It was a beautiful spring like day here in sunny Florida not just a nice 70 degree day. I figured this would be the perfect time to sit back with Island Jim and enjoy this wonderful day.The Island Jim has been resting in my humidor since July of last year. What is even better about this day is that I finally got the new needle for my turntable so I can listen to some classic vinyl as I enjoy this fine smoke.
I recently saw a posting from Jim Robinson the owner and face behind the Island Jim Cigar Co. today and he agreed to let me use this on the blog.
All the time as a retailer I am asked what is your favorite cigar. What a question, how do I pick just one. There are so many great manufacturers out there making fabulous cigars, its impossible for me to pick a favorite. My goal is to try them all, yes I have certain tobaccos that I like. But to pick ONE from thousands is impossible for me. And there are so many great masters of the craft, I cannot even start naming names, mostly for the fear I will not mention one of the masters of the craft. For the most part great cigars are in that $7 – $20 price range. Some below a few higher, but money does not make a cigar taste better to me. I respect a fair number of Master Blenders or as I refer to them the Head Chefs of a fine restaurant who know their ingredients and how to make a great recipe. I have had fantastic $6.00 cigars, and OK $20.00 cigars. The joy of cigar smoking for me is to experiment, try them, smoke them. I have not in my opinion had a bad cigar yet! Some may not fit my taste profile, but that does not make it bad. Not one, Not one, manufacturer that I know is making a bad cigar. They are making cigars for their market, some markets I fall into, some I don’t. Does not make them bad. We are living in great times, we have choices, It was not that many years ago, that we did not have choices, there was only so many different manufactures to choose from, now every day I am hearing and trying something I never heard of. For me, that is what cigar smoking is all about, always on the quest to try something new, to find that perfect cigar, that perfect cigar that fits my budget. Not everyone agrees with me, and you know what “That’s OK.” That is what is so cool about cigar smoking we don’t have to agree. What brings us together is the ritual, the socializing 10 guys and gals around a table will be smoking 10 different cigars and they all at the time think they are smoking the best. Wahoo! What a country…. For me the quest is on, I am smoking and enjoying and looking for that next great cigar…..
I don’t think I could have said this better if I tried. Jim is a a unique cigar man as I discussed in the review of the Leaf by Oscar and he does search out the next great cigar.
But lets talk about the Island Jim #2 cigar itself today. To start with this is a cigar as unique as the man behind it. It is a Torpedo Vitola if you can call it that. The difference is that the head does not come to a point but rather a small cylinder. I am not sure if you puff through this or cut it. I choose to cut it.
Like the Leaf by Oscar, the Island Jim #2 is made in the Oscar Valladares factory. The Blend is not known and that is done on purpose as Jim wanted you to enjoy this without thinking about whats in it. It has a shaggy unfinished foot, kind of like Jim’s hair. No offense Jim, I like your look, it is definitive tropical. If I had hair I would grow it out also.
The Island Jim #2 is a well packed cigar no soft spot and a nice draw that is only lightly restricted – nothing to worry about here. The wrapper is a dark roasted coffee bean brown with a touch of light tobacco on the head and the foot.The wrapper is silky smooth with tight seams and no heavy veins. I would say this is a Connecticut leaf under the wrapper. The pre-light draw had that Connecticut bitterness on the lips with a sliver of sweetness coming through the draw.
The band is whimsical in design, with a characterture of Jim Robinson and the words Island Jim under it.
So lets burn the Island Jim #2 and see what gives.
It delivers a full volume of smoke that has notes of chocolate and cedar to start. The burn is near perfect and it has a tight white ash. The smoke is very rich and creamy. I have some Doobie Brothers playing on the turntable and the tropical Florida afternoon is perfect for smoking this gem. Maybe I need to set up a hammock in the Stogie Press lounge to relax and enjoy my stogies as the weather heats up.
Getting into the first third the wrapper is starting to bead up with oil specs as a sprinkle of coffee bean enter the profile.The sweetness is still present and quite delightful as it burns toward the second third. The ash held on for a good 2 inches before falling. I tell you, I am glad I wear smoking shorts to do my reviews because I am always covered in ash when I first sample a new stick.
As the Island Jim slides into the second third there is a nutty aroma developing that fills my nostrils like you get from the roasted nut roadside stands here in Florida. The flavor transitions to a white pepper mixed with nuts. Wow, I could use some spicy nuts and brew with the Island Jim #2 stogie! There is a full body of smoke but it is a little short on the finish. I would have liked this to linger just a bit more but hey, it is what it is. I am getting a delicate burn on the retro-hale now. The Burn has been near prefect so far with no touch up required.
The last third offered a tad of bitterness especially on the tip of my tongue and the pepper noticeably increased. The nuttiness faded.
Overall I liked Island Jim #2 . I believe Jim has a terrific relationship with Oscar on these collaborations and I am looking forward to their next creation. Thanks for the sample Jim.