TK – Tobacco Kennedy – is the man behind this latest collaboration from Don Kiki Cigars. Before we get into the review of the TK by Don Kiki let me introduce you to Kennedy Achille (Tobacco Kennedy). He is cigar man through and through and is the Executive producer of StogieTV and one who thrives in the world of business. In his own words:
“Being the creator and Executive producer of a Cigar related TV series is the way I put a smile on my face.”
Kennedy has published three cigar books; Cigar 90, Cigar 180, and Cigar 360 which are all available on Amazon here. He is the Florida Ambassador of the Cigar Rights of America and provides Cigar Education Seminars across the U.S.. Most recently he organized the 5-day cigar event known as the Black Smoke Miami that was a raving success, bringing like-minded cigar enthusiasts from all across the United States to enjoy the pleasure of the cigar lifestyle.
On his website StogieTV, Kennedy describes his goal in producing a cigar in collaboration with Karen Berger and Don Kiki cigars.
“My only goal in the industry is to educate the world about cigars. Producing a cigar with Karen Berger was a blessing that came through patience. I took a different approach when I entered the industry…Education. I’m honored that a major brand such as Karen Berger believed in my contribution to the industry and thought I would be an added value to the brand and consumers world-wide.”
Introduced at the Black Smoke Miami mansion party this past Labor Day weekend, I received a few samples of the TK by Don Kiki for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
They have rested since then and today I am proud to present the review of this fine collaboration. This is a joint review as I have shared TK by Don Kiki with others, and my associate Zach Riley joined me in the review notes to be published today. As I get more notes from other Stogie Press associates I will add them.
The TK by Don Kiki
As mentioned, the TK by Don Kiki was a collaborative effort between Karen Berger and Tobacco Kennedy. It is part of the limited edition line for the Don Kiki brand. The blend selected for this cigar is described as:
- Wrapper – Brazil Arapiraca Maduro
- Binder – Esteli, Nicaragua
- Filler – Esteli, Nicaragua
They are available in 3 vitolas and packed in 20-count boxes:
- Guapo – 6 x 64 (MSRP $10.50)
- Toro – 6.5 x 52 (MSRP $9.50)
- Gran Toro – 5.5 x 60 (MSRP $10.00)
For this review we sampled the TK by Don Kiki Toro.
The first note I would make about the TK by Don Kiki is how well packed this cigar is. There is no spring along the barrel which I may say would be an issue, but not with this one. Obviously the binding was properly done in the construction. The dark maduro Brazil Arapiraca wrapper on it is stunning with its deep marbling and light tooth. Kennedy and Karen did a great job in wrapper selection for this creation.
There is a lot of adornment on this cigar. It include three different bands which collectively cover most of the cigar. The Primary band is the same as the Don Kiki Platinum, identifying it as a Don Kiki Brand. Of course the secondary band uses a bold black and red motif with a touch of silver. The red letters “TK” are prominently displayed on a black background and the word “Edition” printed beneath signifying this is the TK Edition of the Don Kiki Platinum Limited Edition. The final band is a footer that is the same used on the Don Kiki Platinum.
Running it across the nose, the TK by Don Kiki offered pepper and nut off the foot and not much along the barrel.
I used a double blade cutter to remove the cap and I have to say the cold draw was tight, but then I anticipated that based on the feel of the cigar and the solid packing. I am not sure a punch would make sense for this. The draw delivered lots of earth and a warming red pepper.
I suppose I could roll this about some more and savor that red pepper but I felt it was time to ignite it and continue the journey. I will run through my notes first and then at the end you can read Zach Riley’s take on it.
Cigar Review Notes
- 1st light was milder than expected with a citrus note to start
- A mocha note follows
- Medium volume of smoke
- Solid white ash on thin char line
- Nice sweetness in the background
- Excellent burn
- Coffee notes complete the early profile
- Very smooth smoke
- Outstanding floral aroma
- Ash still solid end of 1st third
- Cedar enters second third
- Bit of dry leather
- Nice oiling on wrapper
- Ash falls just shy of primary band
- Centered and slight pointed burn cone
- Peppery spice enters
- Rich cedar aroma evolves
- Gentle white pepper enters
- Interesting change in final with a hazelnut entering
- Sweetness builds
- Finishes with pepper building along with citrus
- Medium to Full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was one hour and 20 minutes, thanks to the slow burn to start
Overall, the TK by Don Kiki was a flavorful and enjoyable smoking experience. It started with a medium volume of smoke and delicious flavors and continued to deliver palate pleasing notes, finishing with spicy pepper. Though the smoke volume was medium to start, it does open up as the leaf is warmed and the expected full volume of smoke is delivered near the second half down through to the end. I do know you can find these at the Don Kiki Cigar Superstore in Daytona Beach, I also believe they can be found at Top Notch Cigars in Miami.
Zach Riley’s Take
Cold Draw: In the cold draw I’m getting a wonderful full body coffee note. I’m really excited to light this up. There is also a hint of hazelnut in the note as well.
First third: Whoa! This thing is packed with flavor and lots of notes going on all at one time. There is a mocha note, cocoa note, and the hint of hazelnut is still there as well. So much flavor in the beginning of this smoke. Through the nose I am getting a white pepper spice that is very light along with a hint of cedar. Through the nose I am getting a creamy note as well. There is also a wonderful aroma going on through the beginning of the smoke. Very nice.
Second third: I’m into the second third now, and the strong mocha/cocoa note has faded and went to a strong hazelnut and a cedar nut note on the inhale. Really nice change of pace from the beginning. The aroma has changed some, but it still smells great. Through the nose I am getting a leather that on the back-end turns into almost a earth like note. Really nice.
Finish/Final Third: I’m finally into the final third, and it has changed a third time. The hazelnut is still very faint, but it has went from a huge pop of flavor, to cedar, to now a light creamy note. It’s a very smooth note now. It is a wonderful way to finish this great cigar. Through the nose I am getting a very light white pepper spice, some nice creamy notes, and wonderful hints of hazelnut.
Overview: This was a wonderful stogie. Changed a few times throughout the smoke, it was wonderfully constructed, and had great taste from the beginning to the end of the cigar. I had never heard of this company until Jim told me about them. He sent me one and told me to try them, so I tried it and here it is. I hope you enjoyed the review and there will be more to come soon in the future.