Founded in 2017 and based out of Houston, TX – Emperors Cut Cigars is a company forged in the love of the leaf and business acumen. The seven Black partners of this young and quickly growing company have brilliantly navigated the rough waters of a locked down country just as they were making headway not to mention the inroads they had to make into a traditionally White and Latino controlled industry. The team that includes male and female partners, three of which are military veterans (Air Force and Marine), educated themselves on cigars and the business of cigars. They embraced the COVID-19 lockdowns and managed their business through online sales and slowly grew their brick and mortar presence. They are now in 19 states and close to 100 lounges and retail shops.
The company’s website notes:
“Emperors-Cut cigar was conceived to be a boutique cigar that represents the best natural cigar blend in the industry. We have spent many years searching for the right blend and taste profile for our cigar. We wanted to create a cigar that the average person would be excited about smoking everyday instead of once a month because of price.“
Emperors Cut cigars started with one line, the Natural Pleasure and in late 2020 introduced a second line – the Jazz Series – with each cigar inspired by legendary jazz artists. They note:
“Our singular focus was to replicate the same complexity and beauty in a cigar you find in the art of Jazz music.”
In creating the Jazz Series, the team at Emperors Cut Cigars collaborated with La Aurora Master Blender Manuel Inoa.
Todays review is on the Emperors Cut Jazz Series, specifically the Jazz Trane, named after national jazz legend – John Coltrane.
The Jazz Series is expressed in 3 vitolas:
- Trane – (Grand Robusto 5.5 x 52) – MSRP $11.50
- Dizzy – (Gorditio 4 x 58) – MSRP $11.75
- Miles – (Toro 6.5 x 56) – MSRP $11.40
The company describes the blend as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Sumatra Colorado
- Binder – Ecuadorian
- Filler – Dominican Cibao Valley, Nicaraguan and Peruvian
If that does not make for a harmonious symphony of notes, I don’t know what does.
The Emperors Cut “Jazz Series” Trane, sports a reddish brown and marbled wrapper that has a light grit to the feel. There is a light oily sheen to the wrapper and it has some noticeable veins but nothing that would seem to be an issue. The cigar is excellently bunched and rolled with no soft spots detected along the barrel. A simple cap finishes the presentation.
The cigar is adorned with a single red and white band, that boldly displays the “EC” logo in the center and the vitola name “Trane” and size on the right side.
Running the EC Jazz Trane along the nose, I detected a sweet fermented leaf note while the foot offered pepper and similar fermented leaf aromas.
I sliced the cigar straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that offered a complex and balanced array of flavors – pepper in back, sweetness in front and earth all around. This cigar has my interest peaked even before I fire it up. I think some John Coltrane (My Favorite Things) needs to be cued up for this journey. Oh yes, that sweet soprano sax sound is perfect.
Of course, one of my favorite things is smoking and reviewing new cigars, so I reach for my double flame torch. No! Wait! I lit cedar spill is what this cigar needs as I let the soft flame warm the foot as I draw in the first puffs of peppery smoke that fades beautifully into a natural tobacco sweetness. Follow along as burn the EC Jazz Series Trane to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light – pepper burst hits the palate
- As the pepper pulls back quickly a naturally sweet tobacco takes front and center
- Light grey ash forms on a medium thick char line
- Chocolate nuances grace the palate blending well with the tobacco sweetness
- A sweet cracker aroma wafts off the foot
- The long ash finally falls into the second third revealing a perfect “rose bud” burn cone
- Coffee notes add to the pleasure
- Aroma shifts to a maple syrup note
- Spice notes join the mix midway
- Sweet cedar notes enter deep in the second third
- Cocoa aromas now fill the air around me
- Mild wave in the final
- Taking it down to the final delicious cinnamon and sweet notes end the journey
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
Wow! What a pleasant and enjoyable cigar, full of flavors and aromas that are perfectly balanced and play well on the palate. When they said they wanted to replicate the same complexity and beauty in a cigar you find in the art of Jazz music, the team at EC Cigars wasn’t fooling around. Starting with a blast of pepper that fades into a delectable natural tobacco sweetness this morsel is only just beginning. The flavors and aromas transition multiple time pleasing the palate and nasals. It is easy on the retro-hale and leaves you with a clean palate after each puff. I certainly enjoyed the sweetness but also the late arriving cinnamon notes that were a pleasant surprise to finish this gem. I sampled two of these and they both performed splendid. This is definite box buy for any cigar enthusiast. Great Job Team EC. I rate this a solid 96.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild wave in final
Bonus Points: (+1) Extreme Ash; (+1) Box Buy; (+1) Pleasant and consistent across multiple samples