Cigar Review: Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural – Rated 91

In late 2020, Protocol Cigars announced the release of The Protocol Eliot Ness. It is the second installment of the newly created “Lawmen Series.” The company kicked off the series in 2019 with the introduction of the Protocol Sir Robert Peel. With the release of the The Protocol Eliot Ness the company has officially forged the series.

The “Lawmen Series” concept is that criminals are so often glorified in Hollywood and in media. Very rarely do the men and woman who work tirelessly to bring these criminals to justice are ever recognized. This is where the “Lawmen Series” comes in. The “Lawmen Series” pays homage to the law enforcement personnel that bring these glorified criminals to justice.

Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural

Eliot Ness was a Federal Agent in the Bureau of Prohibition. This agency was created in 1920 to enforce the National Prohibition Act of 1919. Eliot Ness was assigned to Chicago, Illinois. In 1931 Eliot Ness arrested American Gangster Al Capone. That year adorns the Protocol Eliot Ness Band. The Protocol Eliot Ness was created to honor this dedicated and hard working law enforcement officer.

Like the Sir Robert Peel, the Protocol Eliot Ness will also come in a Natural and Maduro offering. Both blends are Nicaraguan Puros, where all tobacco comes from Nicaragua. For this review I will be focusing on the Protocol Eliot Ness Natural.

The company describes the blend of the Protocol Eliot Ness Natural as:

  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Binder: Habano, Esteli
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Viso/Seco/Criollo

The Protocol Eliot Ness comes packaged in 10-count boxes and each blend is expressed in a (6 x 52) Boxed Press vitola. The MSRP is set $119.50 ($11.95/cigar). These are a full production line for the company.

Breaking from tradition, the Protocol Eliot Ness is manufactured at AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano Factory in Ocotal, Nicaraguan, under the direction of Erik Espinosa. The cigar was blended by Protocol Cigars, under the guidance of La Zona’s blender Hector Alfonso Sr.

Juan Cancel added:

“We really wanted this cigar to be done with a Connecticut Broadleaf, unfortunately it’s very scarce right now. We are fortunate enough to have a great relationship with AJ Fernandez. AJ offered us the use of his proprietary Nicaraguan Broadleaf, which lead to his offer to actually manufacture the cigars in his factory. The Protocol Elliot Ness will be manufactured using his tobaccos, while following the blend we created. We are eternally grateful to AJ Fernandez, Erik Espinosa and Hector Alfonso Sr. for their help in making this project a reality!”

Pre-Light Examination

The Protocol Eliot Ness sports a medium tan wrapper that has a mild gritty feel to it. The box press is more rounded on the edges than a crisp press you might see on other cigars. The are a just a few veins running along the cigar and there is a slight give along the barrel when gently pressed. The cigar is finished with a decent cap.

Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural

What looks like a single band on the cigar is actually. The outer band uses a gold, blue, and white motif with an image of Eliot Ness in the center. The bane Protocol Eliot Ness is printed just below in white on a blue background. The left side states its origin – Esteli, Nicaragua. The right side denotes this as part of the Lawmen Series. The Protocol “P” is presented in a gold circle on the top. Behind the primary band is a second band using a brown and gold motif and denotes the year 1931, the year Ness arrested Al Capone. There is also a gold footer band that denotes tis as the Natural blend,

Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural

Running the Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural across the nose, I picked up a mildly pungent wrapper along with enticing notes of fruit and light cocoa off the foot.

With the pre-light aromas intriguing my senses, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. I noted that the draw was a more open than I normally like but not completely airy. The cold draw offered notes of pepper spice and light fruit.

I used my double flame torch to warm the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first blast of pepper smoke that awoken the nasals to begin the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.

Cigar Review Notes

Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural
  • Initial light offers a medium pepper blast especially to the nasals
  • Medium grey ash forms on top of a thin char line
  • Spice and dry fruit notes develop as the pepper receded
  • Full volume of smoke is pouring off the foot of the cigar
  • Leathery notes join the mix near the end of the first third
  • The ash carried long and when it finally fell it revealed a well formed burn cone
  • Coffee nuances appear moving through the second third
  • Light butter and cocoa notes develop
  • Spice builds with a slight bitter note and a mild chocolate aroma deep in the second third
  • Barrel gets a bit squishy
  • Bitter notes increase into the final
  • Mild to medium in strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes

Final Analysis

I found the Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural to be pleasant mild to medium strength that behaved remarkably well from foot to nub. Starting off with a pepper blast on the first few puffs, it quickly settled into an easy journey of mostly nuanced flavors and aromas that kind of teased my palate through a good two thirds of the cigar. The final brought a more radical change to bitter chocolate then mostly bitter notes down to the end. This is one that you may want to pick up a fiver of and maybe some age and enjoy the others with your morning coffee. I rate this a 91.

Point Deductions: (-1) Open Cold Draw; (-1) Medium Grey Ash; (-1) Barrel Got Squishy in second third; (-1) Bitter notes in the final

Bonus Points: (+1) Long Ash

Protocol Cigars Eliot Ness Natural

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