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Sublimes Cigars

01 Dec

Synopsis:
Maker: Sublimes Cigars
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Flavors: Coffee, cocoa, cream, wood, leather, spices
Draw/Volume/Strength:
  0 / +2 / 4
Rating: 9.4

The raw consumerism of the Modern Christmas leaves a lot of people wanting. I’m not one to camp out at store fronts to get a good deal, and I don’t leave my family and friends on Thanksgiving night to queue up for Black Friday shopping. I don’t mean to denigrate those who do; for some people, it has become something of a holiday tradition in itself, but they probably wouldn’t let me in at Best Buy with my cigar anyway, and the kinds of gifts that I enjoy giving aren’t sold at Walmart.

Photo of Sublimes Cigars

Sublimes Cigars

I prefer to shop local. I’ve mentioned this before. As a small business owner, my clients are the ones who choose quality and service over, well, marketing (I was going to mention price and convenience, but my prices are highly competitive with the national chains, and for my clients, buying from the big brands would be a greater inconvenience than buying from me).

Then there are cigars.

Casual cigar smokers know the big names, which I won’t mention here. And I’ll admit, there’s a reason many of them are big, though much of that comes back to marketing. More serious cigar lovers tend to dig a little deeper, and favor family-owned brands, many of which are also quite big, and also make excellent cigars. I’ve reviewed a great many of those brands here.

But it’s a rare privilege— a joy in fact— when I can present a true boutique house, one that is family-owned, focused on quality above all else, and (I’m thrilled to add) made in America. I present to you Sublimes Cigars.

Detail photo view of Sublimes Cigars Double Robusto

Sublimes Cigars Double Robusto (5¾x54)

In years past, the epicenter of cigar manufacture was Florida. In fact, even today, most of the big houses have their offices in Tampa or Miami, while off-shoring production to Central America and the DR. The reason for this is simple: marketing (again). They can get cheaper labor in those countries, without (to a certain extent) sacrificing quality. “But wait,” you say, “what does cheap labor have to do with marketing?” That, friend reader, is the question of the day. The answer is simple: Price. And if you doubt that “Price” has anything to do with “Marketing,” I encourage you to read up on the “Four P’s.”

Now I don’t want to take anything away from the hard working men and women making fine cigars in other parts of the world, but as I said, I take joy from knowing that there are still some companies that value American craftsmanship, both for what it is, and for what it means to our country. I’m glad to know that there are great American products, and great Americans who make them. And I’m glad to patronize them too, and encourage you to do the same.

Sublimes Cigars are hand-made in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. They feature all Cuban-seed tobaccos, including Nicaraguan-grown Habano longfillers and binder, and a gorgeous, tawny-hued Cuban-seed Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper. They are available in 5 chunky sizes; I’ve smoked the Double Robusto (5¾x54). The cigars are presented in handsome mahogany chests of 30, though the 10-count I received courtesy of brand owner Thomas Jaromirski makes a handsome gift.

Photo of Sublimes Cigars 10-count box

Sublimes Cigars

The first impressions of flavor are an explosion of rich, creamy coffee and cocoa tastes, over a velvety background of wood and leather. The cigars are rock-solid and densely packed with tobacco, and finished in a veinless, seamless roll. The draw from a cap cut is dead-even (0) despite the remarkable density of the cigar, delivering a hearty smoke volume (+2) of above average strength (4).

The first inch also shows a buttery almond aspect, and hints of nutmeg and cinnamon that play towards spice, but rather favor subtlety and smoothness. As the flavors develop, this creamy aspect stands up, and evolves into a crème brulee character, though utterly absent of sweetness. The burn is ring straight, and the pure white ash is solid and finely scaled, holding fast at an inch and a half, with perfect double cones.

In the second half, the coffee flavors have moved to the back, giving the reins to the wood and leather facets, which have grown in depth and richness, developing a roundness in body, while retaining the rich, buttery cream aspect. It smokes cool and slow, with a mellow finish and an inch and a quarter nub at 75 minutes, delivering puff after puff of silky-smooth flavor, despite the better than average fortaleza.

I’m happy to rate this cigar 9.4, one of the best cigars I’ve enjoyed all year. It’s a delight with rich Cognac or your finest Single Malt Scotch. The flavors are voluminous, alluring and expressive, never overly intense, but remarkably pronounced, perpetually smooth, and finely balanced with body and texture.

This holiday season, I encourage you to shop local, buy American, and by all means, try these cigars. And when it comes to gift giving, venture away from the every-day smokes and ordinary gifts. This year, be extraordinary. Give them the gift of pleasure beyond the expected, surprise them with quality and value, and achieve for yourself the satisfaction that only comes from giving the joy of a new and delightful experience.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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