First off I'd like to again thank Tony Gomez for this sample that he sent back from IPCPR for me. Since this is technically a pre-release I was only able to smoke 1 cigar for this review. This is the latest size of the Air Bender with a slightly different blend. The cigar has the same Dominican filler and binders with Habano wrapper that is of the same type as the rest of the Air Benders but comes from a higher priming.
The wrapper was a dark Colorado brown with very thin veins. The wrapper also exuded a good amount of oils. When I put this cigar next to a regular Air Bender I couldn't tell any difference in the wrappers so we'll see how the taste test compares. When I squeezed the cigar there was a slight amount of give but without any soft spots. After giving the wrapper a good smell I was able to detect scents of barnyard, with the scents of hay and leather off of the foot. I did something with this cigar that I don't normally do, I used my Xikar bullet punch on it. I punched the top of the flat part of the end of the cigar, which was the original way I was shown to smoke these. When I took a draw on it I got the flavors of chocolate with a good draw.
The first thing I noticed after lighting the cigar up is the flavor of chocolate. Which is different in my experience from the regular line, with a definite spice being the first thing I get from the regular ones. The spice did start to come through on the tongue and retrohale after a few puffs on the cigar. Progressing through this third the flavors of coffee, leather, sweet tobacco and molasses were present. The spice was there but it wasn't as strong as I expected it to be. The draw was great with lots of smoke. The ash was greyish white and fell off at about .75". The burn was uneven though, which is something I've experienced with other chisels.
On into the second third the strength built a bit to the bottom end of full. However it didn't seem as strong as the other Air Benders I've smoked. The flavor continued to be molasses, coffee, chocolate, leather and earth. The burn continued to be crooked and I needed to touch it up.
Into the final third of the cigar there wasn't much change in the flavor department. The strength did build and I would definitely call it a full bodied cigar. I didn't have any draw problems using the 1 punch hole either.
While it was a good cigar and I enjoyed it, I didn't enjoy it as much as the Matatan size, which is my favorite. I do think it would be a cigar I'd purchase again, but not as often as the Matatan.
Agree, disagree or have your own thoughts you would like to share on this cigar? Please leave a comment and speak your mind!