(Stored in cabinet humidor in a partially closed zip lock bag at 70deg/65RH)
Food: After a great pizza I retired to have a great smoke. I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Drink: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale / Arrowhead bottled water
Location: Garage at my computer with the door cracked slightly for ventilation.
Pre light aroma: There were faint floral traces from the cigar although I had used a scented hand soap that interfered with the sensation of smelling the cigar truly.
Construction: This was a near perfect cigar, baring one very tiny tear in the foot. Coco brown wrapper and when cut drew very well. It just ever so slightly crackled between my fingers.
Light: The Xikar cigar made an exemplary cut. It left no jagged tears in the leaf and did not hamper the cigar quality in any way whatsoever. I used a Colibri torch lighter and toasted the foot. The cigar lit perfectly.
Taste: The initial draw was an immediate flavor of heavy cream and macadamia nuts. No change ¼ ways through the cigar. It had a nice grayish black ash that held tight. There was voluminous smoke upon each draw. I soon realized that the Pale Ale was doing NOTHING for this cigar and I switched to some bottled water. I had set the cigar down for about 5 minuets and it almost went out. Upon relight it was a little harsh so I relit and exhaled through the cigar for about thirty seconds. This seemed to help quite a bit. Half way through and the power started to kick in. It became slightly earthy and more leathery with the same heavy cream and nut flavor but had a slightly unpleasant aftertaste. Almost ¾ through the stick I came to realize that the “aftertaste” was akin to drinking whole milk which leaves a viscous paste lingering in your mouth. I can’t say I liked the aftertaste, but it only lingered for about 5 seconds after the draw. I had to correct the burn twice, but this cigar was rarely if ever rotated and that may be the cause of the uneven burn. I let the cigar expire on its own and the room smelled wonderful even after 20 minuets.
Synopsis: I enjoyed this cigar and while it may not be my “go to” piece I would not be against purchasing again. On a 1-10 rating with 10 being the highest I would give this cigar a 7.5. I was thinking it would be a perfect smoke for after a light meal, such as fish or grilled chicken. I would not have this after a big juicy steak. I would not recommend an IPA as a drink pairing.