K. A. Kendall’s 7-20-4
FINALLY I am getting to a very long overdue review of K. A. Kendall’s 7-20-4.
This was a cigar that I have had quite a while ago and had high hopes of kicking out a review. Sadly, this cigar wasn’t easy to come by at the time. Only a select few shops through the US had them in stock and I had no idea which ones did. Luckily for me, my local shop Tobacco Rd. (where I happen to be doing this review from today) made the trip to IPCPR this year and was able to try this cigar out for themselves. It takes a lot for a retailer to bring in a completely new cigar manufacturer due to the uncertainty of how that shops feelings will adapt to the new cigar. Kurt Kendall must have made an impact on them as the shop’s owner wasted no time placing an order. Knowing my excitement concerning this blend Tobacco Rd. kindly gifted me a few of these so that I could finally complete this review.
The Good Stuff: K. A. Kendall is the creation of Kurt Kendall and the 7-20-4 is loosely based off of a cigar manufactured In New Hampshire in 1910 called the R.G. Sullivan.
The name 7-20-4 derives from the R. G. Sullivan’s 7 story factory which was located on 724 Elm St. in Manchester, New Hampshire. The R.G. Sullivan factory was America’s largest manufacturer of 10cent cigars. Time’s have obviously changed since then. Sadly, the cigar factory (which produced close to 54 million cigars a year) closed back in 1963.
Size: “7-20-4”: 5 5/8 x 46 – Wrapper: Brazillian Mata Fina – Binder/Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Columbia – Body: Med/Full
Prelight: K.A. Kendall’s 7-20-4 is a beautifully solid, milk chocolate brown wrapped cigar. The wrapper is a toothy, oily, consistently colored, thick wrap that showed only very few small veins. The cigar is very tightly packed, giving a ton of resistance when compressed. Topping off the 7-20-4 is a seamless double cap leading up to a stubby little pig tail. The band on the cigar displays a much older, contemporary style of artwork than is present in most cigar marketing. It’s almost circus style, I love it. The band is covered with a red ink, embroidered with a gold metallic with holds the white on black “K.A.Kendall’s 7-20-4” logo. The wrapper doesn’t give off much more than a soft tobacco and cedar scent while the foot of the cigar produces a slightly more pronounced tobacco scent with a bit of spice in the background. The pig-tailed cap of the 7-20-4 clipped clean (does anyone actually bite these off? Do they work?) using my double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a very grassy, earthy flavor with just a hint of pepper.
First Smoke: The 7-20-4 took a bit of extra work to get going using my single flame butane torch, but when it finally got lit it was unstoppable. The cigar produces a massive, thick cloud of smoke with every effortless puff. The 7-20-4 started out with just a little jab of pepper before transitioning to a pleasant cedar with a soft spice and hints of some sort of sweet flavor.. maybe raisin. The burnline is dead even, razor sharp, and leaves behind a nice trail of medium to light grey ash. The 7-20-4 doesn’t produce much stationary smoke at all, but what little came off the cigar was heavily cedar and tobacco scented. The ash held tight on this guy until about an inch and a half.
Halfway There: Into the second third of this 7-20-4 the flavors change up just slightly. First of all, the pepper is back, but it is very subtle, only present enough to tease my lips and the back of my throat. The cedar flavor has become much more pronounced and is now dominating my palette only to be backed up by slight chocolate flavors with a hint of spice. The cigar is very smooth and I am able to smoke it a bit quicker than normal. The retrohale is pure heaven and gives off a wonderful full-cedar prime. I am not really feeling any type of nic-kick at this point. The burnline is still perfect.
Finish: As if the 7-20-4 didn’t already hit all the marks the cigar really started to dominate into the last third. The flavor and the body really started to ramp up. The nicotine was just enough to make it noticeable without giving any real kick. The flavor finished off a very smooth and creamy cedar with a bit of spice, pepper, and earthy tones. I smoked this cigar faster than I normally do (I was excited to see the on my local shops finally) and yet, there was absolutely no harshness what so ever. Nor did the cigar get even remotely hot towards the end. The burnline was perfect the entire length of the cigar with no touch ups or relights. The 7-20-4 burned at a perfect pace taking a little over an hour to take down.
Overview: K.A. Kendall’s 7-20-4 is a huge winner in my book. I was pretty sad after I tried my first one only to find how limited these are. I am really glad that shops like Tobacco road are starting to come around and see the value in this cigar. At about $6 – $7 this cigar will be a great addition to my regular rotation for a long time. Perfectly balanced, enough to even satisfy the most picky cigar smoker, and smooth enough to be enjoyable by the novice.
Pairing: This 7-20-4 was paired with a nice little bottle of Maredsous Tripel. Maredsous is brewed at the Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat in Belgium. Much like Chimay, this beer is brewed by Trappist Monks and a large portion of the proceeds are donated to several charities. The Tripel is a very strong (10%), fruity, tart beer. This may not have been such a great pairing. Ideally I think this cigar would pair much better with a stout or porter, or even a tawny port. The zest and bitterness was just a bit too over powering and I found myself putting the beer to the side early into the smoke.