Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte
Squeezing this in before things get crazy for the holidays, I headed out back to enjoy a Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte and a Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.
The Good Stuff:
Earlier this year Black Label Trading Company released it’s newest addition to their cigar portfolio, the Santa Muerte. Santa Muerte was created to go alongside the Day of the Dead which is celebrated from the last day of October through the early week of November, the same timeframe that Black Label Trading Company used to release this cigar. During this time we celebrate those who we hold dear to our hearts and have lost. Created at the newly opened Fabrica de Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua which was opened up by the Black Label Trading Company’s brand owner James Brown, the Santa Muerte features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian Habano binder, and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, San Andres, Mexico, and Nicaragua. The cigar is released in only two sizes, the Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 48), and the Short Robusto (4 3/4 x 52) which are packaged in boxes of 20 running $10 a stick. Big shout out goes to my buddy Jason who passed a handful of these my way.
Size: 5 1/2 x 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic, San Andres, Nicaragua
Pairing: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout 2016 (13.4% ABV)
The Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte starts out with a beautifully consistent, medium brown wrapper. There is literally no discoloration located anywhere on this thing. The wrapper’s texture is silky smooth with a whole mess of oils. There are a few minor veins running through the cigar’s body leading up to the round, triple-wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with a beautiful Black and White wrapper with a similar design theme as we’ve seen on all the Black Label cigars, featuring a skull, cross, roses, and the Santa Muerte crest along with the company’s name embossed in the front. I love these bands.
The wrapper on the Black Label Trading Company gives off very rich cedar, nut, and honey aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more earthy with lots of natural tobacco and cedar. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces lots of creamy cocoa, cedar, pecan, and natural tobacco.
The Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte starts out with a nice little black pepper pop which quickly faded to showcase the cigar’s spice, cocoa, honey, pecan, creamy coffee, and natural tobacco flavors. The draw is flawless. Each tiny puff kicks out a whole mess of thick, white smoke which hangs out for quite some time before dissipating. The cigar gives off a small amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is pretty sharp, and very thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted white ash that held on for an inch before falling into the ashtray.
Into the second third of the Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte and the cigar has been pouring on the flavors, but in a very balanced format. Think of a heavy creamed coffee packed with pecan, honey, spice, cocoa, and sweetness poured of a spicy, smooth cigar. That analogy was dumb, I know, but it made sense in my head. Anyways, this cigar is great. The retrohale showcases more sharp spice and cedar and I find myself really enjoying it. I close out the second third with no nicotine hit whatsoever.
Into the final third of the Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte and I was expecting it to keep creaming out, but it did the opposite and really started to ramp the body up landing in the full range for the first time during the experience. The flavors are loaded with lots of spice and honey, vanilla, cocoa, cedar, pecan, and some great natural tobacco flavors. It took me only a little over an hour to take this cigar down to the nub and while I’d like it to last longer, with the temperatures dropping it made for a perfect smoking time. I experienced no harshness, nor extended heat.
As I type of this recap Jawbreaker’s “Accident Prone” comes on my Spotify making for one of the best, relaxing Sundays I have had for a long time. Plus, Im on vacation all week, so I guess this is kind of kicking it off on a good note. Anyways, the Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte is one of the best damn cigars I have had all year, and there have been some great ones. That being said, this isn’t the typical cigar you see released by Black Label. Usually their cigars punch me in the face, kick me in the chest, then beat me when I’m down with both crazy bold flavor and strenght. This is a different cigar. It’s flavorful, complex, yet creamy and down to earth. There isn’t much strength, and it doesn’t need it. This is probably my favorite, if not one of my top cigars the company has released. It’s box worthy for sure and I’ll be seeking more out. Thanks again Jason!
Bourbon County day is less than a week away. To celebrate I broke out a coffee variant of last year’s release. Coming in at 13.4% ABV this bourbon barrel aged imperial stout with coffee added is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Brewed at the Goose Island Brewery in Chicago the Bourbon County Brand releases are some of the most sought after beers year after year. The beer leads with sweet caramel and malt, dark chocolate, acidic coffee, and some soft spice with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with a ton of sticky sweetness, coffee, vanilla, malt, and a whole mess of booze. The booze only becomes more dominant as the beer warms. The sweetness, coffee, cocoa and spice made for a wonderful pairing with the Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte which I could see paired with just about any imperial stout, milk stout, spiced Christmas ale, or tawny port.