Wrapper: Hybrid Connecticut Arapiraca Maduro
Vitola: 4 ¾ x 48 (SBC Exclusive)
Purchase Link: The Last Tsar SBC Exclusive
THE LAST TSAR REVIEW – CALIFORNIA
Summary: Pepper and cream. About an inch down and the sharpness has dissipated, leaving me with a slightly over-baked chocolate chip cookie.
Nothing much to note in the second third other than the fact that it went out on me.
Final third begins with a burn touch-up. There’s a cantaloupe sweetness now making things interesting. Just about went out again. Hickory and maple.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: Layovers.
Pairing Suggestion: Hard cider.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: Single.
THE LAST TSAR REVIEW – WISCONSIN
Summary: Smoking this little cigar was like drinking 3 different cups of coffee. It held a consistent coffee-like core throughout. In the first third, it was a mocha. Flavors of chocolate and cocoa dominated. They were joined by nuttiness, creaminess, vanilla, light pepper, and oak.
In the second third, it became an oaky coffee. While I've never ordered that at Starbucks, I found it enjoyable. Cinnamon and oatmeal joined the flavor profile here too.
The final third was an earthy coffee. It kept a lot of the previous background flavors. While I found the cigar enjoyable, I also found it dry throughout. Dryness was especially pronounced in the middle, when dry oak and nuts were a little much to take.
Construction-wise, the cigar had no issues at all.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: Trying different kinds of coffee.
Pairing Suggestion: Bourbon.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: Fiver.
THE LAST TSAR REVIEW – OREGON
Summary: This Corona sized stick smelled like dark tobacco and sweet cocoa mixed with spices on the wrapper. The cold draw was very loose, which was a touch concerning.
After I lit the cigar, my initial flavor impressions included oak, bitter chocolate and a slightly citrusy finish. But alas, with not even on half inch of ash on the cigar and it went out. Relight... when the smoke rolled again, the flavors hadn’t changed at all but there was an underlying sweetness to the profile I didn’t get initially. The cigar finally seemed to come around and the flavors really transitioned. Oak gave way to cedar and the spice flavors is distinctly cinnamon... lost the citrusy finish in there as well. The retro hale was really nice. It reminded me of those breakfast cinnamon rolls that come in the cardboard tube you pop open with a spoon... the only food packaging designed to scare you.
Halfway I found more muted flavors and smoke production. Natural tobacco and citrus notes were my only tasting notes... seemed there is either another, or larger tunnel further into the cigar... bleak outlook.
Finally, once I had about an inch and a half left to smoke, things really started to become enjoyable. There was a ton of smoke and the flavored really hit full stride. Aromatic cedar, heavy leather notes and hazelnut all led into a nice peppery finish. Further in the mix there was a hint of raisin and a spiciness I would equate to Worcestershire sauce. The retro hale was smooth and sort of sweet with a long pepper finish.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: If you like this, then you probably like the idea of dessert for all three courses.
Pairing Suggestion: I would pair this with a morning coffee, an afternoon bourbon or an evening White Russian.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: One third was amazing... single stick.
Participants in this blind review were completely unaware of the cigar they were evaluating until all submissions were received and processed. Each participant was asked to answer a summary paragraph, an if/than statement, a pairing suggestion, and a purchase suggestion. Cigars were provided by Small Batch with only the expectations of candid responses. All pictures, information, and formatting were completed by a Coordinator outside of the reviewing process.