Ventura Cigar Company Archetype Axis Mundi
Yeah, we’re in the 100’s here already. But that’s not stopping me from finding myself out back with a Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi and a Prairie Artisan Ales 2017 Birthday Bomb.
The Good Stuff:
The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi is the second installment in the Chapter two series which is created at the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Just like the Archetype Initiation I reviewed a few weeks ago, The Axis Mundi first made an appearance at this year’s IPCPR show in Las Vegas. The blend consists of an Ecuadorian Habano Maduro wrapper, Indonesian Sumatran binder, and Nicaraguan Habano filler. The cigar is offered in four sizes: Corona (5 x 46), Robusto (5 x 54), Toro (6 x 52), and the Churchill (7 x 48). They all come packaged in boxes of 20 and run between $10.49 and $12.99 a stick. Big thanks goes out to the Ventura team for sending a few samples our way.
Size: 5 x 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder: Indonesian Sumatran
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Pairing: Prairie Artisan Ales 2017 Birthday Bomb (Imperial Stout 13% ABV)
The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi starts out with a very, very dark brown wrapper which is incredibly consistent in color with the exception of some lighter brown spottage around the cap of the cigar. The texture on the wrapper is extremely gritty and toothy with some subtle oil. The wrapper feels extremely dense and hard as the cigar as a while is packed tightly and firm to the touch. The sender body showcases perfect construction as the wrapper is seamlessly laid over itself leading up to the cigar’s double wrapped cap. The cigar is then polished off with a similar band as there rest of the Archetype series with black and purple ink and a gold tree embossed in the front. The Axis Mundi, like all the Archetype series carries a secondary foot band which happens to be a dark maroon in color.
The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi’s wrapper gives off some deep oak and natural tobacco aromas while the foot of the cigar carries spice, sweetness, and cedar scents. The cigar cut clean and easily using my double bladed Palio Cutter. The cold draw produces a really malty, oaty, grainy mixture of flavors with some pretty dominant raisin and spice.
The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi starts off with a massive cayenne pepper blast that keeps my tongue and lips tingling for quite some time. Once the pepper fades I am greeted with notes of oak, spice, sweetness, raisin and black licorice, with some nice vanilla and chocolate notes. The draw is perfect! Each little puff kicks out just the right amount of thick white smoke which dissipates quite quickly while the cigar gives off a good amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is flawless, and razor thin leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of bright white and gray ash which held on for a little under an inch before giving way.
Into the second third of The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi and the flavors have tamed a bit, but are still well in the “Full Bodied” arena. The cigar leads with pepper and oak along with some bold sweetness, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, raisin, and musk. The retrohale reminds me just how much pepper this cigar packs and I don’t find myself doing it too often. The burn line is still rockin’ perfect, and dead even while I close out the second third with a decent amount of nicotine.
As I get into the final third of the Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi the strength really starts to ramp up well into the full arena. Wow. Its a bit of a kicker. Along with that the flavors are now well into full as well. Leading with musk, oak, cocoa, and spice backed by sweetness, coffee, and raisin. The flavor profile here is complex, yet not overdone. I never once had to reach for my torch to touch up or relight the cigar. The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi burned extremely slow taking over 2 hours to take down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, nor extra heat but the cigar did hit me with a strong nicotine kick.
Again, Ventura Cigar Company isn’t one of the most well known names out there, but their cigars are seldom a let down. They work with some of the biggest cigar names out there to produce top-notch sticks and the Archetype Axis Mundi is another fantastic creation. The cigar is complex, bold, full-strength, and powerful. Probably not a good choice for novice cigars smokers but those seasoned cigar smokers who love big, bold sticks like me would really enjoy this one. The price point is a bit steep, but thats what happens when boutique cigars work with big name manufacturers, and it’s a price I wouldn’t mind paying.
Each year Prairie Artisan Ales releases a birthday version of their Bomb! series entitled “Birthday Bomb”. Coming in a whopping 13% ABV this beer is loaded with coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla, and Chile peppers. The birthday bomb leads with heavy vanilla, cocoa, loads of spice, lots of booze, and some soft caramel with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing heavy with even more booze, vanilla, cocoa, coconut, coffee and black licorice. This beer is an incredible pairing with just about any bold, maduro cigar as it shares so many common interests. In the case of The Ventura Cigar Archetype Axis Mundi the black licorice and spice really stand out as matches along with the cocoa and vanilla.