This week’s group cigar review is of the Spectre. The Spectre is a cigar with fire-cured tobacco which is used in pipe tobacco. We’ve had another fire-cured tobacco cigar, so we’re looking forward to trying the Spectre. This cigar has a BOLD smell, one that is enticing and repulsive at the same time. Most cigar smokers will have smelled nothing like it before. The wrapper leaf is rough looking and mottled, but the draw is decent after cutting. Once lit up, we were surprised how different the flavors are than the smell: sweet BBQ-like flavor with a rich earth that coats the tongue. Later in the cigar pepper and a bitter coffee flavor dominate. Overall, this cigar gets bonus points for the innovation of using pipe tobacco. That makes for an entirely different smoking experience. With that said, we didn’t like the second half of the cigar nearly as much as the first, the bitter coffee flavor was too much. We do recommend the seasoned smoker to give this a try though, it’s certainly going to be different than anything you’ve had before!
Flavor and Taste: 18/20
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Flavor and Taste: 16/20
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Flavor and Taste: 16/20
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Total: 43/50 +2 for innovation 45/50
Terry1: The smell coming off the Spectre is like a burnt overly well-done piece of cheap meat doused in lighter fluid. It’s hard on the nose.
IamDarren: lol, yeah kinda forgot how strong the smell was
StraightUpCigars: This Spectre has EXTREMELY strong pungent tobacco smell due to the fire-cured tobacco. It really catches you off guard. It’s got a rough looking and mottled wrapper leaf, probably the reason the band covers almost the entire stick.
StraightUpCigars: The draw is just right after cutting.
IamDarren: yeah, wrapper is definitely a little rough. After the clip the draw is pretty decent
Terry1: The cigar is drawing well and has a better flavor of smokey bbq.
Terry1: Let’s light it up.
IamDarren: i think i may go ahead and remove the band, the light up
IamDarren: well at least pretty much instantly the sweet tobacco flavor comes in to tame that bbq flavor
Terry1: Good call on the band, it covers half the cigar. Mine came off easily.
StraightUpCigars: Yeah removed mine too. It’s silly to keep it on, found that out the first time.
Terry1: Lot’s of sweetness right off the bat. Amazing how the taste and aroma are so different than the wrapper smell.
StraightUpCigars: To call the flavors rich doesn’t do it justice, it’s got the thickest flavor that just coats your tongue. I like the descriptions of steak and BBQ Terry threw out there.
IamDarren: reat smoke production, flavor is pretty good. There is an underlying earthy flavor mixed with that sweet and smokey bbq flavor. Just the right mix of flavor.
IamDarren: in about a half inch and some spice is entering the picture. Also starting to get just a hint of char with the smokey bbq.
Terry1: I’m getting that earthy note now. Still heavy with that sweet bbq flavor. There’s a spice coming through that was hidden by that initial blast of sweetness. Might be whatever wood smoke they used on the tobacco.
StraightUpCigars: That’s something I’ve been wondering, what wood they use.
Terry1: Funny we picked up the same spice note.
IamDarren: i can’t even remember what type of fire cured tobacco the used…. it had a funny name
Terry1: Latakia is the name. Whatever that is.
StraightUpCigars: Weird, I wonder if pipe smokers would know what that is.
IamDarren: yep, you got it. my internet is so slow, maybe you guys can find some info
StraightUpCigars: Produced in Syria?!?! Hopefully is doesn’t have mustard gas on it.
IamDarren: found this: “The jet-black leaf from Cyprus is the result of hanging Turkish tobaccos in a barn and saturating the leaf with wood smoke.
StraightUpCigars: False alarm, it’s now produced in Turkey.
IamDarren: cigar is getting a little warmer, probably almost to the second third now. BBQ flavor is getting a bit stronger but with the sweet tobacco flavor its still not overpowering. Spice is getting bolder and adding a slight pepper zing on my tongue.
StraightUpCigars: The sweetness is all but gone on mine, it’s more of a tangy flavor now. Haven’t been able to decide if I like the flavor profile or not yet.
Terry1: I’m finding if I smoke a little fast all the good flavors vanish and are replaced by a bitter coffee note. Smoking slower has helped maintain the sweeter flavors. The burn is near perfect so far.
IamDarren: agreed, taking long slow draws brings out the best flavor. Construction is great on mine. Burn is perfect and the ash had to be tapped off.
StraightUpCigars: Very good construction on my end too, straight even burn.
IamDarren: i smoked one of these a few days after i got them and it seems to have tamed down a bit. The first one was really overpowering in the bbq flavor. I would let them sit with the cello off but im afraid it would stink up my humi
StraightUpCigars: That is true, don’t think I’d want to age these with any other cigars.
IamDarren: im noticing that the finish is not as clean as when we started. I think that fire cured flavor is starting to coat my palate.
Terry1: I’m liking the flavor but if you bought a box you would have to quarantine the box. It’s smells as strong or stronger than most infused cigars I’ve come across.
StraightUpCigars: So in reading about latakia, it mentions people use between 5% and 100% in their pipes, I’m curious what the percentage fire-cured tobacco is in the Leccia Black compared to this.
IamDarren: speaking of infused… i can’t help but wonder if they use a similar process for some of those blends yet they don’t have to call this an infused cigar
IamDarren: found a great informative article about the latakia if you guys are interested: http://www.talkingtobacco.com/2012/09/whats-the-deal-with-latakia/
[What’s The Deal With Latakia? | Talking Tobacco]
What’s The Deal With Latakia? | Talking Tobacco
StraightUpCigars: Not sure, but it’s proven that Drew infuses Acids by filling a tub with bath oils and bathing with them.
IamDarren: haha…. lol
Terry1: There’s a visual I didn’t need.
StraightUpCigars: All the while stroking his Uzi and dreaming of crotch rockets.
IamDarren: and yet they make of the most premium sought after blends ever, Liga Privada
StraightUpCigars: Yep, amazing.
IamDarren: btw, thanks for the article about that new blend made by AJ. Maybe you can score a few for review…
Terry1: Now I’m noticing an oily texture in my mouth. Leaves a bitterness. Not liking that much.
StraightUpCigars: They sent me the article, I replied by letting them know we’d like to try it… no response. Doesn’t make me too pleased.
IamDarren: its definitely getting stronger, pushing up into the full bodied range. I would say im past the halfway mark… getting close to the last third
IamDarren: did either of you end up getting some of those Leccias?
StraightUpCigars: Nope, they outbid me.
IamDarren: I almost pulled the trigger on a pack of those new CAO Extremes when they were on the daily deal
IamDarren: i think i would still rather have more of the Flathead… those were really good
StraightUpCigars: That Flathead was good. Try out that Proxy and let us know what you think, you may just end up buying those.
IamDarren: you got it, i just saw the end of the chat with the ratings
Terry1: The Flathead was good. The Luchador is one I’d pass on. Sounds too strong for my taste. But I’m sure one of you will send me one to review. ;(
IamDarren: got another email about one of the new cigar laws the fda is trying to pass. They want to make it hard for new cigars to be approved for sale. They were warning that it would virtually stop any new cigar production.
StraightUpCigars: Screw the FDA. Speaking of new cigars, we got a few of these to try: http://www.jrcigars.com/jr/index.cfm/hurl/evt=brand/b=MONTECRISTO-ESPADA
[Montecristo Espada | JR Cigars]
Montecristo Espada | JR Cigars
Terry1: I’m noticing more of a pepper spice coming through at the end of the second third. Adds some heat to that bbq flavor.
IamDarren: wow those look fancy, score
StraightUpCigars: Man, speaking of pepper, I just got a huge burst of it in that puff.
IamDarren: im in the last third and am drinking a lot more to help with the pepper. Definitely ramping up
StraightUpCigars: It’s kicking my sinus’ ass.
StraightUpCigars: No matter how slow I smoke it at this point, it’s got a bitter coffee flavor.
Terry1: Mine too. The last third is going downhill fast. The smoke is really hot on my tongue. I may have to put this one down early.
StraightUpCigars: Mine’s burning hot too, which is ironic b/c in one of the latakia articles it mention how it was impossible for it to burn hot
Terry1: Feeling a little strength creaping up in this final third.
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, it’s got some strength. It’s not as strong as some others we’ve had recently though.
Terry1: How much are these?
StraightUpCigars: Looks like $45 for a box of 10 on CI. Not too bad at all.
Terry1: I thought they would cost more.
StraightUpCigars: I thought so too, especially for tobacco from so far away. Mine’s too hot at this point, I’m going to set it down. Did we lose Darren?
IamDarren: had some family stop by but im back. Cigar is pretty much done. Got a lot dryer at the end but pepper didn’t get too bad. First two thirds were the best.
Terry1: I could rate. It’s going to require some thinking. Not the typical cigar.
StraightUpCigars: Agreed, very difficult to rate for me.
IamDarren: i think i will rate then add a couple points for just being creative and different. I think blends like this keep people interested in the cigar industry.
StraightUpCigars: My feelings on this cigar are complicated. I am very glad to have tried it, and would recommend all veteran cigar smokers try one. With that said, this flavor profile is not for me. It’s overly bold and the final third was not to my liking. For fire-cured cigars, I prefer the Leccia Black. This is one I’m glad to have tried, but would not seek out more.
Terry1: The last third really didn’t perform for me. I knocked a point off the wrapper for the funky smell. Otherwise the first two thirds was interesting. Not something I’d want very often. I’d recommend trying one first before buying a box.
Terry1: I agree I preferred the Leccia Black.
IamDarren: after reading that article, i think that latakia is more than just fire cured. They do infuse some flavor with spices. It might be a little over the top for most cigar enthusiasts
StraightUpCigars: I think you are right. They cure it with evergreen too, I think that adds to the boldness.