I’m not assigning rankings to these cigars, and no Cubans are listed. All these cigars were released in late 2016-early 2017. To avoid the illusion of rankings, the cigars are listed in alphabetical order. I have chosen 22 cigars for this list. 11 Will appear on this part and the second 11 will appear next week.
Remember, these are listed alphabetically, not by rank.
1502 Black Label
While I like all four of the 1502 Nicaraguans, the Black is definitely the best. The construction and complexity of this cigar are excellent. The burn remains even to the end. A very good quick smoke.
Black Label Trading Company/Black Work Studios
Black Label Trading Company and their sister company Black Works Studio are putting out some really exciting cigars.
Black Trading Company The Royalty
I smoked this in the corona size, Delivered as promised. Overall this is a very good cigar. The construction and complexity are excellent.
Black Label Trading Company Last Rites Petite Lancero
This was nothing short of spectacular. Paired with a Southern Star Winter Warmer made the experience even better. After the one touch up the burn went back to perfectly even. The construction is excellent. And having an ale that pairs so perfectly with the flavors is an awesome bonus.
Black Label Trading Company Morphine Lancero
The Morphine is one of the best lines of the Black Label Trading Company’s line.
Black Label Studio
Black Works is the “factory in a factory” of James Brown and Black Works Trading Company. Their best release was definitely the Boondock Saint. The second third continues to be pleasant and the with plentiful cool smoke. The finish is no longer dry and is smooth and rich. The flavor notes are blending nicely. The cedar notes have picked up a bit while the chocolate and leather notes are consistent. The burn continues to be even.
Caldwell/Booth Room 101 Hit and Run
I for one was extremely disappointed at the dissolution of the Davidoff/ Room 101 deal. Imagine my surprise and thrill when I learned that Boofy was not only back in the cigar business, but partnered with Robert Caldwell.
Caldwell/ Drew Estate All-Out-Kings
In spite of some people to condemn any product involving Jon Drew, this collaboration with Michael Caldwell is a truly outstanding cigar.
During the second third some of the spices have appeared in the retrohale although the pepper remains mild. The spices are leaning towards ginger and basil. Overall the flavors are very pleasant and complex. The smoke has a chewy texture. The burn continues to be even. The beer is a bit watery by comparison; a porter or a stout would be a better pairing.
Esteban Carreras Mr. Brownstone Smack
Aside from the somewhat controversial name (Mr. Brownston is street slang for heroin, as is smack) This is a very richly flavored excellent cigar. The cigar burns very slowly with plentiful smoke. During the second third the cedar and chocolate notes remain strong while the pepper strengthens. The burn continues to be even while the ash drops at regular intervals. The ale is a very good match with the chocolate notes playing off of the cigar’s flavors nicely.
Crossfire Legends of the Arapicara
Crosfire is and extremely fine Dominican Cigar made as a part of a mission to the DR. The Crossfire donates it profits back ihto the company and the economy of the country, as well as providing jobs in their factories. Approaching the final inch some bitterness emerged but was easily purged and the smoke returned to a smooth and pleasant experience. The cocoa and vanilla flavors were overtaken by the cedar and leather notes, but not unpleasantly so.
Cornelius and Anthony Senor Esugars
Michael Bailey, CEO of C&A tells the story of his dog “traveling” the floor while the torcedors are working. They nicknamed him “sugar” which became “esugars” and then Senior Esugars.
During the second third the strength increases to a very good maduro with cocoa, cedar and toasted tobacco notes. The burn continues to be perfect and the ash remains solid.
More next week including new releases from Crowned Heads, Steve Saka and Southern Draw.