How many of you out there know Heather Callahan AKA Cigar Heather? Yep, you know who I am talking about, if you don’t then I will point you here to see the press release where Felix Assouline announced hiring Heather as Director of Sales and Marketing and put her immediately in charge of growing and enhancing the company’s brand recognition. It did not take long from that announcement to where I had an opportunity to meet Heather and learn more about Felix Assouline Cigars. That is why she was hired and last week she hosted the monthly meeting of the Fierce Fumeras ladies cigar club at Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge here in Melbourne, FL.
After the ladies had their meet and greet, I sat with Heather to hear more about Felix Assouline Cigars. One of the cigars that the ladies were raving about was the II Saints blend. Heather hooked me up with one to review on Stogie Press and today I am here to say, thank you, what a terrific blend and smoke this was.
For those that are not familiar with II Saints, it is a French brand that specializes in a complete men’s accessories including ashtrays, lighters, belt buckles, rings, and bracelets. Felix worked with them to go one step further and complete the line with the II Saints Cigar. I highly suggest checking out the II Saints website, after reading this cigar review, to see the awesome and unique merchandise they sell.
As far as the II Saints cigar, Felix notes on his website:
“These cigars are full-bodied for the most courageous. If you are looking for a full-bodied cigar with great flavor from start to finish, II Saints will please palate, stick after stick.”
The blend of the Felix Assouline II Saints may offer some insight to why that statement is made:
- Wrapper – Jamastran Criollo 98
- Binder – Jamastran
- Filler – Jamastran, Jalapa
That wrapper is a dark ligero just to start things off and I will leave the rest to your imagination, at least to you read the rest of this review.
The Felix Assouline II Saints is available in 5 box-pressed vitolas and come packaged in 24-count boxes.
- La Douce Nuit – 5 x 50 (MSRP $8.00)
- La Petite Mort Perfecto – 5 x 52 (MSRP $9.00)
- La Nuit Blanche – 6 x 54 (MSRP $10.00)
- Les Copains D’abord – 6.5 x 56 (MSRP $11.00)
- L’ange Noir Perfecto – 6.5 x 56 (MSRP $13.00)
For this review, I sampled the La Petite Mort Perfecto which Felix texted me about and said it means “Orgasm” in French, or more precisely, “the sensation of orgasm as likened to death” as the phrase means “the little death”. Well based on Felix’s note, that this blend is for the most courageous and the meaning of the name of the vitola, I was wondering if I am really courageous enough to smoke this, but then again you only live once.
The II Saints La Petite Mort Perfecto is a beautifully constructed and box pressed cigar from foot to cap. It has a dark brown and heavily marbled wrapper that has some veins running through it but nothing that distracts from the appearance. The cigar is finished with a double cap and the foot is expertly formed.
The cigar is adorned with a single band that is as bold as the cigar is applied to. The band uses a black, white, and gold motif and prominently displays the “II Saints”name int he center. The bottom of the band has a skull displayed on it with a banner running across it that states “By Felix Assouline” Did I mention “Little Death”? What am I getting myself into here?
OK, so let’s start slow as I run the barrel along the nose. Not so bad, a nice fermented leaf aroma fills the nasals. There is not much on the foot but then again it is a perfecto so I was not expecting to smell much.
Let’s move to t he cold draw. I sliced the cap with my double blade cutter just above the cap band. The draw had a perfect restriction to it and offered notes of sweetness, earthy wet hay, and some pepper – this is a tasty cold draw. Roll this one around and the pepper grows along with a sweet and savory spice. Ok, I stop- take a deep breath and make the decision to set the flame to it. Let me think, Little Death, Skulls, Orgasm, and most courageous. Let’s do this!!
Cigar Review Notes
- Holy cow! What a great start – coffee cream and sweetness wrapped in a peppery back note
- Citrus joins profile early to brighten things up
- Smoke volume increases getting into the body of the cigar (after the perfecto foot)
- Light grey ash with solid form develops
- Razor thin char line
- Very smooth smoke after an inch of burn
- Cedar begins to build a core
- Butter cracker aroma pops up
- I had to think about this, but yes, I am getting vanilla bean toward the midway point
- Coffee notes slide in and out
- Past the halfway point a gentle pepper spice enters providing a slight nasal burn
- Ash finally falls beyond halfway
- Perfectly centered and pointed burn cone
- Touch of orange zest after the band is removed
- Syrupy aroma develops
- Final opens up with a heavy spice
- Finishes with coffee, spice, and butter. Wow!
- Strength ends at full but starts slow
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
Overall let me say this. Go get this cigar!! You heard me, this is a cigar I am sure you will enjoy. The burn on this was absolutely pristine and the flavors were perfectly balanced with amazing nuances throughout the burn. Take your time and puff it slowly and retro-hale often and you will enjoy every flavor laden, aroma filled puff. Try paring this with some highland single malt scotch to add some additional brightness to the journey. If you local B&M does not carry this cigar, ask them why? If you can’t find it then you can always get them on Cigars International. I would like to thank Heather and Felix for the sample and I am sure I will be picking some more up to add to my rotation.
Point Deductions – NONE
Bonus Point – (+1) Extreme Ash