Wrapper: San Andreas Claro
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Vitola: Half Corona (4 x 46)
Brand: Alpha Cigar Company
Factory: PDR Cigars
CigarNoise Price Range: $6 – $9
Availability: Regular Production
Source: Review Sample
Alpha Cigar Absinthe Infused Claro – Opening Thoughts
Early on in my cigar smoking “career” I learned I wasn’t thrilled with infused cigars. However, well over a year ago I reviewed my first infused cigar with a bit of hesitancy. The Alpha Cigar Company Absinthe Infused Connecticut cured my hesitancy. If you want to read the review I am speaking of you can click here and see the fantastic 9.3 rating the cigar received. That first experience alone has me feeling confident regarding a review of their infused half corona wrapped with a San Andreas Claro leaf.
This pint-sized gem is the color of my childhood baseball glove. It’s a rich brown with just a hint of red in it. There is also just a small amount of tooth to the wrapper. The entire stick has a rustic appearance and feel to it. The reddish hue of the wrapper and the maroon and gold band probably lend to this interpretation. The cigar is firmly rolled but doesn’t feel overfilled.
From the wrapper, dry hay, hot cocoa and citrus notes combine nicely. The cold draw is a perfect resistance and features wood notes joined with a hint of chalky sweetness to coat my palate. Due to the very short length of this cigar, I am going to break the review into halves rather than thirds.
Alpha Cigars Absinthe Infused Claro – First Half
Bitter Chocolate, Charred Wood, Leather, Cream, Wasabi, Absinthe, Fresh Pine
Immediately after lighting the cigar I get strong notes of bitter chocolate followed up with some charred wood notes and a finish of leather on the profile. The smoke output is very nice providing a rich, thick room smoke. The smoke, when retrohaled, has a creamy, thick feel to it but carries a wasabi style heat. It’s no joke early on in the experience. Due to the junior stature of the cigar, I have to remove the band very early to ensure it survives for photos.
Working towards the middle of the cigar, I sense some tingling on my palate and a “fresh” feeling in mouth. Some of the absinthe is finally sneaking into the profile and it is accompanied by some fresh pine notes as well. Both are very subdued and neither negatively affect the profile at all. I am also now getting a hint of absinthe in the retrohale. It feels cool and fresh against the heat.
As I smoke this cigar I am dictating notes for future reference and editing the photos for the post as well. One thing which is really impressing me is even as the cigar sits in the rest and is ignored for several minutes, white smoke tendrils continue to rise off the end of the cigar.
Alpha Cigars Absinthe Infused Claro – Second Half
Warm Charred Oak, Creamy Cocoa, Leather, Absinthe, Walnut
Eclipsing the halfway mark, the entire profile is beginning to mature and settle in, becoming mellow, creamy and bringing nuances to the flavors. The second half begins with a warm oak base. The baking chocolate notes from the start of the cigar are replaced with a creamy cocoa note carrying just a touch of sweetness with it. Further back in the profile I still sense the tingle of absinthe on my tongue.
The retrohale is as smooth as a freshly paved road. Zero heat and all flavor make it a winner at the midway point of the smoke. It’s just perfect. Moving through the final portion of the cigar, the warm oak is taking on a charred flavor. It may be a combination of growing nicotine levels, but I wouldn’t swear to it.. Also, the leather note is becoming stronger followed by some walnut flavor as well.
Let’s talk mechanics for just a moment. While slightly wavy, the burn line has been just perfectly sharp and remains that way right to the end. The draw was perfect from the moment I clipped the cap to test the cold draw. Simply put, the construction of this smoke is spot on in my book. Additionally, as I move to drop the last nub of the cigar into the ashtray I take one last pull and let all that rich smoke float through my sinuses and even to the end, smooth is the word.
While you’re web surfing, check out the new offering from the Alpha Cigar Company, Edition New Orleans. Honoring the Absinthe Capitol of the United States, I’ll be getting my hands on this one to review in the future!
Near Perfect Draw
Near Perfect Burn
Infusion doesn’t overpower
Nothing to see here
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