Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Format a perfecto variation, 6″ x 50 at the foot but tapering smoothly to about 44 just before the perfecto-style cap. George tells me this shape is called a Piramide, a very interesting looking cigar. There is a visible network of very fine veins giving the wrapper a distinctively translucent look. Even a few more prominent veins in the wrapper seemed there for artistic effect. Evenly packed, no soft spots. Smell was vey light, tobacco and a little barnyard. Salty to taste. Perfect cold draw and some pepper in the wrapper itself.
Initial light had a little pepper and salt, but within the first quarter inch I began to get hits of sweet wood, leather, something like roast pecan, and sugared peppermint. Draw is perfect, no corrections in the first third, in fact this stick burned perfectly down to the last inch before I had to make a slight correction. Flavors stayed in too! In the second third something like cinnamon makes an appearance, and the sweet sugars become brown sugars. The retrohale is spicy with pepper but also leather, and burnt sugar all very well balanced throughout the first half. Smoke output all the way along has been fantastic. Somewhere in the second half something like roast portabela mushroom comes up once in a while. The brown-burnt-sugar never leaves the cigar, and the pepperment turns warmer into wintergreen! Pepper also comes up steadily in the second half. At the end the pepper dominates everything. The cigar has been medium in strength all the way along until it kicks up a bit in the last third. Flavor and creamy smoke stay with the cigar down to the last inch and beyond. At 1 hour 30 mins., I called it quits. The cigar still had a little flavor but I’d had enough pepper at that point. Nice cigar! Perfect construction, slow even burn, tons of smoke, and lots of flavors, even noticible transitions. I have 3 more blends to try, but I’d say George hit the nail on the head with this one.
What about the rum? I did pair this, both with water (separate) and Mocambo 20, a very dark rum reviewed by me at this link. I made sure to smoke the first half inch or so without sipping any rum, so all those cigar flavors were there for me from the beginning. The rum did make a difference. A hit of the rum brought out deeper burnt-brown-sugar notes in the cigar. I also made sure that I had a little water and a quarter inch of cigar (at least) between sips. These two make a good pair actually, but the cigar’s richness stood out on its own too. I hope George will put this blend into production! It’s really good!