Holt’s Cigar Company – Old Henry Pure Breed
With the rest of the Casas Fumando crew slacking it this week, I decided to put on my big boy pants and get to work. The time has come to close out the Old Henry Best in Show review series with a look at the Pure Breed in a 6 by 52 Toro.
Upon the passing of Holt’s mascot in 2006, a Bulldog named Old Henry, the Old Henry brand was created to remember the company’s best friend. Blended by Jose “Pepin” Garcia, Old Henry cigars have been available for the better part of a decade, with the Pure Breed being the most recent release. The Pure Breed features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Available vitolas include: Robusto (5 by 54), Gransire (5 1/2 by 60), Toro (5 by 52), and Churchill (7 by 49).
You can find the other reviews from the Best in Show Assortment below:
You can purchase your own by visiting their site here.
Samples Provided by Holt’s Cigar Company
Price: $6.50 per single | $93.95 per box of 20
Size: 6 by 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
The Old Henry Pure Breed features a medium brown wrapper that has a crazy amount of bumps, a very fine tooth, and small to medium veins crisscrossing down the leaf. Gently pressing my fingers down the cigar, I find a soft spot or more of a void in the tobaccos just before I reach the “Pure Breed” secondary band.
Big notes of damp earth and wet wood, reminiscent of the smell you may find in the forest after a drizzle, come off of the wrapper. The woodsy notes are also on the foot, but fuller and richer, along with white pepper and a faint cinnamon. The draw is a hair firmer than preferred even after two cuts, but workable, bringing forth rich cedar and cinnamon on the dry draw. A medium spice heats is already lingering in my mouth.
Once lit, the cinnamon spice is first to greet my palate and a rich cedar is trailing close behind. A honey sweetness contrasts a bitter earthiness that pulls through on the finish. The smoke is thin in the mouth, which may be a result of the stiff draw. As the Pure Breed warms up, the oils begin to move to the surface of the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper leaf. The burn is thick and wavy.
The richness of the smoke has toned down and the earth on the finish has moved into the profile without the bitterness and more diesel-like. The cinnamon is now very subtle and hard to pick up on behind the diesel flavor. The sweetness has diminished, but no longer having to combat the earlier sourness the profile remains fairly balanced. Moving the smoke through my nose, there is a full amount of spice that is on the brighter side. The Old Henry Pure Breed seems to be opening up, but multiple puffs are still required to get a satisfactory amount of smoke.
Transitioning into the last third of the Old Henry Pure Breed, the diesel is holding strong and a char flavor has also joined in alongside it. Taking slower, longer draws, the earlier, more pleasant flavors of cedar and cinnamon shine through. I would characterize the body of the smoke on the low-side of medium, while the strength is most definitely full as I close out this cigar.
I was mistaken to say the firm draw was manageable. Yes, I made it through the cigar without a headache, but the impact that it had on the flavors was damaging. The flavors were thin, and the likable flavors of cinnamon, cedar, and honey were constantly fighting off the earth, diesel, and char that finally gained the upper hand by the second third. I know this because the other sample for pictures smoked like a completely different cigar – satisfying smoke production, rich flavors throughout with the cedar, cinnamon, and sweetness keeping the darker flavors at bay. The ash on both samples held firm, but got a little flaky in the final third and the burn maintained a consistent wave over the course of the smoke. It is interesting to note that while the second sample smoked much better, the smoke was still light on the palate. This surprised me considering the smoke density and texture in the Classic, Gold Label, and Maduro. The Pure Breed also delivers a higher amount of nicotine than the other cigars in the assortment. With one good and one bad experience with the Pure Breed, I will need to grab a couple more before I make a final assessment. So how would I rank the sampler?
#1 – Old Henry Classic
#2 – Old Henry Gold Label
#3 – Old Henry Maduro
#4 – Old Henry Pure Breed