Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Indonesian Sumatran
Filler: Dominican Pelo de Oro/Corojo/Havana 92/Barrel Aged Piloto Cubano
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
This photo comes through the courtesy of Freud Cigar Co.:
I have two cigars sitting naked in the corner of my humidor. They have behaved themselves and kept their mouths shut for 48 days. Time to slice and dice.
From the Freud Cigar Co. website:
“AlterEgo features PELO DE ORO tobacco in its blend – among the rarest cigar tobaccos in the world. AlterEgo reveals the other side of Master Blender Eladio Diaz, it is the type of cigar he likes to smoke him- self, hitting the sweet spot between medium and full bodied – and it is the first Tabacalera Diaz Cabrera cigar in the core collection from Freud Cigar Co.”
THE WHOLE MEGILLAH:
I reviewed the Freud Cigar Co. SuperEgo in October of 2022 and gave it a 93. Very nice blend. It was an inexpensive $18.00. It made my list of the best cigars for 2022.
The cigar is solid and has some heft to it. Much like a girl I dated in 1979. Beautiful face but not a spinner.
The draw is in cheeks collapsing mode. I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and perform delicate surgery. The plug was in the usual place…the area of the cigar band placement. The nice thing about the PerfecDraw is that it just doesn’t poke the plug accomplishing nothing. It’s stainless steel surgical array of blades brings the offending tobacco out of the cigar. The 8th wonder of the world.
Excellent drop of the flag as the cigar swerves head on into some nicely aged tobacco that isn’t shy about its bragging rights.
Dark chocolate, creaminess, lots of malt, espresso, Wheaties, black pepper, brown sugar, shortbread, a touch of berries, and a slight citrus tartness.
I’m all in when a cigar flies out of the cannon during the first puffs presiding over a congregation of menschen. (Use your fridge magnet Hebrew translator).
The tobacco is akin to Gorgeous George and Dudley Do-Right saving the world with heroic passion. My palate is slathered with a most excellent adventure.
The leaf stat choices and the aging (including the barrel aged Piloto Cubano) wear their feelings on their sleeves. No holding back. The cigar vents like a housewife telling a therapist her husband doesn’t understand her.
Strength is a potent medium.
The burn is a tad bit wonky but I remain patient it will self-correct without being torched.
Spiciness takes on a Cajun aspect.
I certainly enjoyed the SuperEgo but the AlterEgo raises the bar.
Root beer shows up. I miss the days of A&W drive in joints. A frosty glass mug with that delicious concoction was something else. How times have changed. Back in the day, you could order at the window, and they’d hand you that giant glass mug…and everyone always returned it like good citizens. I can’t imagine that happening in the 21st Century.
Slightly sweetened beef jerky is in the docket next. The flavor profile is all over the place. I’ve only burned 1-1/2” in 20 minutes. I love a cigar that reclines like an Egyptian pharaoh.
Strength is upped to medium/full.
The combination of tobacco dominates the variety of flavors. In a lot of cases, it might be referred to as earthy. But that term is a sloppy adjective to describe the growth of the plant, the soil it was grown in, the fermenting process, the drying, and the aging. It doesn’t taste like dirt. That’s what the term earthy sounds like to me. I admit it is difficult to describe the intricacies of that umbrella term. So, my palate is laser focused on those leaves that seem to have individual influences that are easy to distinguish. (Once again, I picked a lousy time to give up sniffing glue.)
Creamy chocolate is enormously proud of itself. The aged leaves give their complete permission to let the flavor profile wander in countless directions.
The balance between Savory v. Sweet is comparable to a spot-on plumb bob adjustment.
The AlterEgo is a great cigar for newbies. Seasoned smokers will adore it. The strength is smooth and does not offend my slow-moving synapses. My vision is clear.
But is it worth $30? The blend is certainly unique. Nothing like the overextended practice of using all Nicaraguan leaves or a Mexican wrapper with Nic guts. That blend synopsis has satisfied me as a daily go-to stick…but when a blender does his homework and concocts a Shakesperean boiling cauldron, there is nothing wrong with adding eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog. It is sorta’ the way Charlotte cooks.
The cigar is a decent slow roll.
The halfway point arrives at one hour.
Transitions move in a very pleasant wave. The finish is soothing.
The cigar is very nice. But is it a great cigar? I’m conflicted. The uniqueness of the blend certainly stacks up points but I am nagged by the existence of the price point. The SupreEgo was $18. Is the AlterEgo worth another $12 on top of that? It might need a verdict from King Solomon.
I really haven’t hit a substantial sweet spot. I have 2-1/2” to go.
Jeremy Casdagli once told me that his cigars need a good 4 months of naked humidor time before they are ready to perform. The AlterEgo may just be one of those blends that requires the same respect.
I may have jumped the gun. I certainly don’t believe cigars are ready to smoke upon receipt right out of their cellos. That is a fool’s journey. Regardless of the aging process of the leaves, a cigar still needs to breathe and fraternize with the cigars in your humidor. Sleep does wonders for a good blend. Unconsciousness may turn a cigar into a great blend.
So, am I tasting an early blender’s intent or am I enjoying the finished product?
The sweet spot plotzes on my palate at this very moment. Like a cherry bomb in the school toilet, the cigar provides a huge explosion.
See, I might be smoking and reviewing this blend too early. I would expect several sweet spots to occur starting much earlier.
The blend is now uber bold with exotic flavors that give my palate the Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop. This tune was a huge hit in 1960. Of course, you remember.
Strength now verges on full tilt.
The blend is certainly very sophisticated. Extremely flavorful. Exceedingly complex.
In 1965, a band called The Seeds had a big hit named “Pushin Too Hard.” But listen to the piano solo. The guy can’t get it right. Plays several clams and they left it in the mix…which means that was the best the keyboardist could do. It was no mystery why the band then faded into obscurity. Still, a good song…especially if you put flowers in your hair.
I feel that my critique is honest and on point. Yet, I believe the cigar has a lot more to give with extended sleep. Which means I will rate this cigar based upon the here and now experience, not its possible potential.
I reviewed the Meerapfel Cigar Meir Master Blend Churchill on May 10. A $50 stick. It was a magnificent blend that I adored.
The AlterEgo, in comparison, can only be summarized as: “Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.”
The cigar is certainly worth a shot if you’re adventurous.
These cigars, in all three sizes, can be purchased from sponsors Small Batch Cigar (promo code ‘katman’ gets you 10% off), Luxury Cigar Club (promo code ‘katman” gets you 15% off), and Atlantic Cigar.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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