The new Excalibur Legend blend is a welcome addition from the Villazon factory. This Danli, Honduras-based factory produces some truly delicious blends with bold and zesty flavor profiles....Dark Knight, Punch Gran Puro, Prensado Oscuro, Hoyo Dark Sumatra to name a few. Funny how just a decade ago even regular Punch and regular Hoyo de Monterrey were considered among the standards for full-bodied blends. Today, they’re often regarded as mild to medium at best, a fact owing to palates evolving and the steady introduction in recent years of ever stronger, ever fuller, ever richer cigars. Exhibit A is this, the 2008 introduction of Excalibur Legend, a shining example of complexity and richness.
For starters, it’s covered in a beautiful, first class Colorado-colored wrapper. This leaf is Havana seed Connecticut broadleaf, oily and smooth with some slight tooth and the aforementioned glorious, dark reddish color that practically glistens. The filler blend is Dominican ligero combined with tobaccos grown on the volcanic soil of Ometepe – the virtually untouched sections of an island located in massive Lake Nicaragua a few hours drive from the cigar capital of Esteli. Talk about terroir. Excalibur Legend reflects the land and climate from which these tobaccos are harvested as much as any. Expect to see more cigars in the near future composed of Ometepe tobaccos, thanks to its one-of-a-kind, intense, searing and rich flavor. Upon first light, Excalibur Legend offers pronounced spice – in fact it’s chock full of spice – yet despite that she remains well-balanced with a chewy character, leathery aroma, rich aftertaste and long, lingering finish. Strength-wise is on the high side of medium with one foot in the full-bodied camp. Of the handful of Excalibur Legends I’ve sampled in recent weeks, I find the draw to be a tad too firm. I prefer some resistance but here had to struggle a bit and needed to touch it up on a few occasions throughout. This is the one reservation I have about this otherwise solid handmade from Honduras.