Saturday, October 19, 2013

The dreaded “Flavored Cigar”

When I first started blogging, I made up my mind that I was going to avoid complaining as much as possible. I am not here to share every beer that I don’t care for, or run down every restaurant with crappy service. I have also made a commitment to you, the readers of this blog, that I will NEVER feed you a line of bullshit for an advertiser or to gain favor with a company. I’ve tried to maintain a balance of steering you away from the really bad, and featuring the really good.

This was all made very clear when we partnered up with Thompson Cigars for a series of cigar reviews.

I suppose we both knew that there would be the time that I’d have to write about a cigar that I just hate. This could be good for you all as well, because sometimes knowing what someone doesn’t like is as important as knowing what they do. It really helps form a baseline for how much salt you need to take with their opinion.

I had (Very unfairly) decided ahead of time that this time had come when they sent me a “Victor Sinclair Shots Spiced Rum” cigar to try.


“Great” I thought to my self. I haven’t been a fan of flavored cigars since I was 18 or 19 and trying to impress the ladies with my level of sophistication.

Living in persecution outside of the Humidor
 I was immediately faced with a problem. How do I store these things? The flavor on them is so strong that after an hour in my small desktop humidor, the smell was overwhelming! I can’t have these $2 sticks flavoring up some $8-$10 smokes, so, they sat beside the humidor. Fortunately, they come in tubes, so they have some protection from the extremely dry Colorado air.  I should note that the tubes do a spectacular job of protecting the integrity of these smokes.

Several weeks past and I decided I must fulfill my commitment to good folks at Thompson and get this thing smoked. So begrudgingly, I stuck it in my pocket one morning when I had about 200 miles of driving to think about this cigar.

I just couldn’t do it in the morning. The thought of the sugary sweet sticky smoke almost turned my stomach. But after lunch, I figured "what the hell" and popped the thing open and hit it with some flame!

Talk about a pleasant surprise!  Even with a wrapper made from fairly ugly, extra thick-veined Connecticut shade grown leaf, leaving it looking much like a movie prop stogie, the flavor wasn’t awful!

The spongy loose construction had me convinced the smoke would be thick and harsh, but that wasn’t the case either. These things are smooth as silk.

The rum flavor was very tropical and with hints of coconut and sweet rum, I must admit that I was, within a few puffs, smiling ear to ear. This is a pretty fun little smoke!

Photo Courtesy of www.VictorSinclair.com
As I would expect from  Jose Dominguez, the master blender at Victor Sinclair, there is some solid tobacco in these as well. I think that without the flavoring, this would be a fairly competitive smoke in the $3 range. There are distinct flavors of hard wood, leather and spices floating around under the flavoring.

I am very pleasantly surprised at this cigar, and actually look forward to another.

In conclusion, I’d say that even if you are not an avid cigar smoker and see one of these, for the $2, you’ll get a nice surprise out of it. They are unpretentious and fun.

On the other hand, if you are a fan of flavored cigars, I would call this your new #1 goal! I think for fans of the flavored cigar, Victor Sinclair has created an undeniable “Must Have” cigar.  Fortunately, you can pick them up HERE for just under $2 per stick.

They knew their audience. They targeted their audience. They hit the bulls-eye.

~Cheers

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