Purchased April 4th, and arrived shortly thereafter. Been stored in my humidor at around 68% until smoking today.
I smoked the Toro size (6x50) And also, I smoked it outdoors on a somewhat windy evening.
Prelight smell: notes of cedar shavings, earthy tobacco. In feeling up and down the cigar, seemed to be packed very tightly, but the prelight draw was perfect. A sweet earthy taste, with hints of cedar.
After lighting, there was a dark bitterness that was the predominant flavor, but purging made it disappear leaving a good deep tobacco flavor. The bitter flavor mellows about 3/4 inch in. The notes of cedar from the prelight draw became more evident.
I had difficulty with removing the bands. The "vintage 1999" band came off with a little coaxing, but the Gurkha band would not easily peel off. Finally, I had to force it off the end, which was tricky because apparently some of the band glue got on the wrapper and it tore a small piece of it as i tugged it off. This caused the wrapper to become slightly unwrapped, which was disappointing. A completely aesthetic complaint, but still annoying.
Also started to experience an uneven burn right before the halfway point. The bitterness returned, but left with a quick purge.
Burn continued to be uneven, despite my attempts to keep the slow burning side down. I touched up just the wrapper two times after the first half. This may have been the fault of the wind I was experiencing?
One great thing about this cigar was that it did not burn hot at all. Even down to the last two inches, it was cool smoke. After smoke taste left me with notes of cedar. No harsh ashtray-like notes. Very pleasing.
Overall, I enjoyed the cigar. If I was just smoking for smoking's sake, I think that I would reach for this. If I wanted something that I was going to be more thoughtful about, I probably wouldn't reach for this stick. Definitely enjoyed, and definitely will smoke the remaining sticks, but probably won't buy again. I will save the other sticks to get a bit more age on them to see if that changes my opinion.