First of all we've made it past the "Mayan Apocalypse" and into the new year, 2013, so Happy New Year!
Today I'll be reviewing something Dave initially reviewed here, and did a follow up review here. Like Dave mentioned he sent me one of the banded samples he was sent for review. So my review is based on the one cigar. The wrapper on my sample had a nice reddish brown color however there were quite a few water spots on it. It had a good amount of oils so much so that my hands felt a little bit slick after handling it. The veins that were present were mostly fine with a few scattered larger ones. When I gave it a squeeze I couldn't detect any soft spots and it was fairly firm. The box press was well done, but didn't have super sharp edges. Putting my nose to the wrapper I got lots of leather and a good amount of barnyard from the foot. After clipping it and taking a cold draw on it I got notes of sugary sweetness and leather with a slightly tight draw.
The cigar starts off with flavors of leather, earth, cream and a maple like finish with a good amount of spice. Some cinnamon flavors came through later as well. The draw on my sample was a little bit tighter than I prefer. I would classify this cigar at the beginning in the medium range, but definitely not overpowering. Towards the end of this third the spice did die down a bit.
I needed to recut the cigar because it started to tar up a bit. But that could have just been me salivating a bit more than normal. The spice started to come back which went well with the leather, earth and coffee flavors I was getting. The finish continued to be slightly sweet.
As I moved into the final third the slight construction issues I experienced worked themselves out. The draw was just about perfect and the burn was almost straight. Flavors I noted in the final third were of leather, earth, wood, with a hint of chocolate with the sweet finish continuing. The strength built a bit but never got out of the medium-full range.
Overall this was an enjoyable cigar. I wasn't blown away by it but the price is very reasonable. I do think that most smokers except those who don't like spice or the very new would be able to enjoy this. I like Dave would like to see how a smaller vitola would perform.