Corona, 5.5 x 42
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro, Mexican San Andres Maduro
|Cigar age||0 yr. 8.5 mo.|
BACKGROUND: With a philosophy that prizes quality over quantity, Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) focuses on creating cigars of the highest quality in small batches and extremely limited quantities. This small batch approach has allowed BLTC to hand select the finest tobacco from the richest tobacco-growing regions for their six unique signature blends.
After launching 6 blends in 2013, the company wanted to bring a stronger, fuller bodied cigar to their line up. So, in March of 2014, BLTC announced the release of Morphine, a Nicaraguan-crafted cigar that is constructed with two maduro wrappers.
According to Brown, the customers of BLTC expect their smokes to be unique and out of the box when it comes to flavor profile. He concluded that, "Morphine is exactly that."
Morphine features a Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper and an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper with Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers and a Nicaraguan Habano binder. [Note: the distinction between double wrapper and/or double binder is lost on me. Most people indicate a "double binder," after all, the wrapper is, by definition, the outermost leaf.]
TASTING NOTES: This cigar came out of the gate with notes of cocoa powder, dark roasted coffee, and aged rum. The retrohale was bristling with smoky mesquite wood, pepper spice and an earthy sweetness. Overall, it had flavors that were warm, rich and satisfying.
The draw was a bit stiff and the burn line was blistered. In fact, I had a little trouble keeping the cigar lit and had to touch it up with my lighter a couple of times.
The ash kept fissuring, which made me tap off early and often, in half-inch chunks. However, those minor annoyances were not enough to keep me from enjoying the heck out of this smoke. During the first half, the cigar exuded plenty of earthy sweetness and was lip-smacking good.
FINAL THOUGHTS: During the second half, the BLTC Morphine continued to display a variety of earthy and sweet flavors. I noted black coffee, bittersweet chocolate and aged bourbon. Every 2-3 puffs, however, I had to flame purge the foot to keep the flavors distinct and fresh.
I think this cigar will appeal to a wide range of cigar smokers. I found it to be medium-full in body, flavor and strength.
Part of the reason for the minor burn issues with this smoke was because of an off-centered placement of the ligero leaf, which caused the cigar to burn slightly out of whack. It also caused a couple of minor tunnels in the middle of the bunch.
I believe Morphine will match well with a medium to full-bodied dark beer, or with aged rum or with your favorite coffee. In each case, I would recommend some sweetness in the libation to fully connect the flavor profiles. (That is, choose a sweeter rather than drier rum, put sugar or cream in coffee, etc.)
Overall, I believe that this is a cigar that will age very well. I am looking forward to trying these in another 6 months to a year. I believe that, with proper construction, this will be a dynamic smoke right now and will be even better with another several months of aging.
This is a great example of a maduro flavor profile and I can recommend this cigar highly, specifically because I think it shows great presence right now and great promise for the future.
Final verdict: Buy and enjoy. And, be sure to hold some back for extended aging.
These sticks are sitting in the top singles drawer of my Aristocrat M+ cabinet humidor. Each cigar is wrapped in cellophane, which I have left intact. The active humidifier is set at 68%RH and the current temperatures are in the mid-to-upper 60's F.
This is the first of two reviews. These cigars have been resting a total of 8 months and 11 days.
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