Black Label Trading Co Araposa Negra Fox Cigar Exclusive
I took a few weeks off to enjoy my birthday, and recoup some of my mental health here as I had some really taxing work weeks. Back in the seat I bring you my review of the Black Label Trading Co.’s Araposa Negra, a Fox Cigar exclusive paired with a bottle of Perennial Artisan Ale’s Black is Beautiful blended imperial stout.
The Good Stuff:
Last week I got a surprise package from my favorite Cigar people in Fox Cigar in Arizona. We’ve worked with Fox for about 8 years now, covering events, checking out their exclusive releases, and just all around hanging out and having great times with the awesome people over there. Back to the package, which was an awesome new collaboration between Fox and one of our favorite manufacturers Black Label Trading Co. The Araposa Negra is a new, exclusive cigar that will only be available for purchase at Fox Cigar.
“Araposa is dark, rich and extremely well balanced. This cigar has bold flavors and just the right amount of spice on the retro hale. The flavors of black cherry, anise and bitter cocoa let you know this is a Black Label cigar. The Nicaraguan fillers are topped with an Ecuadorian Habano binder and wrapped in both Mexican San Andrés and Ecuador Corojo,” says James Brown, creator of BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
Created at the Fabrica Oveja Negra in Esteli, Nicaragua the Araposa will come in a single box-pressed 5 x 54 format. The blend features a dual, barber pole-style Mexican San Andres / Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over an Ecuadorian Habano binder and all Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. They will come packaged in soft packs of 10 and will only be available at Fox Cigar Bar starting THIS FRIDAY, September 24th and should run around $11 per cigar.
- Size: 5 x 54
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andres and Ecuadorian Corojo
- Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Full
- Strength: Medium
- Price: ~$11
- Pairing: Perennial Artisan Ales Black is Beautiful (Imperial Stout 12.5% ABV)
The Black Label Trading Co. Araposa Negra’s obvious standout characteristic is it’s stunning wrapper. The dark San Andres wrapper is laid seamlessly over the Ecuadorian Habano resulting in a gorgeous barber-pole looking cigar. the wrapper itself feels very thick and dense with some gritty tooth and a ton of thick oils coating the cigar. The cigar as a whole feels heavy and hard and I am a huge fan of the soft-box pressed format as its just so comfortable both in hand and mouth. The cigar carries only light veining as it leads up to it’s round, double-wrapped cap. The Araposa is then polished off with a beautiful black and white band with the expected fox wearing a great silver crown along with silver markings carrying the cigar’s name.
The wrapper on the Black Label Trading Co. Araposa Negra’s wrapper gives off a huge amount of cinnamon, spice, and cedar aromas while the foot of the cigar carries much of the same aroma only with a little more earthiness and natural tobacco. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw carries lots of black pepper, spice, cinnamon, cedar, and dark berry.
The Black Label Trading Co. Araposa Negra starts out with some great deep cedar, dark chocolate, brown sugar sweetness, black cherry and black coffee over light black pepper and an awesome musk that really sticks around on the aftertaste. Note: My tasting notes are very similar to the tasting notes posted by the James Brown above. This was not intentional. I actually wrote this review before adding the notes above. Just got lucky on my tasting notes 🙂 . The draw on the Araposa is flawless as every little puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick white smoke which really hangs around for a while before dissipating while the cigar itself releases only a minor amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a compacted trail of white and light-gray ash which held on for almost an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the The Black Label Trading Co. Araposa Negra and the flavors are just pouring in. The dark chocolate, cedar and black cherry still lead the charge backed by black coffee, spice, musk, and brown sugar. There are also these great floral notes that seem to come and go. While the pepper is completely gone from the experience, the retrohale brings it right back out while intensifying the spice at the same time. The burn is still flawless, and draw is brilliant. I close out the second third with nothing in terms of nicotine.
Not a lot has changed between the second and third portions of this Black Label Trading Co. Araposa and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The complex flavor profile is still weighted heavily on the dark chocolate, cedar, and black cherry over brown sugar, spice and coffee. It took me about and hour and a half to take this cigar down to the nub and I didn’t want it to end. I experienced no harshness nor any extended heat and I finished the cigar out with only a very minor nicotine kick. I always love when I lear through an entire full-bodied cigar and it still finishes in the medium-strength arena.
All bias aside, this is easily one of the best cigars I smoked all year. The Araposa’s flavor profile was incredible and easily kept my palate happy and busy with it’s complexity. The construction was flawless, and gets extra points for the soft-box press format. I’m really stoked to see such a great collaboration between two great parties. Again, this will go on sale THIS FRIDAY, September 24th at Fox Cigar and will sell out extremely fast. Make sure you get them while you can.
Brewed at the Perennial Artisan Ales brewery in Missouri, Black is Beautiful is a blend of 20% barrel-aged imperial stout and 80% fresh imperial stout. Comprised of a couple 23 month old Knob Creek Single Barrel Series and a couple 19 month old Rittenhouse Rye barrels, then blended with our base stout. Coming in at 12.5% ABV the beer leads with dark chocolate, sticky toffee and molasses, sweet cinnamon and spice along with a nice light malty body with a very heavy and sticky mouthfeel before finishing even sweeter and smoother with more chocolate, vanilla, and toffee over some very light barrel character. This beer is dangerously smooth with a great sweetness that showcases the beer’s great adjunct-free base stout. The cinnamon, chocolate, and sweetness went beautiful with the Araposa while the cigar itself added some great spice to the pairing.