March 20, 2012

REVIEW: General Cigars Special Blend #7

We have been having spring-like weather here in Columbus, which has been great. The other day was beautiful, so out to the back deck I went to smoke a cigar for review. I really hope winter has come to an end because an after dinner smoke on the deck is really something I enjoy. For review, I pulled out another stick that I picked up on my recent trip to the ProCigar festival. The General Cigars Special Blend #7 was given at the annual "white party" dinner on the second night in Santiago. The dinner parties are where all the manufacturers pass out the latest releases or special blends made just for the festival. I emailed Victoria McKee (Public Relations for General Cigar) to get some more info on this stick, but it seems they are currently being very tight-lipped on this one. 

A quote from Victoria McKee on the Special Blend #7 The cigar we gave out at the white party was actually a new blend that has never been released. We are not going to provide details because it's quite possible that we will release this blend in the near future.

That's all the information I have on this cigar, so I'm moving on to the review.

Vitola: Toro
Length:  6 
Ring Gauge: 50ish
Wrapper: proprietary
Binder: proprietary
Filler: proprietary
Price: $?
Smoking Location: my back deck
Beverage: water

The wrapper on my Special Blend #7 was a medium brown with a lot of red hues mixed in. There were a lot of visible veins, but the wrapper felt smooth and had a silky texture to it. The stick had a bit of a give to it when squeezed, although the wrapper was pulled very tight. I have a feeling if you squeezed this cigar even a little more forcefully than normal, the wrapper might crack. Luckily for me, this didn't happen. The aroma had a lot of dried fruit notes, which was a contrast to the cold draw, which tasted very woodsy. The draw was a little tight, but nothing of concern.

First Third   
Smooth is the first thing that came to mind after lighting this cigar up. The smoke texture was very easy on my palate, having left my mouth feeling clean after each exhale. The initial flavors on the cigar were a sweet, burnt sugar taste on the front of the profile with a candy-like cinnamon spice on the finish. Think of the candy Red Hots, but not as intense. The spice could really be felt on the center of my tongue. These flavors were tasty but mild in strength. The burn was a little wavy, but didn't require touching up. I would put the nicotine strength in the medium range.
Second Third  
The second third of my Special Blend #7 saw the first change in the flavor profile, with the addition of a wheat-like flavor mixing in with the burnt sugar in the front. It was a nice balance and, although not super strong, was enjoyable. The finish spice mellowed out a bit also at this point, but was still very clean feeling. I described this part of the cigar as "very easy to smoke". The burn evened itself out and was now perfectly straight. The nicotine strength was a consistent medium.
Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my Special Blend #7 got a lot darker in flavor. The bread-y sweetness from the second third turned into a molasses taste that heavily coated my palate. The nicotine strength of the cigar picked up a bit too and was more in the medium-full range. I like this because I like a bit more power at the end, but it could throw some people for a loop because of how consistent yet different the first two thirds were.The spice on the finish of the profile picked back up and was very noticeable through the nose. I nubbed this cigar without ever needing to relight or correct the burn.

My final thoughts on The General Cigars Special Blend #7? This is the most interesting cigar I have smoked from General Cigar in awhile. The flavor and strength of the cigar started out where any new or novice smoker could enjoy the experience, and finished up darker and more complex - great for a hardcore cigar guy/gal.  I think General Cigar could really have a winner here if this stick is put out as a major release. I caution them though: if this stick does see the mass market, I hope it's under a new line name and not just an extension to one of the many brand names they own, where it could get lost in the shuffle.

Would I buy it again? Yes, I would buy more of these. With that said, I don't know the price and that always comes into play.

Would I buy a box? This cigar is not as peppery as I like my everyday smokes to be, so I would hold off on a full box for personal consumption, but I think these would be box worthy for a lot of people.



Post a Comment