What can I say, Riste Riatevski has created the most innovative cigar on the market since the introduction of the Drew Estate ACID line 20 years ago. The latest cigar to come out of Jas Sum Kral is known as the Nuggs. What makes this cigar unique is that Riste has joined two industries together by adding 100% legal CBD oil into the production process of a premium cigar.
The Nay Sayers
Now I know some will say this is not a good thing, I have heard, since the announcement of this cigar, comments like:
- It is not pure tobacco!
- It is really just a blunt, right?
- I don’t want to sell this, it may be illegal in my State.
- This will destroy the cigar business, the FDA will have more reason to regulate
These and many more are all good points, but first we need to talk about the cigar.
The Jas Sum Kral Nuggs Cigar
The Jas Sum Kral Nuggs is a stunningly beautiful, habano wrapped cigar.
The blend for the Jas Sum Kral Nuggs is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder – Indonesian
- Filler – Jalapa and Condega
Currently the Nuggs is available in a single 4.5 x 48 vitola and comes packaged in 25-count boxes. The MSRP is set at $12.00/cigar. I am told the Nuggs started shipping today, to select retailers around the country. There is a Mexican San Andres variety also coming. The Nuggs is hand crafted at Tabacalera Aragon SA.
Just in case you may think this is some wild April fools joke, I am here to tell you, I have smoked two of these for the review, and this is no joke! In fact Riste will be on a special Stogie Press Facebook Live show tomorrow, April 2, to talk about the Nuggs and help quell some rumors. So tune in at 7PM EDT, April 2, to hear direct from Riste.
The Jas Sum Kral Nuggs has a medium tan, silky smooth, practically vein-less wrapper leaf that exhibits a fine oily sheen. It is a solidly packed cigar with no soft spots from head to foot. The seams are tight and a simple cap finishes the presentation.
Riste selected a vibrant teal and gold motif for the band on this project. It was a fine choice, as the band pops real well on the tan background of the Habano wrapper. The band centers the gold Jas Sum Kral logo and identifies the cigar as the “NUGGS” on the bottom. The color combination is a break from the darker motifs he has used on previous blends.
If I did not know better, this looks and feels just like any quality premium cigar, that is, until you take it to the next level. The barrel has an inviting sweet note to it and the foot exudes a sweet earthy note. You may actually ask yourself; ‘What is the unique aroma off the foot?‘ It is sweet and earthy, with an herbal presence. I suggest cutting it and taking some cold puffs.
That is exactly what I did, I sliced the cap and took in some cold puffs. Now this is when I knew what I was dealing with. If you are familiar with CBD oil, you will recognize the unique earthy flavor on the cold draw. Riste beautifully blended that with a mild peppery spice to keep it interesting before igniting it.
The taste is certainly unique and to my liking. OK, we know it is not 100% fermented leaf, but I am okay with that. Heck, Fat Bottom Betty’s are not 100% fermented leaf either, but I like the proper infusion of the cocoa in them. In any case, it was time to set the flame to the Nuggs and see what really becomes of this new innovation as I turn it all to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial burn has a bitter sweet component to start with a pepper on the retro-hale
- A solid white ash evolves atop a straight and thick char line
- Touch of vanilla followed with a toasted caramel rounding out the first third
- The solid ash fell in a nice chunk after the first third
- Nice burn cone is revealed with slightly wavy burn line
- Grassy notes enter moving into the second third
- Sweetness building near the midway point
- Touch more bitter near the band which is where I have to say I started to feel more relaxed
- Cocoa-like aroma wafts off the foot
- Pepper re-appears on the retro Hale
- Unique notes as the band is removed – that CBD earthiness
- Nut component enters in the final third
- Exhale slowly and enjoy the relaxed moment
- Burns a little hot in the final
- Medium in Strength yet very relaxing!
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 10 minutes
Overall, the Jas Sum Kral Nuggs is a fine premium cigar that offered enticing flavor and aromas throughout a trouble free burn. There was a few minor issues in that it did exhibit a mild wave at times and it did burn a tad hot in the final. I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in Burn; (-2) Burns Hot in Final
I have to say, with all the computer work I do, my neck tends to tense up and by the time the Nuggs got into the final third, my neck loosened up. If you are wondering about the legality of this, it incorporates 100% CBD oil that has 0.0% THC. The current federal legal limit is 0.3% and this has certified lab results proving its authenticity. In fact, all cigars will have a QR code on the cellophane that you can scan with your mobile device and bring up the lab reports, if there is any doubt.
Here is the link that QR code will take you to.
I know some will say it is not pure tobacco so why market it as a premium cigar? I would answer that with a comparison to German beer, which adheres to the German Purity Law and Belgium beer that incorporates various fruits in the mix, it is still beer just like some of the many craft beers we enjoy so much. This is no different than say an ACID cigar or a Rum, Cognac, or Whiskey aged cigar. It just has an extra legal component in it.
One last note, if you are a retailer and are still concerned about this, then I suggest you follow the beer and spirits industry where they are planning to come out with CBD infused beverages. Do what you feel is right for your business, but do your homework. I applaud Riste for taking a shot and being innovative with this new release.