Filler: Dominican Republic, Peruvian, Undisclosed
Vitola: Londineses (5.5 54)
Brand: Byron (United Cigar Group)
Factory: Unknown (Costa Rica)
CigarNoise Price Range: $25+
Availability: Regular Production (Small Batch)
Source: IPCPR 2016
Byron Siglo XX Review – First Thoughts
The Byron Siglo XX (20th Century) is a beautiful cigar, feeling weighty in the hand and displaying careful craftsmanship upon close inspection. The United Cigar Group website discloses that Byron cigars rest for 5 years after being rolled, and that they are produced in small batch quantities from Costa Rica. There’s a lot of neat history if you’d like to read up on their page.
The full scope of Byron can be seen above: Siglo XIX (19th Century), Siglo XX (20th Century), and Siglo XXI (21st Century). They also have hi-tech humitubes, also seen above, and can be explained further on their website.
On the first pass, hints of raisin bread waft from the foot. Second and third passes allow me to discern varying amounts of earth, cedar, and caramel notes. A cold draw carries delivers a pungent earthy sensation, remarkably different from everything I’ve sensed so far. It’s subtle and yet distinct at the same time, making me believe that we’re about to be in for one hell of a ride.
Byron Siglo XX Review – First Third
Pepper, Cedar, Croissants, Cream, Cuban Twang, Citrus, Nutmeg, Smoked Almonds, Chocolate
My very first puffs are of gentle pepper, soft cedar, and croissants. The texture is equally refined, feeling vibrant on the front end and creamy on the back end. Byron Siglo XX exhibits both a short and long finish, something that sounds like utter nonsense until you experience it. All of the top level tasting notes recede quickly… and then you realize that there’s a lingering layer of bread nuances that leaves you wanting more.
Pepper wanes around the half inch mark, giving way to flavors very reminiscent of the Cuban twang – like sourdough bread. If I were blind tasting this cigar and couldn’t see the ash, I’d almost certainly peg it as a cuban marca. It’s smooth, sophisticated, and pairs exceptionally well with just a smile and a glass of water.
At the one inch mark, flavors continue to emerge and harmonize together: a twist of citrus, a pinch of nutmeg, and just a hint of smoked almonds to form an all out assault on my taste buds. I’ve not written a lot of flavors down because of the complex nature of this cigar, but I hope you can see past my ignorance into how beautiful it really is.
Through the nose, cedar and almonds create an intoxicating combination while the mouthfeel develops milk chocolate notes towards the end of the first third. Mild pepper has also resurfaced, adding to the complexity of this experience.
Byron Siglo XX – Second Third
Cedar, Sourdough Bread, Milk Chocolate, Mild Coffee, Cinnamon, Cream, Pepper, Almonds
Dropping the ash, gentle hints of cedar, sourdough bread, milk chocolate, mild coffee, cinnamon, whipped cream, and pepper take the stage for another exquisite segment. The addition of coffee slowly overtakes the cuban twang of sourdough bread as the ash builds, transitioning into a latte of sorts. The fancy kind that is, with whipped cream, cinnamon, and cocoa powder on top.
That’s not to say that this is an overwhelmingly sweet cigar, because it’s not. In fact, nothing about this cigar is overwhelming in the least. It’s a delicate balance of subtle differences that illustrates exactly what a $30 cigar should taste like. If you want a complex cigar that’ll have you scratching your head to figure it out, this one’s a no-brainer.
But how bout those mechanics? Well, the burn line has required a couple touchups by the midway point. Nothing major, but it’s noteworthy. The draw is a little too snug for perfect marks, but otherwise satisfying and allows for adequate smoke production.
Towards the end of this segment, sinus heat develops in the nose as cedar and almonds become dominant in both the regular draw and retro hale.
Byron Siglo XX – Last Third
Oak, Espresso, Cream, Meatiness, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Toast, Cardamom, Anise
The last third of the Byron Siglo XX continues along where we left off, leading into a crescendo effect with bolder flavors, more spice, and now a long, lingering finish. Cedar becomes oak, mild coffee becomes espresso, almonds become walnut, and a savory, meaty finish rounds out the back end.
Note: I can’t help but feel that I’m missing portions of this review because of so much happening at the same time. This cigar is a reviewer’s dream and nightmare both, holding my attention with a vice grip yet eluding an easy label of this flavor or that.
Burning down further, sweeter remembrances of the first third return in the form of cinnamon and cocoa while new flavors of toast, cardamom, and anise emerge. Probably the first real shift in flavors, but all in all it’s been just as memorable as I expected from the pre-light inspection. Til the very end, Byron Siglo XX felt like quality through and through.
Classy as it Looks
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