Wrapper: Jalapa Habano
Binder: Condegan Criollo
Filler: Jalapa, Condega (Nicaraguan)
Factory: Casa Mombacho
Cigar Noise Price Range: $5-$7
Vitola: 4 x 50
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Tierra Volcan – First Thoughts
If you don’t know me, I strongly believe in a couple phrases. Chief among them is the phrase that you’ve got to Burn to Learn, closely followed by you have to Light it to Spite it. Essentially, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and smoke the damn thing first.
Well, I’ve been sitting on this Tierra Volcan for a couple weeks and would probably be sitting on it for even longer if I wasn’t in a time crunch this morning. The 4×50 makes for a quick review before I hit the road for the rest of the day.
Why? Likely because I’m an ass. It just doesn’t have the eye candy that a lot of other cigars in the review queue does. But what about the cigar, Dave? Oh yeah! The wrapper smells like humidor cedar and and soft chocolate. The aroma from the foot, though, is like a raisin and rum love affair. A cold draw is like raisins basking in a cedar bowl. I’ll be pairing this cigar with water only today.
Tierra Volcan translates into Volcano Land and looks to be a Nicaraguan Puro. Apparently they are highly sought after in Canada, according to their website.
Tierra Volcan – First Half
Primary Notes: Leather, Black Pepper, Grilled Pork
Secondary Notes: Cocoa Powder, Oak, Toast, Dry Earth, Molasses, Apple
My first impressions are of combination rough leather and fake handbag leather with a pinch of cocoa powder. Spice, absent from the first draw, crashes the party several moments later. Copious amounts of black pepper clear out my sinuses in a matter of minutes. Let’s do this thang.
Sidenote: Leather isn’t a tasting note that I’ve actually tasted so to speak. It’s one of those flavors that’s reminiscent of a smell. Curious about how to distinguish the different shades of leather? I’d start with finding several different leather samples in your home, or Wal Mart, and smelling them.
Oak, toast, dry earth, and molasses join the part as secondary flavors while I’m writing about leathers. The oak isn’t bold and in your face, yet adds character in and of itself. The molasses shines brightly for a puff or two intermittently and then relents to the other flavors. The earth is like dry, dusty, earth. Not as bad as it sounds, just not the usual earthy tasting note.
Tierra Volcan has a short finish of charred meat with irregular, lingering spice between puffs. The mechanics are iffy so far. The wrapper seems to be burning slower than the filler, begging me to use more flame. The draw is a little tight for my tastes. Even stored at 65% humidity, I would consider dry boxing this one overnight before smoking it again.
At approximately an inch in, grilled pork emerges from the shadows of an aftertaste to a primary tasting note with a complimentary apple-like sweetness on the backend. If you’ve never combined pork and apples in the crockpot or the grill, you’re missing out friend! Great combo.
Unfortunately, I can’t shake the feeling that the Tierra Volcan is missing something. I’ll be revisiting this cigar in different sizes, but for now I find myself wanting more body: more depth of flavor, a richer mouthfeel.
The relight, aside from being a frustration, doesn’t seem to affect the flavor profile in the least. Somewhere towards the end of the first half pepper has popped smoke like a ninja and disappeared. The mouthfeel becomes buttery, coating both the tongue and the roof of my mouth with an oily sensation. Cocoa powder surges again, balancing out the experience.
Tierra Volcan – Second Half
Primary Flavors: Cream, Cedar, Grilled Meat, Popcorn, Cashew Butter, Leather
Secondary Flavors: Butter, Barnyard, Chocolate Croissant, Stale Wine, Dark Chocolate, Berries
The flavors until this point haven’t been that vibrant to begin with, but the second half begins on a monotone creamy note. Several moments go by where I’m simultaneously grateful that two relights haven’t compromised the Tierra Volcan and cursing it for dropping the ball altogether.
The buttery sensation is the first to appear through the nebulous second half, this time having both the mouthfeel and a buttery flavor component. Subtle barnyard elements are the second to appear. Hand-me-down cedar is the first top-level tasting note to develop. What the hell is hand-me-down cedar, you ask? It’s like an old cedar cigar box. You can still smell the cedar if you’re paying careful attention, but it’s nowhere near the level of fragrance experienced from a fresh box.
Grilled meat, dormant for a time, appears again sans the apple component.
After a couple minutes rest, I’m getting unsalted, buttered popcorn from the Tierra Volcan. There’s also a dark chocolate and pastry aspect present in the background, reminding me of a chocolate croissant.
Interestingly enough, this last relight added stale wine flavors amidst a field of cashew butter. For the first time with the Tierra Volcan, I’m experiencing rich, bright flavors. Almost everything else has fled the scene except for the two notes in this paragraph and the occasional blast of dark, bitter chocolate.
A refreshing compliment of berries work their way into the mix as we approach the band. Now it’s a party!
Speaking of the band, I love how they stamped the packaging date on the reverse side.
Leather, cream, and dark chocolate take us home. Aside from the dark chocolate aspect, bitterness never creeped into the experience.
Interesting Buttery Mouthfeel
Depth of Flavor
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