At the 2018 IPCPR, Island Lifestyle Importers LLC, the exclusive manufacturer of Island Lifestyle Cigars and Tommy Bahama Luxury Cigar Accessories since 2010, announced the distribution release of the “Island Club” line of cigars. I will be getting to the review of that cigar, but today I would like to turn the clock back a few years to 2016, when the company decided to enter the premium cigar market with the introduction of their Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve cigar line. The line included 3 different blends, Connecticut, Maduro, and Sungrown.
I had the opportunity to meet Rick Louis and Ryan Fralling, the company’s owners, at last years IPCPR and even spent some time at the company’s after party. The company provided me some samples of their complete portfolio of cigars and today I would like to offer a review of the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro Toro.
The Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro has a blend described by the company as a Nicaraguan puro:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The company also notes that the leaf used in the blend has been aged a minimum of 5 – 7 years.
The Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro is available in 4 vitolas, each packaged in 25-count boxes. There is also very cool, 25-count collector jar available.
- Robusto (5 x 54) – MSRP $9.45
- Toro (6 x 54) – MSRP $9.95
- Churchill (7 x 54) – MSRP $10.45
- Gordo (6 x 60) – MSRP $10.95
If you would like the collector jar of Toros, it will run $275.00 which includes the cool jar complete with 25 cigars.
For this review I sampled 3 of the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro toros, received from the company for the purpose of reviewing in Stogie Press.
The Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro is a rugged looking, dark brown cigar that has a gritty wrapper with some noticeable veins and few bumps hear and there. The cigar is quite solid in the hand, has a decent weight, seems well packed, and is finished with a simple cap.
There is one band that adorns the cigar which uses the Island Lifestyle logo prominently displayed and the word “Aged Reserve” underneath.
Although some may judge or score points for a cigar by its looks, I am not one of those. Here at stogie Press we look at performance, flavor, and aroma. The Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro has an extremely inviting pre light aroma with notes of cocoa and fruit along the barrel and a nutty, raisin, and cocoa foot.
With such an enticing pre-light aroma, I was looking forward to slicing the cap and seeing what it had to offer on pre-light flavors. It did not disappoint as I sliced the cap and took some nicely restricted cold puffs that offered notes of white pepper, cocoa, and earthiness.
Having enjoyed the pre-light experience, it was time to fire this one up and complete the Island Lifestyle journey. I used a triple flame torch lighter to toast the foot and draw in some initial pepper and tangy notes.
Cigar Review Notes
- Tangy notes with some pepper on initial puffs
- Light grey, almost white, ash forms on a crisp char line
- Medium volume of smoke
- Cocoa notes enter doing a dance with the pepper
- Pepper recedes and the smoke smooths out after the first third
- Syrupy aroma starts to develop
- Woody notes enter and start growing
- Ash held for a good inch and half and once it fell there was a well formed and centered burn cone
- Aroma shifts to more of a sweet nut
- An off burn starts growing into the second third requiring a touch-up
- Hint of cream and a light spice take control of the profile early in the second third
- The wave in the burn continued through the second third requiring another touch-up
- Earthy notes join the mix and the spice increases a notch
- Espresso and dry cocoa notes enter in final third
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Island Lifestyle Aged Reserve Maduro delivered on complexity in flavor and aroma with shifting notes, throughout the smoking experience, keeping my interest. From a burn perspective, all three samples started with a wavy burn in the first third and required a couple of touch ups to keep it burning correct in the second third. Once into the final third it was flawless. I rate this a 90. You can purchase these directly from the company on there website.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Off Burn in Second Third; (-2) Multiple Touch Ups; (-1) Medium Volume; (-1) May buy Another