Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro & Candela accents
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 4.5 x 46 Petite Corona
Strength: Full
Price: $9.00 ($8.00 online)

Today we take a look at the Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet.

Released: July, 2016
Regular production
“In late 2015, James Brown, the co-owner of Black Label Trading Co., launched a brand named Black Works Studio to showcase “unique premium cigars” produced at the Fabrica Oveja Negra in Estelí, Nicaragua. The first three releases were the NBK (6 x 46), The Killer Bee (4 1/2 x 46) and Rorschach (5 x 38), all of which shipped in December of that year.

“The Green Hornet started as an event only cigar, however after seeing the response from consumers and retailers we knew it had to become a regular release,” said Brown in a press release. “The blend is a touch stronger than the Killer Bee to compliment the larger vitola and the closed Candela foot creates a very unique profile from the first puff. The Green Hornet is big, bold, rich and spicy.”

The Killer Bee Hornet is certainly a stunning piece of eye candy. From the classic Maduro wrapper to the artistic flare of the candela leaves that adorn this cigar in order to make it something you want to put in Lucite and turn into a pen and pencil set. Smoking it seems to be a crime. BWS employed some seriously expressive rollers for this stick. And the going price online of $8 is a killer bee price.

Petite Corona: 4.5 x 46 $9.00
Robusto: 5 x 48 $9.50

From the shaft, I can smell luscious milk chocolate, peanuts, espresso, black pepper, cedar, caramel, nicely creamy, and a touch of both black licorice and cinnamon.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell (I hate having to cut this cap ~ But using my Palio cutter very closely, I’m able to perform the mohel process of just clipping the cap without taking an iota of tobacco with it…the perfect yarmulke). Anyway, it smells like brown sugar, red hot cinnamon, chocolate, black coffee, caramel, peanuts, cedar, fresh mint, black pepper, lemon zest, and malts.

The cold draw presents flavors of grass (typical of candela), cocoa, coffee, heavy black licorice, citrus, peanuts, cedar, and creaminess.

The draw is sparkling clear. Do not need the use of my trustworthy PerfecDraw cigar poker tool. Smoking this weekend, that little baby saved two good cigars from the ash heap. Yeah, I shill for the company. But by now you should realize I only back cigars and accessories I believe in. And this little $25 tool is a god send to cigar smokers. No homemade tool has the efficacy of this very specific and perfectly designed relief of constipation in cigar smokers.

The stick is solid with tobacco yet smoke pours from the nose cone like a volcano. I’m engulfed in hearty white smoke.
Flavors emerge immediately: Espresso, creaminess, black pepper, charred meat, licorice, malts, grass, tangerine zest, cedar, mint, and mixed dried fruit.
Not bad.
Strength is a potent medium.

Something just came to mind…Did you ever get an outdoor BJ from a girlfriend when you were younger and it turned out that a large group of strangers just happened to be watching? And then she dumped you when you got home? Me neither.

Less than an inch in, the flavor profile explodes into the danger zone. Or is that the Xander Zone? Close enough for jazz.

There is a delicious smoky meaty presence that causes me to salivate. Very smoky with small elements of char. The coffee element complements this flavor big time. Born to run.
The chocolate hangs back doing Do-Wop giving it a special rhythm that entices this palate.

This little fucker tastes like a million bucks. And I did the right thing…I kept it naked in my humidor for around 3 months. Plenty of time for the blend to show off for this review.
The burn is spot on. No issues.

Creaminess galore. Salted caramel. Big chunks of black licorice goaded on by hot cinnamon.
The “It” factor is in full swing. But then it’s hard to go wrong with blends from BLTC and BWS. Their shit is in one bag.

I like smaller cigars as flavors are more intense than the Gordos. But I would have liked to have given the robusto a shot too. I’m going to finish this petite corona in no time with me wanting more.
Each time I bring the cigar to my lips, I get very intense complexity. Wonderful transitions that teeter on being illegal.

Ratings for this cigar ranged from 88-95. I think the latter is closer to the truth. It’s natural for some reviewers who get to try everything on the planet to become snobs about what they review. You would too if all you had to smoke were the best of the best most of the time. Still, I think some reviewers would be better suited looking at a cigar like most of us do. And not from the snobbery of only being used to the best available creating a scenario that disses very good cigars. Yeah, I’m liberal with my ratings for good cigars. But then I am also ruthless when I end up reviewing a dog turd.

Complexity and transitions are going bat shit crazy. This is one tasty mother fucker.
The finish is toothsome and non-ending.
This is a great cigar for newbies. A potency that creeps up on you so you’re not hit with a strong nicotine filled bomb all at once.

The whole becomes greater than its parts. We have a bona fide winner here. This is just fucking delicious. But I must warn you, I had two sticks and smoked one a month ago. Nicht gut. Didn’t have half the flavors of this stick that slept for almost 3 months.

Smoke time is 30 minutes.

The fresh grassiness of the candela is very much present in this display of blending mastery.

The price? Fucking A. This $8 stick shits on the heads of many other brands selling their wares for twice this price…and getting half the experience of fun with Lubriderm and Kleenex. I always keep over ripe cantaloupes at hand. Hint: Nuke them first for half a minute. Your penis will thank you. (I’ve taught my penis to call me “sir.”)

Strength is now full tilt full. Nicotine enters stage right.

The linear transitions that allow the Black Works Studio Killer Bee Green Hornet to soar to the heavens with layer upon layer of intense flavors is addictive. If I were rich and handsome like my buddy, Larry Beeman, I’d buy a box. Larry made his money working in politics. But his start in the circus as the guy with the shovel following the elephants paid off big time for his political career.

Know who reads me? Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. I met him when my son in law received a lifesaving award at the twice a year ceremony put on by Milwaukee PD.
I introduced myself to Barrett as a “longtime supporter.” He took that to mean: Contributor. We kibitzed about life and then cigars came up. When he found out I was the Katman, he flipped. The mayor of Milwaukee reads me. Every now and then, I get an email from hizzoner and we stick to cigars. Very nice guy and probably the tallest mayor in America at 6’-6.

There has been no breather or letup in the attack of this blend. It’s the chameleon of cigar blends with each puff bringing a new compendium of flavors to the table. (I used the word “compendium” to impress upon you I went to college…I know…weak).

Holy shit. The strength of this cigar has gone through the roof. But with a smaller dose of nicotine than I expected.

Thank goodness this is a regular production blend. You can find it everywhere but be careful. Some stores are selling them for MSRP and others knock a buck or so off per stick.
Zero burn issues. A well-made fucker.

Rod Stewart is 73.
Did you know that Amazon sells Yahrzeit candles by the 6 pack?

I read more than one review that stated the last third of this cigar is merely a repeat of the second third. I attribute that to maybe not having enough humi time. BLTC blends tend to take a couple months or more before they are ready to smoke.

There is no part of this cigar that is derivative of its former self. It grows like a weed in complexity without interruption.

So my friends, this is the cigar for you. Even those whose palates aren’t as laser perfect as others will dig this cigar. You don’t need to dissect each flavor as the presentation of flavors is impeccable. You’ll love it because your brain tells you to.

Final smoke time is 50 minutes.


And now for something completely different:
The Police….

I saw in the newspaper that they were coming to Southern California and doing two shows; the first in San Francisco and, the second in Santa Barbara at the UCSB Events Center on Nov. 2, 1980; about 90 minutes north of L.A.
No L.A. performance.

I felt fearless and called Miles Copeland, the band’s manager and Stew’s older brother. Miles got his start with Wishbone Ash, then Caravan, Al Stewart, Renaissance, Climax Blues Band, and my band, Curved Air. (He now is a multi-gazillionaire who handles Sting)

Miles, unexpectedly, was overjoyed to hear from me…although the bastardo fired me from Curved Air because there was trouble in the ranks with the prima donnas so why not blame the Jew who acted as intermediary between the two camps? That’s right, take the path of least resistance.
Miles suggested I show up to the Santa Barbara gig and he wouldn’t tell Stew. It would be a surprise. Done deal.
Supporting the Police was Danny Elfman’s band, Oingo Boingo.

The hall was empty when I was allowed in with my ex-wife, Teri. We had gotten back together after 10 years apart. And what better way to show off how important I was than this trip?
I saw Miles and the band standing all by themselves in the corner of the arena. We approached them quietly.

I had changed my look since England. It was New Wave time, baby. So I had a short, good looking haircut, not a giant afro.
I stood just outside their circle and they all looked at me like, “Who the fuck are you?”

Miles jabs Stew with his elbow and motions with his head to take a look. All of a sudden, Stew’s eyes lit up, a big smile formed across his puss and he grabbed me with both of his lanky arms and lifted me off the ground. And he yelled, “Douche Bag!!!” That’s what we called each other back in the day. A term of manly affection.
I met Sting and Andy and we kibitzed for a while. Laughed about road stories and life.

We went back to the dressing room which was really a locker room. Benches and lockers. No tables or chairs. The Police hadn’t quite made super star status yet.

They brought dinner in for us and we had some beers. After dinner, I brought out dessert: the finest Northern CA buds. Spent $400 on half an ounce in 1981. I decided to buy a tiny bit to take with me. You never know. I also had the devil’s drug: Cocaine.

Well, everyone’s eyes grew bigger. Andy lit it up and then passed to Stewart who then passed it to me. And then he passed it to Sting. Stew ripped a mirror off of the wall and we laid out lines of the white death.

Now here is where I made the biggest faux pas of the evening. This was the beginning of their career and I could not for the life of me think that Sting was what his friends call him. Just couldn’t be. Too stupid a name.
So as I passed it to Sting, but I whistled; like a command to a dog and outstretched my hand with the mirror.
Stewart was livid. He looked at me and said, “HIS NAME IS STING!!!”

My shoulders drooped and I apologized, not explaining my reasons for being so rude. It would have only made matters worse.

Apparently, they ran out of the stuff in SF, so the roadies and their personal body guard got wind….I shared the wealth and now I had free traveling powers in the back stage and dressing room area. Didn’t even need those passes that hung around your neck. I was that well known by then to everyone.

A huge gaggle of record people from L.A. had driven up to hang with The Police because they had no plan to play L.A.

I never laughed so hard as when I saw the “Hollywood” types in the Don Johnson jackets and all that weird hair on the women; all wondering “Who the fuck is this guy?”

Since Santa Barbara University was their only So Cal stopping point, all the music insiders drove up to be part of a happening. They were all dressed up but Teri and I were dressed neat but casual. She looked great and Stew whispered to me, “Where did you get her?” I explained and he gave out a big belly laugh. So as a real pal would, he started hitting on Teri. I didn’t care. I knew where her passions lay. And besides, what is cooler than having a rock star, besides me, make a pass at you?
Quickly, I became a SOMEONE!

In the end, it was a fun night. I got to see an old pal and make new pals. Andy turned out to be the sweetest guy in the world and we talked about the Curved Air days and he and I talked about his illustrious background.

I have only seen or talked to Stew a handful of times since then. He outgrew me. He became a polo playing jetsetter and this poor schmuck did other things not requiring the dough of a millionaire.
What are you going to do? Go figure.

That’s me on the far left and Stew on the far right:


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11 replies

  1. Not a fan of candela, but love this smoke. Everything Black Label and BWS puts out is worth the price of admission.

  2. Glad to see you back, Phil!

    Ahhhh, another for the “buy list”.

  3. It’s good to be back writing my nonsense, Wally.

  4. That’s a beauteous looking stick which I cannot locate locally (in NH or the Boston market, anyway) without having to buy a whole box. Hoping my buddy Kurt Kendall of 7-2-4 fame will pick some up for the deep (and wide) Twins Cigars walk-in. He always gets goodies others miss!

  5. That’s a truly beautiful cigar. As advised I’ll be giving it proper time in the humidor. I can get through a whole pallet of cantaloupe in that 3 months. You and your wisdom are indispensable Katman.

  6. Good man.
    Make sure you buy your cantaloupes in season. Otherwise, using hard cantaloupe flesh can cause irreparable damage to your disco stick. And possibly give you Peyronie’s disease.

  7. What’s Pierogi’s disease?

  8. I assume you are not referring to the Polish dumpling?
    From Mayo Clinic:
    “Peyronie’s disease is the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis that causes curved, painful erections. Penises vary in shape and size, and having a curved erection isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. But Peyronie’s disease causes a significant bend or pain in some men.”

  9. I was,,,,

    From Wikipedia:
    “Pierogi (/pɪˈroʊɡi/ pih-ROH-ghee[1]) (singular pieróg), also known as varenyky, are filled dumplings of Eastern European origin.”

  10. I got a quite a few of the flavours you described from the robusto format.

    Each of the flavours seemed to vary in intensity between puffs, so it was like smoking a slightly different blend each time. I felt it was just a little too salty, but still a very cool change-of-pace cigar!

  11. You’re the most remarkable person I’ve never met dude. What an excellent review. Shit keeps me engaged! Nope, I’ve never been in the woods with an ex getting a BJ in front of a crowd. I would though!

    Excellent stuff, pal.

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