Back in February of this year, I offered a review of the Emperors Cut Cigars – “Jazz Series” Trane which scored an outstand rating here on Stogie Press. Today I would like to turn back time and take a look at the cigar that started it all for this young company – the Natural Pleasure which was released in 2018.
The Natural Pleasure Toro is the company’s flagship cigar. Greg Willis, one of the founders of Emperors Cut Cigars told me::
“The Natural Pleasure is the one that put us on the map. We stayed with this one cigar in market for 18 months. We were not certain how we would be received. To our surprise, this cigar caught traction in the market. This was the blend we created based upon the collective palates of founders of EC. We wanted to create a cigar interesting enough that you would be willing to smoke daily (and not get tired). It has full-bodied characteristics but is smooth enough for smokers early in their journey.”
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan
- Binder – Ecuadorian
- Filler – Nicaraguan
Beautifully constructed at Agroindustrial Nicaraguense de Tabacos S.A. (Agrotabacos) in collaboration with Omar Ortez, the Emperors Cut Natural Pleasure is now offered in 2 vitolas, each packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Grand Robusto (5.5 x 56) – MSRP $13.00
- Toro (6.5 x 52) – MSRP $13.00
For this review I sampled two of the Emperors Cut Natural Pleasure Toros which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Emperors Cut Natural Pleasure is cloaked in a dark brown wrapper with a light oily sheen and exhibits a few veins running along the barrel. The cigar is solidly packed with no soft spots noted from head to foot. A simple cap finishes the construction.
A single band adorns the Natural Pleasure using a bold black and gold motif and proudly displays the the company’s logo in the center and the name “Emperors Cut” on the bottom. The band is clean in deign and would be quite noticeable on a humidor shelf.
I ran the barrel across the nasals and detected a pleasant baking spice note along the barrel while the foot exuded notes of butter, nut, and spice.
Using my double blade Xikar cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give the Natural Pleasure a few cold draw puffs that I found to be properly restricted and offering a growing pepper note on the lips and palate along with a hidden pear note deep in the background.
Using my double flame torch lighter I warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of woodsy and peppery smoke to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Woody and pepper notes to start
- Light grey ash forms on top of a wavy medium thick char line
- Natural sweetness enters as the pepper pulls back
- Touch of malt adds to the pleasure
- Mild wave developed in burn deep in the first third
- Spice notes starting the second third
- Cedar joins joins the spice
- Burn evens out fairly well with no touch up required
- Sweet nutty aroma wafts off the foot filling the air around me
- Dark chocolate notes midway builds a nice dimension to the profile
- Dry fruit nuance add to the mix
- Increased spice and dark chocolate deep in second third and continued down to the final
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking time was just shy of 2 hours
One can easily see why the Emperors Cut Natural Pleasure Toro was so well received when the company launched with this single blend. It is a flavorful and pleasant smoking experience that had a very decent construction with just a mild wave at the start and the end but never requiring a touch up. I really enjoyed the early sweetness and malt notes and the evolving dark chocolate and spice at the end. This is well balanced cigar with fine nuances, transitions, and aromas that kept my palate interested through the almost 2 hour journey. In the case of the Natural Pleasure, that is precisely you get and the price point is spot on for that enjoyment. This is a box worthy smoke. I rate this a 95.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild wave early and in the final
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Worthy; (+1) Consistent across multiple samples;