Potter Cigars, a small boutique cigar company based out of Tamboril, DR made their 3rd appearance at the IPCPR this past July. The main focus at the Potter Cigars booth was a cigar named the Salomon Black, a bold dark maduro salomon vitola. Stogie Press is no stranger to Potter Cigars, we have known David Potter and his team since their first IPCPR back in 2015. We watched this small company grow and develop over the years. This year, the company had their own booth and they had a new swagger in their presentation. Part of that swagger had to do with the hats the Potter Cigars team were wearing, but most of it had to do with the Salomon Black.
Believe it or not, the Salomon Black is a line extension to last years Potter Lancero Maduro. Talk about two extremes! Neither of these vitolas are easy to produce. Last years Lancero was a finely crafted cigar that demonstrated Potter has the skills to create quality cigars. So now this year, we have a Salomon to further showcase the company’s talented rollers.
While speaking to David at the show, he shared with me, the Potter promotional video for the Salomon Black, which should get you in the mood to read the rest of today’s review.
The Salomon Black
The Potter Cigars, Salomon Black is a bold and dark, 7 1/8 x 58-52 salomon vitola. The company used the same blend as their maduro lancero which is described as:
- Wrapper –Mexican San Andrés
- Binder – Dominican Republic
- Filler – Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
They are beautifully packaged in 10-count cedar boxes, including an overlay of tissue paper and a yellow satin ribbon wrapping the cigars in the box. There is also a testament from Potter Cigars Owner, David Potter that is included in every box which reads:
“One of the most intriguing features about the storied salomon vitola is the intricacy and precision it takes to roll them correctly, a task often relegated to the most experienced and capable torcedores. iIs unique shape, tapering at both ends of the cigar, makes them stunning to look at.
Made with the best of specially selected tobaccos, which spend an additional two years of aging, then a dedicated period of time at rest, until they are ready to be smoked and enjoyed from start to finish.
¨I may not be able to please the world but the world will be pleased with me¨! – David Potter”
I feel the presentation is spot on for a cigar that will be retailing at an MSRP of $20.00.
Of course presentation can draw your eye to the product, but does the product perform to all the hype surrounding it? We have all had those cigars that look great and are presented as the best there is, only to discover they are not worth the change in your pocket.
So lets get down to the nitty gritty and walk through the Potter Cigars Salomon Black, to see how it performs under my watchful eye and palate. I am basing this review on the single vitola I received from David Potter at the IPCPR. It has been resting in my humidor for 3 months prior to today’s review.
Pre -Light Examination
The Salomon Black is definitely named correctly, as it is a beautifully marbled, dark brown salomon vitola. The are a few noticeable veins and a less than expected grittiness to the Mexican San Andrés wrapper. The cap is very nicely finished and the foot has a finish leaf that is a shade or two darker than the wrapper itself.
With all the pizzazz in the packaging, the Potter Cigars Salomon Black is simply adorned with a single band that uses the Potter logo on a black backdrop. If you are curious, the company traditionally uses a yellow and green motif but with this being sold as the Solomon Black they chose go with the black background.
Beyond the appearance, the first sign of this being a quality smoke is the pre-light aromas. I picked up a deep fermented leaf and earthy aroma along the barrel and a pleasantly enticing cinnamon raisin note off the foot.
It was now time to open up the Salomon Black. Being a salomon vitola, I chose to use my double blade cutter and slice the head to provide 3/8 inch opening. Like a torpedo, a salomon vitola is designed to allow the smoker to decide how much they want to open it up. I also chose to use a straight cut instead of an angle as I have previously done with torpedos. Of course the choice is yours.
The cold draw offered notes of mild earth and the draw was obviously tight considering the salomon foot tip.
Igniting was easy – unlike a traditional cigar where you warm the foot, you just apply the flame to the tip and draw on the salomon. This will get it started and if properly constructed, it will not require any more flame.
With the Salomon Black ignited it was time to sit back on my leather couch in Stogie Press Lounge and go on another Potter Cigars journey.
Cigar Review Notes
- Smooth start with a natural sweetness – no bite, no pepper
- Hint of cocoa and a touch of raisin and cinnamon
- Woodiness completes the early profile
- Slight off burn develops early in the burn
- White ash evolves on a thick char line
- Spice enters and builds after 1st inch
- Oils are growing nicely on the wrapper
- Sweet dry fruit notes enter
- Burn is still off but showing signs of correcting so no touch up required
- Butternut joins the mix
- I have to say there is a lot going on in the first third – hitting many slices of the flavor wheel
- Floral aroma has developed
- Draw is medium with a medium volume of smoke
- After 2 inches the burn corrected and the burn line is much thinner
- Coffee notes enter with a lingering light spice component and mild citrus tang
- This is a delicious cigar with flavors blending well
- The ash is extreme and holding tight
- Sweetness grows as does the cinnamon spice
- Ultra smooth at the midway point
- Ash finally falls revealing a perfect burn cone
- Loving the buttery and spice notes that fill the palate
- Burn is all but pristine as I remove the band
- Predominant note is spice at this point
- Sweetness re-emerges entering final third
- Spice shifts to a peppery spice at the final especially on the nasal
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was a pleasant 1 hour and 50 minutes
Overall, the Potter Cigars Salomon Black is one I would say is worth the price. The smoke started and remained smooth throughout while the flavor profile was indeed full and complex. Salomon vitolas are one of the more difficult cigars to produce and many times if not constructed well they will wave and have burn issues. The Potter Salomon Black, though having a bit of an off burn to start (which I deducted a point for), demonstrated for the most part, a solid construction. The extreme ash garnered it a bonus point, in fact it only ashed once during the burn. I also deducted a point for the medium volume of smoke. This is certainly a cigar the most experienced palate would enjoy and it is worth getting a fiver if not a full box.
Point Deductions: (-1) Extreme Ash, (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke
Bonus Points: (+1) Extreme Ash