Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Acme Cigar Co. Route 66 - Review


“You know” I says to Mrs. Kap, “You know, I started writing reviews such a short time ago. What started as me writing tongue-in-cheek about two dollar cigars I had to scrounge up change for -- has become me writing about expensive offerings which I am sent free of charge to review.” I pause.

“What should I make of that?” I ask.
“Smoke them and write about it.” She says.

The Cigar:
Acme Cigar Company
Route 66 Classic Hot Rod
Ecuador-grown Cuban seed Habano wrapper
Jalapa Criollo binder
Nicaraguan, San Andres, & Dominican fillers.
5x50 Robusto
A light amount of toothiness and tasteful amount of veins on a medium brown wrapper with hints of somewhat lighter hues. The finish is matte, and the feel not rough per se, but not smooth. Very tight seams nicely and crafted cap. A peek at the footer shows a moderately dense packing. A squeeze here and there indicates an even assemblage of the dead-on medium variety.

A cold sniff of the wrapper yields a faint medium tobacco. A sniff at the foot elaborates with a joining in of fall spices -- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, et al. A possible light cedar rest in the background.

A cold draw is of Red Hots candy and quite lively, it puts a smile on my mug. I used to steal Red Hots from a Brooklyn bodega ran by a dwarf.

I digress.

Toasting the foot lets loose a nice waft of those previously mentioned fall spices. A surprising bite of red pepper greets my smoke-hole upon lighting. There is a cedar trace on the draw that comes at the end of those spices, and lingers to a somewhat sweet finish. There is a clean if not utterly crisp mouthfeel.

A retro-hale is of warming cedar notes on the back of red pepper and cinnamon. on the third hot pull a note of milk chocolate is visible, especially on the early draw.
Act I:
Red pepper/milk chocolate balanced draw with notes of cedar mingling about, followed by a lessening fall spice on the draw’s end, which hits the finish where a further milk chocolate joins in. Nice, lengthy finish -- not quite lasting to the next pull -- yet.

The burn is even enough, and not requiring of touch-up, nor showing signs of straying. The ash is white marbled with light grey and an only very occasional charcoal. Not a particularly dense ash, some aeration spots exist.

A note on construction: a very cool smoke which remains at the same medium firmness and sports a near perfect pull -- just the correct amount of resistance.

I find the finish is shortening, instead of the lengthening I’d expected, but there is a lighter and very pleasant floral honey intertwined therein.

At Act One’s close, nutmeg and cinnamon (a more mature variety than the previous Red Hots homage. A deeper warmth.) have far overtaken the on-set’s red pepper. A note of citrus joins the floral honey in an orange blossom fashion. There is less milk in the milk chocolate now, but the cedar has amped up to flesh out the sweetness.

A retro-hale simply reinforces the above. The ash drops off quite powdery at shy of an inch. The finish has a slight addition of truck stop coffee at it’s end, which lengthens it almost to the next puff.

Act II:
We begin with an extension of Act One. Then, at the halfway point a heightened cedar and a return to red pepper, both flavors are warmed, roasted. The body is a bit heavier and the strength, too - although I’d still say medium to both -- we have definitely went from one end of mid-range to the other. The honey losses it floral notes, but too sweetens in deeper notes. The chocolate darkens yet again and overall, we see a very nice transition to a more fuller flavored (though still medium) smoking experience. fall spices are now mainly on the finish and I feel I am eating a dessert to my dessert -- and I am not complaining one iota. “Finish all your peanut butter pie, little Jimmy, or you won’t get any Rocky Road ice cream.” Warns Mom.

As the final third approaches, we transition again to a mainly Nicaraguan rich tobacco with all its inherent traits of dark chocolate and earthiness -- a thickening of ash lends credence to that claim. This leads through to the finish where a hint of dried red fruit resides and is then nicely counterbalanced with a roasted cumin sprinkling.

Act III:
I don’t foresee any further transitions or introductions, so I’ll readdress the construction. As expected, the fully heated offering has softened, but holds very well. A decent chew has set in and the burn is not razor sharp, but never was and too never needed my concern.

We get a spurt or two of bordering on bite at the end, but nothing egregious and it mainly serves to ultimately cleanse the palate. I realize I’ve not sipped a drink throughout, and that my mouth is at the perfect moisture level -- which speaks quite well of the blend.
A stick which delivers on its every promise, must be admired. In an era where the cash grab of flavor of the month offering are sadly common, I feel that Route 66 and the Acme Cigar Company will be around for quite some time.

A near perfect smoke for anytime of day, but one which really shines while too does the sun.

Not essential, as noted -- but try a nice enough coffee with cream and sugar. Any pairing should match this cigar’s lack of airs and the putting on thereof. I have peanut butter pie stuck in my head.

I'd imagine tunnels painted onto sides of mountains and rocket-powered rollerskates would be a bit too on-the-nose.

Final Grade: B+
(A would be garnered by a more even and less flaky burn. A+ by no hints at bite.)


And so I smoked and wrote.
Please visit Acme Cigars HERE.
A humble thank you for the smokes, sirs.
And to you, dear reader, for reading.