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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Black Label Trading Company Leaf by James
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Brad (Vroomp)
53
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member Cfickter (Chuck).  The cigar provided for this round is the Black Label Trading Company Leaf by James.

A top-notch collaboration between Black Label Trading Co.’s James Brown and Jim “Island Jim” Robinson, Leaf by James cigars are sure to please new and veteran cigar connoisseurs alike. These cigars, available in Toro, are packed to the brim with an abundance of mouthwatering flavors such as oak, espresso, dark chocolate, and black pepper. These delectable vitolas are made with only the best tobacco, as they are wrapped in a beautiful Pennsylvanian broadleaf, bound with Ecuadorian Habano, and filled with premium Nicaraguan tobacco. In addition to their complex flavor profile and wonderful construction, these cigars have an incredibly smooth draw and even burn. Be sure to add some top-of-the-line Leaf by James cigars to your humidor for a smoking experience you will be sure to return to.


Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
50
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Ecuador
Habano
Wrapper:
Pennsylvania
United States
Color:
Naturale
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with V-8 Splash Tropical Blend

Pre-Light: 18 Points of 20 Possible

This cigar has a light sheen to the wrapper, but I wouldn't say oily. The seams are tight and the canon is extremely hard. My cigar had four caps applied. A single v-cut did not produce much draw so I gave it the ol' beaver chomp cutting both directions. Still, the cold draw was quite restricted, but I detected notes of chocolate, leather, and a nice barn-like flavor. Upon lighting I was disappointed in smoke output as well as a very tight draw requiring me to use a draw poker. ( I tried a toothpick first to no avail) The draw poker only gave a little more smoke, but the draw was still heavily restricted.

Light & Burn: 10 Points of 15 Possible

Smoke volume was pitiful to say the least and the cigar went out three times in the first third. I tried to loosen the draw again and even rolled it in my fingers in an attempt to loosen the draw, but no luck~! The ash was light grey and held well even with all my attempts to loosen the draw up. It finally fell off at 1 inch.

Construction: 10 Points of 30 Possible

Puffing away every 20 seconds to keep the stick lit in an attempt to get a decent mouthful of smoke was quite a chore and not much pleasure. The wrapper began to loosen about an inch from the burn line, but wasn't leaking(since I still couldn't get much smoke, let alone any air) Over all this cigar was just rolled too dang tight and obviously never hit the draw tester~!

Flavor: 15 Points of 35 Possible

The cigar was definitely in the medium full to full range from what I could get out of it and I could tell the flavors were right up my alley with Leather, Chocolate, light pepper,(especially on the retrohale) and a sweet cedar that came and went. The finish was a bit dry and left a light cedar flavor in my mouth. I couldn't bear to finish the stick so no points for complexity or transitions.......

Summary

I am sure this was just one crappy stick out of hundreds I was unlucky enough to receive. I have enjoyed many of James' other blends and like his work usually, but this cigar was a loser and I was unable to give a serious review due to the fact I put it down and gave up after only an inch and a half........Really disappointing~!



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