One of my job duties with Burns Tobacconist is trying out new blends and evaluating them as to whether I think they should have a place in the store. That isn’t to say I have the final say…just that my opinion is taken into consideration. On a recent Saturday, I was handed quite a few new (or new to me) sticks by one of our brokers and I decided I should treat them like homework…although this is definitely one of the most enjoyable homework assignments I’ve ever had. Actually, since reviewing cigars was what paved the way for me to work there in the first place, I look at writing about them for work as a “full circle” experience.
Wilson-Adams Cigars was founded in my old stomping grounds of southern California in 2011. One of the principals of the company is actually a regular at Maxamar, my hangout when I go out there (and Keith’s hangout about 100 days a year). Their history is presented on their website:
In 2011, we traveled to Estelí, Nicaragua where we visited the Plasencia family and formed a lasting partnership. Instead of utilizing smaller factories, we chose Plascencia due to their vast storehouses of tobacco from almost every growing region in the world. The family owns farms peppered across Central America from the island of Ometepe to the gorgeous fields of Honduras. After many back & forth trips to Nicaragua and some 40 blend iterations the White Label (Habano) was born and launched in 2012. A year later we launched our Red Label (Sumatra).
I got samples of both the Habano and Sumatra blends and gave them a puff while I sipped on some fine Kentucky Bourbon…
I got the Habano in a Lancero vitola and it proved to be pretty fantastic. The burn was perfect and the flavor was one of the best I’ve had in a very long time from a new company. I picked up on the earthiness you’d expect from Nicaraguan leaf, but there was a citrusy tangy quality that made me think of Peruvian tobacco, a touch of cedar, and a very nice peppery burn.
Even though it was my second cigar of the day (and I had smoke 5 or 6 each day the two days previous) this cigar cut right through and delivered a very fine smoking experience that I could recommend to just about any of my Nicaraguan-loving customers. I think this is a line we will have to seriously consider finding room for.
The Sumatra definitely had the better appearance with its dark brown wrapper and predominantly red band. It started off with cocoa powder and earth, along with a mild dark fruit sweetness.
This medium-to-full-bodied smoke was good, but for me it wasn’t great. The flavor was strong, but it just wasn’t quite in my wheelhouse. Still, I’m thinking this cigar could find a dedicated fan base and I’m interested in seeing how it would smoke in other vitolas.