Released late last year, the Lalibela by Black Star Line Cigars is the latest introduction by this young and growing company. The Lalibela is the namesake of an Ethiopian town located in the Lasta district and North Wollo Zone. The town is famous for its rock-cut monolithic churches. The whole of Lalibela is a large and important site for the antiquity, medieval, and post-medieval civilization of Ethiopia. To Christians, Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, and a center of pilgrimage.
The company describes the Lalibela blend as:
- Wrapper – Mexican San Andres
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
Described as a full strength and full body cigar, the Black Star Line Lalibela is expressed in two vitolas:
- Toro Gordo (6 x 60) – MSRP $13.99
- Toro (6 x 52) – MSRP $12.99
Each vitola comes packaged in 5-packs and 20-count boxes.
For this review I sampled three of the Lalibela Toros, that I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Black Star Line Lalibela is an oily dark chocolate brown cigar that sports a twist cap and a partially closed foot. The cigar is well constructed and firmly packed with a smooth feel to the wrapper which is less characteristic of most San Andres leaf I have experienced. The wrapper leaf has some noticeable veins running through it and displays a moderate amount of marbling.
A single band adorns the cigar that displays an Ethiopian monolithic church in the background along with the name “Lalibela” printed in copper colored font. The company’s logo is printed in white in the center.
As I ran the cigar along the nose, I detected a mildly pungent fermented leaf note along the barrel while the foot offered a very enticing aroma of fruit and nut.
Once I sliced the well applied twist cap straight across the shoulder, I gave it some cold draw puffs that I found to be equally enticing, as the earlier aromas, with notes of mild pepper on the tongue along with a slight saltiness and a touch of cocoa. The draw itself was spot on with restriction.
I sued my double flame torch to warm the foot, which took fast to the heat of the flame with its closed foot, and drew in the first puffs of peppery smoke. Follow along as burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper shot to start
- White ash forms on top of a thin char line
- Floral notes enter beneath the pepper
- A sweet aroma wafts off the foot
- Light citrus notes begin to grow with a balancing undertone of sweetness
- Mild wave in the burn
- The draw is smooth and offering a decent volume of smoke
- The ash fell in a large chunk revealing a flat burn but centered burn cone
- Continued sweetness in aroma
- Toasted caramel and cracker notes enter moving into the second third
- Mild spice join the mix
- Cocoa notes add to the pleasure midway
- Continued light caramel sweetness cocoa and citrus notes
- Creamy coffee notes entering the final
- Medium to Full In strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes
The Black Star Line Lalibela was as described, medium-full strength and full body with enticing flavors and aromas. Once again this small but growling boutique cigar company continues to offer excellent craft. The flavors were well balanced from foot to nub and the transitions were smooth. I especially enjoyed the toasted caramel and sweet cracker notes in the second third and the excellent transition to creamy coffee in the final. The cigar is complex and would be one an experienced cigar enthusiast would certainly enjoy. This is certainly a box buy and I rate it a 95.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave In Burn; (-1) Flat Burn but Centered Burn Cone;
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Complex and Balanced; (+1) Consistent and pleasurable across multiple samples