Two days ago Brandon and I recorded our first video review. I say first since I hope it’s not our last, so I guess that depends on you guys. I’ll give you fair warning, we’re new to this so please be kind...it may take a few college tries before we loosen up a bit and bring the debauchery.
Anyway, onto today’s cigar. 2 weeks ago we requested a box of CI Anniversary from Nestor Plasencia, fresh off the rolling table. Reason being, this is a very special cigar to us and we want to ensure it’s always on point. We spent years on the CI Anniversary...working with tobaccos in Central America to create a flavorful and satisfying cigar unique to anything else on the market. Even the vitola and box-press format was worked and re-worked several times to maximize the blend and further your overall enjoyment of the cigar...hence the attractive Epicure shape and rounded box-press. However, while burning through the sample box this week, I remembered just how much I appreciate this cigar, and felt a little of that ‘Christmas morning’ excitement we experienced when we finally okie-doked the final product. We worked with Nestor Plasencia for several reasons. Most notable: his limitless supply of every tobacco variety under the sun and his factory’s uncanny ability to produce top-quality, consistent, and dependable cigars at a feverish pace.
The CI Anniversary is a dark and oily cigar that feels heavy in the hand. The slightly-rounded box-press was designed to deliver the bold, concentrated bouquet of a pressed cigar, without the tongue depressor mouth feel. As an added bonus, it feels great in the hand and won’t roll around in an ashtray or whilst hanging off the edge of a table, which I tend to do quite often. The wrapper is Habano. It’s thick and chewy and can surely take a beating. We found this leaf works very well with the bold mixture inside - Cuban-seed long-fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua, including some tasty ligeros for an added oomph-factor.
The pre-light aroma is sweet, with a nice dough-like component. The ligero is noticed at the end, tickling the nose with a touch of black pepper. The first few puffs are bold and rich, offering ample spice on the sides and back of the palate and through the nose. The smoke is cool and smooth, clinging to the palate and filling it with heavy plumes that create a thick, pillowy ceiling above with each exhale. There is a series of rich flavors at play. I note a baked bread element that I find very enjoyable...it creates a chewy, velvety-smooth mouth feel that consumes my taste buds. I also pick up more discrete nuances of earth and coffee bean...both of which are easy to relate to, considering these are characteristics of Honduran (earth) and Nicaraguan (coffee) tobaccos. The richness mellows slightly after the first half inch, but these three flavors remain constant and smooth throughout the burn. There’s a buttery sweetness that lingers on the lips and tip of the tongue that I can’t quite place, but I like it. Around the midway point, the cigars becomes increasingly ‘toasty’, with a deeper, potting soil-like earthiness. Despite sounding gross, it’s not. If fact, this cigar is an enjoyably rich, medium-bodied treat right down to the nub.
Bottom line is, we could have easily created a run-of-the-mill house brand and sell it for $49.95 per bundle of 20 or 25 all day long. That’s bush league. Instead, we took the time to create an exciting handmade using the very best tobaccos available carefully blended to produce something special. An anniversary is a special event, something we always remember, so an anniversary cigar should logically be well beyond ordinary.