t with the Cigar Obsession Final Third. Too damn heavy.

Strength is very mild. Not my first preference.

The Final Third starts like a wet noodle. Flavors aren’t going anywhere. For $16, I expect Seabiscuit to explode out of the gate while I am standing in front of him and stomped to death by his hooves.
Instead, I have a baby goat peeing on me and chewing on my hair. (Don’t ask).

If this cigar was a reasonably priced cigar, I wouldn’t be so critical so soon.
You can see in the photo below where the wrapper came undone below the cigar band with glaring dry glue. But the PerfecRepair glue made all the difference between tossing a good cigar (We’ll see) and it finding redemption and the will to live on.

This is going to be a 2 hour cigar so tighten your seat belts. Expect a short novel by the time my puny brain gives up.
I’m an inch in and…nothing. Goddamit. Unless this Cigar Obsession Final Third picks up some steam, I am reviewing two less than stellar cigars in a row.
Strength remains at mild. Bummer.

There are only a few reviews of this cigar. This is bizarre. The cigar has been on the market since mid-2017. I go to the David Blanco web site and they only show one review. The one by Bryan Glynn. The guy was part and parcel in its creation and he is reviewing it? What’s wrong with this picture? It’s good to be the king. And the description of flavors is coffee, chocolate, caramel, pepper, and cream. WTF? I can buy a $6 AJ cigar and get a lot more. What makes this cigar special? Fingers crossed that by the halfway point, it shines. I want it to do well.

Clearly, highly rated rollers were used. It’s one of those great big cigars that you can put down in your ashtray and pick it up several minutes later and it’s still burning. No re-light required.

I don’t get mild strength cigars. Flavors are minimal at best. Not to mention, you might as well be smoking a Q-Tip. I want zippity doo dah in my cigars.

Flavors are flat and blunt. A very short finish. No transitions. And zero complexity. Way to go!

Normally, I would just toss it. I’d be pissed that I spent $16 for a cigar and it tasted like sweet cardboard.
As I near the end of the first third, there is some improvement. The spiciness saves the day as it moves to the front of the short list of flavors. Creaminess jumps in feet first. Caramel is behind the scene. I don’t taste anything else except for leather, wood and earthiness. (That was sarcasm).

Smoke time is 40 minutes.

Paul Garmirian puts out lots of expensive mild strength cigars. Obviously, there is a market for this but who? I like medium strength but prefer something that kicks me in the ass. And then the price. I have reviewed many mild/medium blends that were very good and half, or less, the price.

I don’t care if it’s a mild strength cigar so much. What I do mind is that I’m smoking a flavorless $16 blend. C’mon.

I smoked a Caldwell All Out Kings the other day. And from the first puffs, it blew me away and continued to build on the early flavor explosion.
This blend is lying there like my first wife on our wedding night. That marriage lasted 11 months but I was only 21. Stupid and dumb.
Where was I?

The Cigar Obsession Final Third is cruising on creaminess, caramel, some malt, a touch of milk chocolate, and weak coffee with an acceptable amount of spiciness.

You buy this cigar and I will come to your house and fuck your dog. And if it’s a boy dog, I will tell myself I’m not gay.

I’m waiting for this thing to burst into flames and excite me while running around the room while Charlotte tries to put me out with a cup of gasoline.

Both Glynn and Blanco are aficionados. Both know their shit. Both put out a bum cigar.
And on top of that, there is no break on the price anywhere; except for Neptune Cigars. I’ll probably get them in trouble for advertising this.

Where’s the beef? C’mon. (I said that already I believe…senior moment).
I’m still waiting on the strength to hit medium. Just an apparition at this point.

Torture. Abu Ghraib. Water boarding. Now I wish I was reviewing a robusto instead of this tree trunk.
I hate having to disrespect a cigar blend. But I take no prisoners when a cigar is priced way out of proportion. Maybe there is a Willy Wonka golden ticket inside.

I’m struggling to find something good to say. I really want to. I love raving about a good cigar. But I ain’t going to lie to you when the blend stinks.
My assessment so far is that the Final Third is nothing more than a Quorum. (Can’t you buy 3 boxes for what this stick costs?)

How about those Olympics? Exciting, right? I’m glued to the prime time events. Lovely weather in Milwaukee today…going up to 33 degrees. A big relief from the below zero shit we’ve been getting.
Where was I? (I repeat myself under stress, I repeat myself under stress, I repeat…).
Halfway point is upon me at one hour. Oy vey. Another hour to go. Jesus Alou and Manny Mota.

I haven’t tried the First Third or the Second Third in this trilogy of blends. I didn’t read any of their reviews. I hope they are better than the Final Third.
I cannot believe I taste nothing of its potential nor its blender’s intent. I surely hope this was not the great white hope for the finale. Jack Johnson would agree.

Zero everything…complexity, transitions, finish, and an intrinsic premium list of flavors.
Lovely. Nicotine kicking in. “Lucy…you can’t sing.” “Waaahhh!”

How many months does this blend need? It has already received several months of humi time. What am I missing?
Just checked. I found one single review. That’s all. Guess who wrote it? Yep. Glynn. This is turning into a Marx Brothers film. I’m Groucho. And the cigar is Harpo.
One review is not good news for this cigar. Not after 6 months on the market. I guess no one wanted to piss off Blanco or Glynn. Lucky for me I’ve never worked in the cigar industry so I have nothing to lose by reviewing it.

There are small flashes of flavor that tease but do not last long enough to leave a good impression.
I know two people who have taken me off their Christmas card list.

I have to make up for this with a great rock story after the review.
I have an excellent cigar I’m planning to review next. I have to do this or I will convert to a born again pagan.
This stick has made zero changes since the start of this experience. I do hold a grudge.

Smoke time has been 14 hours.

I want desperately for this review to be over.
Still mild in strength. Fucking hell.

Maybe this blend needs a year of humidor time. Maybe 6 months from now, we will see rave reviews of the Cigar Obsession Final Third…or not. You can’t go by the review whose writer was the driving force of its creation. Some bias maybe?

The cigar is widely sold online. I’m guessing at this price point, they aren’t flying off the shelves.
I’m killing time wishin’ and a hopin’ that the last third redeems this catastrophe. I have a bridge in Milwaukee I can sell you.

Some flavor arrives. Touches of the aforementioned creaminess, red pepper, caramel, vanilla, weak coffee, cocoa, a slight nuttiness, and almonds.
Strength finally hits medium. Halle-fucking-leujah.
16 fucking dollars. Lawdy, lawdy, Miss Clawdy.

The Cigar Obsession Final Third becomes pleasant at last. Nothing special. No complexity. A low end finish. Transitions took the train to Clarksville.
I’m going to finish this mother fucker even if it makes me kick my cat.
Construction is perfect. Not a single complaint.

The Cigar Obsession Final Third is a weak stick.
I still have connections with the JDL and Mossad. Say no more.

Flavors improve with 1-1/2” to go. It’s actually accelerating. Alert the media.
It has now surpassed pleasant and is in the realm of “not bad.”

I’ve now spent 16,000 words on this cigar. I’m doing the time warp baby.
I have no ill feelings towards Blanco and Glynn. I have no grudge to bear. I wanted to say good things. Alas….

With an inch to go, I place the Cigar Obsession Final Third on a boat filled with scrub brush and launch it on Lake Michigan. I use an arrow with a fiery tip and shoot it on to the boat as I give it a Viking funeral.
“This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes, again”

RATING: Uh…you decide.

And now for something completely different:
It was my 25th birthday in February, 1975. I was in London. Curved Air’s start of their British and European tour was to begin the following night in London for 20,000 fans.

To celebrate, my band mates and the members of the band Renaissance took me to the famous Marquee Club. It is sort of the English version of the Whisky A’ Go Go. And it was right off of Piccadilly Circus.
I had no idea who was playing that night. It turned out to be no one special. Figures. But I was surrounded by 25 of my friends so it was all good.

As soon as we got there, drummer Stewart Copeland handed over some writing paper. It was a letter to him from a friend at UC Berkeley where Stew spent a couple years. The letter was written on blotter paper. And the friend dosed the entire letter in his own mad scientist formula of LSD.

Stew ripped off a small piece the size of a dime and handed it to me. I took it and placed it on my tongue. Stew and Sonja insisted I down a giant 20 oz. beer right afterwards. And since I don’t drink, I got shit faced immediately.

We went into the room where the band played and within 15 minutes, I was flying on a magic carpet ride. I looked over at Sonja and tried to speak but couldn’t.
She smiled the smile of the Cheshire Cat. She put her arm in mine and walked me out into the lobby where we found a bench to sit on.

Time no longer had meaning. We sat on that bench for hours. It seemed like minutes. The evening had come to an end. People were filing out and leaving. The 25 friends, who included the two bands, walked over to us. They heard what Stew had done to me and were laughing hard and doing tricks with their faces and hands to freak me out. They had not had their dose yet. I was hallucinating like a mother fucker.

Stew handed out the medication. Everyone took a piece. I told them they had no idea what was about to happen to them and they laughed at me. (I would have the last laugh)

We ambled outside with Sonja guiding me. Piccadilly Circus was crowded with night crawlers at 1am. Trying to get a few taxis to take us back to my flat was impossible. So I let out a guttural yell, “TAXI!!!!” and I was heard from the other side of the Circus and came to our location. We all piled into 3 taxis.

Sonja and I were the only ones in our taxi that were heavily medicated. There were 4 others still trying to fuck with me and laughing…I kept pleading with them to stop…but even in my delirium, I knew that they had no idea what was in store for them.

It took about 15 minutes and we were home. We all went through the door while I heard voices asking, “What’s going on? Where am I?”
I laughed. I was already 4 hours into my journey and theirs was just beginning.
It was past 2am.

I sat in the living room staring at a freaky poster on the wall. I watched as the poster melted and took on odd shapes. I laughed hard.

A chick who lied and said she had taken acid many times walked into the living room where I sat alone. She had tears in her eyes. She asked me if it was always like this?
I replied, “No. It’s not usually this good.”
She ran screaming down the hall.

This huge group of people was dazed and confused and all having a good time…except for this chick who bragged she had done plenty of acid, but in truth, had never done it….so she began to bum out a small group of young men who became her caretakers.

And then I got stomach cramps. I didn’t know if they were real. And then a moment of clarity hit me and I ran for the bathroom. My flat was a basement flat in a several hundred year old building. No heat. And it was winter.
The bathroom was tiny and I could see my breath as I sat on the toilet.

This is something you never want to do….take a dump while high on acid. All my senses were concentrated on my asshole. I became my asshole.
But I made it through and ended up feeling much better and returned to the group.

Turns out, the misguided chick had left the flat to get some air in the frigid winter night. She was out there for a bit and began to freak out even more so she decided she better get back inside. Turns out, she had locked herself out and no one could hear her knock.

She stood out there for an hour and when someone finally went looking for her, they discovered her in a heap on the front door mat. She was brought in where she proceeded to vomit and cry.
She was bumming everyone out. I walked away.

The inside of that flat was like a circus with everyone doing something different to entertain themselves. Sonja found a lemon in the kitchen and spent several hours “walking her lemon.” My good buddy, Skip, accompanied her to keep her safe.

We were up all night. People began to file out around day break, heading to their homes. And hopefully, some sleep.
I managed to crawl into bed and slept….but with some amazing dreams.

Both Curved Air and Renaissance were to open in London that night. CA was made up of hardened Hippies. What’s a little acid? No biggie. In fact, Stew and Sonja smoked hash all day long extending the acid trip.
Meanwhile, the Renaissance boys couldn’t take it and had to cancel their gig.
Holy Shit!
And I got blamed for their cancellation. Not Stew. Me.
Management was furious. But then management was named Copeland so naturally I took the fall.

Annie Haslam, their lead singer did not do drugs and was not at my birthday party.
She held me personally responsible and from that day forward, never spoke to me again. As we had the same manager, there were times I saw her in the hallways. I would say hi and she would turn her head and ignore me.

That was the last time I did acid. It was a great time and seemed like a good idea to go out on a good note.
We played beautifully that night with 3 encores.
The boys of Renaissance spent that night in bed…whimpering.

And now for something completely different (Part 2):
Remember the Dutch band, Focus? They had only one hit from 1970: “Hocus Pocus.” A total instrumental; but a good one…still gets lots of airplay on classic rock stations.

The band fell apart of course. And a new band was formed ala “Yes.” And it was called Trace. A 3 piece band and they only played instrumentals. They had their Rick Wakeman-type with a wall of keys and synthesizers; all on wheels so this madman could run across the stage pushing his two tons of musical equipment. The drummer was from Focus, and a guitarist that sometimes played bass.
Anyway, Curved Air did a week of touring with Trace.

They were an arrogant bunch of dudes. We would do our sound check and Stew Copeland and I would woodshed on jazz fusion riffs I had developed. It was very progressive and this form of music had not hit England at that point…or at least no one was paying attention to the future of progressive fusion music.

I remember jamming and saw their guitarist wave his hand implying that it was shit.
Well, fuck him.

One night, after a gig, a drunken roadie left the guitarist’s basses and guitars on the ground next to the truck. And then walked away.
Someone snatched them all.
But the roadies didn’t discover this until the gig the next day.

We normally had dinner while our support band was on.
When we returned, we heard what happened.

Our head roadie, Beric Wickens, loaned him my 1968 Fender P bass. Know what this asshole Trace member did? He re-worked my bass to fit his needs. He did all sorts of things and then when they finished their set, he just handed my bass to our roadies. He didn’t even show the courtesy of taking my bass back to square one. He changed the height of the strings on the bridge. He shoved hard sponge underneath the strings at the bridge. He put the ashtray back on. He detuned it. He removed the finger rest. And he scratched the finish below the pick guard.

In the dressing room, I spent an angry hour putting my bass back together. When I was done, I went to their dressing room and screamed at him. My roadies had to pull me off of him. This guy was a lot bigger than me but I didn’t care.
The fucker didn’t even bother to thank me for the use of my bass. Must have thought it was divine intervention.

I bitched to our road manager and he called their manager. And let him have it. Our manager, Miles Copeland III told them he would never book them again.
The asshole apologized to me a couple days later. Probably told to do this by his manager.

As a player for over 50 years, I never let my bass out of sight for even 5 minutes. Except when I was playing with Curved Air. I had no choice. I hope this guy is now selling hot dogs at a Pommes Frites street cart in Amsterdam. Or working as a fluffer in porn.


12 replies

  1. YIKES! I appreciate your honesty. I really enjoyed the 2nd Third. It’s one of those that need 2 – 4 weeks in the humidor then it’s gold! I haven’t tried 1st or 3rd. The pricing is a bit much, especially when I can shop locally here in Houston and find great wallet friendlier sticks.

  2. Two in a row my oh my… are we shooting for a triple ? All Out Kings terrific smoke with 4 months humi time….Just imagine paying 16 bucks and getting a hand shake……lol Tomorrow my brother you will avenge…..


  3. Dude your the best! That story was awesome… As for the cigar, glad I’ve stayed away from those CO blends. The fan boys in the CO FB page just eat up anything the B man has to say. You are def my fist stop when I’m venturing to a new blend – keep up the great and HONEST work and the stories coming.

  4. Thanks Tony. I appreciate the kind words. I am sending you a $25 Savings Bond and a Montblanc fountain pen for your Bar Mitzvah as thanks.

  5. Damn. Sucks that ya had to go through a second bad stick man………..loved the stories though, as always. Keep up the awesome work Phil, and I’m glad to know that you’ve kicked sickness’s ass!

  6. I could just imagine being in a cigar shop.

    Me: Hey guys, check out this new $16 cigar I bought.
    Guys: Is it an Opus?
    Me: No
    Guys: Padron anniversary series?
    Me: Well, no..
    Guys: Shit, it must be an Ashton ESG?
    Me: Actually, it’s the new cigar from the Youtube honky.

    Think I’ll pass.

  7. I wouldn’t have thought being a fluffer was a bad thing, but you were right about the Isabela Stardust so I guess I’ll go with you on this one.

  8. Brother Philip- I could not agree more with your assessment that the final third was just not up to par. I too had issues with it and boy did I get lambasted for putting out a bad review….

    Keep doing what you do – Boston Jimmie – StogiePress

  9. Yeah Jimmie, it’s tough to buck the tide even if you are 100% right.

  10. Thank you for that honest review I’ve been eyeing this trilogy for bout a year but no reviews on it but Brian. Much needed review my man

  11. Hey Sitiautman,
    That’s because no one wants to upset the guy.
    I love it that I’ve never worked in the cigar industry and got to be a reviewer of status without the association; which allows me to be brutally honest. Plus, I’ve been smoking cigars since 1968.

    You’d be shocked how many manufacturers, over my ten years of reviewing, have told me they’d bury me and I’d never work in the cigar industry again because I gave their blend a less than stellar review. Most of those guys are gone now and I’m still here.

    Glynn’s outing as a blender failed miserably. And those that say the cigars are wonderful are flesh eating zombies.
    Thanks for the kind words and I will continue to fight for my readers. And never bullshit them.

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