One very good reason to buy cabinet cigars is that you get to lift them out of the box all at once, and bury your nose into the foot of the cigars. That’s where the scent of the cigar is the most concentrated, and it can be a tremendous delight to be presented with all the incredible aromas in a highly intense manner.

When i did this to the wheel of Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2s i received from the great lads of Czar’s recently, i detected small traces of ammonia, and a barnyard, earthy pungent smell that was quite pleasing to the nose. The ammonia is still present, as this cigar is probably just coming out or still in the throes of its sick period. Probably not a good time to smoke this cigar, but i’ve always been a fan of experimentation, and i like to see how a cigar evolves over time so i’ve never been afraid of having a cigar fresh and young.

The wrapper on these was exceptional, almost a maduro, certainly as dark as the Cohiba Maduro 5 Genios i had to compare it with. Oily under the fingers, firm to the pinch. After cutting it, the draw revealed itself to be quite firm, just a tad more than what i prefer, but still smokable. When a cigar feels this firm under the pinch, the draw will probably be quite solid as well. The pre-light draw gave me a tangy metallic flavour, it wasn’t much, but it was noticeable.

Taking a flame to the foot, it lit quite well quickly, but i gave it a few extra seconds to really toast it well so that the burn would be perfect. The first draw was like a shot to the head: immediate pepper and spice bursts on the lips and tonuge. My palate was tingling all over, and my tongue felt like a thousand small pinpricks had pierced it. Leathery, dark and musky vanilla beans. It was a terrific combination of flavours, very very complex. By the end of the first 2 inches, my tongue was numb with pleasure, almost as though someone had pulled it out of my head and given it a massage! More, more!

The second half took a small turn, and the peppery spice was replaced by a meaty, thick dark coffee and leather offering. It was quite dominating, and my mouth seemed quite “full” with flavours. Its like someone had put a dark toffee sweet in my mouth and it became gooey all over while inside. Some hints of pepper remained, but it was very faint. Smoke volume was a bit lower than what i am used to, but that’s probably due to the firm draw that this cigar presented.

The final third of this cigar that i wished could go on forever brought back the pepper and mint that had disappeared earlier. Big huge dollops of spice, roasted dark nuts, perhaps a touch of burnt cloves and cinnamon as well. Put it all together, and you can imagine i had quite a bit going on at once; it wasn’t easy to pick out individual flavours. In the final third, the draw also opened up, so each puff blew out a huge plume of woody, striking smoke. I creaked the windows open just that much wider.  The finish was excellent, a deep peppery tease, that would stay on the palate for several hours after the cigar was done.

Verdict: A clean 91/100. Outstanding cigar, excellent. It was a dominating presence throughout, but oh so finely balanced that it wavered on the knife’s edge for so long without dropping into bitterness. Incredibly complex, full of flavour and to be appreciated by an experienced aficionado. One of the best cigars of the year for me.

I recommend you pick up these great cigars (you might even still be able to get the same box code!) from Cigar-czar.c0m. Priced very well at US$171 per box. Tell them that Aizuddin from My Cigar Blog sent you for some special and personal attention!