Let me say here and now that I have been guilty of misconduct every now and then especially back in my younger days. As I matured, that crazy part of me toned down. As for many, I would think we were not all angels growing up, maybe some of you out there are and I am not judging either way except for cigars which are a genuine passion of mine. So today I am here as judge and jury for one of the latest releases from the Cubariqueño Cigar Co – The Protocol Official Misconduct.
The Protocol Official Misconduct is the 4th blend in the Protocol series from this young and growing cigar company. The company is owned by Law Enforcement officers that know and understand protocol, are quite familiar with misconduct, and have named each Protocol cigar representing a theme related to the Law and Order.
The Protocol Official Misconduct was officially released at the company’s 3rd anniversary party on May 12, 2018 and I received samples from them at this years IPCPR in July and a few more afterwards. I have to say I smoked quite a number prior to this review so this review is not based on a first date of the cigar.
The blend of Protocol Official Misconduct is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian habano
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan (Estelí and Jalapa)
The Protocol Official Misconduct, like all Protocol blends are manufactured at the Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Estelí. If you don’t know by now, Cubariqueño Cigar Co. partners Juan Cancel and Bill Ives are fierce supporters of Erik and his La Zona factory.
The Protocol Official Misconduct is available in single 6 x 50 toro vitola and comes packaged in 10-count boxes. MSRP is set at $9.89/cigar.
The Protocol Official Misconduct is wrapped with a medium tan habano leaf that has a few noticeable veins here and there. It has a satin feel to it and is fairly solid in the hand. The cigar has a decent sheen to it especially when viewed under the light and it is expertly finished with a triple cap.
The cigar has three bands on it. The company went with a silver and black motif on this blend. The primary band is the Protocol logo and directly below is a thin secondary band that declares this as the “Official Misconduct”. Finishing the presentation is a silver footer band.
The pre-light aromas are very enticing, with a light spice note along the barrel and chocolate, raisin, and nut notes off the foot. Let’s just say I am thinking chunky bar at this point.
Having smoked a number of these, I used various methods to open it up including a straight cut, punch, and v-cut. Each cut offered a more open draw than I normally like. I will say, the punch had the most resistance. The cold draw delivered notes of pepper and raisin.
With the preliminary examination out of the way it is time to see how the Protocol Official Misconduct performs.
Cigar Review Notes
- Stinging peppery nasal burn starts the journey – clearing the old sniffer for whats to come
- Herbal note enters as the pepper ratchets back
- Sweetness and a touch of leather enter to round out the initial burn
- Into the first inch the cigar is trying to plead its case with the early notes moving all around
- Light grey, flaky ash develops resting on a medium char line
- Smoke volume has been full since the first puff
- Moving along, a sweet butter note adds into the mix
- Fruit (plum) enters
- As I tapped the ash near end of first third it revealed a burn cone that was shifted to one side
- Moving into the second third the case is being made as the flavors start to blend and develop
- Floral aroma fills the air in the judges chambers
- Espresso notes enter followed by mint and chocolate notes
- Sweetness and herbal notes pick up
- Nicotine strength ratchets up
- Burn starts to get wavy
- There is a lingering peanut note finish on the palate
- Some noticeable tunnel holes into the second third
- A light spice enters along with an earthy aroma midway
- Wave continues
- Herbal notes re-emerge
- Spice increases deep into the second third along with a continued mint
- Burn finally evens out with a centered cone near the final third
- Hot to the touch
- Hint of butter lies in the background
- Smoke is much smoother going into the final third
- Finishes with notes of cocoa, spice, and butter
- Medium in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hr and 25 minutes on average
Overall, we rate the Protocol Official Misconduct a 90. Though this cigar had a pleasant array of flavors and transitions, the real issue was with the burn and ash. Once it got past the first inch or so, the burn started to go off center and was evident in the burn cone also. The draw was open through out the journey which may have resulted in the “hot to the touch” experience in the final third. If you are less worried about flavor than burn quality, this is a cigar you should try.
Point Deductions: (-1) Open Cold Draw; (-1) Off-centered Burn Cone; (-1)Off Burn; (-1) Burns hot to the touch; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-1); (-1) Might buy one