Back in December of 2020, Blanco Cigars – headed up by David Blanco, announced the release of a new line of cigars – the Prince Hall. The new line was blended by Master Blender and fifth generation Master Mason, David Blanco and the name pays tribute to father of Black Freemasonary – Prince Hall.
In the press release, David explained more:
“Prince Hall was known as one of the most influential free black leaders during the founding of The United States in the 1700’s, fighting slavery as one of the leading abolitionists and for equal education rights. He is also famously known as the father of Black Freemasonry which, to this day, is known as Prince Hall Masonry.
His contributions to the black community in the late 1700’s were many and he accomplished them as a free man and citizen of The United States. He was also a business owner and it is believed he served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
Prince Hall became interested in the Masonic fraternity because Freemasonry was founded upon ideals of liberty, equality and peace. His love of these ideals is what drove him to become one of the first black members of Freemasonry in The United States. However, they were not considered a “full” Masonic lodge until 1787 when Prince Hall received a charter from the Grand Lodge of England, the mother of all Freemasonry. In 1787, African Lodge No. 459 became African Lodge No. 1 with Prince Hall as the head of the Lodge.”
The new line was introduced in two different blends – Habano Rosado and Habano Maduro. For this review I will focus on the former – the Habano Rosado which has a blend described by Blanco as:
- Wrapper: Habano Rosado (Nicaragua)
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Fillers: Nicaraguan
The Prince Hall Habano Rosado is expressed in four vitolas including a whopping 7 x 70.
- Square (5 x 50) 50-count box (MSRP $7.50 per cigar)
- Compass (6 x 52) 50-count box (MSRP $8.00 per cigar)
- Level (6 x 60) 50-count box (MSRP $10.00 per cigar)
- Jachin (7 x 70) 30-count box (MSRP $12.00 per cigar)
For this review I sampled two of the Prince Hall Habano Rosado Compass vitolas which I received from the company for review on Stogie Press. The cigars have been resting in my humidor for about 12 months prior to the sampling.
Examining the Prince Hall Habano Rosado you will quickly notice the oily dark tan wrapper that has a slight reddish tinge. It exhibits some marbling and veins running through it. The cigar is solidly packed and firmly rolled with invisible seams. A well applied triple cap completes the construction. it should be noted that this cigar, like all Blanco Cigars, are hand rolled at Plasencia S.A. in Nicaragua.
A single band adorns the Prince Hall. Using a black and gold leaf motif it contains numerous emblems of Freemasons across the sides of the band and the name Prince Hall centered in the middle. The year 1787 is presented in two circles on both sides of the golden triangle. On the far right is the Blanco Cigar logo in a circle. The band was designed by Immerse Marketing, LLC that has created a variety of artwork and websites for the cigar industry.
Running the Prince Hall Habano Rosado across the nose, I noted an enticing baking spice aroma along the barrel along with earthy and mild pepperiness off the foot.
Once I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar, I gave it some cold draw puffs that offered a fine restriction and an immediate peppery note, especially on the lips. A few more cold puffs and the palate is graced with additional notes of natural tobacco sweetness and dry fruit.
With the pre-light examination much to my liking, it was time to get the journey moving on as I warmed the foot with my double flame torch and drew in the first nasal awaking peppery puffs. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper graces the palate and nose to start the journey
- Fruit notes quickly join the mix
- Oily wrapper
- Light grey ash forms on top of a wavy thick char line
- Each puff is delivering a full palate of smoke
- Sweetness builds in the background to balance out the blend
- Ash is bit flaky
- Off burn started to develop that required a touch up
- Spice notes join the early profile
- Ash fell revealing an off centered burn cone
- Pleasant syrupy aroma wafts off the foot
- Cedar notes appear midway
- Floral nuances develop
- Caramel and coffee nuances add to the pleasure
- Cedar rolls back in end of the second third
- Slight bitter note enters in the final third
- Mild to Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
The Blanco Prince Hall Habano Rosado Compass delivered a fairly pleasant mild to medium strength smoking experience with varied nuances of flavor through the journey. I especially enjoyed the notes of cedar midway and the nuances of caramel and coffee deep in the second third. It did however exhibit some burn issues including off burns and the need to touch it up. This is worth picking up a five-pack. I rate it an 88.
Point Deductions: (-1) Bitter notes in the final third; (-1) Off burn; (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-1) Touchup required; (-1) Off centered burn cone