Friday, February 3, 2012

AKA Respect Anchors Away

Wrapper: Dark Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: 4 Year Aged Dominican Ligero
Filler: 4 and 5 Year Aged Dominican Corojo Ligero and Honduran Corojo Ligero
Size: Robusto
Corona Length: 4.5
Ring Gauge: 52
Price: $8.69
Beverage: Diet Pepsi
Smoking time: 1 Hour 20 Min.
Humidor time: 2 days

Construction: I have been struggling to keep this cigar in my humidor the past few days, but it was the cigar of choice for #cigarchat this week and I just had to wait. With Jay and Tom from AKA Cigar joining in on the chat, the wait was over. This stick had beautiful dark brown habano wrapper. The wrapper had a nice oily looking sheen and was virtually free from veins. Let me tell you this was one impressive looking cigar.
AKA Respect
Pre-light: Putting this cigar to my nose was a rewarding experience. The aroma radiating from the wrapper was a very pleasant mocha aroma, the foot was nearly the same but had a nice amount of tobacco mixed in. Clipping the end I was rewarded with a nearly perfect and nice mix of mocha and tobacco. I was a bit disappointed that the wrapper did not have the flavor i was expecting as it seemed nearly tasteless.
First third: Once the cigar was lit it produced a large volume of smoke and the first flavor that hit my pallet was the nice full bodied mocha flavor that matched the aroma from the wrapper. The burn was right on and left behind a firm light gray ash.
Middle: I left the ash on until right at the mid point where I chickened out and bumped it off. By this time the burn had taken off a bit, but was not a problem and I was still enjoying that nice mocha flavor. Once the burn was a bit past the mid point a nice note of smooth earthiness joined the mocha. About now I was thinking this cigar was going to finish with my favorite flavor mix of scalded mocha, but I was wrong.

End: Right at the beginning of the final third the flavor mix shifted drastically and it actually stumped me for a few puffs. As I smoked on, the best flavor I could associate with the taste was fruit. I was shocked that it had changed that drasticly, but it was a very nice flavor mix that sat on the pallet for quite a while between puffs. Buy now the burn was off even a bit more but the cigar was still smoking just fine. At about the final one inch mark and large amount of earth and oak entered into the flavor mix giving this cigar a very unexpected but nice finish.
Overall: Hands down, this was probably the best tasting cigar I have ever smoked. The complex flavor profile kept me guessing through the last half and I found the stick to have absolutely no harsh pepper that comes with most robust cigars. I was a bit disappointed that the wrapper never did develop near the flavor I was expecting from such a nice oily wrapper, but the flavor the cigar produced more than made up for it. The only other issue was the burn which never did get so bad that it had to be corrected. This was a very nice cigar and if you are looking for one that is bold but light on pepper this would be the stick for you. I will be buying more of these.

Appearance and construction: 19.5
Flavor: 19.5
Smoking characteristics: 18
Overall experience: 19
Purchased Price: 18
Total: 94

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