"Teedle's Mystery Stick B" Blind Review
Cigar: Mystery Stick "B"
Size: Toro, 6x50
Obtained from: blind review stick from TW
Time in humi: 7 days
Very nice. Smooth wrapper, no tooth, a beautiful shade of dark chocolate brown. Cigar is firm throughout, no signs of soft spots or lumps. Rounded cap, clean foot. It's a good-lookin cigar!
Smells strongly of barnyard; hints of wood, dark leather, and bitter cocoa. Cold draw brings very little, a hint of black pepper, some old wood.
I'm greeting in the opening draw with black pepper, dry wood, cedar, leather, and a dark flavor I can't quite identify yet. Smoke output is satisfactory, and the draw is perfect, with just a little resistance. This is right up my alley. About a quarter inch in, it becomes creamy and leans towards sweet. It also tastes familiar, but I can't place it at all! At an inch in, the pepper is gone, and the dominant flavors are dark chocolate, sweet cedar, and wood. A slight roasted nuttiness and leather are added in the retrohale. If it weren't for the fact that I was told it had some age, I'd assume it was a Ramón Bueso Genesis. It's very enjoyable.
Ash is a bit flaky, and drops at an inch, but I think that was due to the breeze. After a gentle purge, the wood and cedary sweetness remain dominant. My only complaint, and its minor, is that its almost too syrupy. Wood and a light leather, with a hint, just a hint, of both cocoa and some kind of baking spice in the background, and the retrohale is largely the same with some nuttiness added.
As I hit the four-inch mark, the nuttiness adds itself to the dominant flavors, which helps round out the sweetness a bit. Ash remains flaky and a crack suddenly opened up at the burn line, so we'll see how that develops. While smoke output has diminished somewhat, it remains satisfactory, and is chewy. As a note, I paired this with a Dr. Pepper, but I think black coffee would have gone much better, and would have complemented and cut the natural sweetness instead of enhancing it. The cigar has developed a little complexity, alternating between cedary sweetness and a sort of rich, bitter espresso. Wood remains in the foreground with the sweet cedar and a bit of leather, a little bit of black coffee and dark chocolate in the background. Retrohale continues to add a warm roasted nuttiness. As the cigar continues to swell slightly and crack at the burn line im vaguely aware that I'm struggling somewhat to keep it going At the 3.5" mark, I pick it up and the ash falls, and I discover it has died on me. For an aged cigar, at the moment it's acting surprisingly young, like a cigar you got from Cbid two weeks ago, that hasn't quite adjusted to the lower rH in your humi yet.
Anyway, at the relight, it managed to pick up right where it left off, seemingly no worse for the wear. Although I'm noticing a droplet or two of brown liquid at the head of the stirrup, and a small wet spot on the bottom side of the cigar near the burn line as well. Ive noticed this earlier, but thought condensation from my glass had dropped there and I hasn't noticed. I try to photograph it on the cigar...
... but it dries as I'm holding it up to the camera. I purge, and do hear the crackle of liquid evaporating. A concerning development, but oddly/fortunately, the flavor seems unaffected, and the cigar has really hit its stride. The sweetness takes a backseat and roasted nuts, wood, coffee, and a bittersweet chocolate take the lead, and I'm loving the flavor. For the first time, the burn usnt straight, and she needs a little touch-up at the 2.75" mark, which may be due to the frequent light purging I'm doing to ensure any liquid is evaporating and not traveling down towards the foot.
I manage to get a photo of the wet spots that continue to appear:
I don't want to put down the cigar, but even more than that, I don't want to taste that liquid, so I've actually put a book under one end of the ashtray to encourage the moisture to drain into the ember.
Because of the moisture, the cigar becomes a bit of a struggle to keep lit, and I'm giving light purges often, so the cigar is becoming a bit hot. Which is frustrating because I can tell that aside from this issue, this is a fine cigar! Coffee and sweet cedar are in front, with a bit of pepper bite, which I assume is from the frequency of puffs, while the rest of the flavors remain pleasantly in the background. Unfortunately, there is a twinge of bitterness creeping in though, which I assume is from the moisture.
As I hit the final third, the cigar continues to expand just below the burn line, and tiny droplets of liquid continue to form at the underside of the cigar. Flavors remain pleasant, as I continue my routine of purging, waiting 15 seconds as puffing. Suddenly, just below the 2" mark, it's dead. I'm gonna let it lie.
The progression of burn:
I have to admit, on appearance alone, this is the one I most looked forward to out of the bunch, and it didn't disappoint in terms of flavor. Burn was dead on nearly the whole time, smoke was thick and chewy, flavors were rich. If it weren't for the moisture issue, I would have been a very happy man. I still think this is a Ramon Bueso Genesis, despite being told it had some age. It also acted a bit young.
Aside from the moisture issue, I'd consider this a solid $7-9 cigar. Thanks again to TW for the opportunity!