With just over a month since the 2019 Premium Cigar Association trade show, friends have been tugging at me to try the latest creation by the folks at Powstanie cigars. I have to say, I missed seeing them at the show this year and that is my fault as I just ran out of time to hit all the great brands on the floor. Of course that is where great friends and fellow brothers of the leaf come into play, as my good friend Alton Otto came by Stogie Press Lounge the other day and traded out some goodies – which included the newest Powstanie Wojtek (War Bear). Thanks Alton!
The Powstanie Wojtek (War Bear) is produced at Fabrica de Nica Sueno in Esteli, Nicaragua. If you don’t know of that factory, them let me bring you into the light, it is Skip Martin’s factory where all RoMa Craft cigars are produced. As for the name of this cigar, Wojtek is Polish for “bear” but in this case, it refers to a Syrian brown bear that was an enlisted soldier in the Polish Land Forces during World War II, therefore “War Bear”. This keeps with the Polish heritage of brand owners Mike and Greg Szczepankiewicz,
As for the War Bear, the company chose to tweak, the already successful Powstaine Habano Short Perfecto. The result is a 5 x 50 perfecto with a Habano wrapper and a San Andres stripe. The full blend is described as:
- Wrapper: Ecuadorean Habano and Mexican San Andres
- Binder: Indonesian
- Filler: Nicaraguan
The Powstanie War Bear is a limited production project with only 500 (21-count) boxes to be produced annually, and carries an MSRP of $12.00.
I have heard enough talk and now its time to take a journey with the bear.
The Powstanie Wojtek is a well constructed, barber pole, perfecto that features a wide Habano leaf and a narrow San Andres leaf. The cigar has a well finished pointed cap and a wide San Andres wrap on the foot. There are some noticeable veins that run through the barrel and there is a decent tooth to the wrapper. Packing is tight with no soft spots.
The band on this is the same as all Powstanie Cigars. It uses a black, white, red, and silver motif containing the Powstaine logo which is quite unique, showing the letter “P” with an arrowhead on the bottom. The top of the P rests in a white background and the arrowhead rest in a field of red. There are silver scrolls one top and bottom of the band.
I liked the sweet cinnamon aroma off the barrel and the mild musty notes off the foot. This certainly seems to have been aged a bit before reaching the market.
I sliced the cap as I would a torpedo, with a 45 degree slice about a 1/4 inch down the cap. The cold draw intrigued my palate with notes of leather, pepper, and earth notes.
With the pre-light exam out of the way, I was ready to burn the War Bear to ash. I hoped it did not roar too loudly and fight me during the journey. I warmed the foot gently with my dual flame torch and it took to the heat perfectly as I drew in a palate filling, creamy and full volume of smoke.
Cigar Review Notes
- Right off the first light I got a pleasant cedar note
- Full smoke volume
- Cinnamon nut aroma quickly filled the air around me
- Cinnamon notes join the cedar on the palate
- Salt and pepper ash evolved on a medium and slightly wavy char line
- Cedar shifted to more of an oak note
- Aroma is getting sweeter after inch plus
- Citrus peel fills out profile and lingers on the palate
- A delightful malt joins the profile as the strength moves up in the second third
- Ash held on for a long time and finally dropped midway revealing a – flat but centered burn cone
- Bitter cocoa notes and coffee enter along with a continued cinnamon spice
- Smoke is getting hot entering the final third
- Earthiness grows into the final along with an added malt
- Nuance of citrus fills the background
- Medium to full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
The Powstanie Wojtek (War Bear) is tasty one hour plus smoke that delivered on the flavor I have come to know from this brand. Flavors and aromas were enticing from the pre-light all the way down to the nub. I especially enjoyed the malt notes, which I don’t always get with a cigar and mixed with the cocoa it was like a chocolate malt ball. Strength slowly moved to a medium plus at the end. The bear put up a little fight in the end as the smoke started to burn a tad hot in the final and there was a slight wave in the burn midway. But look at the ash! I rate this a 92. You can find these at Mike and Greg Szczepankiewicz Cigar Hustler shop in Deltona, FL.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in burn; (-1) Salt & Pepper Ash; (-1 Flat Burn Cone); (-2) Smoke is hot in Final
Bonus Point: (+1) Long Ash