Mike Bellody and his company MLB Cigar Ventures rocked the cigar world last year with the debut of their Imperia cigar which we at Stogie Press enjoyed immensely. In fact it was our number 3 cigar of the year in 2015. This year Mike and his team doubled down with two new blends. One was the David P. Ehrlich Tremont and the other is the Imperia ISLERO.
The Imperia ISLERO is an extension to his already popular Imperia cigar. According to the MLB Cigar Ventures site:
ISLERO was the name of a very powerful Miura fighting bull. This cigar certainly pays homage to its namesake, as it also boasts a strong, yet refined, flavor profile. The strength of this blend is complimented by a tremendous natural sweetness, creating another unique smoking experience.
Although it is an Imperia cigar, the ISLERO blend is different from the original and is described as:
- Wrapper: Ecuador Habano 2000
- Binder: Dominican Criollo 98
- Filler: Pennsylvania Ligero & Dominican Criollo 98
Like the original Imperia, the ISLERO was crafted in collaboration with Manuel Quesada and is rolled at the Quesada factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The Imperia ISLERO is available in 5 vitolas and packaged in 20-count boxes except for the Fundador vitola which comes in a 10-count box.
- Gordo (6 x 60)
- Toro (6 x 50)
- Robusto (5 x 52)
- Pita (5.5 x 44)
- Fundador (7 x 50/33)
I am told that the MSRP on the Imperia ISLERO will be in the range of $8.50 – $14.00 per cigar.
Now I have to say, Mike set one hell of a standard with the original Imperia, so let’s see how this fighting bull performs.
For this review I sampled the Imperia ISLERO Fundador.
I am also smoking the Pita as I write this, which has been resting in my humidor since August.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pre-light sweet fermented tobacco aroma
- Marbled dark brown wrapper
- Minimal veins but bumpy to the touch (The Pita is smoother)
- Some sweetness in the cold draw
- As expected, it take some puffing to get the Fundador going
- Once it gets bast the tip, the smoke is filling quickly (The Pita is a bit more restricted in the draw)
- Creamy fruit is the note detected (The Pita started with more coffee)
- There is a sea salt flavor on the head (The sea salt lasted longer on the Pita)
- Light grey solid ash medium char line
- Coffee enters as the fruit slides into a citrus note
- Cedar on the nose
- Cream builds
- Ash gently falls after an inch and half (The ash holds longer on the Pita)
- Well centered burn
- Fantastic smoke density
- Citrus is quite pronounced midway through 2nd third with a long finish
- (I picked up some Amaretto in the Pita just south of the band)
- Spicy fruit aroma
- Incredibly smooth delightful smoke
- Excellent burn
- Woody cedar note enters end of second third
- Spice builds in the final third.
- Finishes with spice citrus and a hint of sweet coffee
- Took this right down to the nub !
Overall, the Imperia ISLERO was a terrific line extension to the original Imperia with its impeccable construction, burn, and flavor. It is a solid medium strength cigar that anybody would enjoy and worth looking for in your local shop.
I know I will be asked which blend did I like better, so I will simply answer they are uniquely different but both deliver on flavor. The original Imperia had that spearmint tease and the ISLERO had the Amaretto, at least in the Pita vitola. Top 25 for 2016? We shall see.
In total transparency, MLB Cigar Ventures is a charter sponsor of Stogie Press, but in no way did this influence the review.
~ Boston Jimmie