Cigar Reviews

Jose Seijas Signature Series

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Today’s cigar comes along with a pretty interesting story and probably a name that you probably haven’t really heard of before, but you probably have smoked a cigar that he helped blend! I was gifted this cigar by our lovely friend Jackie over at Bonita Smoke Shop down in Florida. If you haven’t been to her store or even checked out the website, make sure you do! She has an awesome selection, staff and prices to boot!

While in Florida this summer, I stopped by Jackie’s awesome shop to buy a few cigars and she generously gifted me a couple as well. This particular one stood out to me for two reasons. Firstly, it came in an awesome cedar chest that looked amazing. And secondly, she bragged to me about how good it was and also that it was getting harder to find them. So I had to give it a try and decided to review it as well to see what all the hype was about! 🙂

Now, I did absolutely no research on this cigar before smoking it so my review is prety much as unbiased as it comes. And I’m glad I chose to do this because after reading about it I realized it’s an Altadis brand. In the past, I haven’t been too fond of most Altadis brands. I also learned that Jose Seijas is the man behind the Tabacalera de Garcia in Dominican Republic, where this cigar is made. He also had influence in the blends of brands such as the non-Cuban Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Trinidad and H.Upmann.

A little more reading showed me that in January of this year, Jose Seijas left Altadis after more than 30 years running the factory, which is also one of the largest cigar production factories in the world. This probably explains why the brand is getting harder to find and it will probably disappear of Altadis’ inventory eventually or at least change names. So without further delay, let’s see how this blend performs tonight!

Cigar: Jose Seijas Signature Series
Drink: Ferreira Tawny Porto (Bottled in 2003)
Vitola: Churchill (7 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadoria Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian
Price: Gifted by Jackie @BonitaSmokeShop
Burn Time: about 2 hours

Construction:
• A very nice cinnamon brown wrapper with some orange highlights keeps this cigar together
• There are a few bumps and veins here and there but none are major or look problematic
• There is quite a bit of spring along the whole length of this cigar when squeezed
• The foot looks very clean and well packed while the triple cap is clean along the edges but a little rough on top
• There is an interesting texture on this cigar, it’s a almost like velvet sandpaper of that makes any sense, smooth in some parts but still a bit rough in others
• After a small trim I’m getting a perfect draw on this Jose Seijas

Burn:
• The toasting here was a bit challenging, it did not want to light up evenly so lets hope that doesn’t affect the future burn here too much
• Gave a small correction about half an inch in to help correct the burn line here
• After that little correction we are burning pretty even through the first third and moving at a nice slow pace too
• A couple minor corrections through the rest of the cigar but nothing major or problematic
• The cigar also burned at a good pace, allowing me to enjoy it slowly without needing to take extra draws or relight

Smoke & Ash:
• Despite a bit of an uneven toasting, I still managed to get a ton of smoke out of the first few draws
• There isn’t much resting smoke to mention, just a thin faint line giving off a nice mild burning wood aroma
• The initial ash here is a bit of a mess probably because of my bad toasting skills and a couple small corrections
• That first ash got a little flaky so I tapped it off just short of an inch
• Around the end of the first third the resting smoke really ramped up for some reason
• Second ash easily passed the one inch mark before being tapped off, it was much cleaner and stronger now that I haven’t had to do any more corrections
• All the rest of the ash lasted past the one inch mark and stayed clean, a good sign of consistent construction here

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper gives off a light cedar aroma mixed with a touch of tobacco
• The foot has an interesting tarty fruit note to it, along with some cloves and more cedar
• The pre-light draw brings more of the tarty and clove notes to my palate
• Initial draws on the Jose Seijas bring a punch of cedar and cloves, there is a slight sweetness here but not the same fruity tart notes I was getting before
• The ceda quickly calmed down to a more mild flavor and I’m starting to pick up some interesting earthy and green pepper notes
• There are some coffee notes sneaking in here and there as well as a bit of licorice, lots of interesting flavors here
• The body here has been pretty mild for the most part but I feel it creeping into the medium section as I approach the halfway mark
• I have to mention how awesome the retrohale here is, it’s got a sort of sweet licorice finish to it along with a small bite, very nice
• The coffee flavors are definitely developing nicely along with the sweet licorice flavors that I’m really enjoying
• The flavors themselves have started to really pick up now, mostly being the coffee, licorice and cedar notes
• The sweetness seems to be tapering off in the last third and the pepper and clove notes are coming back for a stronger finale
• Body is almost into the full range now but the nice licorice finish on the retrohale is still there
• The licorice flavor is sort of changing to a deep black cherry sort of note now, very interesting, and the smoke is getting a lot more creamy near the end
• A very good finish with no harshness or bitterness, just a burst of flavors (including a pretty large blast of pepper near the end)

Final Thoughts:
I honestly did not know what to expect coming into this review. I’ll admit that I only had one sample and I have to say I regret not buying more. I typically like to have a few more to put together a review but Jackie bragged so much about it that I decided to jot down my thoughts as I smoked it and snap some pictures. And I’m glad I did. This stick had a ton of flavors going on! They weren’t in your face but they weren’t overly mild either, it was a very nice and delicate balance. And minus the toasting, the burn did very well. If you happen to stumble across these somewhere, make sure to pick one up and give it a try, definitely a worthwhile smoke! I will be seeking out a few more just in case they disappear as well.

Pairings:
Found this bottle of port in the basement and I can’t actually remember where it came from. If I’m correct, I believe someone brought it over a while back when we enjoyed a cigar. So I decided to give it a go tonight with my cigar pairing and see how it went. The Ferreira Tawny Porto is a late bottled vintage variety and although the bottle doesn’t state the year, you can always find it on the white label that covers the cork. This 2003 was pretty light in color but offered a pretty rich blend of boldness and dark berry sweetness along with a very noticeable oak flavor. It made for a very nice pairing with this medium bodied cigar. I also think a good dark beer, triple or even a strong cup of coffee would have gone well here tonight.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

6 Comments

  1. Peter

    September 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Great review, these are amazing sticks, one of the best cigars from Altadis I’ve ever had.

    • Dalamscius

      October 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

      I think I gotta agree with you there, probably the best Altadis stick I’ve had in a long time. Too bad for them he’s left the company now… Will be interesting to see what they decide to do with the blend

  2. jjo

    September 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Great review again, Daniel. Unfortunately, the price on these may put them beyond my comfort zone. Sounds good, though. I have never seen Ferreira Portos in my neck of the woods.

    • Dalamscius

      October 2, 2012 at 6:22 am

      You might get lucky on the price since he’s ;eft the company. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see them on the sale rack one day soon.
      The Port is new to me as well, I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for it next time I go shopping!

      • jjo

        October 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        Thanks for the info! Hey, I was able to find a bottle of the Ferreira Tawny, and you’re right – it’s light in color, but not in flavor. Pretty nice for the price.

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