Obsidian November 14th, 2011 Steve R 93 Share: A lot has happened since my last review. The Phillies collapsed. The Eagles have gone from the best team in the NFL, to the worst, to the best, then back to the bottom of the barrel about....oh, eleven times. MLS became the number 3 sport in America - I love soccer, but really? Kim Kardashian got married, again. And divorced, again....all while Gurkha released 17 new small-batch brands. During this time, I’ve been trying a ton of samples for future releases, but when I truly wanted to enjoy something special, I found myself reaching for the same cigar, over and over: Obsidian. Obsidian is a brand that – at first glance – raises more questions than answers. The dark, mysterious appearance. The black, intimidating artwork. The obscure name and simple, yet appealing logo. Where did this brand come from? Who makes the Obsidian? Is it as powerful as it looks? Are the unconventional sizes part of the equation or merely a coincidence? Does the appealing appearance set the stage for an underwhelming performance....a la Paranormal Activity 3? You’ll quickly notice, everything about Obsidian is dark. A pitch black box with minimal art. A tall, dark black band with the Obsidian name distressingly printed behind a simple rune. A dark and leathery Brazilian Habano ligero wrapper. A generous amount of dark, near-black tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican visible from the foot. Let’s shed some light on the darkness. I chose the 5.5”x54 Robusto, the size I’ve been burning most frequently. It’s heavy in the hand, oily to the touch, and solid from head to toe. The pre-light aroma is sweet and zesty with a touch of barnyard. After a quick snip and toast, the easy draw produced thick, heavy clouds of aromatic gray smoke. Instantly, the wrapper takes center stage, consuming my palate with a sweet series of spices that linger long on the finish. About a half an inch in, the Obsidian’s true colors shined through. A rich, chewy core of roasted nuances took center stage, with soft notes of leather, toast, and an underlying creaminess that seemed to cling to my taste buds after each puff. One third of the way through, this generous Robusto evolves once again, unveiling a dense array of dark, unsweetened cocoa and espresso bean. The finish is peppery-sweet and the zesty aroma remains true to the pre-light inspection. Shortly after the midway point, I realized I was in the final stretch as the Obsidian gradually moved from medium-bodied to medium-full and then ultimately full-bodied at the finale. The spices returned for a final hurrah, but never overpowered the rich, chewy flavors I’ve been enjoying thus far. This final half of every Obsidian has amazed me. All this complexity, all this evolution in taste sensations, but literally no harsh tones, bitter notes, or signs of imbalance at any point during the burn. Then, the finale. After a long, cool burn, the 5.5”x54 Robusto is coming to an end. I could hold on a bit longer, clinging to an uncomfortable nub for just a few more minutes....but I’d rather just light up another and take my palate for another roller coasted ride – or, in the words of Gonz, another “plethora of roller coasters.” (WHAT?). The Obsidian had me from first sight. Maybe it’s my exploratory nature. Maybe it’s my eagerness to try anything some might call offbeat....with edgy, unconventional art. Maybe it’s my employee discount. Whatever the case may be, Obsidian won my attention, and has kept it for 2 full months. I urge you to try this cigar, and hope you send me your feedback. I think you’ll love it....and can’t wait to hear the positive reviews.