You can check out my first review for an Apostate cigar here for some information on the company. Today’s review is of The Initiatory from Apostate Cigars. I have had the opportunity to speak with Brandon from Apostate a few times. One of those instances was while I was smoking this cigar because there were certain aspects of the profile that intrigued me enough to reach out. He told me this blend was their first shot at making something premium and they wanted a straightforward blend that really showcased Dominican tobaccos. This information is consistent with the website:
“Welcome to the fold. This blend is a fully immersive introduction to what premium tobacco can be. Accessible to all palates and experience levels, as well as being ideal for any time of day. The Initiatory is our take on the classic cuban-style habano. This cigar features a gorgeous Ecuadorian grown Sumatra wrapper over a rich Mexican grown San Andres binder which perfectly encapsulates the complexities of 4 different Dominican fillers. Medium-Full in body with medium strength.”
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Vitola: 6 x 52 Toro
Price: $12.50 MSRP
Release Date: November 2021
Company Website: www.apostatecigars.com
Based on my experience with The Deseret, and the feel I get from the company, I am expecting full body and flavor from this cigar. For some reason I kind of feel like this will either be a pepper bomb or a surprisingly creamy, nutty profile. I look for earth, wood, and baking spices no matter what. I think the strength will peak around mediumish.
Again, as with The Deseret, I like the primary band, though I don’t understand it. The red secondary band works against this medium brown wrapper leaf. The wrapper is one of the cleaner Sumatran wrappers I have seen recently. This toro is heavy and feels firmly packed. The cigar has a cedar and vegetal scent to it. The cold draw has a rye whiskey like spiciness to it.
The cigar opens up with medium bodied smoke but full flavors of a general tobacco, some campfire like smokiness, and a fair amount of pepper on the back of the tongue. The draw is a bit snug to start. There is a bit of earth working its way into the mix along with a very drying spice on the finish. About a half inch in and I am getting some of those rye whiskey vibes from the prelight. There’s a bit of spice, maybe cinnamon, with some earth, breadiness, and a bit of wood. Halfway through the first third the retrohale is musty grassiness and a bit of earth. Coming to an end in the first third, the body and flavor are down to medium but with the same profile. There may be a little less campfire smokiness. The performance has been great so far besides the snug draw.
The second third sees the draw open up to a nice resistance level and bring the flavor back up. The retrohale has taken on a nice sweet cherry note with a little pepper. The draw has lost the campfire smokiness for sure and picked up a very subtle caramel note that goes nicely with some increased baking spice notes that are less distinctly like cinnamon. There’s some earth and bread hanging on. Nearing halfway there is a bright sweetness joining in and the cinnamon is the primary spice again. Passing halfway the retrohale has lost some of the sweet cherry and is showing a bit of cedar and some nuttiness. The draw has also lost some of the sweetness but the cinnamon remains. Nearing the end of this third, one side of the wrapper began to lag but it corrected itself. The sweetness has been in and out nearing the end of this third. The earthiness is picking up a touch and the cinnamon has again become more of a general baking spice.
Quickly into the final third some sweet cherry is showing up on the draw. There’s also an oily wood becoming prominent. As I approach the band the pepper is reemerging after being quiet throughout the second third. The retrohale shows some citrus and grassiness up front with a bit of nuttiness and pepper sting on the finish. Into the band the pepper has settled down a touch and there's a mustiness joining the earth. The cinnamon is becoming a bit more prominent again. The finish is showing a bit of pepper flavor, but without much spiciness. Midway into the band point it is starting to want to tunnel a bit so I touch it up. There’s like a Tootsie Roll like flavor that lingers on the palate. Passing the band point the sweet cinnamon is back with a little heat to it. Coming to an end the cigar has maintained the sweet cinnamon with a bit more earth and pepper joining in. The cigar performed great since the touch up and there has been no perceivable strength.
I found this to be another great offering from Apostate Cigars. This toro burned for two hours and thirty minutes and showcased a lot of transitions throughout. There were a lot of key components like cinnamon, pepper, wood, earth, and sweet cherry that were present for the majority of the cigar. However, the cigar seemed to always want to showcase one of them more than the other, which made for an interesting experience. I enjoyed the rye whiskey and campfire smokiness in the beginning that gave way to a more Dominican flavor profile, dare I say Opus X like profile, in the second third, before returning to a more peppery and robust final third. The only performance knocks throughout were the slightly snug draw at first and the bit of tunneling in the final third, however, they did not impact the experience. This is definitely a cigar worth checking out.
Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, criticisms, or just to talk at @guitarsandcigarsfarm on Instagram, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.