This is my first cigar review.
A year ago, this was my favorite cigar. Unfortunatly (since I just bought a box of them) this is no longer the case. I am going to attempt to impartially review this stick now.
The smell of the unlit cigar when running the length of it under my nose is very pleasant. It smells like mild, subtle tobacco. Actually, it may be my favorite part of the cigar. The construction is solid and consistant. The cigar is well rolled, and has been on every one of them that I’ve had.
The appearance of the cigar is very nice. The natural wrapper is a nice light shade of brown, slightly veiny, and much less oily than some of the other cigars I’ve been smoking lately. It looks, smells, and feels like a decent, quality, every day smoke. I can see no flaws on inspect.
I always go with a straight cut on all my cigars. Upon lighting this stick and entering the first third, I can’t honestly discern notes of anything inparticular. It just tastes like warm, smooth smoke. It’s not unpleasant, but there are no flavors that really stand out in any way. This is the reason it is no longer my favorite cigar. I’d like to be able to identify something. All I get here is perhaps … light hints of leather. The draw however is, in my opinion, perfect.
About 1/2 way through the first third the flavor profile stays exactly the same.. kinda bland. The ash is white and wavy, but straight. It doesn’t feel solid, and I don’t feel very comfortable about not holding it over an ashtray.. yet despite my hesitance, it stays attached and doesn’t fall with a light tap. At the end of the first 1/3rd flecks of ash are beginning to break away.
Entering the 2nd 1/3rd, the ash drops. The cigar is noticeably stronger now, but the flavor hasn’t changed much. It’s light, a bit sweet.. maybe creamy. So far the burn has been perfect. I haven’t needed to make any touch-ups, and it’s nice and straight.
At about the halfway point there is a change. The draw got almost instantly tighter, the smoke hotter, and the flavor .. almost harsh for a minute. Woody on the draw and the exhale but with a slightly bitter/burning aftertaste.. that lasts. As the ash grows back the bitterness tapers down and then comes back. Cycling between harsh/bitter and creamy/woody throughout the 2nd third. The burn however, remains spot on.
Entering the final third, the draw remains tighter than normal. The flavor has been pretty consistently bitter for the last 10 minutes or so, which I don’t remember ever noting over the 50+ 858s I’ve smoked in the past, but then again, I’ve never paid this close attention before either. The smoke feels hot, leaves a burning sensation on my tongue, and the sensation of burning paper in my nostrils. It’s actually quite unpleasant, and I may be about through with this stick. I seldom smoke these to the nub anyway, but I’m hoping it pulls through into something nice again. Likely, this is just a wet cigar from a relatively new box. (3mos).
Halfway through the final third, I’m about ready to throw in the towel. This cigar now tastes like a burnt asshole 90% of the time, with a pleasant puff thrown in there once in a while to fake me out into thinking it’s going to redeem itself.
And this is about what my face has looked like for the last half hour.
So, what happened here?
- I’ve been confused about 858s for a long time
- I got a bum stick
- These need some time to age
- I’ve never paid this close attention to this cigar before.
In closing, the 858, a staple cigar, my favorite 1 year ago no longer is. The first half of the stick was unenthralling, but not unpleasant. The second half just sucked. The construction of the cigar is great, the appearance is quite good. Since I’m not a big fan of these anymore anyway, it won’t be a problem to let them sit in the humi for a year or so.
My taste is gravitating more toward full body cigars now, peppery, like the DPGs.