This cigar, the “Island Jim #2” by Oscar is a 6.5″x50 Torpedo. Or it would be a torpedo if not for the black-wrapped open “pencil tip” of a head that, along with the artwork on the band (a portrait of Jim himself) makes this cigar distinct. There is no information on the composition of the tobacco in the blend or the binder/wrapper. This review from Stogiepress says that’s deliberate. The cold smell is sweet, light manure, hay, and barnyard. The head is open, the cigar can be smoked without cutting, but the draw is very very tight. If you cut the head as you would a normal torpedo the draw gets lighter.
On the other end, the cigar has a shaggy cut foot. I like shag cuts, they light really easily. No need to toast the foot, the shag is self toasting. A soft light is best. The shag lights easily and then lights the cigar itself at just the right temperature. Construction is great. The cigar looks rough, some prominant veins, a few lumps, but the pack is firm all the way around and the cold draw is right in the middle between too easy and too difficult for me. Given the rough look I expected some problems smoking, but the burn stayed even all the way down with one minor correction needed in the second half. Draw stayed even all the way along too. Good smoke output, nice, thick, creamy. This is a rough looking cigar on the outside, but very well constructed on the inside!
On lighting and letting it get into itself, you notice just a little pepper, a sweet woodiness, some leather, and maybe some grass. About one inch in flowers flit in and out along with some hay, brown sugar, and cedar. Later in the first half I sense some minty-chocolate which hangs around for a while. Roasted nut comes in in the second half and all these flavor layers are really good as I get to the last third of the cigar. They are not very deep flavors, but they do present themselves. For a 50 ring-gage stick it’s burning really well. Slow and even. I am an hour in as I cross the two inch line and at this point the flavors begin to fade back slowly leaving only the pepper as I get to the last inch. I let it go here.
Overall very nice, a solid medium-strength cigar with complex flavors although none really punch their way out. Smoked about an hour and twenty minutes to the last inch. Not bad. I got these on a deal at Rodrigo Cigars so they were under $5, and they are very good for that! They compare well with other good sticks in the $5-$6 range, but the vitola is larger than I like. I’m glad I tried them though. Those of you who favor bigger vitolas should certainly give them a go. I do recommend you get on Rodrigo’s mailing list (see link above). He carries only a few lines including his own shop-brand. He doesn’t send out many emails but there are often generous discounts and free samplers in his deals. Definitely worth checking out.
I’m pairing this stick with a Mocambo 20 year rum I’ve reviewed before.
Smoke hardy BOTLs & SOTLs