Cigar Reviews

Blind Review – Devils Weed 515

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Image Courtesy of CigarsInternational.com

Here is another review coming from the Blind Tasting trade I participated in not long ago. If you haven’t participated in a trade like this, it can be a real eye-opener and a fun time. Try organizing one with some local friends, you’ll be surprised at what you think of a cigar when your pre-conceptions are thrown out the window. If you need more information on how to organize one just drop me an email, Twitter DM or a comment below.

Of all the cigars I tried during this Blind Tasting, this stick was by far the most surprising for me. The Devil’s Weed line is a very budget friendly blend produced by Molina Cigar Co., at as low $29.99, you can’t go wrong here. The number 515 is representative of the 515th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of tobacco. The company is located in Pensacola, Florida and headed by Luis Molina. Their website has an interesting page with a good description of the process of making a cigar from seed to final product. You can read more about the company the cigar by visiting their website: http://www.molinacigar.com

Part of the rules in the Blind Trade was to include two budget cigars. There was no indication of which were the budget cigars were. I thought this was a good way to discover a new budget buy. The cigar is made up of a blend on long-filler Cuban-seed tobacco grown in Dominican Republic and wrapped with dark Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf. As far as budget cigars go, this one is priced very well and seems to be quite popular. The name is catchy too!

Straight from it’s appearance, I was expecting a low end hand-rolled cigar. It appeared to me to possibly be a lower end Cuban for the longest time both on visual and flavors in the first half. But I won’t spoil the review here, read on and see what my thoughts were.

Cigar: Devils Weed ‘515’
Drink: Alexander Keiths Dark Ale
Vitola: Corona (5.6 x 43)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $1.50
Burn Time: 1 Hour

Construction:
• Medium brown wrapper with a bumpy texture to it
• No major veins to be seen
• Has a light oily sheen
• The wrapper resembles that of a hand-made cigar
• Soft and springy near the foot but much firmer near the band and cap
• Very clean triple cap
• Foot looks to be well packed and clean
• Cut was even and clean
• Draw is perfect, just enough resistance

Burn:
• Toasting was good around the edges but the center didn’t want to light up properly
• The burn in the center corrected itself after a couple draws
• The initial burn is nice and even all around
• A small crack formed near the foot after about a half inch, likely some damage from shipping. Hoping it doesn’t cause any issues
• Staying lit easily, no need for extra attention
• Burned through first crack easily but now a larger one formed just below the band
• Had to make a little correction as the wrapper was just not burning properly
• Kept having burn issues for the last half

Smoke & Ash:
• Lots of smoke in each draw from this smaller vitola
• Resting smoke is moderate and has a great cedar aroma to it
• Ash has started off nice and tight
• Ash is holding strong to almost 2 inches, very good for a cigar of this vitola

Tasting Notes:
• Wrapper smells like simple aromatic tobacco with a slight woodiness to it
• Foot smells mainly of cedar
• When the cigar touched my lips there was an instant peppery spice
• Pre-light draw is cedar and peppery spice
• Initial draws have a very nice cedar flavor but the pepper has mostly disappeared, jsut a mild spice in the background to keep it interesting
• Retrohale has a nice medium body to it with a small bite and a nice cedar finish
• Getting a nice toasted bread flavor here too just an inch in, really enjoying this so far
• Body has been mild-medium for the first half
• Getting some dryness as a pass the halfway point and the peppery notes are gone
• The latest crack is causing the wrapper not to burn properly so it’s turning a bit harsh, lets hope it recovers!
• Even though the burn improved after my correction the flavors never fully recovered, some bitterness stayed with the cigar till the end
• Body increased a little toward the end, maybe just touching upon medium-full in the last few draws
• The bite on the retrohale also increased towards the end but the bitterness ruined the previous smooth cedar finish

Final Thoughts:
This cigar started out really well with some very nice cedar notes followed by an interesting toasted bread flavor. The crack near the band was probably caused by the firmness in that section, likely a little too much filler. It caused the wrapper to split and stop burning which always causes some bitter and harshness in my experience. It was a good cigar overall barring the minor construction issues. I have mixed feelings here. I will definitely give these another try just to see if construction issues are always there. Hopefully they won’t all be like this and my thoughts are it would be a good smoke if it holds up well. I don’t know what cigar this is as I’m writing this but has anyone had one and what were their experiences?

Post-Reveal Notes:
This was my first Devil’s Weed and I was more or less pleasantly surprised. As I mentioned, construction was the problem in the last half but for $1.50 you can’t really go wrong. I’m definitely going to try a few more of these. If the construction holds these would be a great stick for the price.

Pairings:
I enjoy every brew that Alexander Keiths makes, IPA(Green), Red, White and Dark. They hail from Nova Scotia, Canada and are very popular across most of the country. The flavors on this Dark Ale are not overly complex, a very straight forward Dark Ale that has no bitterness and goes down very smooth. It has some hoppy flavors to it and a touch of dark coffee like flavors. Actually paired very well with this cigar. Other good suggestions for this one would be coffee, water or a nice IPA.




Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

7 Comments

  1. Dalamscius

    August 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Definitely a good everyday smoke. I think I’ll grab a couple boxes next time to have as a drive-home smoke or for my moochi-dor! haha

  2. Agent 86

    August 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Sounds like a good everyday smoke.

  3. Dalamscius

    August 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Hey Albert,

    I have your email there so maybe if a few other people here are interested I can get one set up. Even if it’s only 3 or 4 of us.

    So who else might be interested?

  4. Albert

    August 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Hey Daniel,
    I’m intrested in the blind tasting trade. How does that work, and how do I get one started?
    I’m always looking for a good cigar at a great price. This one sounds like a winner.

  5. TADD

    August 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I may be…. Hey D, great review. I always find these a great value. Once you get throught the first half inch or so they become great for what they are. I don’t mind if I have to throw it away, or get to nub it.

  6. Ed

    September 3, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Good review. Unfortunately, I believe the Devil’s Weed line is no longer produced. I also believe that Molina cigars does not exist anymore. You may be able to still purchase the Devil’s Weed from Cigar International at a very discounted rate.

    I would be interested in the blind review.

    -Ed

  7. Dalamscius

    September 3, 2010 at 8:18 am

    That’s some interesting info Ed. You got me curious so I started researching a bit more.
    I stumbled across their blog and came up with this link: http://molinacigar.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-year-and-new-customer.html

    Seems the last update was in April but as of February 2010 they were still optimistic that the company would continue production eventually. So no official word that they are completely gone, and if you read the link above they mention that CI’s description of them going under is false… but who knows, we’ll have to wait and see.

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