Est. 1844 Amerada No. 50-extra
This week’s review is one that I haven’t heard a whole lot of buzz about. It’s the est. 1844.
A batch of these cigars were actually sent to me by one of you, our readers! If you are familiar with out comments section you’d see the name “JJO” popping up a lot more lately. Jeff has been one of our most constant readers and reached out to me to get my thoughts on this cigar. If any of you ever want me or Daniel to take a look at a certain cigar, all you have to do is ask! Now, if you like this review give a quick thank you to JJO for providing them, and make fun of Daniel for something. You know how we do. Anyways, thanks again Jeff, now onto the show!
The Good Stuff: Est. 1844 has been popping up a lot in a few of my mail order catalogs. Cigar.com and Cigarsinternational.com to be exact. And the only other site I have ever seen them on is cigarbid so I think it’s safe to assume that these are another exclusive cigar, but I could be wrong. Another more confirmed rumor is these are actually blended by the master-blender AJ Fernandez. If that is in fact the case, then I wouldn’t doubt these would be exclusive to the above sites. I was able to track down some information on forums saying AJ did in fact blend this cigar, but I wasn’t able to confirm that on either of the above sites. The blend starts out with a San Andreas Maduro Mexican wrapper. This is another tobacco that AJ is familiar with which further solidifies that he just might be the mastermind behind this blend. The Binder and Filler are both Nicaraguan puro. One thing that I do know for sure is that if you’re lucky and you catch these cigars on sale you can actually snag them for less than $4 a stick.
Size: Amerada No. 50-extra (6″ x 50) – Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Medium
Prelight: I can’t remember the last time I smoked a figured. Flying pig maybe? I’m not sure, but I do know that figurados aren’t something I smoke regular. Not that I don’t like them, they just aren’t made in most blends. But that didn’t stop the est. 1844 from making them. In fact, every cigar in the line is some sort of figurado. Outside of the obvious obllonged shape, the est. 1844 starts with a very old. Rustic, almost wet-muddy-maduro looking wrapper. The wrapper is very spotty, with medium and dark brown colors doing most of the work. There are a view larger veins, but in this case they almost add to the character of the cigar. The wrapper pairs wonderfully with the interesting map-like/ancient designed band that spans around the cigar simply stating “est.” in light bright and “1844” in a dark read on top of a tan, gold and light brown print. I actually really like this band. It’s a departure from the everyday band design. The cigar starts with a small foot which immediately blows into a full ring width before tapering off to a very pointy cap near the head of the cigar. The wrapper is very tooth and has a really rough/dry feel to it. The 1844 is very, very firm as it’s tough for me to get any play when I squeeze it. No soft spots at all.
The wrapper has a very sweet chocolate smell to it. It almost smells like brown sure, or chocolate chip cookies while the foot just explodes with spice and tobacco. This may make for a very interesting mix-up. The cold draw produces just a nice, smooth tobacco flavor. I was expecting to really taste the sweetness from the wrapper, but it didn’t shine thought to the cold draw. Hopefully I pick up a bit more of it in the actual experience.
First Smoke: The est. 1844 starts off with a really nice pepper flavor. Just enough to really tease my tongue and the back of my throat. Under the pepper is some real soft spice, lots of upfront tobacco, a little chocolate, and just a bunch of really earthy, natural flavors. The draw is really easy and pumps out a ton of smoke, but one thing I might mention is the thickness of the smoke isn’t something I’m used to. It’s actually very light and dissipates almost instantly when it hits the air. Kinda strange, but nothing off-putting. I just thought I’d mention it. The burnline is surprisingly even for a perfecto, producing a nice, solid white and light grey ash that held on for a little under an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: Into the second third of this est. 1844 and I am enjoying the flavors so far. The wrapper really brings in some distinct sweet, chocolate flavors into this portion of the cigar while maintaining a traditional profile with woodsy, natural tobacco, and earthy flavors. The retrohale is very smooth, coating with a very nice chocolate spice prime. The burnline is still dead even and the ash is holding up particularly well considering how windy it’s gotten over the last 20 minutes or so. I am not feeling any nicotine at all from this cigar. It’s medium at best, but not mild in flavor.
Finish: Going into the final third of this cigar I was surprised to catch a bit of harshness so early on. It wasn’t really strong, but it was there. Looking through that the flavors have remained the same, but dulled out quite a bit. The est. 1844 has now became a more woodsy, natural tobacco taste with some harshness and just a bit of sweetness on the aftertaste. The burnline has remained dead even the entire times and I am surprised how well the ash held together on the cigar despite the increasing winds outside. I wish I could say the same for my ashtray though, I fear there wont be any ash left to lay my band in for my final photo.
Overview: This is a good solid smoke for the money. Towards the end of the experience the est. 1844 started to fall pretty flat, but was very tasty up until that point. I’d love to try one of these in a smaller size, but wouldn’t really reach for the larger ones. Considering the price point these are good sticks to keep around. They are mild enough to smoke in the morning with coffee, but have just enough flavor to enjoy after dinner as well. Ideal for novice smokers, but the more seasoned bunch may crave just a little bit more from a cigar.
Pairing: I decided to pair this 1844 with a VERY strong ale. This usually isn’t a good recommendation as the beer can easily overpower the cigar, but in this case the cigar’s flavors really stood it’s ground and made for a delightful pairing. Stone brewing (home of Arrogant Bastard) is known for its EXTREMELY strong and bitter beers. They aren’t for everyone, and are proud of that. The beer I paired with today is called “Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale”. Dark in color this 8.7% ABV beast isn’t for the faint of heart. Don’t let the dark color fool you. This ale is very bitter, very hoppy, and balances out with some oaky, malty flavors. I really enjoy Stone’s beers, but again, be careful. They are an acquired taste. I think the est. 1844 is the perfect cigar for iced tea, which I paired one with not too long ago. This cigar would also go great with coffee and any brown soda.