The Cigar Clowns are at it again. The NYC based Brothers of the Leaf will be formally releasing their latest drop – the “Jack in the Box” tomorrow, August 28th, at a release party being held at the new Lou Liga Lounge in Philadelphia, PA. I was fortunate to get my hands on a couple of these the other week and smoked both of them for todays review.
The Cigar Clowns – Jack in the Box – is a nod to the famous clown we all got to know as a toy one way or another. You know the one, where you turn the crank on a metal box and it plays a tune and at the end the top pops open a clown pops out.
According to the Cigar Clowns, the Jack in the Box has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan Maduro
- Binder – Condega
- Filler – Jalapa, Estelí
It is expressed in a single (5 1/2 x 54) Box-Pressed Maduro and has an MSRP set at $10.00/cigar.
The Jack in the Box reminded me a bit of the Cigar Clowns Krinkles cigar they released earlier in the year, at least from a visual, with its gritty dark brown wrapper. It has a sharp box pressing and is fairly solid to the touch. There are minimal veins running through the barrel. A wide double cap finishes the presentation.
A single band adorns the cigar using a red, gold, black, and white motif. There is an image of formally dressed clown popping up out of a box in the center and the phrase “CIGAR CLOWNS” printed below.
Running the Jack along the nose, I picked up a vibrant fresh tobacco scent along the barrel and notes of cocoa and pungent fermented leaf off the foot.
Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and gave the Jack a few cold draw puffs that I found to be a tad open with restriction and offering a slight citrus tanginess and a touch of earth.
I used my double flame torch to gently warm the foot and draw in the first puffs of citrus and pepper notes to begin the journey. Follow along a I burn the Jack in the Box to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Citrus and pepper notes start the journey
- The pepper is nose awakening on the retro-hale
- Full volume of palate filling smoke pours out of the head
- Light grey ash forms on a thin and slightly jagged char line
- Caramel and hint of chocolate quickly adds to the profile
- Ash dropped early revealing a flat burn cone
- Mild cinnamon notes add the flavor sensations near the start of the second third
- Barrel starts to get squishy
- Burn tends to go out often requiring re-lights
- Light spice enters midway
- Strength has been slowly moving up, reaching close to full strength deep in the second third
- Spice also ratchets up
- Off burn develops end of second third
- Increased cocoa notes in the final
- Full Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
The Cigar Clowns – Jack in the Box was one of those cigars that has a strength profile that creeps up on you as it burns through the journey, eventually spiking the strength meter at full entering the final third. From a flavor perspective, I found the notes to be quite pleasing, opening up with citrus and pepper and then moving into a delicious palate pleasing array of balanced notes including caramel, chocolate, and cinnamon. Where the Jack in the Box misses on points is in the burn. I had to relight it a number of times, as it tended to go out if not puffed on more than normal. It also developed an off burn deep in the second third and the barrel got squishy once it got through the first third. This is one I may pick up few more based on the flavor notes. I rate this a 88.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off Burn deep in Second; (-1) Jagged burn; (-1) Squishy Barrel; (-2) Multiple Re-lights; (-1) Flat Burn Cone