APRIL 23, 2023 - PHIL KURUT, COMEDY - CIGARS - MUSIC
SP1014 BLACK ROBUSTO (5 x 50)
WRAPPER: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
BINDER: MEXICAN SAN ANDRÉS (BARREL-AGED)
Since the fillers are undisclosed, I’m guessing they are from an ancient samurai province and some far-off galaxy. Seems reasonable.
Through a very smooth draw, Black brings in spice, dry earth, a floral note, some deeply rooted but subtle chocolate, and a touch of raisin. If you’re just pulling and blowing, you might not catch all of that. Pulling and blowing seems like a bad choice of words, but let’s not dwell on that too much.
The retrohale starts out with a quick tap of chocolate, which is then overtaken by cardamom. Spice sinks quite heavy into the palate, almost completely masking dark chocolate and smooth coffee underneath. I have to move my tongue around to catch those.
The ash is somewhat frail here at the beginning, but the burn chugs along independently.
Balance feels a bit off. Black tends to crush with heavy spice, which doesn’t necessarily overwhelm the palate, but it works to overwhelm anything else trying to get through. Chocolate, floral, and bits of raisin sneak through, but dark coffee is the only one that is able to break through enough of the spice to share some of the spotlight.
The retrohale plays differently. Cardamom has left, but chocolate and dark stone fruit separately enter together and flow out intertwined, and very smoothly, I might add.
Spice eases on the finish, and light coffee grounds do most of the heavy lifting. A pleasant combination of milk chocolate and dark chocolate slowly melt over the palate between puffs. Raisin adds an understated complement.
Some orange zest begins to hang around the edges, helping to smooth out some of the spice’s initial sting. Toasted marshmallow creeps in dead center, and spice and coffee continue to take the lead in varying degrees.
Any frailty in the ash has been squashed. It now hangs on like a pro and breaks off without issue.
Balance tends to struggle here and there, and a few burn touch-ups were required to keep things on track after the second half.
Aside from some imbalance and burn issues, this cigar smoked like a smooth and effortless lead guitar riff. Reminds me of something Slash might play. That being said, Slash’s riffs are always perfectly balanced and burn like a dream. But, we can’t all be Slash.
SMOKE TIME: 1 hr. 47 mins.
RATING: 3 / 4 - We can’t all be Slash.