Recently I had the honor of joining a group of fellow cigar enthusiasts from my local cigar club – Sticks and Spirits Cigar Club – to sample and talk about the new Isabela Cigars Transporter and also the Isabela Guerrillas. The group gathered virtually from across the country on a Saturday afternoon, led by group founder TJ Mayben who made sure we each received our choice of cigar for the virtual event. I must say, it was a very enjoyable way to smoke a cigar and compare notes and experience. TJ recorded the event and posted on his YouTube channel which you can see here.
As for my choice, I selected the Isabela Cigars Transporter, which is the subject of today’s review. You can watch the video to see what others thought about this fantastic cigar.
The Isabela Transporter is expressed in a single (5 1/4 x 54) Double Perfecto rolled in a barber pole style. The company has set a an MSRP of $10.95 for the cigar.
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian DesFlorada/Aged Nicaraguan Habano Prieto
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The company notes that the Transporter is further aged for an additional two years after production.
As with all Isabela cigars, the Transporter is an expertly constructed cigar that has a decent oily sheen on both the Ecuadorian and Habano leaf used for the wrapper. It is fairly firm to the touch with just a mild give in the middle. The wrappers are smooth to the touch and there are minimal noticeable veins running through the barrel. The head is finished with a perfect perfecto cap.
A single band brands the cigar using the standard Isabela Cigars bright and tropical logo. There is no identifying marks as to the Transporter name. This is the same for all cigars from the company.
Running the Transporter along the nose, I picked up a spice aroma that was fairly muted but still enticing to the nose. I would have to say the foot was about the same.
I chose to do a straight cut about a 1/4 inch down from the tip of the head to open it up and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. The draw felt right with the cut and my palate was graced with pre-light notes of a growing pepperiness that wrapped a slight natural sweetness and earthy set of back notes.
I used my triple flame torch to warm the foot and drew in the first peppery puffs of smoke, which I have become accustomed to with Isabela craft. Follow along as I burn the Isabela Transporter to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial puffs delivered a white pepper to start the journey
- Woody notes quickly join the mix along with a dark black coffee
- Fragrant spicy aroma wafts off the foot
- A light grey ash forms on top of a medium/thick char line
- The draw is spot on with ample smoke volume to fill the palate
- A hint of cedar enters moving through the first third
- Slight off burn appears but does not require a touch-up
- Orange peel notes join the party peaking my interest
- Sweet caramel notes evolve adding to the orange notes
- Smoke has smoothed out beautifully through the nose by the start of the second third e
- Cashew notes develop bringing me visions of an orange cashew chicken dish (one of my favorite Chinese meals)
- The ash fell after a decent run and revealed a slightly off centered burn cone
- Profile continues to evolve and entice with the entry of fruit and dark chocolate notes (must be dessert time!)
- Burn has gotten much better
- Sweetness builds and reveals as a maple syrup aroma on the nose
- Just as you thought it was done, it transports you back to the beginning of the journey with notes of spice and pepper at the end
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
The Isabela Cigars Transporter was a spectacularly complex and balanced cigar that offered a wide array of notes and aromas from foot to nub. This is what we have come to expect from Isabela Cigars owner Johnny Piette. With notes like orange peel, dark chocolate, spice, and caramel threading their way through the blend this is one cigar you may want to get your hands on. It did have a mild off burn and an off centered burn cone once the ash fell, but the profile left me wanting another. This is certainly a box worthy cigar and I rate it a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild off burn; (-1) Off-centered burn cone; (-1) Slight jag in the burn in second half
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Extremely Complex and Balanced