I recently did a spotlight on Mike Bellody, owner of MLB Cigar Ventures, introducing him to the Stogie Press audience. As you have read, I have known Mike since 2015 and have smoked and reviewed every cigar he has put on the market since then. Today I would like to present a review of his latest creation, the David P. Ehrlich PLM Series which was showcased at this years IPCPR.
The PLM Series is named in an effort to pay homage to Paul L. Macdonald, who owned the David P. Ehrlich Tobacconist for more than 40 years. MLB Cigar Ventures National Sales Manager, Barry Macdonald is the son of Paul L. Macdonald and contributed to the blending of the David P. Ehrlich Tremont as well as the PLM Series.
The PLM features the same binder and filler combination as the original Tremont blend, however, the wrapper on the PLM Series is San Andres Maduro, differentiating it from the Tremont. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
- Filler: Esteli and Condega from Nicaragua and a touch of La Canela from Dominican Republic
- Binder: Esteli
The PLM Series is available in 5 vitolas and are packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Corona 5.5 x 44 (MSRP $9.20)
- Robusto 5 x 52 (MSRP $10.40)
- Toro 6 x 50 (MSRP $11.20)
- Gordo 6 x 60 (MSRP $11.80)
- Churchill 7 x 47 (MSRP $11.60)
Factory of Origin: Tabacalera La Alianza (E.P. Carrillo)
This review is based on numerous cigar samplings in both the robusto and toro vitolas and includes input from my associate Mike Bruce.
The David P. Ehrlich PLM Series is a dark brown, heavily marbled cigar that has a few veins and a light gritty feel to the aged San Andres leaf. They are nicely finished with a triple cap. Both the Robusto and Toro have a decent weight to them and feel solid in the hand.
The cigar is presented with two bands on it. The primary band is the David P. Ehrlich band that is the same as the Tremont cigar but it is the secondary, band right below, that distinguishes it with the the golden phrase “PLM Series” printed in gold on a red background.
As far as pre-light aromas, I picked up a mild earthy note along the barrel and a raisin fruit note off the foot. It is quite enticing even before taking it to the next level.
I used various methods to open the cap, as I smoke a dozen of these. Mike told me he used a punch. We agreed the cold draw was excellent with just the right amount of restriction whether it was the robusto or the toro. The cold draw offered notes of fruit, raisin, and spice with a growing pepper as you roll it about and savor the draw. I have actually sat working just cold puffing on one for over an hour just enjoying the pre-light notes.
But like all great cigars, there comes a time when you have to turn it to ash and this was no exception. A double flame torch works well to warm the foot and get things going.
Cigar Review Notes
- There is a light pepper burn on the nasal to start along with a buttery back note
- A light grey, salt and pepper ash quickly forms resting on a thin, crisp, char line
- Earth notes enter the profile as the pepper recedes
- A toast and jam aroma wafts off the early burn
- Cinnamon spice enters near the start of the second third blending well with the earthy, butter and toast notes
- The smoke is thick with a creamy texture
- Ash falls into the second third revealing a well formed burn cone
- Oils are developing well on wrapper
- Sweet plum notes enter with a hint of mocha
- Things start to get real interesting now
- Minty notes enter enticing the palate near the half way point.
- The aroma shifts to a sweet toasted caramel note
- Strength moves to a solid medium
- Oils glisten atop the burn line
- Spice and mint tango on the palate keeping the taste buds intrigued
- The creamy butter note rests on the finish
- There is a hint of cedar moving toward the end of the second third
- Natural tobacco sweetness increases calming the spice as I take it down to the nub wanting more!
- Medium Plus in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes for the Robusto and 1 hour and 45 minutes for the Toro
Overall, I have to say, the David P. Ehlrich PLM Series is by far the best blend to come out of Mike Bellody and MLB Cigar Ventures to date. We rate this a solid 99. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this cigar from pre-light through the journey down to the nub. The burn was pristine and the flavors were full and enticing with great transitions and shifting aromas. Ok, it did not hold a 2 inch plus ash but all the other boxes were checked. Great Job Mike, Barry, and Ernesto!!!
Point Deductions – NONE
Bonus Points (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Razor sharp burn all the way to the nub (+1) Large oiling on the wrapper during the burn