- Vitola: Corona
- 5.5” x 42 ring gauge
- Purchased at Belle Meade Premium Cigars
Black Label Trading Company first released the blend called Morphine in the summer of 2014. Over the next couple years, the increasing popularity of the company as a whole, and this blend in particular, resulted in Morphine becoming their “signature blend.” It is released once a year and a variety of sizes have been part of the annual release, though the blend has remained a constant mix of Nicaraguan fillers, Nicaraguan Habano binder, and Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper.
The Corona I am smoking for review today was purchased at Belle Meade Premium Cigars on my recent trip up to Nashville. It was part of the 2017 release which included 2 other previously-released sizes, as well: a Short Robusto and a Lancero. There were a total of 20,000 cigars Morphine cigars produced in 2017 across the three vitolas.
The band combines the crowned skull found on other BLTC releases with a moth, giving it a very “Silence of the Lambs” death’s head moth vibe. While the band is still all black and white, it does represent a major departure from the original line of BLTC releases that were almost identical exact for the foot bands that identified each blend. The foot band here has “Morphine” in a elaborate script font that is spaced out so that it’s practically unreadable until you take it off and lay the band flat. The cap is finished with a twist that might actually be a fantail except it’s clipped off to a stub. If you put this vitola of Morphine side-by-side with a Dirty Rat, they would be very close in appearance…slightly different coloration and the fantail being the two big differences.
The wrapper leaf was a dark chocolate brown with a fine-grit sandpaper raspiness under my fingertips and an aroma of earth and espresso beans. The foot of the cigar had a sweeter smell, with notes of chocolate mixed with earth and coffee notes.
The cold draw was very good and flavors of unsweetened cocoa and dark roast coffee were most prevalent.
Lighting up the BLTC Morphine released intense earthy flavors, backed up by a mix of leather, cocoa powder and the unexpected addition of baking spice. There was plenty of pepper spice on the finish, and even more pepper on the retrohale. From the first few puffs, it was easy to see why this cigar had gained such a cult following over the last few years. As I made my way through the first third, I got earthy and salty notes, sweet and bitter, all in a very nice balance.
The second third of the Morphine proved stout and full-bodied (speaking of which, it would probably pair well with a good stout). I continued to get leathery and earthy notes mixed with cocoa powder and a slight sweetness.
The last third grew a little more bitter in that “Mexican bitter earth” category that once turned me off to Mexican wrapper leaf. There was still some balancing sweetness in the mix, but not as much as there was previously.
The draw was just a little snug, but nothing approaching unsmokeable. The burn line was very straight and the ash held on for a good long time.
These are a little pricey, but that’s what happens with small batch runs. I think this blend is worth the extra buck or two.
The first two-thirds of BLTC’s Morphine were truly fantastic, a complex, well-balanced blend of Nicaraguan and Mexican leaf that was full-bodied and very pleasing to my palate. The last third tailed off a little bit as the Mexican leaf took over the flavor profile, but it’s still a very good cigar that I would smoke again…if I could get my hands on it. You should try this one and see what you think…and if you like it, buy a bunch because they will probably be sold out soon after and then you’ll have to wait for the next year’s release.