Thursday, September 26, 2013

AKA Respect 2013

AKA Respect 2013
As you know by now I was unable to attend IPCPR this year so Jay from AKA Cigars sent me a few pre release samples of the new, re blended 2013 Respect. Here is what AKA Cigars has to say about the new 2013 Respect on their website: "The new blend has been toned down from the original and offers a ton of flavor of earth notes, cedar, and woodiness along with a silky leathery finish.  The awesome burn and effortless draw will produce a nice heavy volume of smoke that will have your senses and palette craving more."

I loved the original version of the Respect, and have smoked many since the first review, let's see how this one stacks up!

Quick Details
  • Wrapper:  5 Year Aged Criollo Ligero
  • Binder: 4 Year Aged ’59 Seed Corojo from the Eiroa Family
  • Filer: 4 and 5 Year Aged Dominican and Honduran from the Eiroa and Kelner Families
  • Size: Hooah 5.5" x 50
  • Price: $8.25 Pre release sample provided by AKA Cigars
Construction: The first thing that stands out when looking at this cigar is the silver on black triple band. These bands against the dark wrapper create a nice contrast and really makes this stick stand out. Examining the wrapper I see that it contains only very fine veins and has the aroma of toast. Moving to the foot I found the same toast aroma mixed with sweet mocha. Feeling the cigar from head to foot I found it to be well packed and contained no hard or soft spots. Nice!

I punched the end and tested the cold draw next. The draw was firm, but not to tight and the cold flavor mix was a very nice mix of mocha and oak while the wrapper left a sweet after taste on my lips. I am very excited to put a match to this cigar!

Smoking experience: The end was punched and with a match in hand I was ready to go. The first flavor notes to  hit me while I was lighting up were tasty mix of chocolate with a hint of cedar. Within a few puffs a hint of toast joined in and lasted to near the cigar's mid point. Into the second third the flavor note of toasted transformed into more of a burnt toast flavor while the chocolate remained and the cedar faded. Nearing the final third the cedar and toast notes were gradually replaced by oak, which continued to build into the nub. I found the shifting flavor mix quite tasty.

In the first third the burn was a bit uneven but it self-corrected by the time it had reached the mid point. The wrapper left the same chocolate after taste on my lips that I experienced while testing the cold draw and lasted the entire length of the cigar. Even though the flakey light gray ash look soft, it held tight for several minutes after removing the center band and the cigar created an nice volume of smoke.

Final thoughts: First, I thought this was another fantastic cigar from AKA. The flavor profile of the 2013 was tasty and the construction as always was top notch. Second, and the most interesting thing I found was just how different the flavor profile of this new blend was from the original. I gave this stick the same rating as the original blend, even though it was different it is still one of my favorite cigars! Thank you AKA!

Total: 94

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