I was recently contacted by Jeffrey Amendola, founder of Amendola Family Cigars, to see if I would be interested in interviewing his craft. That is a no brainier as I am always looking for cigars I have not yet tried and I can introduce you all to. Jeffrey was kind enough to send me samples of his cigar line for the purpose of reviewing them here on Stogie Press.
First a little bit about Jeffrey and Amendola Family Cigars. The brand is a small boutique cigar company based out of Duram, NC. Besides their core line of cigars, the company prides itself in making a number of private label cigars also.
The company’s website explains Jeffrey’s passion:
“My name is Jeffrey Amendola and I am the founder of Amendola Family Cigar Co. I am a first generation cigar blender and manufacturer of ultra-premium boutique cigars. It is my hope that our brands sustainability will afford the next generations of our family to be immersed in this legacy that we call an industry.
The cigar industry has been built from hard work and dedication in every aspect possible. We plan to do the same by contributing to the core values of this business through honor, respect, and loyalty.”
Once the sample package I arrived, I stored the Amendola craft in my humidor to allow them settle into the Stogie Press lounge environment. After a few weeks it was time to begin my discovery of Jeffrey Amendola’s creations. The first cigar to catch my eye was the Amendola Family Cigars -Special.
During a brief discussion with Jeffrey, he explained to me that the Amendola Special is expressed in a single 6 x 54 toro vitola with a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Oscuro Maduro
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Amendola Special comes packaged in 20-count boxes and carries a MSRP of $10.99/cigar. This and all Amendola Family Cigars are hand crafted at Tabacalera Kafie in Danli, Honduras.
The Amendola Special is a dark brown, silky smooth, and marbled cigar. It has a fine oily sheen, just a few veins, and is finished with a well applied cap. The cigar has a decent weight, is solid in the hand, and looking at the foot, it seems to be well packed.
Two bands adorn the Amendola Special. The primary band uses a brown, white, gold, and red motif. The name “Amendola” is proudly printed in gold in the center along with a white silhouette of a bull above it. The bull represents Duram, NC otherwise known as the Bull City. The bottom of the band has the word “SPECIAL” boldly printed in gold on a red background. The foot is finished with a gold satin cloth band. On last note about the band, it has the colors of the Italian flag printed on a small circle where the band is attached, representing Jeffrey’s Italian heritage.
Running the Amendola Special along the nose, I picked up an enticing baked bread note off the foot but not much along the barrel.
Using my double blade cutter I sliced the head straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give the Amendola Special a few cold draw puffs. The draw was snug and delivered a medium yet growing pepper and a touch of dried fruit.
With the preliminary exam out of the way, it was time to warm the foot and burn this one to ash. My double flame torch did the trick. Follow along as I take you on an Amendola Family Cigars journey.
Cigar Review Notes
- Light pepper notes grace the nasal off the first puffs
- Medium volume of smoke to start
- Fruit and mild cocoa nuances
- Light grey ash forms above a thick char line
- Vanilla notes about an inch of solid burn
- Smoke is quite smooth though still just at medium volume
- Slightly jagged burn
- Ash falls with a flat but centered burn cone
- Baking spice aroma wafts off the foot
- Smoke volume opens up moving into the second third
- Natural sweetness fills in the profile with a touch of cedar
- Off-burn developing that required a touch up in the second third
- Mocha coffee notes enter
- A spearmint nuance appears in the aroma
- Spice notes join the mix midway
- Earthy notes take it to the finish with a spike of mint hear and there
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Amendola Special was my first introduction to the Amendola Family of cigars. I am pleased this was my first choice of the samples as it was a flavorful and aromatic cigar that had a smooth body of smoke. I truly enjoyed the mocha coffee and spearmint notes that excited the palate. It did develop an off burn in the second third that required a touch-up, after which it performed well, down to the nub. I would recommend picking up a 5 pack of these. I rate this a 91.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Off Burn; (-2) Touch-up Required; (-1) Tight Draw in First Third