Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Prieto/Ecuadorian Connecticut
Size: 6 x 60 Gordo
Total production is 2000 cigars.
From the Isabela Cigar website:
“Loaded with Spinning Transitions of Ever-Changing Flavor Profiles.
Hints of Chile-Peppers, Honey, Exotic Caramels and Vanilla, a truly exotic journey of flavor.
“Blended with multiple Nicaraguan tobaccos with 2+ years of post-production aging.
“It is based upon our extremely popular “Mammoth” larger gauge portfolio. The Mammoth 660 is a ‘more accessible’ 6 x 60 vitola with a hopped-up blend of higher priming tobaccos. It is designed to give the Mammoth some extra punch and more transitions.
“It has the barber pole wrapper with a bigger baseline for the Nicaraguan Habano Prieto wrapper and a smaller Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Plus, we added higher priming binder and fillers.”
When I saw my photo of this cigar, I couldn’t tell if my eyes were seeing right. Was I looking at 5 caps? I asked Johnny Piette about this, and this was his response:
“These were difficult to roll, even by our “old people”…which are also the best. As we know, OLD = EXPERIENCE!!
“But the elderly Torcedores couldn’t remember how to cap PROPERLY and perform the task artistically on such a large vitola.
“Francisco (78) came to the rescue because he remembered crafting a special larger vitola in Old Cuba…specifically ordered by a high-level Cuban politician. To give it some “pizazz,” they finished it off with a Cinco-Capa. The Torcedores were off and running.
“In American…yes…that’s 5 CAPS!”
This is just a gorgeous cigar. Feels right in the hand. Tobacco is evenly distributed. If any of the big manufacturers were to attempt what Isabela has accomplished, you’d be looking at over $20 per stick…easily.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Honey…golden honey. Caramel. Vanilla. Chiles. (Just like Johnny said). Layered in more discreet fashion are notes of green mint, espresso, Frosted Flakes cereal, malt, milk chocolate, cedar, and barnyard.
I use my prototype PerfecPunch to open the cap. The draw is just how Daddy likes it. My PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool uses the hangman noose I tied for it and hangs itself.
The cold draw presents flavors of Honey, vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, licorice, Caribbean fruits, malt, chiles, cedar, and mint.
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
Johnny doesn’t care for waiting for cigars to mature. He likes to whip a stick out of its cello and light up…hence, the entire mission statement on how he blends his cigars. Every blend gets years of aging after being rolled. I received mine from the Piette Monster a month ago.
With all the weather and humidity lately, it has been a bitch to dry box my cigars. I imagine most of you have the same issues…or not.
Since only 2000 cigars were produced, time is a wastin’ to get this review done while you can still purchase these cigars.
Complexity and the flavor wheel hit me like a sledgehammer on the first puffs. Johnny’s thing is quick and dirty transitions every half inch or so. I know why this is a crazy man during blending as getting the cigar to perform feats of magic ain’t magic…it is deliberate hard work.
There is sweetness from honey notes, mango notes, caramel notes, chiles on the tongue, vanilla bean notes, sourdough bread notes, caraway seeds, malt, and cedar. Now understand that this will change throughout the burn of the cigar. Keeping up with the flavor transitions is for younger men with larger, and less crispy, brains than mine.
The depth is immediately impressive. Like the first time I had sex, as a teen, and it only took 15 minutes to figure out a condom.
Chocolate covered rich caramel storms San Juan Hill.
Strength is just shy of medium.
My brain pan is spinning from the enormous flavor output. Between the natural tobacco insisting on all the attention, the flavors are bouncing off each other like nuclear fission.
Goddam the Pusherman. Less than an inch in, and I’ve fallen in love.
The fruitiness and sweetness of the tobacco go to their corner and let the savory take over with notes of beef jerky, sourdough bread with unsalted butter, spicy chiles, and raw coconut. That spice level is perfectly balanced. I get the needed kick in the arse, but it works with the other flavors as opposed to dominating them with leather and a red ball in its mouth.
Isabela has always been an expert in the balance department. It is a work of passion to get a cigar to taste like this. No shit my dears.
Strength is a solid medium. Very congenial.
Sips of water cause explosions of flavors.
Creaminess sets foot on the stage. It encompasses the other flavor notes with its big arms pulling them in and giving the blend a beautiful well-rounded approach.
Nothing linear in this blend. Every puff forges a bond between the cigar and the smoker.
With extended humidor time, this cigar will grow exponentially. So, to make sure I have cigars to hibernate, I stop what I’m doing and order five more sticks as I write this.
With 1-1/2” burned, I’ve found three sweet spots. Can’t wait for the second half.
Johnny is an expert at blending full strength barn burners. But this blend is very content and happy to linger at a user-friendly medium strength.
The tobacco flavor alone is a marvel. The leaf stats and the aging have melded perfectly with panache and style.
Pancakes and maple syrup show up out of nowhere. This is Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Fresh black grapes take it from there. An excellent beef jerky is thrown into the spotlight.
By the time I finish the cigar, I will have gone through all the food groups.
The aged tobacco and the flavor wheel are ballet dancing like the hippos in “Fantasia.”
This is a blend to savor. I love smoking a great cigar with no distractions…no herfing…no TV…just my headphones and music.
A sip of water and mango floods my mouth. Not the horrible, infused mango…the real deal. No idea how he did this.
The cigar band comes off easily with no angst coming from my misfiring cranial nerves.
My old high school buddy, drummer Stephen Hodges, would always tell me that his dream gig would be to play with Al Green. That didn’t happen. But playing on tour with Mavis Staples is just as good in my book. I’m listening to classic R&B and Mr. Green is grooving away.
All my pressure points are being kneaded by this blend. It is bloody perfect. Perfect.
I hit the halfway point at 50 minutes. Strength is tame and quiet.
The ash refuses to disembark as I journey through the looking glass.
I’m waiting for it to distract me and fall into my lap and burn my naughty bits.
Johnny was disappointed when he projected how much aging would get the blend to his high standards. Instead of saying what the fuck…he let it rest another year. The flavor of aged tobacco is a mystery to me. I don’t have the sophisticated palate that Johnny possesses. But each time a new blend is released, my palate picks up everything in John’s design.
Sweet spots have occurred every half inch. As the halfway point is penetrated, those sweet spots become so intense that I don’t have the wordsmith talent to convey what I am experiencing.
If your palate is similar to mine, you too will be swept away by a perfect blend.
Strength hangs at medium.
I’m not a Gordo smoker. Very few, if any 6 x 60’s, can convey the intensity that comes from Johnny’s lizard brain. I find it has the same intensity that a Corona Gorda possesses.
Manny Mota and Jesus Alou. I stare down at my ashtray where the cigar lays in repose, and I smile like The Joker. I still have a long way to go and so much presence on the immediate horizon.
Flavors swirl. Aged tobacco reaches for the stars.
How often do you find a cigar blend that gives you a boner this big?
The blend is ramping up for a spectacular finish.
Even with a Thesaurus, I do not have the words to describe how this blend affects me.
Caramel apple appears. Creamy vanilla gelato is imbibed. The black grapes come and go. Every flavor surprises me as I venture from half inch to half inch.
Chocolate liqueur tip toes across my uvula. The sweet honey is devastating. Johnny describes the blend as an exotic journey. Exactly.
Sophisticated smokers along with newbies will adore this blend.
Not a hint of nicotine. A smooth nature gets a standing ovation from me.
Coconut schmeared with chiles is remarkable.
The caramel apple hasn’t moved since it appeared. Sweet and tart in flawless proportions.
Transitions cannot be quantified.
The second half is like sitting in on a Beatles recording session.
Strength hits medium+ with 2” to go.
You won’t have to guess where this is heading. I haven’t doled out a 100 in quite a while.
Creaminess surges like its ass is on fire.
When I played in Curved Air, we always plugged into 220. There is a list of musicians who died on stage when mouth was put to microphone due to the gear not being grounded properly. I feel that electricity flowing through me as I smoke this wonderful cigar…except that I get the Cosmic Muffin’s permission to survive.
With 1-1/2” to go, I become saddened that closure is a few minutes away.
This big stick is devoid of heat, harshness, and bitterness. Flavors are as bold as the hammer of Thor.
Pandora is playing a disco song by Kool & The Gang. My brain collapses in on itself.
If you want to experience a perfect cigar, there is no time to waste. Those 2000 sticks are dwindling.
Remember, if you use the promo code Katman Katpack, Johnny will surprise you with his generosity.
I’m spent and invigorated sequentially.
This is a stunner of a blend.
Go to Isabela Cigar Co. and treat yourself.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS