The story has been told and The Hostage has been released. Freed from the farms and factory in Danli, Honduras it is now in select shops, so we enjoy all that it has to offer. Early sightings of the new Providencia Cigars Hostage have shown up across social media. I am told the Hostages escaped the clutches of Providencia Cigars and sold out shortly after its release, one month ago. Of course I captured a few of them, and now Stogie Press offers a detailed look at these powerhouse cigars.
Capturing an escaped Hostage is not easy, but since I did capture a few I shared one with my Stogie Press associate, Mike Bruce, who sat with me this past Saturday afternoon, on a video call to sample and discuss the Hostage. Before we get into the detail of the burn and flavor, let me refresh everyone on The Hostage, from Providencia Cigars,
The Hostage is a limited production, 6 x 52 box-pressed toro with a blend described as:
- Wrapper – San Andrés
- Binder – Indonesian
- Filler – Nicaragua and Honduran Ligero
You may want to pay attention to the filler, as it is a double ligero and true to form, it is a strong cigar and should be enjoyed after a full meal and definitely not on an empty stomach!
Like all Providencia Cigars, The Hostage is produced at the La Pequena Vega Cigar Factory in Danli, Honduras. It comes packaged in 10-count cedar boxes and bundles of 11 and has an MSRP of $9.99 per cigar/ $99.90 per box/bundle.
Providencia Cigars limited the initial production run to just 1,050 cigars, but has since told Stogie Press that they plan to release at least 2,000 more Hostages into the market in early 2019.
As part of this review, I will include both Mike’s and my notes as we progress.
We both noticed the toothy, lightly marbled, brown wrapper that had just a touch of oily sheen to it and is is finished with a double cap. The box press has fairly crisp edges to it. We agreed it had a sturdy, solid construction and had minimal veins running through the leaf.
There is a single band that adorns the Hostage which proudly displays the Providencia Cigars logo on the top and the word “HOSTAGE” in red on a white and grey background with handcuffs on both sides. I liked the band, as it think it stands out on the brown wrapper, but Mike felt it could have been more artistic.
Running The Hostage across the nose, Mike picked up a sweet hay/straw aroma off the foot. As for me, I describe it as sweetness and mild earthiness. We both agreed there was not much aroma along the barrel.
We proceeded to open the cap to proceed with the cold draw. I chose to use a straight cut and Mike went with a punch. Mike noted that it had an open draw whilst I felt it was mildly restricted but I understood what Mike was talking about. It certainly does not have a noticeable restriction. We both identified notes of sweetness and pepper on the cold draw. Mike also detected a hint of leather.
It was now fire to light The Hostage up and see where it takes us. Mike told me it was about 80 degrees and mid 60% humidity on his porch in Pittsburgh, PA and of course it was a perfect 75 degrees in the Stogie Press lounge.
Cigar Review Notes
- Black Pepper strikes off the first light with a mild fruit undertone which Mike nailed as cherry/currant.
- Mike also picked up a touch of clove on the early light
- Medium grey and well formed ash evolves resting on a medium char line
- The well formed ash fell after an inch and half revealing a nicely formed and centered early burn cone
- We both noted a subtle sweetness along with a slight nuttiness which I described as peanut
- Mike and I both noticed a slight off burn in the second third
- Strength begins to ratchet up
- The draw is effortless and smoke volume is mouth full
- I picked up a floral aroma midway
- Earthy notes become prominent at this stage
- I picked up an undertone of dry cocoa
- Second fall of the ash revealed a sharply pointed burn cone
- Strength moves to full as Mike slowed down his puff rate and says “DANG-A-RADE! I’m gonna need to take it easier with the rest of the stick”
- I continued to power through but Mike let it go out with 2 inches to go
- Spice and a light tartness adds to the profile near the end of the second third
- I convinced Mike to fire it up and try to finish, which he reluctantly agreed to, and we both took it to the finish
- We noted a creamy buttery taste on the tongue with a touch more spice at the end
- Must I say it again, this is a Full Strength (nicotine) cigar
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
Overall, we rate the The Hostage by Providencia Cigars a 92. This is a cigar that was full of great flavors, and at times, unique flavors like clove and currant. This is a nicotine punch for sure. Just looking at the foot you can see the amount of ligero (black leaf) that is filled in this cigar. It did have an open cold draw, which may have played into the off burn in the second third. The smoke was full, throughout the over 1 hour smoking journey. If you are looking for a strong and flavorful cigar, I suggest picking up a fiver of these, that is, if you can locate them. I know Cigar Federation and The Underground Cigar Shop in Texas carry them. If not, more will hit the market in 2019.
Point Deductions (-1 ) Open (airy) cold draw; (-1 ) Medium grey ash; (-1 ) Sharp pointed burn cone ; (-1 ) Off burn
About Mike Bruce
Mike is our latest panelist here on Stogie Press. Mike has been smoking cigars since he was 18, One of his first “Real” cigars was just before his high school graduation which he shared with his 3 best friends. Mikes appreciation for cigars grew as his oldest brother shared his love of them and would take him to events at a local shop.
Mike has been a member of The Beaver County Cigar Club (https://www.facebook.com/BeaverCountyCigarClub/) for several years.
Mike is also a certified primal health coach, and he believes cigars can be part of a healthy lifestyle. He notes:
“Shy of meditation, nothing makes a group of people stop life for an hour, be present, and focus at what is at hand (or in hand…. literally)
Mike married his high school sweet heart and together they love traveling and seeing/being in new cultures. Both Mike and his wife Kim are passionate about food and how it can change who we are from a cellular level clear up to who we are mentally. He notes he is a bible believing christian.