Cigar Reviews

Protocol Official Misconduct

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I had a pretty rough cold the past 2 weeks which I seem to be finally over. I couldn’t wait to get back out and enjoy my favorite time of the year when it comes to weather. This week I take a look at the Protocol Official Misconduct cigar paired with a can of Ommegang’s Wine Barrel Aged Three Philosophers.

The Good Stuff:

Protocol, a Cubariqueño Cigar Company brand owned by Juan Cancel and Bill Ives hit the ground running with their first releases and haven’t let off the gas yet. One of their newer blends hitting the market last year is an expansion to the popular Protocol line called the “Official Misconduct”. Cancel and Ives both have a history in law enforcement so the brand, and line name is rightfully named. Created at the La Zona Cigar Factory in Nicaragua the blend features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The Protocol Official Misconduct comes in a single 6 x 50 toro format packaged in boxes of 10 running $9.89 a stick. Big thanks goes out to the Protocol team for sending a few of these our way to review.

  • Size: 6 x 50
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Body: Medium
  • Strength: Medium
  • Price: $9.89
  • Pairing: Ommegang Wine Barrel Aged Three Philosophers (Quad 9.3% ABV)

Prelight:

The Protocol Official Misconduct starts out with a very consistent milky brown wrapper. The wrapper’s texture is very smooth with only trace amounts of tooth and oil. The wrapper itself feels dense and durable while the cigar feels a bit lightly packed and lightweight. The wrapper features a few smaller veins as well as nice tobacco webbing as its laid seamlessly over itself leading up to the round, triple-wrapper cap. The cigar carries an all silver and black band featuring Protocol’s crest on the front and the word “Guilty” in the back, as well as a smaller secondary band with the words “Official Misconduct” in the front. The cigar also carries a silver ribbon around the foot.

The wrapper on the Protocol Official Misconduct gives off strong cedar and earthy aromas while the foot of the cigar releases bold spice, pepper, and natural aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces more cedar, pepper, and musk.

First Third:

The Protocol Official Misconduct start out with a huge black pepper blast which really stuck around for quite sometime. After fading the cigar greeted me with bold musk, oak, dry raisin and a lot of dirt/earthy flavors. The draw is flawless as each tiny puff kicks out a huge cloud of thick, white smoke which really takes some time to dissipate while the cigar itself releases a good amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a compacted trail of white/light gray ash which held on for an inch before giving way.

Second Third:

Into the second third of the Protocol Official Misconduct and the pepper as finally made it’s exit. The remaining flavors are lots of dirt and earthiness over some like oak and musk. The flavor is rather dry at this point, but the beer is helping settle that out. The retrohale helps bring the musk and oak out of the flavor profile and I find myself doing it quite often to jump-start the experience. The burn line is still razor thin and even. I close out the second third with nothing in the nicotine department.

Finish:

Into the final third of the Protocol Official Misconduct and not a whole lot has changed. The Cigar still leads with earthiness and musk backed by oak and natural tobacco. It took me an hour and a half to take this cigar down to the nub and I experienced no harshness no extended heat. The cigar burned perfectly from start to finish and I never once had to reach for my torch to touch-up or relight the cigar. I put the cigar down feeling absolutely nothing in the nicotine department.

Overview:

While the Official Misconduct is a solid cigar, I found myself craving more body and flavor which fall on the subjective side of things. The profile was just a bit dry for me and I think some added sweetness would go a long way. But if you are a fan of smooth, medium-bodied cigars that start out with a nice pepper punch than this is one you should definitely try out. The cigar performed flawlessly from start to finish while featuring perfect construction, all while not knocking you on your ass.

Pairing:

By now everyone should know of Ommegang’s Three Philosophers. If you don’t, the Cooperstown, New York brewery produces a Belgian-style quad mixed with a kriek that pretty much everyone loves. This rendition of the beer is then aged in red wine barrels before being dumped into cans coming in at 9.3% ABV. The beer leads with sweet cherry, malt, light oak, and a bit of earthiness with a very light mouthfeel before finishing with a nice sweet to light tart transition of the cherry, more malt, and oak. It’s not the most complex beer but it sure is delicious. I really think the sweetness and tartness of the cherry added a ton of the character I was looking for in the Official Misconduct brining it more in the flavor territory I crave for a cigar while the earthiness and oak paired up beautiful with the existing flavors in the cigar.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

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