Sommelier Premier Cru by SOMM | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican (1997 Harvest)
Binder: Dominican (2007 Harvest)
Filler: Dominican San Vicente viso 2018/Peruvian Pelo de Pro Visas from 2017/ BVS African hybrid 2017
Size: 6 x 49 Figurado
Strength: Medium
Price: $30.00

I am diving headfirst into this cigar review totally blind. Haven’t smoked one yet but I know Vlad from his long association with Jeremy Casdagli. I’m confident that this cigar will shine.

I’ve had this cigar sitting naked in my humidor for a little less than 2 months. As this is a very limited release, I thought it would be smarter to review now rather than after the cigars are gone. If nothing else, I can snag the blender’s intent.

I reviewed the Sommelier BDX Robusto yesterday and was truly impressed. (Since I wrote that review less than 24 hours ago, quite a few readers headed to SBC to snag that fleeting stock. Don’t be left out if this cigar is your style).

From SBC:
“After distributing cigars for multiple brands that we ship daily, Vlada Stojanov decided to branch out into his own venture with Somm. He created an initial run of 5,000 BDX Robustos from Cavalier Geneve’s factory.

“Somm Premier Cru is on the way, and only 3,000 cigars were made in 5-ct boxes from the Kelner Boutique Factory.”

(The Premier Cru cigars are available now).

If you Google this cigar, the name is a bit confusing and inconsistent as reported by cigar industry websites. I went to the source last night, Vlada Stojanov, and the above way I’ve titled the cigar is correct.

This is a gorgeous cigar. Dripping with oil that is always alluring to the experienced smoker. Sexy, really. And the figurado shape is perfection amplified to 11.

The draw is just a tad tight for my snobby demands. My PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool has created a monster in me that if the draw isn’t exactly as I like it, I fix it. I use the tool and in one swipe remove a small plug in the usual place where the cigar band is located. Good to go.

According to the leaf stats, the Dominican wrapper is 26 years old. Hence, the aromas from the leaf are very subtle. But here is what I smell…cinnamon, dark chocolate, creaminess, black pepper, a slight fruitiness, and cedar.

Aging is quickly apparent. Two puffs in and complexity raises its hand. I’ve had the cigar for less than two months. It is rarin’ to go. A tsunami of subtle nuances lands the rover directly on my aging palate and declare they rule the day.

Construction is excellent. The cigar is amply filled. And as a result, the burn is a slow roll. The char line is on point.

A lot of smokers cannot afford a $30 cigar, especially in a 5 pack. Me included. But in this case, you get what you pay for. (Small Batch Cigar gives you the option of buying just two sticks so that your wife doesn’t scream). I’ve eviscerated countless expensive cigars that fail miserably and weren’t worth my time reviewing. This Premium Cru is a stunner from the get-go.

I don’t usually repeat what the blender tells us the flavors are, but in this case, why not?
“Dark Chocolate, Wood, Pepper, Graphite, Tart Apple, Brown Sugar.”

These flavor points are merely the baseline for what I personally taste. The dark cocoa is leading the pack. Brown sugar allows the balance of savory v. sweet a reality. A nice 50/50 balance. The tart apple is in play…Granny Smith says yes.

Additional flavors consist of lemon crème pie, smoked brisket, Red Hot candies, lentil soup, honeysuckle, and fresh cedar.

A very intense complexity is just hammering away. I feel like my palate is running to keep up.

When I was a working engineer in commercial construction, I spent (In today’s dollars) around $2K per month on cigars. It takes that kind of discretionary dough, at your disposal, to spend $30-$100 on a single cigar. Now that I’m an old man, I rummage underneath the couch cushions for my cigar budget.

And as such, having access to these cigars out of my reach is the greatest perk about reviewing. I’m grateful.

For those reading me for the first time, I didn’t start writing reviews on my own blog until I was 60 years old…13 years ago. And I’m still here. I’m even more grateful for that. God works in mysterious ways.

It’s taken 25 minutes to smoke 1-1/2” of deliriously delicious leaves rolled into a cone. Very close to a chillum in appearance.

The finish is filled to the brim with notes of tart apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, and creaminess. The black pepper is just a speck but matched with the cinnamon gives the cigar that needed kick.

I know my head is going to explode when I get to the halfway point and sweet spots form a queue.

With every puff, the blend excels in depth and complexity. By the time I get past the second half, I will be speaking in tongues.

This is going to be a 90-minute experience.

Vlada Stojanov has just two blends in his pocket with SOMM cigars. A spectacular beginning. Each blend is totally different than the other. Yet both win me over. Man, this is talent. Vlad has set a very high bar for his next releases.

I’m listening to Amazon Music while I write and smoke and “Soul Finger” by The Bar-Kays is playing and yanks me right back to my teen years in the 1960’s. Several years ago, I was with friends and I tried to roll a doob and I couldn’t do it. My Hippie Card was immediately revoked.

Holy crap. This blend is beyond my ability to be a wordsmith. I’m now only taking one puff per minute or two and each time, the blend has increased the peace with astounding exquisiteness. The Premium Cru is by far the best cigar I’ve smoked in the $30+ range.

The aging of the cigar’s tobacco, along with its diversity, was meant to be. And Vlad found it.

Oh yeah…the strength started at medium and continues at 2-1/2” in.

I’m pretty sure I can stretch this review out to 15,000 words.

Sips of water cause my brain to stutter step.

Think I will just sit back and not write for a few minutes and just enjoy. I’m not going to have this experience again.

It took the cigar 45 minutes to get to the halfway point. But as this is a conical shaped cigar, its lurch to the end will be approximately 30 minutes.

The blend is one continuous sweet spot. Flavors intensify like a dam spill.

Heavy maltiness enters for the first time along with spotty hops that reminds me of a fine Irish stout ale.

My day has been ruined. Every cigar I smoke today will taste like Quorum 3rds.

Strength moves to medium/full with 2-1/2” left to go.

I often fawn over great cigars. I tell you that it’s the best cigar I’ve smoked in a while. But none of those cigars can compare to the sheer beauty of this blend. It is a sophisticated smoker’s wet dream. With my limited imagination, I doubt I will smoke a brilliant blend like this again…unless Vlad surpasses this gorgeous cigar with his future releases. Count me in as a SOMM fanboy.

I took another break from writing so I could just enjoy this marvelous thing.

I just don’t have the skills as a writer to convey this experience.

You can purchase this cigar from my sponsor, Small Batch Cigar. Promo code ‘katman’ will get you 10% off.

RATING: 100 (For the first time, I am implying that this may be the best cigar I’ve ever smoked…and I began smoking premium cigars in 1968).


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