Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

2/6/17

Felix Assouline Something Special - Cigar Review

B"H
THE CIGAR
Felix Assouline Cigars
Limited Reserve Something Special
6 1/2 x 54 Virtuoso Belicoso
w. Habano Criollo 98
b. Indonesian
f. Nicaraguan, Honduras

"Limited Reserve Something Special is a line of cigars with carefully blended tobaccos to achieve a medium to full body box press cigar at an affordable everyday cigar price." -- www.FelixAssouline.com
ACT I
Quite the delicate hand-feel to top-leaf. Some of it looks pulled a bit tight, but smoothed by the moderate box-press. Verily smooth, sans tooth, sporting minimal and flat veins. Nigh invisible seams. Milk chocolate hue with a cinnamon high-up under-belly. Matte finish sheen. Cap is well affixed, tho the angled Belicoso is a tick unsymmetrical. Nutty spice rack with hay under-belly on the cold schnozzing along shaft. At foot, a sharper glimpse at nuttiness is offered with a slight peppery attachment.

Cold draw is a Mexican mocha latte poured in a cedar mug and sprinkled with pale fleshed nuts. Draw tension starts at a medium+ and once lit, continues in that manner. Leather goes to spices on the first few tugs. Under-belly notes settle into a lighter than expected earthen note with a citrus hay attachment.

Smoke out-put is excellent with a creamy appearance and spiced leather room-note. Packing softened a tick from lighting, but draw and seams each hold fast. Burn-line shows a slight wobble which seems to be self-correcting. Ash is a pale grey ladder-rung with a bissell flaking. Hand-feel continues to shine as it oils up from heating and feels just supremely balanced in the mitt.

Leather dials back and citrus grows sweeter. Cedar soars. A yellow floral note sets into the middlings. Mocha gets either more chocolate or less espresso. Nuts past. Cream comes in, toasts. Moisture level is a bit dry-sided. Body is expanded to a goodly medium with recent cream addition. Flavors are medium, robustly so. Strength is a -medium which I thought to be a mild till I stood up. Burnt offerings build in the same fashion as stated, the entirety of the opening act still intact.

ACT II
Citrus hits Mexican spices, creating a mulling varietal -- cinnamon, clove, nutmeg; separates from the mocha, which itself dials back. Nuts cling close to wood... and I did not mean to sound dirty, gentlepersons... complexities are there. Cedar gets creamier and sweeter. Pecan and almonds are slightly candied. This is balanced by the citrus note and its crisp hay attachment. Under-belly rises up in a sun-lit dirt manner. Leather laces profile. Butterscotch vibe ebbs and flows in the cocoa/cocoa butter bits.

Burn-line hasn't yet needed re-touch, but does wonk a tick hither and tither. Softening of pack hath ceased. Box-press rounds a quarter-tick. Smoke out-put rises off each end. Room-note is sharper yet creamier. Dead-center medium profile. Mellow, all-told. Slight acidic tendencies in citrus note abate via sweet cream and I can see an Orange Julius. How the heck did I get conned into the mall? There must be a sale on Levi's...

ACT III
Burn-line finds even-steven on its lonesome. Ash is slightly cracked in a single spot but too, less flaky -- still holds well. Pack density hath softened a tick mo', but draw and seams ain't bothered an iota and smoke stays cool. Filler seems a half-tick hotter than binder/wrapper. Nothing egregious. Overall, the combustion is Something Special. My lone gripe is a somewhat dry smoke-hole via said sun-lit dirt. Well, that and top-leaf crackled a bit upon band removal.

Notes don't shift much from second act. Mayhaps a bit more blended. A slight and pale floral honey attachment on immediate draw, end of finish, and in room-note. Complexity is average, more-so than that in the context of a quite mellow offering. No hard transitions, but a neat-O unfurling of subtle nuances. Nub is cool to paw and maw.

FINAL GRADE
****B+****
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