Wrapper: Habano Criollo 98
Binder: Indonesian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Brand: Felix Assouline
Factory: Undisclosed (Esteli, Nicaragua)
Size: 6.5 x 54 (Virtuoso)
Vitola: Belicoso
CigarNoise Price Range: $5 – $7
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Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special
Opening Thoughts

This cigar found it’s way into my review humidor with an apparent age of just over 5 years.  The name of this cigar line suggested I was in for a great experience.  Amping up my expectations even further was the “Limited Reserve” portion of the cigar’s name, hence the “L.R.”

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special Review

The embossed band on the cigar was relatively simple but attractive.  The wrapper appeared reddish brown and was smooth.  Seams were modestly neat and the construction outwardly evidenced a hint of perfection.  This box pressed beauty had just a bit of give, not overly packed.  Scent from the wrapper was mild, consisting of mild hay and cocoa.  A straight cut opened the stick for my cold draw, finding flavors of hay, nutmeg and a hint of cocoa.

The rock you see in the pictures of this review are actually obsidian gathered during a recent hiking venture in Oregon.  Obsidian is formed when lava, high in silica content, is cooled quickly.  Since the formation of obsidian takes a truly special set of circumstances, I thought it was a fitting backdrop for this review.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special
First Third

Cedar, Cocoa, Mild Tobacco, Oak

The first few puffs on the cigar clearly defined cedar as the big dog in the park.  Hints of cocoa and mild tobacco finished smoothly in the mouth.  The mouth feel of the smoke was creamy but the production of smoke was lower than I expected.  When resting, barely a wisp of smoke wafted from the foot.  There was also a bitter tendency to the smoke.  It wasn’t overwhelming but definitely detectable on the tongue.  The bitterness disappeared after the ash reached about an inch long.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special Review

The ash was slightly flaky but not messy.  Prior to the end of the first third, I encountered a spot where the cigar was slightly underfilled, producing a small hole in the ash, and smoke production fell noticeably.  Just prior to the end of this portion, the problem self-corrected and smoke production returned to previous levels.  A hint of oak flavor entered the mix just as the smoke picked up.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special
Second Third

Cedar, Leather, Mild Baking Spice, Mild Pepper, Cream, Coffee

With the ash becoming less flaky and holding fast, the second third became subtly more complex.  Cedar continued to be boss with leather and mild nuances of baking spices following in the finish.  The smoke production picked up a bit and was very aromatic with wonderful cedar scent.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special Review

Midway though the second third, cream and coffee made an appearance in the profile and mild pepper teased the sinuses through the retro hale.  It was a pleasant heat and enjoyable.  Unfortunately, the cream and coffee flavors were short lived and exited far too soon.  It was the first real sign of the cigar becoming complex and left me wanting more.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special Review

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special
Final Third

Cedar, Leather, Cream, Baking Spice, Charred Meat, Earth, Pepper

Removing the band, I entered the final stage of the Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special.  The flavor profile didn’t change much, lending to a drop in my enjoyment.  Cedar and leather were clearly in the front with cream and baking spice evident only in the retro hale.

With about an inch left in the cigar, a charred meat flavor developed.  It was joined in the finish by an earth flavor bringing a mild pepper tingle along for the ride.  Near the middle of this section I had to touch up the cigar due to the filler burning much faster than the wrapper.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special Review

The final stage of the cigar continued with the above flavors offering little change and, if anything, became less complex in nature.  With about one inch left to burn, I again touched up the burn line to correct a small run in the wrapper.  Smoke production fell off and I decided to call it finished.

Felix Assouline L.R. Something Special
8.7 Reviewer
0 Cigar Noise Network (0 votes)
Pros

Affordable Price

Good Draw

Enjoyable Flavor Profile

Cons

Touch-Ups Required

Smoke Production Weak At Times

Muted Complexity

Summary
The age and name of this cigar had my hopes peaked. Those hopes were dulled quickly by the low smoke production and quick finish of the few complex flavors that developed during the experience. I kept waiting for this cigar to hit full stride and it fell short each time, although there were hints of greatness. The $6.00 price tag of this cigar may indicate more about it than the name implies.
Value
Burn
Draw
Flavor
Enjoyment
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Ted

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