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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Jas Sum Kral !@#%$ the FDA Pre-Release
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Rob S. (sar127)
84
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to a Geek Critique of a cigar generously provided to us by our friends at Jas Sum Kral.  https://jassumkral.com/  After a bit of teasing, the company says that it will sell a new line of cigars called “!@#%$ (or F) the FDA” at the upcoming Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) 2020. Since this cigar is a pre-release, Riste Ristevski, the company’s owner, declined to answer questions about further details surrounding the cigar, instead he replied with a band that displayed the brand’s name along with a background comprised of middle fingers.  Special thanks goes out to Riste for providing the sticks and bstessl (Brian) for coordinating this!

Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
52
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Full
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with Basil Hayden

Pre-Light: 6 Points of 10 Possible

As much as I hate to start a review this way, this cigar was definitely an ugly duckling as far as physical appearance is concerned. Especially being a pre-release that had no band to help dress it up, all you're left with is a dry looking rough wrapper with no shine or luster to speak of. The cigar also stood out for being extremely lightweight for its size (which bears no particular significance rating-wise for me) but reminded me of a Padron in that sense. It otherwise looked and felt properly filled, wrapped, and capped. The wrapper was lightly toothy, fairly veiny, on the lighter side of maduro, and overall very unassuming in its appearance. While the cigar definitely did not feel hard, it also wasn't extremely soft, just delicate to the touch if that means anything. It also cut cleanly using a straight cutter but a strip of tobacco from the cap did unravel slightly and had to be discarded.

Light & Burn: 14 Points of 15 Possible

Here is where the cigar gains some ground. Clearly the sample was properly humidified and well maintained by our host as it lit evenly and easily using a single torch lighter in a normal outdoor setting with minimal wind. Now here is the best part, the burn was impeccable! I'm not the type who is easily bothered by an uneven burn (unless is affects the draw) but I also know how to appreciate a well built and solidly burning cigar. Especially the way this particular cigar burned, which was as close to perfect as you can expect from a cigar! The ash held extremely well and was a solid cylinder with no tunnels, canoes, or splits. It burned evenly for the entirety of the smoke and held a beautiful crisp white ash, which I've heard is indicative of high nitrogen content in the soil, or essentially a well nutritioned plant. Smoke volume was probably average, but being outdoors made it difficult to properly gauge. While I'm generally a faster than average smoker, the cigar burned slowly and did not cone or get excessively hot at any point.

Construction: 29 Points of 30 Possible

In line with the great burn, the draw was equally fantastic. While not as wide open as a Padron, it was extremely easy to draw without burning too hot. Just right for my taste for sure. A sliver of the cap did unravel which is unfortunate but not crippling to the experience, as the construction overall was flawless in every other way leading to the excellent draw and burn I mentioned previously.

Flavor: 35 Points of 45 Possible

This cigar is in my opinion more complex than most, so bear with me as I try to explain. The nicotine strength plays right in my ballpark of medium to medium-full. It starts out as a very approachable medium and finishes just a hair above medium, unlike most maduros from my experience which finish stronger. To body on the other hand starts as a solid medium and definitely ends in the medium-full to full range as most complex Nicaraguans often tend to. While there is some smoothness here, it resembles more closely to the commonly chalky Padron smoke than a mild Connecticut for me. There is a very slight tinge of harshness to the smoke and you feel it in the back of your throat. It's probably no more so than with any normal maduro, but since the flavor is more delicate and not as overwhelming, it's likely more noticeable. The flavor is where it gets truly intriguing for me. It's foundation is the signature JSK flavor which is extremely hard for me to put into words unfortunately. It's some unique combination of campfire smoke, wood, leather, and spice that's present in all his cigars IMO. What makes this one blend stand out for me is perhaps the quality or age of the tobacco? I find it to be more refined, balanced, and interesting that the rest of his current portfolio. Unfortunately that nice flavor does not linger for long enough and you're left with a dry, coarse mouthfeel between puffs, which starts to affect the overall enjoyment to some degree.

Summary

In summary, it was an extremely interesting experience and one that I'm eager to repeat for sure. I think to properly gauge a review, it important to understand the reviewers palate so let me explain that for a moment. I'm a JSK fan mostly because of the man behind the brand first. Second, I'm generally a medium to full smoker but my favorite JSK was the Zlatno Sonce Connecticut. And finally, I enjoy seeking out that unique JSK flavor profile from time to time but I've always hoped for a more refined expression. While this is easily my 2nd favorite JSK cigar, it's not quite that ultimate JSK experience I've been waiting for, but definitely something to keep me company in the meantime.



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