Every now and then, I come across a new cigar brand that peaks my interest, first with their story and then wows me with their craft. At this years Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) I met the founders of Apostate Cigars based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The company founders, Brandon Oveson and Kendrick Woolstenhulme, explained their journey.
The company was officially launched in December 2020 but the duo were not new to cigars, they are retailers from Beehive Cigars in Salt Lake City. They started blending with Jose ““Jochy” Blanco of Tabacalera Palma, along with his son, Jose Manuel Blanco back in March of 2021. They were just a couple of Salt Lake City retailers and ex-Mormans who didn’t know what the next step was and decided to fuck around and make some cigars. They asked Jochy if he could give them access to the best tobacco they ever tasted and he not only obliged but let them be mad scientists in his lab and blend whatever they wanted. So in the end, with Jochy’s factory making impeccable construction, they got a very smokable product with a cool story.
“A couple of Mormon boys who are straight off the path, on purpose. In Mormonism this an active apostasy, so they call us apostate. We decided to lean in and on it while embracing our history and roots but to do something new. In the end, we created three inaugural blends – Ecuadorian Connecticut, Habano, and a Mexican San Andres Maduro. We also plan on dropping a candela this year.“
The pair go further and explain on their website:
‘Conceived and formed in 2020 by seasoned retail tobacconists, in a state in which indulgence is considered a sin, Apostate cigars proudly stands as Utah’s only premium cigar producer. Bucking tradition in both branding and blending, it is our mission to honor the historical use of tobacco as a communion with one’s self and the community at large.“
The Apostate Cigars Deseret
For this review, I chose to sample the Mexican San Andrés maduro blend known as the Apostate Deseret. The name “Deseret” comes from The State of Deseret, which was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government. The name derives from the word for “honeybee” in the Book of Mormon.
The Apostate Cigars Deseret is (5 1/4 x 54) robusto that has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Mexican San Andrés maduro
- Binder – Dominican piloto
- Filler – Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
They come packaged in 12-count bundles and carry an MSRP of $13.00/cigar.
The Apostate Cigars Deseret is a beautiful and artfully crafted cigar that sports an oily, toothy, dark brown wrapper with added appliques of lighter leaf. There are all but invisible veins running through the barrel. The cigar is solid to the touch and firmly packed. The cap is unique, as it is designed to look like a bees stinger and when you add in the appliques it is essentially designed to represent a bee, ergo the reference to Deseret – the Honeybee.
Two bands adorn the cigar each using a black and gold primary motif. The primary band spells out the name Apostate using Mormon symbiology across the center and also declares this as Apostate Cigars product on the top and the phrase “EST 2020, State of Deseret” on the bottom. The secondary band is placed just below the primary and declares this as “The Deseret” in both English and the ancient Mormon alphabet.
Running the Apostate Deseret along the nose, I was pleasantly greeted with notes of cinnamon and raisin along barrel, while the foot exuded peppery notes.
I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and gave it some cold draw puffs that offered a slighter tighter restriction to start and delivered a growing white pepper note the more I drew on on it.
Using my double flame torch, I warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of pepper and fruit. Follow along as I burn this bee to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial peppery notes with a hint of fruit
- Draw is a little snug
- Mildly earth joins the mix early with a enticing sweet aroma
- Solid light grey ash forms on top of a medium thick char line
- Citrus notes brighten the profile and moisten the palate
- Cedar notes start to develop to round out the early profile
- The draw opens up after an inch of burn with a smooth retro-hale
- The early sweetness morphs into a delectable toasted honey note
- A mild wave develops in the second third
- Savory spice notes begin to evolve midway with continued cedar notes
- Earth notes reemerge and linger on the palate
- Long ash finally fell with well defined burn cone
- Aroma shifts to a buttered popcorn note
- The honey shifts back to a natural sweetness entering the final third
- Spice grows in final
- Medium to Full in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes to the nub
As noted, I was wowed by the Apostate Cigars Deseret, and why not, it is a new company with a cool story and they worked with one of the great masters in the industry, Jochy Blanco. All combined, the result was a moderately complex and well balanced cigar with an awesome burn and fragrant aromas. I was really pleased with the notes of toasted honey in the second third and buttered popcorn aroma deep in the second third. This is a cigar that kept the palate interested from foot to nub and is one I say is box worthy hands down. I rate this a solid 96.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild wave in second third
Bonus Points: (+1) Boxy Worthy, (+1) Long Solid Ash; (+1) Extremely complex in flavor and aroma