Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut/Nicaraguan Maduro
Size: 5.5 x 50
Today we take a look at the Southern Draw Ignite Barber Pole Rothschild.
Samples were provided by Robert and Sharon Holt.
I’ve had these cigars marinating, naked, in my humidor for 7-9 months.
“According to a press release issued by Southern Draw, each purchase of an IGNITE humi-jar will result in a charitable contribution of 12.5 percent of the cost to the Navy SEAL Foundation, something only made possible as each valued retail partner jointly contributes to the selected charity.
“Southern Draw launched the IGNITE series in 2018 with proceeds benefiting Operation Cigars for Warriors. The company said that the project was launched with the intent of raising money for three types of charities: those helping active-duty, deployed, military veterans and their families; premium cigar rights and cigar retail associations; and organizations that help the needy, homeless and hungry population, many of whom are U.S. military veterans.”
This is a smart looking cigar. Crisp and deliberate in its presentation. Seams are invisible. The barber pole is oily from two perspectives. The dark chocolate Maduro shimmers like coffee beans. The Connie has a flat oiliness look to it…but glistens still.
The triple cap is as gorgeous as they come. There is a combination of tooth and tushy smoothness on the wrapper. And the cigar has some nice resistance to it; neither hard nor soft. Goldilocks would say just right.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
There is an immediate conflagration of schnoz appealing floral notes along with a blanket of dark chocolate. And like most Nic-Almost-Puros, there are elements of espresso, creaminess, black cherry, raisins, cedar, malt, and barnyard.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, espresso, peppermint, malt, chocolate, cedar, and creaminess.
As suspected from the feel of the cigar, the draw is exactly how I prefer it. I put my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool away for a pathetic cigar in store for me later.
All those months hibernating in my humidor has done its job correctly. We start off with immediate complex elements…An instant morph of chocolate, cream, malt, caramel, raisins, black cherry, cedar, and smooth black pepper into one ball.
I must admit that I tried the cigar early on while in my possession and I determined it needed more humi time for my palate. Win/Win. The Barber Pole is strutting its stuff while sticking its tongue out at me.
Strength is a solid medium.
Transitions kick in toot suite. A nice roundabout of traveling flavor components circle the wagons. The finish is delicious with notes of citrus, malt, pepper, cream, peppermint, and chocolate.
Who doesn’t love Southern Draw blends? I’ve reviewed 18 other blends dating back to 2015. Each one is unique and coveted by cigar smokers everywhere. For my tastes, I’ve found that most blends take only a month or two before ready for review. I’ve also found that some of the Navy Seal blends take longer than usual to reach the blender’s intent. The Barber Pole needs extra loving care and a lot of patience. But it’s worth it if this cigar continues on the path it is blazing.
I tell you it tastes better than the 12 year old Padron Serie 1926 80 Years Maduro I reviewed yesterday.
I love how the spiciness has been tamed through careful blending. It gives the cigar the perfect amount of oomph without wiping out the rest of the flavors trying to get their time in the sun. In other words, the Barber Pole is seeking out total parity in a concise flavor profile.
Jesus Alou and Manny Mota…the depth this cigar is attaining is a total surprise. I had feared this blend might be less than expected. It is not. Patience…something I’m not very good at…is the key with this cigar.
As with any good cigar, the burn seems to happen quickly as my needy gratification sensory gland is working overtime, causing time to speed up.
This is an absolutely delicious cigar. I could only find a couple video reviews of this cigar. Shame on the reviewers. But then, the initial press release said this was a limited production. Most reviewers stay away from this. But this Barber Pole is still for sale.
Famous Smoke carries them and I discovered this morning that Cigar Monster is selling a 10 count bundle in the IGNITE plastic tube for only $71. That’s $3 less per stick. Go to the Cigar Monster link and get some now. Yes! I know I haven’t finished the review yet but my 90 year old cigar smoker body tells me this cigar is only going to get better. I’ve never had a SD blend that dropped the ball halfway through.
I know I’m about to make a bold statement but here goes…this blend is in the same league as many of Robert Holt’s best blends. It has that deep richness we expect, it has a wonderful complex nature, and the balance is right on the money for my palate. For anyone’s palate.
It’s embarrassing what a SD fanboy I’ve become. And it’s not because Holt sends me his cowboy boots and I shine them to a spit polish. Just one of the many things I do for my advertisers. Although, Dr. Rod expects me to clean old dentures he wants to keep in his Dr. Torquemada room in the basement. I don’t like it.
Strength has maintained an even keel of mediumosity.
Complexity has no boundaries. This baby is smooth as ice. The savory v. sweet foundation of this cigar is in fail safe mode.
Banana shows up and mind melds with the creaminess. Now I’m hungry. I like that the peppermint element is in the background providing an airy and light influence. Meanwhile, the mocha java, malt, black cherries, raisins, and cinnamon graham crackers are flying high. There are also notes of carne asada that makes me drool. I can’t wait to modify my diet. Food. My kingdom for some food.
I could smoke this cigar all day long. For you smokers who like a cigar when they know it, this blend will uncuff your old testicles from your over stretched socks.
Sometimes, a review can be torture. Hours spent and too many times disappointed. And there are those days when I get to bring attention to a blend that deserves your attention as well.
I’m working at Prime Cigar the next three PM shifts in a row. By the time I get outta there and get home and wind down, I’m still up at 6am or so. My day is a total haze and not in sync with writing reviews. I shall be incognito til next week.
The cigar is anything but linear in its flavor profile and development. Each puff brings new gratification. The character of this cigar lives on several planes of evolution.
Around each corner is something even more complex than the last puff which puts a shit eating grin on my puss throughout the entire cigar experience.
Still medium strength. It has not moved into medium/full territory. And zero nicotine. I can actually get up from my chair and walk in a straight line. How refreshing.
As soon as I finished writing the last sentence, the blend moves to medium/full. The cigar wants to go out with a firm kick in the arse…while maintaining all the flavors and characteristics mentioned earlier.
My first sip of water and the explosion happens. Flavors swarm my brain like an angry hive of hornets. A huge leap takes place. The Barber Pole decides to go out fighting.
I’ve snapped on my cigar roach clip because I don’t want to burn my fingertips.
Trust your Uncle Katman on this one. If you miss today’s Cigar Monster sale, the cigars are still worth the retail or discounted price online.
Mr. Holt…you’ve once again showed who’s the boss.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS