A superior premium cigar is about quality control. So why are some brands consistently producing award winning cigars with no “bad apples”? Quality control. They test each & every cigar, then remove the ones from the batches that do not pass muster. The costs of these “bad apples” is spread out over the final price of the cigars, hence why I and consumers feel there should be a better smoking experience from a $13 cigar then you get from a $5 cigar. The consumer should never find a “bad apple” in a $13 cigar. Can a $5 cigar provide a superior experience? Of course, but if I find inconsistencies, I am not bothered by that. It’s a $5 cigar. For more then twice the price, I expect more. Much more. I don’t think I am alone in that.
Normally if a cigar is not worthy of a review, I would reach out to the brand owner and explain the reason, but these guys have produced some quality cigars. The real issue is when a cigar like the Cigar Obsession Final Third costs between $13.00 and $16.50 per stick, depending on the vitola, it better perform. In fact, with all the Padron Cigars Bryan Glynn enjoys, he should know, a cigar in that price range should perform like a Padron.
So with that out-of-the-way let’s discuss the cigar.
The Cigar Obsession Final Third is the 3rd release in a series produced by Bryan and David. It follows the First Third and the Second Third. I liked the First Third so I was looking forward to enjoying the Final Third. According to David Blanco from Blanco Cigars, the blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Cigar Obsession Final Third is available in 4 box pressed vitolas that are packaged in 5-pack bundles (sorry folks – no boxes with this, maybe Bryan is trying to keep the price down)
- Robusto (5 x 54) $13.00
- Lancero (7 x 38) $14.00
- Toro (6 x 54) $15.00
- Torpedo (6.5 x 54) $16.50
Yes, you read those dollar costs correct, that is per cigar! For this review I sampled the CO Final Third Robusto which I received from David Blanco at last years IPCPR , so it has been resting in my humidor for 9 months.
The CO Final Third is nice looking cigar, with reddish-brown (Colorado) colored wrapper.The cigar is firmly boxed pressed with sharp edges and minimal veins. There is a slight oily sheen to the wrapper along with a touch of marbling. The cigar is finished with a well applied triple cap.
A single band adorns the cigar that declares it as the Cigar Obsession CO Final Third using a bright gold and white motif On the side of the band it states this is Hand Made by Blanco Cigars.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up a light curing barn aroma along the barrel and earth and pepper off the foot.
After slicing the cap, the cold draw was fairly open delivering the sames notes of pepper and earth.
So this seems to be a decent start except for the open draw, which I was a bit concerned about. It was time to ignite this with my soft flame lighter and start the journey.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light offers a hit of pepper nasal burn through a thick smoke
- Buttery notes enter under the pepper
- Medium grey ash forms resting on medium char line
- Before getting through the first third it started to canoe, I let it go for a little more hoping it would fix itself but to no avail
- Bitter coffee bean notes enter after first inch
- Floral aroma develops
- A major touch up was needed here to correct the burn
- Smoke begins to blend and smooth out at the end of first third
- Bitterness and mineral (pencil lead) enter at the start of the second third
- Ash fell into the second third with a flat and slightly off centered burn cone
- Barrel is getting a bit squishy
- Not much else going on flavor-wise other than a mild sliver of spice midway to possibly hide the pencil lead note
- The barrel is getting hot to the touch – this is not good and I am puffing slowly
- Ash is more white at this point
- I am getting a pasty taste on the palate into the second third
- A woody aroma develops
- Entering final third things start to pick up as a background of sweetness enters
- Aroma is turning to a roasted nut
- Still has a bitter background and pasty coating on the palate
- Spice increases closer to nub
- Cocoa aroma finishes it
- Wrapper cracked in the final third
- Mild to Medium in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
Overall, the CO Final Third is just that at best. The real flavors of this cigar did not present themselves until the final third. The start had major burn issues and the middle had flavors that almost made me discard it with notes like pencil lead, off bitterness, and a pasty palate. The barrel burned hot to the touch long before the end and there was a developing squish to the barrel. The final resulted in a cracked wrapper but at least the end had some much better flavor. Considering this cigar is $13.00 and the only real enjoyment I got – if you can call it that – was in the aptly named Final Third, it should retail for no more than $4.30. I am sorry guys this one is a no go.