A couple of months ago I posted a Vitola Battle of the Despot Cigars Series J. That was my introduction to the company that made its US debut this spring. You can check out that review to learn a bit more on Despot Cigars. It’s taken some time for me to get to try either of the Series Us that I have, since they both were quite large cigars. I found the time to give the Salomones a go.
Despot Cigars seem to be gaining some traction. I enjoyed the Series J line overall, and so I have been interested to try this line. The Ecuadorian Habano in the binder intrigues me, as I don’t often see that as a binder leaf. Also intriguing is the filler blend composed of 2-5 years aged leaves. The blend has my attention, so we’ll see how it holds up.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Caribbean Cigar Factory
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 98 Claro
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaragu (Estelí & Jalapa Viso, Jalapa) Volado
Vitola: 7 ½ x 57 Salomones
Price: $18.00 MSRP
Release Date: April 2022
Company Website: www.despotcigars.com
Based on the blend details I expect a medium-full flavored and bodied smoking experience. The strength shouldn’t exceed medium-ish. I also expect a fairly transitional experience given the vitola. As far as flavors I anticipate some standard earth, woods, spices, and pepper, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to get some creamy nuttiness, and different types of sweetnesses throughout.
I like the Despot band designs and this color combination, however the wording and design is a little grainy. The wrapper is medium brown, very clean, and has invisible seams, which surprised me given the size. The cigar is a little spongy, but is still dense. It smells like a wet barnyard and a bit of cedar. The cold draw doesn’t yield much given the low air flow through the tapered foot.
First light delivers little smoke as anticipated given the foot. As the burn line gets over the bulbous part of the foot the smoke comes up to medium in body and mild-medium in flavors. On the draw there is a bit of a soapy quality that is accompanied by a raw walnut. The retrohale has some walnut with some added earthiness. About another half inch in, the flavor has come up to medium-full. There’s a bit of sweet cream lingering on the finish. The end of the first third is showing a mushroom-like meatiness along with some baking spice. The retrohale adds a lot more baking spice and a little oily oak. The performance has been flawless.
The second third hasn’t seen much of a flavor change, however, the flavors are a bit more robust. They also have a very creamy mouthfeel. Nearing halfway there is a bit of paper or cardboard note in the retrohale. That kind of sounds bad, but it’s not. Crossing halfway the raw walnut and earthiness are coming back in the draw. The performance has still been flawless. The end of this third sees the first glimpse of any kind of fruit sweetness. It was a dark fruit like a plum or black cherry.
The final third carries the same profile for the first half inch or so before some wood and dark chocolate join the raw walnut and earth. The retrohale is showing some sweet pepper, dark coffee, and spices. Into the band point it is showing some oily oak and sweet pepper in the draw now. Just past the band it got hot quickly and spontaneously went out. It relit easily enough and picked up where it left off with no off flavors. Coming to an end it is primarily sweet pepper, earth, wood, and baking spices. The performance was perfect after the relight.
Overall this was a decent cigar. It had an elegance to it, but was fairly straightforward. The hour and 58 minute burn time didn’t see much in the way of transitions until the end when the coffee, chocolate, and sweet pepper made an arrival to the profile. I appreciated the great performance for the majority of the cigar given the burn time and vitola. I think that I want to give this blend a shot in a smaller vitola because I thought it had a nice, balanced profile, however, it didn’t necessarily keep my attention in this large of a vitola. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone as a fantastic cigar, but would recommend it to anyone that wanted a long burning cigar that had a solid profile and didn’t require really any maintenance.
Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, criticisms, or just to talk at @guitarsandcigarsfarm on Instagram, or visit my website www.guitarsandcigarsfarm.com.