It’s been a while since i last did a written review, in the evening, quietly by myself downstairs, enjoying a cigar.

Cigarsofhabanos.com is one of my favourite cigar retailers, so when i discovered, quite by accident, that they had their famed custom rolled cigars in stock, i couldn’t wait to get my hands on some. Just 2 days after my order was placed, the cigars were on my desk. Bubble wrapped with a humidipak thrown in for good measure to keep things on an even keel. The evening couldn’t come fast enough!

Bringing the whole wheel to the nose rewarded me with a deep, dark muskiness that i found incredibly pleasing. Not a hint of harsh ammonia, just rich musky barnyard aroma. Without being told, i could tell that the leaf in these cigars was not very common, and certainly not green at all. I slid one stick out of the wheel, and examined it closely.

Perfectly constructed, just the right amount of give in the pinch test, no hard spots, or sponginess. Some veining was apparent, but otherwise the claro wrapper was incredibly healthy, exuding oils that gave it a silky feel to the touch. It’s a rare day to find a Cuban cigar this oily; my fingers were practically greased with oils after running the cigar between them for a few minutes, enjoying the construction, feel and heft to the stick. A sublimes is a considerable cigar, 6 inches with a 52 ring gauge, topped off with a perfect triple cap.

The cap came off easily, and the cold draw revealed quite a bit of spiciness! A hint at the experience to come, perhaps. The first few draws confirmed the spice in the cigar. Immediately, strong, stinging flavours struck the tongue and assaulted the palate. But there was a clean freshness to it all that some may even call sweet; a cacophony of woodiness laced with a dash of liquorice.

The draw was outstandingly lush, tons of smoke volume that quickly filled up the room. Very woody smoke aroma to complement the striking flavours the cigar was presenting in the first third.

The second third saw a dramatic swing in flavours. The spiciness was gone, barely a trace of earlier woodiness. Each draw was like chewing on a mouthful of sweet nuts now. Quite amazing how the blend can make such a 90 degree turn, almost completely leaving the dominant flavours of the previous third behind.

The final third saw the cigar take another radical turn. The spice was back with a vengeance, pricking my tongue and lips. But this time, with a distinct coffee overtone. Try drinking a cup of hot black coffee laced with chili peppers and that’s exactly what you’ll have with this cigar as it approached the end! A real grandstand finish!

Verdict: 92/100. An outrageously good smoke, lasting 2 hours plus. It is a custom blend, made for the palates of the market, so mileage may vary for some. But for me, it’s one of the best cigars i’ve had in 2011. Remarkably complex. Spicy on the onset, withdrawing to a dante of sweet nuttiness before rising to a crescendo of bitter hot chili spice and pepper. There are very few things left you can ask for from a cigar.