Signaure Collection Vintage 2004 – Cigar Review

This week’s group cigar review is of the Signature Collection 2004.  This is a cheapie that is available on several of the internet retailer sites.  The reviews are mixed, so we’re interested in putting any debate to rest.  The cigar has a barnyard smell to it and my wrapper leaf has a decent sized hole (you can see it in the pics).  The draw is decent after cutting.  Once lit up we got some earth and pepper flavor, but were immediately overwhelmed by a fruity bitterness.  That bitterness plagued the entire cigar, it did not fade away.  Smoking slow and purging did not help.  We believe it is from underfermented tobacco, we suspect only the wrapper leaf is 2004 vintage and the rest was not aged nearly long enough.  Overall, this is not one that we would recommend trying out.

StraightUpCigars: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 10/20
Construction: 8/10
Wrapper: 4/5
Price Point: 6/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Total: 29/50

Terry1: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 10/20
Construction: 9/10
Wrapper: 4/5
Price Point: 5/10
Would I buy a Box: 0/5
Total: 28/50

7:52 PM
StraightUpCigars: The Signature Collection 2004 has a nice fermented tobacco smell to the wrapper. My wrapper leaf is flawed with a little gash/hole in it.
7:52 PM
StraightUpCigars: The draw is pretty much perfect after cutting, just the right amount of resistance.
7:53 PM
Terry1: Nice looking cigar. I too am getting that barnyard smell off the wrapper. The cold draw has a slight sweet note and has a good draw. Ready to light this one up.
7:54 PM
StraightUpCigars: Lighting!
7:57 PM
StraightUpCigars: This is a weird flavor profile. About all I get is pepper and earth because each puff is immediately dominated by a fruity bitter finish. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it.
7:58 PM
StraightUpCigars: One puff I lean towards love it, the next it’s too much.
7:58 PM
Terry1: Lots of smoke on mine. The flavors are a bit generic, earthy with a touch of pepper.
7:58 PM
StraightUpCigars: Mine is making a lot of smoke too.
7:59 PM
Terry1: I’m getting the bitterness too. At the moment I’m leaning towards not liking it.
8:00 PM
StraightUpCigars: My ash dropped off already and the cigar is burning fast. I do like the smoke production though.
8:03 PM
StraightUpCigars: I really want to like that sweet and fruity bitterness, but it’s just so unusual.
8:04 PM
Terry1: I wonder if what we’re tasting is underfermented tobacco? On the draw I can detect some pepper and a little sweetness in the aroma. I’m almost thinking this may be a good cigar, then bam the bitterness takes over and ruins it.
8:05 PM
StraightUpCigars: It’s possible, and I suspect you’re right. We’ve had these resting for a few months so that would be unforgivable if that were the case.
8:08 PM
StraightUpCigars: Reading the description I think that only the wrapper leaf is 2004, the rest… who knows.
8:09 PM
StraightUpCigars: This is a cheapie CI only cigar that I won on Cbid. The reviews were very polarized… the best ever or the worst ever.
8:11 PM
Terry1: I was looking this up too. There could be some inconsistency between batches. There’s some underlying flavors that I would enjoy if the bitterness didn’t overwhelm them. The burn is getting lopsided on mine.
8:12 PM
Terry1: You mentioned last week about correcting your burn. Did you put the burning side up or down?
8:13 PM
StraightUpCigars: I like to put the burning side down, my theory is heat rises…
8:14 PM
StraightUpCigars: I completely agree with you. Some of the flavors show that this one has the potential to be great. The problem is I have this lingering bitterness that overwhelms and, franly, won’t leave my mouth.
8:15 PM
Terry1: Interesting. I read an article on the Famous site and they said put the burning side up. It creates some sort of air flow from the heat rising which act like blowing on the slow burning part. Not sure which works but I’ll try both over the next few cigars and see if there’s any difference.
8:16 PM
Terry1: Yeah the mouth taste is going to take a couple of brushings to get rid of.
8:16 PM
StraightUpCigars: Wow, no wonder my bad burns never correct themselves!
8:17 PM
StraightUpCigars: The good/bad news is that I’ll be in the final third here in a few puffs, this is a very fast burning cigar.
8:18 PM
Terry1: You are speed smoking tonight! I’m almost half way.
8:19 PM
Terry1: BTW Smoking slower hasn’t improved the flavors.
8:19 PM
StraightUpCigars: Lol.
8:19 PM
StraightUpCigars: I don’t feel like I’ve been speed smoking, maybe I have. The bands did come off super easy.
8:21 PM
Terry1: My band came off easily too. Almost went around the cigar twice. Got me thinking I’m glad this isn’t a 6 x 60. Not sure I could take two hours of this.
8:23 PM
StraightUpCigars: I agree. I tried hard to like this one, but at the final third I am convinced it is not one I would ever recommend.
8:24 PM
Terry1: Every eat a persimmon? It has a tropical flavor like a mango and leaves your mouth feeling all fuzzy. This cigar is leaving my mouth all fuzzy. In a bad way.
8:24 PM
StraightUpCigars: The flavors are the same as when we started, no transitions, just this lingering bitterness.
8:26 PM
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, persimmons grow wild here so I eat them fairly often. They do make your mouth feel weird and dry, especially the unripe ones, and yes this cigar does too. I think more and more you are right that this tobacco was not aged long enough at all.
8:28 PM
Terry1: If what they’re claiming as the age on the wrapper, why would they waste it on a crappy blend of cheap underfermented tobacco. I don’t get it.
8:29 PM
StraightUpCigars: That’s a good question. The only thing I can think of is that they just wanted the 2004 on the band.
8:30 PM
Terry1: Age does sell cigars.
8:30 PM
StraightUpCigars: I still have a little bit left on this one, but I’m setting it down. This one was a let down, atleast it wasn’t an expensive let down.
8:30 PM
Terry1: I’m ready to rate when you are.
8:34 PM
StraightUpCigars: This was a tough one to score. It had good flavors, but also had one overwhelmingly bad one. Not good, could have been worse.
8:35 PM
Terry1: Ouch! One of the lowest ratings we’ve ever given. Buyer beware for this cigar.

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