Picking that Perfect Smoke
Another interesting selection includes the Kenbano Gran Toro from Black Patch Cigar Company of Pikeville, Kentucky. Founder Eric McAnallen has been growing a proprietary variety of Kentucky broadleaf ligero called Kenbano 2007 in the state’s Black Patch region. He incorporates the leaf into his Dominican-made (and Dominican-dominated blend). Kentucky is a big producer of tobacco, but very little of it is destined for use in premium cigars, earning this blend’s right to truly call itself unique. Piloto Cubano ligero and Criollo 98 Bonao round out the filler blend, paired with a Criollo 98 wrapper and choice Havana Vuelta Abajo wrapper from Navarrete. Panelists noted the blend’s woody, spicy flavors in its collective 91 rating. Currently, McAnallen is working with two prominent growers in the Dominican Republic who are managing trial plantings of two different broadleaf varieties; early results are quite positive, and McAnallen is excited about future cigar projects down the road that will be incorporating these tobaccos.
Go to Smoke Magazine to read the full review.
Kentucky is More Than Bourbon
BACKGROUND: The Commonwealth of Kentucky can claim the origins of some very auspicious businesses and products. There is bourbon, for example. Need I say more?! There is also the Colonel’s Fried Chicken, Papa John’s Pizza, and Burley tobacco. Added to that list is Black Patch Cigar Company, which has brought back the planting, growing and harvesting of black tobacco varietals for use in premium hand made cigars.
Go to Stogie Fresh to read the full review
When I started researching companies to involve in my “Off the Beaten Path” series, (http://www.cigarinspector.com/off-the-beaten-path/off-the-beaten-path-black-patch-cigar-company) I really wanted to find some companies that grow their tobacco right here on US soil. Honestly, that’s a really hard task. The growing of tobacco for boutique cigars is simply dominated by Nicaragua, Cuba, DR, Honduras, Brazil, etc… To find tobacco grown in Kentucky is not rare, as quite a bit of it is used for cigarette production. But, to find Kentucky tobacco that is grown to the meticulous standards demanded by boutique cigar smokers today, that’s a different story.Black Patch Cigar Company accomplishes just that.
Black Patch Select Perfecto Rating: 9.1 / 10
Unique is certainly a term that can be used for the Black Patch Select Blend. A Java shade grown wrapper, and a Dominican Olor binder, hold a volatile mix of Kentucky grown ligero. Mildly earthy, and slightly sweet aromas, radiate from this well rolled figurado, leaving a ligero induced zing on the lips during the pre-light draw. When I lit this magnificent little piece of art, I was immediately greeted with a blast of stone ground mustard. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for more than an inch, but I found it to be quite pleasant and out of the norm. The ligero bites hard into the nose, and grips the gut with full force. Eventually, the smoke evolves into pleasant hints of toffee, rye bread, and some indescribable spice. I certainly enjoyed this completely foreign smoking experience.
Black Patch Classic Corona Rating: 8.7 / 10
The Classic blend is the more value oriented blend in the Black Patch line. This blend is predominantly Dominican, with some Kentucky Broadleaf blended in with the filler. The thick smoke brought flavors of campfire, black pepper, and un-sweet oatmeal and remained consistent throughout the smoke. I saved one, so I will get back to you fellow readers with my findings.
Black Patch Reserve Caldwell 9.4 / 10
On to my personal favorite out of the bunch. The Reserve blend is the only blend in the line that features a Kentucky wrapper. Tooth and copious amounts of oil adorn the beautiful Maduro Kentucky Broadleaf leaf. This stick is simply stunning. A pleasantly familiar sweet and spicy bourbon aroma graces the nostrils, and produces a euphoric anticipation to fire it up. Elegantly smooth gobs of smoke bring hints of coffee, bourbon, and an interesting oak cask spice. This finger burner never gets bitter, and never gets boring.
Black Patch Select DBL Corona 9.2 / 10
Unlike the Select Perfecto, this stick was very toothy and oily, and almost appeared to be a Maduro or Sumatra. Balanced aromas radiate notes of sweet wood, and invite you to enjoy something special. The pre-light draw is airy with hints of bourbon, tea, and a slight citrus. It pairs extremely well with sweet tea, as this pairing has become a favorite of mine. As with the other Select blend, the smoke starts with a brief mustard flavor. The ash was weak, but never flaky. The smoke exudes nuances of bitter toffee, peat moss, nutmeg, toast, and earth. Towards the end, the smoke became quite bitter, but in a good way, as it wandered towards a slightly citrus flavor. This smoke is complex, almost to the point of confusing. Definitely a must try.
Black Patch Reserve Logan 8.9 / 10
Overall, Black Patch Cigar Company blew me away. If you like complex smokes, certainly look into investing in at least a sampler. They are so easy to order, and they arrive so quickly, that you really have no reason not to.
Black Patch Kenbano Robusto
This is the second of the Black Patch Cigars that I’m reviewing. The significant thing about these cigars is they use tobacco from the Black Patch region of Kentucky. It is shipped to the Dominican Republic to be blended with Dominican tobacco to produce these cigars. This particular version is comprised of:
Wrapper: Dominican Havana Vuelta Abajo
Binder: Dominican Criollo ’98
Filler: USA/Kentucky Kenbano 2007, Dominican Piloto Cubano ligero, Dominican Criollo ’98 Bonao
Kentucky’s Black Patch Cigar: An American Surprise
Several months ago I got an email about Black Patch Cigars, that included some tobacco grown in the USA. I am not talking about Connecticut seed wrapper, I am talking about actual “Kentucky Broadleaf ligero.”
I was quick to show interest in this cigar because to my knowledge I have never seen or tried this type of tobacco. Eric, the marketer, distributor and perhaps inventor of this cigar, was kind enough to send me a handful of cigars that I received when I was States-side… importing cigars to Costa Rica is a painstaking and expensive process.
The actual cigars looked good. Simple construction, attractive wrappers, and a clean smell when unlit. I smoked a couple after my return, and I was immediately impressed. It is not that they are the best cigars that I have ever smoked, maybe not top 10… remember I smoke A LOT of cigars… but this cigar was a total surprise and a real treat.
There are two things I despise about most non-Cuban cigars 1) a damp grassy flavor, and 2) an aftertaste; Black Patch Cigars have neither of these. They were really clean.
I reviewed a Classic Toro. It was an easy smoke. A great draw, clean taste and a very even burn. All of the cigars including the Toro has a special tang that is accounted for in the True Cigars Puff Chart as spice. Some of the other noticeable flavors that I noticed were wood and peat.
The ash was light and flaky- maybe even weak, however I kept a good inch on the cigar after I lit it and I did not lose it. It’s simple construction gave it this characteristic that reminded me of cigars I smoked rolled in super-small productions.
This is a cigar than any proud North American should try. As I always say, tobacco is something distinctly American (in terms of it coming from the New World), but to have a cigar with some North American leaves in it’s blend, it is even a more unique experience…it is good- and it is ours.
Just slightly less then a medium smoke, it was easy on the lungs. I did not experience any discomfort inhaling the normal bit I take in. Again, this is not characteristic for many non-Cuban cigars that try to compensate a lack of aroma with added strength. The aroma was light, but not pungent.
Black Patch Select: Belicoso
An enjoyable smoke despite fast, hot burn, enjoyable qualities.
87 very good
A good cigar that started harsh but finished well. This is a cigar I would recommend and purchase again.
90 very good
I would keep a couple of these in the humidor to pass out at parties. I’d buy again.
90 very good
Kentucky is More Than Bourbon
The Black Patch Kentucky Broadleaf has a lot in common with its blood brother
Kentucky bourbon: The broadleaf is cured in an oak barn, the bourbon is aged in oak barrels. The com used in the bourbon and tobacco used in the cigar are both grown in the same rich Kentucky soils. And the culture of Kentucky has a deep love of both tobacco and fine bourbon.
I sat on my back patio last night and poured myself a dollop of Elijah Craig 12-Year Bourbon and fired up a Black Patch Reserve Amos (a 5.0 x 54 Belicoso). What a match! The bourbon and the cigar were rich and sweet and ripe as Mississippi mud. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve always had a burning desire to travel the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail;” witnessing a little bit of history and sipping a bourbon or three, as I go. And, if I have the great pleasure of traveling to Kentucky, I will sample both its bourbon and its cigars under a
bright southern moon. At the same time, I will confess along with Abraham
Lincoln, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky. Kentucky
Bourbon and Kentucky Broadleaf, that is.
Black Patch Cigars Review
Doc Stogie had a great interview on this company a little while back. Being a KY resident, I decided I needed to try them out and see if I could support a “local”. We went to Lexington this past week, and my wife’s uncle took me to a B&M called Shwab’s, where I found this elusive brand (along with some other goodies; they have a great selection). I picked up a few Reserves and a Select.
The Reserve is the top dog in this brand. This stick was the “Amos”, a torpedo. The tip clipped well, no pieces of loose material. It lit easily and had a very good draw. The wrapper on the Reserve is Kentucky broadleaf, grown on the company’s Kentucky farm. It is a maduro wrapper, though a bit lighter than some maduros. It looked pretty good, and overall construction was good. Lots of smoke from this stick, and it burned well, even though we were out in the wind. I would say the flavor and strength are overall medium. This stick has VERY good flavor. I don’t know about oak or caramel overtones (never smoked either), but the stick has very good flavor. I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit.
The Select is the next step down in the brand’s lines. This stick was a perfecto at 5″ x 54 in size. The tip clipped well, no pieces of loose material. It lit easily and had a very good draw. The wrapper on the cigar is a Java shade leaf, and it has Kentucky Broadleaf ligero in the filler. This stick also looked good, and was well constructed. I like perfectos, and this cigar was a good version of that shape. This cigar also had lots of good smoke and it burned well. Good, firm ash. The flavor was more medium-mild, and it reminded me of the Oliva Series G Special G in the camaroon wrapper. This was also a very good cigar, and I enjoyed it.
I liked both of these, and was glad to find a Kentucky grown (at least in part) cigar give a good accounting. I’d rate both cigars at least an 8 to 8.5, based on construction, draw, ash, burn, and flavor. Like I said, the price is a little higher than I thought it should be, but I’ll buy more. I highly recommend these to all of you; the Kentucky-grown leaf is not a gimmick, it’s well done.
Review: Black Patch Classic Robusto
I lit the cigar at 1:40 and settled back in the overstuffed chair. The cigar burned great from start to finish and produced generous amounts of white smoke. The ash was nearly white, very slightly flaky and tended to be a little soft but never messy. I wasn’t able to decide whether to call this one mild or medium until the end.
The flavors on this cigar were subtle and never overpowering. It’s a cigar that doesn’t smack you in the face with flavor or spice; it makes you pay attention to pick up the hints of flavors. The strongest flavors were a slight earthiness and a taste that I closely associate with the smell of a tobacco barn after it’s been filled with hanging tobacco plants – slightly sweet and very nice. All the other flavors came and went as they wished, never mixing with one another and leaving me wondering what I’d find on the next draw. I picked up hints of walnuts, straw, spice and what I can only describe as similar to the smell of the plants in a vegetable garden (not the vegetables, the plants).
I was able to nose-exhale about half the smoke on each draw before the sensation became too strong. Doing that really helped me pick up on flavors I would have missed otherwise.
I really enjoyed this cigar and found myself anticipating the next flavor to come along. I stopped smoking with a little over an inch left and would have preferred a longer vitola so it wouldn’t have to end so soon. 🙂
I’ll certainly be picking up more of these next time I find myself near Lexington, KY.
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