Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

9/29/15

Acme Cigar Co. Premier Ecuador - Cigar Review

Prologue:
9:24am

Can't talk. Trying to stay on schedu

The Cigar:
Acme Cigar Company
Premier Ecuador
Ecuador-grown Cuban seed Habano wrapper
San Andres and Criollo (double) binder
Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic fillers
5 x 50 Robusto
Pre-light:
For all its “That’s-a spicy meat-a-ball!” ingredients -- its nose is surprisingly mute. Although that is not to say unpleasant. While there is barely a note at the sniff of the wrapper, a try at the foot shows some promise of rich, surprisingly creamy tobacco, and a red pepper/sweet spice warmth.

To the squeeze, it shows some give, and not always a perfectly even give at that. Long veins, tight seams and an even rich brown complexion with a hand of not rough, but sans oils. The cap is affixed nicely. Upon closer inspection, there is a slight wrapper flaw or two -- but nothing that has me concerned. I ain’t never been ‘fraid, gentlepersons.

A bite off of the cap and a cold pull adds a cumin quality to the nose notes. An almost savoriness.

Light:
The process goes as expected without hiccups and the first hot pull is a very wispy bodied zing of pepper. This finishes into a very cocoa finish which is equally as airy. Very clean mouthfeel. Very long finish.

A retro-hale gives me more cocoa and a faint hint at sweet spices. A cedar comes in at the draw’s end and lasts sweetly into the finish. There too is a bread quality to the finish, though untoasted and Wonder bread-ish -- not oven-fresh artisan fare.

Another pull adds a good dose of cumin to my palate on the draw, but doesn’t linger to the finish. The finish does, however, see a pinch of salt added.

All told, a very good start. Though there is a lingering wispiness of body -- an almost watered down feeling. Tonic and Gin, instead of Gin and Tonic.

Fizzy. There exists almost a fizziness. I take it as an airy tininess or metallic not quite mineral taste that also is exhibited on the foot smoke. Very Cubanesque, I must say. Whether you enjoy that or not, is solely up to you.
Act I:
Thus far the burn has been quite even and a bit flakey. The draw is moderate but not completely fulfilling. Not “meaty.” As if I ordered a burger and was given a veggie patty. Or a McSomething.

Very crisp, very clean well into Act I now. Not a great evolution of flavors, but all remain present. The finish is the high-spot here -- while remaining clean on the palate, it is long lasting and transitions through the gambit of aforementioned notes. It is the draw which I find somewhat lacking, but a more often than usual retro-haling aids with that. It’s on that retro-hale where the sweet spices and red peppers get roasted and warmed. Following that, the draw is a continuation of that and an introduction of a more delineated cumin which becomes a cinnamon spiced cocoa with notes of cedar which paves the way to that very nice finish of a now toasted bread backing.

A fresh tingle shows up on the tip of my tongue and a saltines is deposited through it, then to my lips. Very much the of the influence of the Criollo binder. Then I think of the obvious chocolate and inherent spices of the San Andres aspect of the double binder, the Nicaraguan filler...

What is missing for me, however, is the Habano. I get no intense leather or coffee notes. That would be exactly what the doctor ordered, to make this stick really hum. Too, it is not yet 10am and I am buzz-less from a Habano, which is as surprising as Donald Trump not wearing a hat on a windy day.

Act I closes the same way it opened, and while quite pleasant, a bit flat thus far. I am hoping we see a transition at the half.

Act II:
A nutty roasted flavor shows up and enhances the bread note to whole grain near-artisan levels. There are notes of sweetening cocoa -- now dark chocolate, but too there is a hot chocolate note. Sweet spices are no longer delineated, but nice, and mingle fantastically with a sweet cedar. Cumin savoriness that is quite a dose of umami resides as always on the retro-hale.

As to the finish, there is the draw’s saltiness held over to a lengthy affair of a mingling of the aforementioned notes. Pretty dang complex, but not uniformly so -- there’s always a different order of comings and goings.

The burn is near razor sharp and the ash holds barely to an inch. It shows itself to lack density and to very powdery throughout. As the final act draws nigh, a crack shows in the wrapper, but influences nothing beyond cosmetic appeal.

Act III:
It would seem then, that there is not a transition to be had -- but I’d not at all call this a one dimensional affair. It is quite a nice -- if not wholly fulfilling offering. From its blending profile, I expected a dark and somber thing. A heaviness. What I received were all those notes, played to an upbeat tempo. Quite interesting really.

Always crisp, always clean, and always something to catch and hold yer attentions.

We finish out in Tonic and Gin fashion, but the Gin is top-shelf, gentlepersons. All notes are unchanged and I’m ¾ okay with that.
Notes:
I’d have loved to see the Habano hold its own, or even the DR kick in (perhaps that would have been redundant insofar as flavors, with the SA and Criollo carrying much the same tools but better), all told: Good. Quite good, even. This cigar is worth a smoke, but perhaps not worth the rave of its product line brethren. (See reviews of those in the index to yer left.)

I suppose what I wanted from this offering was a heavier body. That said, I was forced by my schedule to smoke it at the perfect time of day: early.

Pairings
Tea is a surprising good fit. Simply because I'm always surprised when I recommend it. A Black Tea, perhaps with some spice, sweetened -- hold the cream.

Final Grade: C
(It simply needed to show me more. What it did show was pleasant enough.)

Epilogue:
10:36am

...

[use of ellipsis denotes me being gone, man. Thanks for reading, thanks to the gents at Acme.]

meep-meep

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