Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Costa Rican Corojo
Filler: Costa Rican Pelo de Oro, Nicaraguan Habano 92 Condega
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
I’ve had this cigar marinating naked in my humidor for three months.
From Small Batch Cigar:
“The Blender Series Felipe Gregorio centers around meticulously aged Pelo de Oro and Corojo tobaccos from Costa Rica that are augmented with carefully selected ligero leaves from Condega, Nicaragua for additional body and strength.
“Philip Wynne of Felipe Gregorio says, ‘Apart from being a dear friend, Ammar is one of my oldest customers. When he asked me to make something specially blended in my way for Small Batch, I obviously jumped at the opportunity. The size I wanted to make was one that was never carried in the Felipe Gregorio line – a 6 x 50 Toro. The final result is a cigar that encompasses all that I personally hold dear in a blend: a cigar that grows in intensity, changes taste profiles, is creamy on the palate, and has a long finish. A cigar is to the senses what laughter is to the soul.”
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
The aroma is intoxicating. SBC describes flavors of Snickerdoodle cookies and that is exactly what I smell…the cinnamon, butter, and vanilla are potent. But I also smell hints of fresh orange…check that; it’s tangerines. Little doses of dark chocolate, caramel, and soy sauce.
Time to light ‘er up.
The cigar is very solid after a couple of days of dry boxing. I punch the cap with Dr. Rod’s still mystery tool. The draw is my kind of draw…blackjack. My PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool stares up at me with tears in its eyes and I tell it to suck it up…I have plenty of cigars that will need your services…big baby. https://theperfecsmoke.com/
Excellent start. Complexity wastes zero time in kicking the pedal.
Black pepper, chocolate, that Snickerdoodle cookie aromas becomes a smooth essence of flavors, lots of malt, fresh Jewish rye bread, and a big wallop of ferret tongue.
This is a good cigar. It pulls me in instantly. It tastes as if it has been aged for years.
OK. The elephant in the room…SBC is a sponsor. This is how it works: If a sponsor gives me a cigar, I try it out before reviewing it. If I don’t like it, I become a hypocrite and tell my beloved advertiser that you don’t want me to review this cigar. And it’s left at that. I’m human, not a saint.
The finish is brutally tantalizing. Flavors swirl like an out-of-control ride on the Tea Cups.
The char line is flush. The burn is extremely slow. The construction is UBC approved.
I last reviewed the new Flor De Las Antillas 10th Anniversary. At $40, a dud. At $8, it would have been acceptable. This $15 Felipe Gregorio is worth it. The transitions are doing trampoline jumps through the hoop of the Snickerdoodle.
SBC describes one of the flavors as Subtle Felipe Funk. I wonder if that is like ferret liver? I should have asked. But then I’d need to describe it. I’d rather wait and see.
Strength is a solid medium.
Reviewing a good cigar is a joy. I truly dislike eviscerating a bad cigar. It might be amusing to readers, but it is toil and troubling for me. Much more fun to write about something that whisks me away on a magical mystery tour.
But then I’ve reviewed several of SBC’s Blender Series’ cigars and all were par excellence. Better than bogie excellence.
The complexity and depth increases the peace with every puff.
I’m on a Van Morrison OCD adventure lately. I can’t get enough of that man’s music. And he is still cranking out great music.
Viable choice for newbies. The strength is smooth and contained. No lurches of mind-numbing nicotine or spiciness. In fact, the black pepper just hangs back adding some cowbell when needed.
I went to my two month check up after my stroke. The doc solemnly told me I only had 6 months. I blurted out I can’t pay. The doc said, “OK. You’ve got a year.” (With respect to Henny Youngman).
At 1-1/2” burned, the first sweet spot appears. A shotgun wedding of big fat flavors crawl like biblical serpents over my palate while planting a flag declaring Felipe Gregorio is now landlord.
I watched “Duck Soup” with The Marx Brothers on MGM+ yesterday. It was my earliest love of comedy. And I also watched a compilation of the Stooges in color. Both these bunch of loonies make me laugh out loud.
This cigar is anything but linear. It starts with an impressive collection of flavors and then goes deep. A slow, but intense, movement that shows off what good blenders can do.
Creaminess pounces like a wild chimp on a cupcake. The Snickerdoodle bears witness. The touch of soy sauce gives the blend a slight saltiness that is just right. Milk chocolate reminds of Switzerland.
Transitions move faster than Dr. Rod when he needs to pee.
The cigar just keeps on keeping on with distinction and eminence.
Cinnamon takes its turn in the barrel. My tongue tingles. Speaking of cunnilingus, is there a name for your lock jaw afterwards?
The halfway point takes an hour to arrive. Nice.
It pleases me when I can tell you that a cigar can be appreciated by newbies and sophisticates alike. The strength remains at medium.
Flavors excel in the dichotomy of being bold and smooth at the same time.
Construction remains perfect.
I love to rail about expensive cigars. Alas, a $15 cigar seems to be the norm these days for a really good blend. Yet, if the cigar is a prince, the price is no big deal. I’d love to have a 10 count box. But a fiver will do if one is on a budget. Using promo code katman takes the price down 10% to $13.50 per stick. Better than a poke in the eye.
The next big sweet spot arrives at 3-1/2” burned. The buttery element reminds me of a Ritz Cracker.
Spiciness remains at parade rest.
A few sips of water and the finish explodes with aforementioned flavor points.
There is a new limited series on MGM+ called “A Spy Among Friends.” It tells the story about Kim Philby, the British double agent during WWII and the cold war. I need an after-review story about how Stewart Copeland’s dad was a spy for the CIA and how he was good friends with the man. And that in 1963, the Copelands were at a dinner that Philby’s family was attended, but Philby was a no show. He was boarding a Russian submarine on the coast of England as he was busted and about to be arrested.
The strength hits medium/full with a little more than 2” to go.
Everything about this cigar screams quality and complexity. Flavors are running amok.
This cigar is the culprit when you and your friends are all smoking it and the conversations are interrupted by a series of “Wow.”
Creaminess, Snickerdoodle, milk chocolate, tangerine, vanilla, soy sauce, malt, cedar, and funk should be pasted on a Sunset Blvd billboard.
The stick is nearing the end. No harshness nor heat permeate the demise. Intensity of depth rings the bells at Notre Dame Cathedral.
I use my PerfecDraw tool to nub it. Even at two hours, I want more.
Remember, 10% off with promo code katman at SBC. https://www.smallbatchcigar.com/blender-series-felipe-gregorioo
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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