1502 Ruby – Guest Cigar Review
Well folks, Jeremy is back at it again providing us with another great guest review! Be on the lookout for this guy, he may just fall into more of a permanent spot here at Casas Fumando!
Today, I will be taking a look at the 1502 Ruby. The 1502 brand derives it names from the year Christopher Columbus “discovered” Nicaragua and the cigars are produced by Global PremiumCigars noted by the “GPC” on the back of the band. Since I don’t know much about Global Premium Cigars, and the 1502 brand, I decided to do a little research (is the word research now interchangeable with googling?). GPC’s site has this to say:
“Global Premium Cigars is a tobacco company Proudly Nicaraguan, which owns the most renown and prestigious brand 1502. Truly a Nicaraguan treasure.
In our Premium brand 1502, you will find three tobacco lines with the highest quality, where the sowing process, harvest, curing, aging and selection of each tobacco leaf is our major concern. It takes more than five years from the time of its sowing until the time you can enjoy one of our fine cigars; this is why patience is one of our greatest virtues in the art of tobacco production.
In our brand 1502, you will find three lines totally different from each other, being 1502 Emerald the “Fina Fuerte” (Fine Strong), 1502 Ruby of medium strength and 1502 Black Gold with strongest character. Three spectacular bindings that exclaim the Nicaraguan flavor, which will delight at all times and will make an unforgettable experience.”
On September 24, 2012 it was announced that Emilio Cigars would be handling the distribution of 1502 Cigars. Emilio Cigars has not only made a footprint in the cigar industry by the excellent cigars they have put on the market but also through the distribution of several boutique brands. Emilio Cigars manages the distribution for Ezra Zion (Tony’s review here), Epicurean, Rodrigo, Herederos de Robaina, and Guayacan. Gary Griffith, owner of Emilio Cigars, has such a passion for the industry that bleeds through in all he does. Here is quote from Gary in a recent press release:
“I am fully dedicated to the mission of bringing an array of quality boutique cigars to a broader market, whether under the Emilio Cigars mark, or the mark of other equally dedicated and passionate manufacturers.”
Price: Samples provided by Emilio Cigars
Format: Box Pressed Torpedo
Size: 6 by 50
Smoke Time: Approx. 1 hour and 25 minutes
As I do my pre-light inspection, I notice a few prevalent and minor veins running the throughout the cigar. However, I have never been one to worry about the impact of veins on the overall smoking experience The Ruby sports a maroon band, with the trim, the words “1502” and “Ruby”, and center emblem all in gold. The emblem is similar to the Crusaders’ cross. The wrapper has minimal oils and is velvety to the touch. When squeezed, the cigar feels somewhat spongy. The wrapper hangs over the foot of the cigar, but not as drastic as other shaggy foot (I feel like I should use the word “feet” instead) cigars. The wrapper is mostly uniform in color with slight imperfections and water spots letting me know this cigar has not been artificially colored. The foot appears under filled. As I bring the cigar to my nose, I note sweet earth and barnyard on the wrapper, while the foot reveals a bourbon like sweetness. The head clips easily as I prepare to light up the cigar.
I am loving the free draw and amount of smoke that fills my mouth which each small puff. Pepper and spice are in the forefront. Beautiful dark, heavy flavors of espresso and earth are in the flavor make up, and a peppery sting is on the retrohale. The spice lingers in the back of my throat for a good amount of time. The burn line is quite wavy but I’m going to wait it out and see if it will correct itself before doing any touchups. The ash is extremely flaky but holding on as I smoke in a cool afternoon breeze. I don’t think I would like to smoke this through one of El Paso’s windstorms but I really don’t ever feel like smoking in windstorms unless I am settled in at the local lounge. As expected, the 1502 Ruby has begun to tunnel but it has not taken away from the flavor department. Flavors are very much full, with strength on the low side of medium.
After a minor touch up, I am into the second third of the 1502 Ruby. Spice in the back of the throat resides, or maybe I am just numb to the burn, but the pepper holds strong. The earth notes become much more prevalent, while a toasty, nuttiness hits the edge of the palette. I am starting to hope for a little sweetness to balance out the profile. The draw and the amount of smoke this cigar is producing is just awesome. The flavors are still delivering at the same level, while the strength has crept up. The strength has been picking up since the start of the 1502 Ruby. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. On the first sample I smoked, the cigar became extremely spongy about 1.5 to 2 inches from the burn line but the smoke never became too hot to enjoy. That issue was not encountered on this cigar.
The flavors remain consistent with the first and second third but the Ruby is now leaving a bite on the tongue. The smoke is also drying out my mouth in the same fashion a walnut does. A small sip of water and my palette quickly restores itself. Some cocoa notes enter into the mix but fade just as quick as they arrive. I would have loved for the cocoa to stick around a little longer. The strength did move up to the high-end of medium, and the burn remained wavy till the very end.
The draw and the copious amount of smoke the 1502 Ruby produced was exceptional. While I did come across a few construction issues, none them took away from the overall smoking experience. The same construction issues (burn, sponginess and tunneling) were encountered in both samples. The flavors were rather consistent in its entirety with only a view variations. I found myself craving more complexity, and, at the least, some sweetness in the profile. Also, I paired this cigar with water. A drink that provides some sweetness would be a nice compliment to this profile, such as a big Red Zinfadel. A local winery has an excellent Red Zin that I could see fitting this cigar perfectly. I know I will be revisiting this cigar and try pairing it with the 2010 “Rising Star” Red Zinfandel from Zin Valle Vineyards which is located just outside of El Paso. If you stumble across the 1502 Ruby or can find them online, grab a couple and give it a whirl.