Standard & Twain Blind Tasting: March ‘22

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This month I received an interesting box pressed double figurado and a rustic looking toro. Let’s see what they have to offer!

Cigar No. 131

Appearance: This cigar seems to be about a 6.5” x 50-52 Toro. The wrapper is super rustic with some imperfections, blotches, and rough seams. It’s a very firm and heavy cigar. It looks like it’s either a San Andres or Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

Smoking Experience: The cigar has a very faint earth and chocolate cake like aroma. The cold draw is also faint but I get some cinnamon and dark fruit. It starts off with very mild-medium bodied and flavored smoke. There’s just a touch of musty earth, some of that cinnamon, and a mild sweetness. There’s not much smoke at all. About an inch in the smoke is starting to pick up a touch. The flavors haven’t changed and are still quite mild. The foot is smoking like crazy but the cigar doesn’t generate much smoke on the draw still. The retrohale is vegetal, earthy, and shows a touch of chocolate. The burn line is quite sharp. I get the impression that this is a cigar that’s supposed to be using some aged tobaccos. The first third comes to an end with really nothing to report. The flavor is starting to pick up a bit, but it’s still pretty mellow. There’s still some cinnamon, earth, and a bit of pepper. There’s also some chocolate poking around. Approaching halfway the chocolate is coming up a bit more. I honestly don’t have a clue what this is. I’m guessing there is Nicaraguan in the filler and binder. Approaching the final third the wrapper split from the burn line up about an inch. The flavor really hasn’t made any noticeable changes. The final third is showing a little bump in earthiness and wood. The chocolate is subsiding now. Coming to an end at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, this was a long one. The cigar is ending with earth and some pepper. The performance was great throughout, so it had that going for it.

Predictions: I think I am set on a Mexican San Andres wrapper, but the binder and fuller are tough because the profile didn’t really stand out to me. I feel confident in there being Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler, but I can’t say if it’s only Nicaraguan or if there are some others in there. I can say I don’t have a prediction of the factory or brand. 

Reveal Page: Standard & Twain No. 131

Parting Thoughts: I found this cigar to be underwhelming. The cigar performed very well, so that is a plus. However, the level of flavor and body were not there for my preferences. If somebody likes a more “dark” flavor profile, but at mild-medium flavor and body level, with no strength, then this could be a good choice for them. What flavor I did get was pretty one-dimensional throughout, which made for a redundant experience given the long burn time. After seeing the reveal, I can say I have never had any cigars from this company. The blend on this definitely would have intrigued me enough to want to try it, however, based on this particular sample, I would have been disappointed. I personally won’t return to this cigar and don’t think I could recommend it to someone based on my experience with it.

Cigar No. 132

Appearance: This boxed pressed double figurado appears to be about 5 ¾” - 6” x 54ish. The wrapper is a medium brown and super velvety. It looks almost like a Sumatran wrapper leaf. The cigar is quite firmly packed and dense.The press is pretty sharp and nearly square.

Smoking Experience: The cold draw is faint, likely from being snug from the small foot opening. There’s maybe a little caramel and baking spices. This seriously has nearly no scent; maybe just a very small touch of earthiness. First light brings full bodied smoke and medium-full flavors of baking spices, wood, a bit of dark brown sugar sweetness, and some earth. First light is definitely making me think of a Sumatran wrapper. It takes multiple puffs to get smoke rolling in this thin taper section. Coming to the thicker part, the profile is still showing some earthiness, baking spices, and some dark sweetness. A little pepper is present now as well. Moving into the second third there’s a citrus note that joins in. There’s a little creamy nuttiness as well. Hitting halfway the draw starts to snug up and the wrapper seam has lifted and started to split. The flavors have shifted to a tangy creaminess, almost like cream cheese. There is still some earthiness and baking spices. The retrohale is pretty easy going with some citrus, vanilla, and a little peppe. At this point I’m saying Nicaraguan fillers are the primary component. The cigar made it past the lifted and split wrapper fine. Entering the final third the draw opens back up. There continues to be some tangy cream, earth, and spices. Nearing the end there’s a big uptick in pepper and wood, with the wood having a little char component. Coming to an end at the 2 hour mark, there are no notable changes to the flavor profile.

Predictions: The whole time I was thinking of a Sumatran wrapper, but I won’t be surprised if this is a Nicaraguan or Ecuadorian Habano either. As for binder and filler, I am going Nicaraguan primarily. Maybe there’s some other components but I don’t get anything indicative of that. As for the factory, maybe San Lotano? I say that because I’ve only gotten a cream cheese like note from one other cigar, and it was from that factory. Come to think of it, it also was a boxed pressed figuardo. As for this brand, I have no idea.

Reveal Page: Standard & Twain 132 

Parting Thoughts: Overall I would say this cigar was average, in a good way. The flavor profile was solid, but not super interesting or dynamic. The profile, overall, could be described as more savory. The primary notes were baking spices, wood, and earthiness throughout, with some complimentary citrus and cream notes. I wish the brown sugar sweetness in the beginning was present at various times throughout. I think some sweetness would have rounded out the profile nicely and added some depth and balance. The performance was solid throughout. There were no touch ups required, and the only real issue was the wrapper lifting and splitting for a small segment, but I don’t knock the cigar given the shape. After seeing the reveal I can say that I have never had this cigar or anything from the brand. At least nothing that I recall. At MSRP, I wouldn't revisit this cigar personally, nor do I think I would make a purchase recommendation. However, I think it was a solid offering at the price per cigar breakdown of this monthly subscription. 

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