Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Dominican Ligero, Seco Corojo, Dominican ‘98 Ligero Criollo, Panamanian Broadleaf
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
As there are only 500 boxes available in this limited-edition release, I thought I’d better jump on it…and at least give you a hint of the blender’s intent.
I did receive samples a month before the May 5 release, so fingers crossed.
The H&S web site makes no mention of this cigar, so it was a dead end on further information. My obvious first thought was at only 500 boxes of 20 released, this cigar will probably only be found in your lucky local B&M. And maybe a couple boutique online cigar stores. I did not find any at this writing, so it will be up to you to track them down.
Shipped to retailers on May 5.
From Halfwheel.com (4-23-2021):
“It’s my great pleasure to say that Hiram & Solomon have crafted a great cigar, which I have enjoyed tremendously,” said Storm Boen, chairman and CEO of Operation: Cigars for Warriors, via a press release. “We’re very proud of the strong partnership we have with Hiram & Solomon in developing this new CFW program to benefit our donation centers and deployed troops.”
“The cigar will be made available exclusively to CFW donation center retailers, and 100% of the cigar’s profits will benefit Operation: Cigars for Warriors. It is offered in 20-count boxes, with an MSRP of $10 per cigar.
“As Freemasons one of our core teachings is charity,” said Fouad Kashouty, founder and owner of Hiram & Solomon Cigars. “At Hiram & Solomon Cigars we take pride in being highly acknowledged for our philanthropic orientation. So, it comes as no surprise that our aim is to reciprocate with our humble gesture the priceless sacrifices that our soldiers endure in order to secure our freedom.”
“Boen added that this is the first release in what he called the Synergy Program and said that there are more releases in the works.
“Cigar for Warriors is a registered 501(c)3 charity that was founded in 2012 and has a mission to provide premium cigars and cigar accessories to US troops serving in active combat zones. It has donated over one million cigars, along with coffee, magazines, cigar lighters and cutters.”
This is a stout stick. Feels like a barbell in the hand. No soft or hard spots. Seams are hidden. Lots of veins permeate the cigar but no harm, no foul. The triple cap is darker than the wrapper and adds a nice counter punch look. There is a slight toothiness on the wrapper…which is a lighter brown hue than most Mexican San Andrés leaves. Some nice oiliness completes the presentation.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
A rich dark chocolate starts the parade. It’s followed by a fragrant floral element, slightly nutty, malt, salted caramel, brioche, butter, cedar, barnyard, and a crazy touch of French Fries…I must be hungry.
The cold draw presents flavors of an immediate potent vegetal quality and then berries, espresso, black pepper, malt, licorice, nuts, malt, and cedar.
Nice start. Immediate complexity. Flavors are everywhere…black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso, nuts, caramel, licorice, molasses, brioche, cedar, baked beans, and malt.
That was derived from ONE puff. Wow.
The draw is on the money. I put my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool away…for the moment, til I smoke a go-to cigar later.
The spiciness is mild and swings low sweet chariot. Just perfect for my preferences. That little kick of spice that does not interfere with the very subtle nuances.
The brioche has butter schmeared on it making it a gorgeous influence. In tandem with that sweetness is a scoche of charred steak.
New flavors: Butterscotch, red bell pepper, and raisins.
Transitions begin toot suite. The finish drips with buttery sweetness and spice.
Then a touch of salted pretzel livens things up. Hold the mustard…I have a kraut wife and even she thinks mustard on a pretzel sucks. This is probably due to the fact that all those carny pretzels you buy are filled with sugar. Real pretzels don’t contain sugar.
White pepper joins the fray.
This may turn into a flavor bomb.
The combination of leaves shoved into this love bratwurst are working like clockwork.
See, this is what happens when a manufacturer really does their homework and doesn’t just jumble a bunch of strains together because they were available. This blend is well thought out.
An inch in and flavors splatter all over my walls. I shall soon look like a Jackson Pollack painting.
I gotta try a sip of water…Bam. A nuclear array of flavors bursts from my ears and I gain 4 I.Q. points.
This is a cigar that in which I highly anticipate the second half. Less than two months in my humidor and this baby is singing like Billie Holiday.
And the cherry is that this blend is helping our service folk with some dough. As this is the first blend of the series, I can’t wait to see what comes down the pike next.
There is a nice combo of graham cracker/Ritz cracker richness.
Each time I puff, one or more flavors are added to the mix.
Of course, you may experience totally different flavors than I have but the point is that this baby is rarin’ to go and only your imagination is the stopgap.
Big plumes of smoke fill the air…circling my head like a giant matzoh ball.
The balance of sweet v. savory is spot on. Not a hair out of place.
The quantum leap occurs, and the cigar reaches down and pulls out a plum. An impressive depth occurs stemming from a richness that cradles my palate in gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And then strength moves into medium/full territory.
The first third took 30 minutes and went by in a flash. Nice cigar.
If this blend doesn’t send me into orbit with strength and nicotine, it makes a perfect morning cigar.
The complexity is now through the roof. Manny Mota and Jesus Alou. I’m fawning again.
Despite the strength being upped, the spiciness remains at a safe distance. Just the way I like it. Subtleties are being shot out of a cannon at a breakneck pace.
Another sip of water and flavors jump off the ledge to the fireman’s net below.
The burn has been immaculate. Construction is money.
I slow down to savor this cigar. No hurry. Each passing moment brings an intensity better than before.
I know this sounds like B.S., but when a cigar is this good, I fall into a mellow relaxed mood that feels like a warm blankey.
There are so many flavors at play that it would be crazy to name them all. With this much variety, everyone is going to have a slightly different experience based upon their own unique palate.
The good news is that no matter the palate, you will recognize this as a special blend.
Strength remains the same as I approach the second half.
One moment it’s Ritz crackers and the next is blackberries. This is like playing darts.
This is the first flavor bomb for me in quite a while.
The cigar grabs you by the ‘nads and doesn’t let go.
The blend becomes stronger. I get a nicotine buzz.
I hit the halfway point. I put on my seat belt.
I’ve seen a million cigars produced to celebrate a charity. Most are nothing special. Which is too bad for the charity. The Live2Serve will fly off the shelves. Start looking now. This is one of those blends that causes me to stamp my feet as I wish it was a regular production stick. I plan to get more the moment I can find the right retailer.
The blend leaps over the high bar of consistency and keeps on truckin’.
I put on Led Zep’s “Kashmir” to fatten the mood.
So much flavor. Too little time. My spirit moves to an Arugula farm in NorCal.
The burn line has required not an iota of attention. Its gig line would put a smile on the sarge.
I reviewed a great vintage Davidoff and gave it highest honors. The Learn2Serve is about to do the same thing.
I don’t have a single criticism. A gorgeous blend of immense properties.
To balance things out, my next review will be a crappy cigar.
An hour in and it seems like only minutes.
The blend has decided to settle in at medium/full without any hint it will get stronger.
My lips are smacking like Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors.”
The blend is constantly taking side trips and its tentacles seek out life in even more nuanced flavors. This is crazy.
A bloody perfect cigar. And it’s only $10!! How did they do that?
I wasn’t expecting anything like the experience I’m having. Nice surprise.
I hope other reviewers jump into the fray so that smokers, that don’t read me, get nods of the head from experts.
Another cigar blend in which my list of flavors would just be endless. Suffice it to say, this stick is chock full of all the things we crave in our smokes.
I took a look at the new arrivals on the boutique online cigar shops and prices are ridiculous. It’s getting to the point where $15 per stick is becoming the norm for something new. The cost-of-living index increase is low, as usual. But new cigars outreach that number by too much. The Learn2Serve proves that a great cigar can be had for $10.
We now have full tilt strength. OK. Maybe not a morning cigar. My parents are beckoning me to the light. I wave hi and then shut it down.
The blend will go great with your favorite whisky or bourbon. This is my plan next time I smoke this stick.
The cigar will be a 1-3/4 hour magical carpet ride.
The only criticism I can muster is that the burn gets a bit wonky but does not need correction.
Huge complexity. Incredible transitions. And a finish that is nearly overwhelming.
Even as the cigar nears the end of its journey, the subtle nuances sprint for the gold.
You’re going to dig this cigar. Find some and snag as many as your wife allows.
An incredible start to my morning.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS