Holy Crap this is a fine cigar!
Wait, can I say “holy crap” on here? Damn straight I can, its my website! I can say whatever I want and when I smoke a cigar that hits on all cylinders like the Isabela StarDust, you are going to hear from me at the speed of light. Gosh, golly gee! I know it was only officially released to the market yesterday and here I am telling you about it.
Let me break this one down for you as simply as possible:
- Barber Pole
- Perfect Burn
- Fragrant Aromas
- Excellent Ash
- Full Volume of Smoke
- Lots of Subtle and Tasty Transitions
- MSRP $8.00
Now that I got that off my chest we can talk about the Isabela StarDust in more detail if you care to continue reading.
The Isabela StarDust
This week, the Isabela Cigar Co., a small artisan craft cigar maker based out Miami, FL released their latest creation known as the StarDust. It complements their earlier offering – the Time Traveler. I wont get into all the background here on the relation between the two, you can read that on the announcement we posted a few day ago here:
Today we will concentrate on the StarDust and I have to say I like the name, my dog is named Ziggy StarDust and yes I do enjoy listening to David Bowie on vinyl here in the Stogie Press lounge. One more thing about StarDust; we are all made from it since most every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star. Of course you may have to believe in the big bang to appreciate that, but we do know what happens with super novas and how they create heavy elements. But I will save the science lesson and point you to a short article on the subject over at Physics.org, in case you want to get your geek on!
So if the time Time Traveler cigar from Isabela was the start of a reaction, what came from that is the Isabela StarDust which uses the elements of the Time Traveler like planets are formed from StarDust.
In case you did not read the announcement I will repeat again – the Isabela StarDust is available in a single 5.25 x 42 corona rolled in a barber pole style. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Des Florada/Aged Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder – Nicaraguan Aged Media Tiempo
- Filler –
- Nicaraguan Aged Media Tiempo
- Sliver of Nicarauguan Triple Aged Ligero
The MSRP for the StarDust is set at $8.00 USD
The company provided me samples of the StarDust, for the purpose for reviewing on Stogie Press. Today’s review is based on smoking two of these fine specimens.
The first thing you notice about the Isabela StarDust, besides the festive band, is that it is rolled in a barber pole style. For the newbies out there, that means it is a cigar that intertwines two wrappers in the form of ascending, or descending, helical stripes. i.e., it looks like a Barber Pole or to some, a Candy Cane. There is a light tooth on the wrappers and the habano leaf has a nice oily sheen to it. The Ecuadorian Des Florada is a dark tan in color and contrasts well with the dark brown and oily habano.
The cigar is adorned with the standard festive Isabela band that you find on all the company’s products. it is bright and tropical with the word “ISABELA” printed in silver in the center.
I used by Palio double blade cutter to slice off the well applied cap. The cap band is wide enough to cut the cup and still have enough protective leaf not to let the head unravel. Rolling it around and giving it a few cold draw puffs I immediately picked up and added sweetness to the head. There was also some pepper and an exotic spice, I could not put my finger on. As I write this, I think I will have to rummage through the spice rack in the kitchen with another StarDust and try to pair up the flavor then update the notes at another time.
Time to take the journey folks, hang on tight because this is a wild ride for sure.
Cigar Review Notes
- On first light you are greeted with pepper, sweetness, and that exotic spice
- A solid light grey ash, almost white, develops and rests on a sharp and thin char line
- Gentle black pepper warms the lips
- Lemon peel joins in
- White pepper hits the throat and nose
- Strength ratchets up pretty quickly
- Ash fell after an inch with a perfect burn cone
- Smoke is full
- Espresso dances in and blends well with the lemon peel
- Incredibly full body of smoke for a corona
- The burn and volume remind me of the slow burning Cuban Montectisto 4 (one of my favorite Cubans)
- Vanilla spice fills out the early profile
- Notes are moving all around, spiking the palate with flavor sensations
- Sweetness on the head still pronounced
- Slowing the puff rate the cigar remains lit – solid !
- Getting towards the half-way point there is a savory and cooking spice note in the background and on the retrohale
- Floral notes enter and then back to lemon peel
- Perfect draw, slow burner, awesome ash quality, and cool to the touch
- Aroma is earthy
- Sweetness faded finally with just a hint remaining in the backnote
- Cinnamon enters about tow thirds into the burn
- Creamy smoke texture
- Flavors continue to move back and forth as the different wrapper leaf burns
- Dry leather notes enter with about two inches to go
- Peppery spice on retrohale
- Strength moves to medium full
- Cocoa and coffee complete the journey near the nub
- Total Smoking Time was a stunning one hour and twenty minutes!
With all the large ring gauge cigars out there, it is nice to enjoy a slow burning flavorful corona like the Isabela StarDust.
Overall, the Isabela StarDust is simply outstanding with subtle and complex flavor nuances that dance about on the palate and nose. The burn was absolutely pristine from foot to nub. It clocked in at medium to full in strength. At an $8.00 price point this is a highly recommended cigar and it is worthy of a box buy. I would suggest letting some age. Get them while you can as they are limited. As I think about pairing this elegant smoke I can only consider a dry, Bombay Sapphire, gin martini – but that is me.
It should be noted that Isabela Cigars is the latest sponsor of Stogie Press but in no way has this impacted the review other than I absolutely love this cigar.