Maker: General Cigar
Wrapper: Dominican Natural and Maduro
Flavors: Natural: Vanilla, wood, nuts, leather, herbs. Maduro: Dark Chocolate, tangy-sweet, wood, earth, black pepper, herbs.
Draw/Volume/Strength: Natural: +1 / +2 / 3, Maduro: 0 / +2 / 3
Rating: Natural: 9.2, Maduro: 9.2
They say the most important element in comedy is timing. I endeavor to apply a certain topical relevance to my reviews, and bring them to you when the timing is most appropriate. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible.
I’ll admit, I did receive these cigars in adequate time to bring them to you in a topical and timely manner, but as regular readers will note, I’ve been on a little forced hiatus lately. Faced with the decision to wait until a more suitable time or to bring them to you now, I opted for the latter: these cigars just won’t wait.
Yes, I’ve been absent for some months, and to my (one or two) faithful readers who wait with rapt anticipation for each post, I sincerely apologize. As I said, it was somewhat out of my control. No, I wasn’t in prison, nor can I look to any one cause which delayed me. I was just really busy. Regular readers know that this isn’t my day job (oh, if only!), and occasionally, other priorities take precedence over my ability to sit for hours at a time smoking cigars and writing prose.
The cost in this case is that a review which would have ideally come to you in the week leading up to the Super Bowl, comes to you now. It is, after all, football related. But more important than the tie-in, is that these are great cigars, I don’t want you to you have to wait until next football season to try them!
NFL Hall of Famer, 5-time Pro Bowl running back, and consummate cigar lover Thurman Thomas has teamed up with our friends at StogieBoys.com to bring us Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame cigars, handcrafted in the Dominican Republic by the fine folks at General Cigar (Excalibur, Macanudo, La Gloria Cubana, Partagas, CAO, Sancho Panza, and dozens of others).
These exclusive Dominican puros are available in two wrapper shades, a golden Natural and alluring Maduro, each with its own distinct character, but with many similarities between the two. The cigars are available in a hearty Toro size (6×52), in your choice of singles, five-packs, boxes, bundles, and gift packs.
The flavors up front are a profound natural vanilla taste over a woody background, with a velvety roundness. The cigar is firmly rolled and solid, but the draw is open (+1) from a cap cut, delivering a large smoke volume (+2) of moderate strength (3).
The first half also shows a hearty complex of nuts and leather. Don’t let the pale dusky wrapper mislead you; this is a remarkably flavorful cigar, though it remains buttery-smooth throughout. The burn is straight or self-correcting, and the pale gray ash is firm and nicely scaled, holding to well over an inch, with double cones.
This flavor pattern continues through to the final moves, when it develops a slightly malted character, with an herbal, hoppy quality augmenting the intense flavor vanilla present early on. The finish is smooth and buttery, with some herbal notes, and a rich but agreeable fresh tobacco close. It smokes to an inch and a half nub in about 65 minutes.
I rate this cigar 9.2; it’s a beautifully made cigar with a smooth, approachable texture and a deceptively complex palate. It’s rich enough to satisfy the most sophisticated tastes, but its moderate body and easy-smoking qualities make it an excellent choice for new smokers as well.
The initial flavors in this cigar replace the Natural’s vanilla notes with a tangy, semi-sweet complex of spice and dark chocolate. The woody, nutty background carries through, but the added piquancy from the Maduro wrapper gives the cigar an earthy quality and added richness. The cigar is dense and firmly packed, and the draw from a cap cut is even (0), delivering a large smoke volume (+2) of moderate strength (3).
The second half evolves to show a similar herbal character present in the final moves of the natural, but, when coupled with the rich Maduro tastes, produces a robust mix of black pepper and subtle anise flavors. The burn is self-correcting, and the salt-and-pepper ash is firm well-formed, easily holding to an inch or more, with pronounced double cones.
The final third produces a rich, roasted, woody flavor, while retaining a hearty measure of the tangy maduro flavors that define this complex cigar. It smokes to an inch and a half nub in about 70 minutes.
I rate this cigar 9.2, equally as well made and delicious as the Natural, but with an enticing depth and robust complexity all its own. The texture is delightfully smooth, but the diverse flavors and the interplay between sweetness and spice make this quite an eventful smoke, highly appealing to an experienced palate, but mellow enough for an adventurous beginner.
Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”