As you know, I try to bring to you unique experiences for you to consider when you are looking for a cigar to try. Last time I discussed the Kentucky Fire Cured, and I know many of you gave it a smoke. I hope you enjoyed trying something different. This month I will tell you about a really cool cigar that is sure to impress your friends if you share one with them. On the other hand you may want to keep them to yourself. Let’s take a little trip together….
Imagine that you are on a vacation to Honduras. While you are there someone notices that you are smoking a cigar and mentions to you that they know a guy named Oscar that rolls his own cigars and you can visit his rolling factory if you like. You decide that it would be interesting and decide to head out to the factory. An hour long ride down dirt roads through fields of tobacco leads you to a complex. When you get there you are greeted by a guy named Island Jim. He is a fairly large man in stature, quite jovial, and from Pittsburgh as it turns out. He explains to you that Oscar is rolling cigars using his blending recipe to create his brand. After a tour of the factory where you get to see the rollers in action, and a handshake along with a brief discussion with Oscar, you return to the guest room where Island Jim offers you a sample of this joint collaboration. When he hands it to you, it looks very rough, bulky, veiny, and you are confused. Island Jim laughs and explains to you that the outside of the cigar is simply a tobacco leaf used as a wrapper that you have to remove before smoking. This is a very cool presentation for a great cigar. (I had a friend tell me at the IPCPR convention that he actually smoked the cigar with the outer leaf around it, pretty funny). Once you remove the outer leaf you will find a beautifully handcrafted masterpiece of a cigar underneath. The cigar comes in four wrappers…Connecticut, Corojo, Sumatra, and Maduro. Any of the four will do. You select the Sumatra. The first thing you will notice is a deep rich oily finish to the wrapper aided by using the tobacco leaf you removed to wrap the cigar in, with a simple yet classy organic band. The colors of the tobaccos are beautiful and earthy and this cigar just looks delicious. You can’t wait to light it up and see if it tastes as good as it looks.
Yep! When you light this baby up it is exactly what you would have expected when you look at. A perfect draw fills your mouth with flavor and it burns as evenly as any cigar you have ever smoked. Your taste buds feast on the rich, earthy flavors of tobacco with a hint of mocha in the early part of this smoke. A creamy leathery smell and taste gathers as you go with a subtle hint of sweetness and nuttiness. There is also a subtle hint of pepperiness throughout the cigar, but not overwhelming. As good as some of the blends are out there, this cigar almost seems to taste like a real cigar should. The draw and flavor stays consistent throughout the cigar and you find yourself craving another almost as soon as you finish the one you just exhaled. As you come to its conclusion and realize that you are going to want another, you ask Island Jim…what is this?
It is the “Leaf by Oscar.” It is available in a robusto, toro(my favorite), and a gordo! The toro maduro is rated “92” by Cigar Snob magazine.
Margie and I had the pleasure of meeting Island Jim at the IPCPR and smoked several samples of his work. This stick is well worth trying and keeping in your humidor.
That’s it for this edition. We hope to see you at one of our events or in the Lounge soon!
Keep Blowin Smoke!