Standard & Twain Blind Tasting: Feb ‘22

Last month I did my spiel on what Standard & Twain is, what you get, and how awesome it is. You can find that here. This month, I won’t reiterate that information, BUT all the same things apply. There is one new piece of information I do need to share:

Use the code “Whiskey” at checkout and you will receive a free cigar with your first order! You can check out their options here.

For this month I received two cigars that could not look more different. I’m anxious to get into them!

Cigar No. 127

Appearance: This cigar has a very light shade wrapper that is unmistakably a Connecticut Shade wrapper. This is a bit more of a rustic looking shade wrapper with a satin feel. It is a firmly packed, dense cigar. It is a box pressed belicoso that I am saying is like 5 ½ x 52. 

Smoking Experience: This cigar smells of slightly sweet tobacco and pepper. The cold draw is on the snug side and not much flavor at all. Maybe some cinnamon. First light is full flavor and medium-full in body. There is a lot of cane sugar sweetness and pepper right off the bat. The finish is more of a cinnamon heat and flavor. About an inch in the pepper on the draw and cinnamon on the finish have calmed down quite a bit. There is still some cane sugar with some hay and earthiness now and maybe some nuttiness on the finish. The retrohale is toast and baking spices. Prelight I thought I knew this cigar because I only recall one box pressed belicoso Connecticut Shade cigar. That being said, I don’t recall it starting out with this much sweetness and definitely not the pepper and cinnamon heat. However, as it progresses it’s putting me more in mind of that. Maybe just the power of suggestion? I'm confident this has Nicaraguan tobaccos on the inside and if it’s what I think it is, there’s some Dominican too. The first third is coming to a close with the sweetness fading. The earthiness is becoming primary and there is a bit of nutty, bright coffee. The performance has been flawless and the draw is great. Approaching halfway there is still some earth with some slight hay coming back in. The smoke itself isn’t heavy or thick but it's giving the sensation of a very thick, slightly sweet note I can only explain as like some kind of flavored cream cheese. This flavor confirms for me that this is the cigar I was thinking it was. I had smoked a few of these when they were initially released and I distinctly recall that note. Entering the final third the cane sugar is coming and going. There’s a bit of a drying wood note, some hay, and earth. It’s less cream cheese textured. Nearing the end there’s no noticeable changes in flavor but it is burning the palate out a touch. The cigar ends at about an hour and 21 minutes.

Predictions: This cigar certainly has an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade Wrapper and Nicaraguan Fillers. I am also very certain of what this cigar is based on the vitola and some key flavor components. This means there is Dominican in the filler, however, I don’t pick up any notes that scream Dominican tobacco.

Reveal Page: Standard & Twain Cigar No. 127

Parting Thoughts: Before going to the reveal page I noted this:

I would smoke this again, though probably wouldn’t always keep this on hand. This cigar had some of the classic Connecticut Shade notes that I like every now again but do not prefer. For this reason there’s no one “go-to” Connecticut Shade cigar for me. However, this is one I would purchase when I am in the mood for a Shade cigar because it offers more than most.

Now that I confirmed what the cigar is, and I was correct in my prediction, I can say that my note above is dead on. I have smoked this exact cigar a handful of times before when I wanted something in a Connecticut Shade. In fact, there are a couple tobacco store chains somewhat near me that carry this cigar in a toro. Oftentimes when I want a Connecticut Shade cigar and I don’t have a single in my cooler, I just run out and grab one of these in a toro to smoke.

Cigar No. 128

Appearance: This cigar has a very dark, thin looking maduro wrapper. It’s also very smooth which makes me lean towards an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro. The wrapper also wraps slightly around to cover a small portion of the foot. This cigar is firmly packed and appears to be a standard 6 x 50 Toro.

Smoking Experience: Number 128 smells a bit like sweet grass and manure. It's cold draw is creamy and with a bright sweetness. First light brings full bodied smoke with full flavors. There is a lot of meatiness to kick it off with some dark coffee and earth as well. The retrohale has a bunch of oak and cherry. About a half inch in the meatiness drops and leaves a ton of dark chocolate, coffee, and some nuttiness. It is super good at this point. It’s like a Hershey's dark chocolate and almond bar paired with a cup of coffee. Those flavors are balanced out nicely by an almost turmeric like earthy spiciness on the finish. Entering the second third there’s still some chocolate and nuttiness, but not as much coffee or turmeric. The retrohale is creamy and a bright fruitiness. Hitting halfway the profile is unchanged. The flavors were super good in the first third, but the lack of changes have kind of caused the profile to run together a bit to this point. This is making me wonder if this is something out of the San Lotano Factory. I am sure this has predominantly Nicaraguan fillers and there have been many cigars from that factory with a similar style wrapper and Nicaraguan fillers that start out with great, rich profiles, but never transition and just get muddled to me. The performance has been great throughout and the draw is perfect. The final third is reintroducing the meatiness from the start with the first signs of some traditional pepper notes. The coffee is coming back in as well. Coming to an end at about an hour and 45 minutes, there are no real flavor changes to report on. 

Predictions: I have to go with a Habano Maduro Wrapper and Nicaraguan Binder and Fillers. In the first third I was considering a Brazilian Binder or possibly some Dominican Fillers, but based on the second and final thirds, I do not believe that to be the case.

Reveal Page: Standard & Twain Cigar No. 128

Parting Thoughts: Prior to looking at the reveal I noted:

Overall the cigar was solid. It started out great with the meaty, earthy punch that woke up the palate before turning towards a decadent candy bar. However, it got a bit redundant through the center section. The final third was a nice shift back into some bolder notes. I would smoke this again but it would not be a humidor staple. 

Low and behold, upon seeing the cigar revealed, it is a cigar I have smoked several times but when I think of the company’s small, but mighty portfolio, I immediately gravitate towards, and put my money into, one of the other cigars they offer. My notes above are spot on with my thoughts on this cigar, now knowing what it is. All that being said, this cigar crossed my mind from the prelight appearance. I remarked on the wrapper being thin in the appearance section and this cigar came to mind because a few other times I smoked this cigar I remember thinking the same thing. However, I thought I recalled this cigar having a completely closed foot and a bit more toothy of a wrapper leaf. Ya win some, ya lose some I suppose!

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