Following up the Pura Soul Maduro, up for review today is the Pura Soul Barber Pole in the Robusto vitola by Pura Soul Cigars. Some background from last week’s below:
After 30 years working for some of the largest and well-known cigar companies in the world, Robert Wright founded Pura Soul Cigar with their first release hitting the market in 2013 with their Pura Soul Nicaraguan. Originally under the CLE distribution umbrella, Pura Soul Cigars took over their own distribution in August 2014 shortly after announcing its second release at the July 2014 IPCPR Trade Show of the Pura Soul Honduran. Pura Soul Cigars showed no signs of slowing down in 2015 with two new releases, Pura Soul Maduro and Pura Soul Barber Pole. While no longer being distributed by CLE, the cigars are being made at Christian Eiroa’s Aladino Factory in Danli, Honduras.
The Pura Soul Barber Pole is available in three size, 5 by 50, 6 by 54, and 7 by 64, ranging in price from $11.00 to $12.00. This limited production Honduran puro with an alternating Corojo and Maduro wrapper is sold in 20 count boxes. Robert Wright stated in the press release:
It’s like a marriage that produces the birth of an awesome child. In this case an awesome cigar. The Pura Soul Barber Pole Cigar delivers an awesome smoking experience that will excite the palate.
Samples Provided by Pura Soul Cigar
Size: 5 by 50
Wrapper: Honduran Maduro and Honduran Corojo
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 25 Minutes
The appearance of both wrappers are consistent in color. With the darker leaf being almost oscuro, while the lighter leaf is a medium brown. The dark leaf is oily and bumpy; the lighter leaf if dry and rough to the touch. From head to foot, the cigar is filled evenly and almost rock solid.
The aroma is very faint on the wrapper consisting of cedar and natural tobacco sweetness. The foot shows some notes of chocolate, raisin, and chili powder. The cap has been applied nicely, with a tiny split that is hardly noticeable. Upon clipping the cap, I find more of the chili powder, rich cedar, and a honey sweetness.
A heavy dosage of black pepper kicks off the Pura Soul Barber Pole, alongside a dry cedar flavor. A spice warmth can be felt around my whole mouth, but especially at the back of my throat, and while the pepper is sharp through the sinuses it is not nearly as overwhelming as I expected. About a half inch in, the spice calms and flavors begin to mesh as a faint sweetness and earthiness arrives on the scene. Smoke is pouring out with the smallest of draws. A light gray ash is formed as the cigar burns with a manageable wave.
As I transition into the second third, I find a similar smoky wood flavor that I picked up on in the Pura Soul Maduro. Pairing with the smoky wood, there is the black pepper, toasted bread notes, earthiness, and cocoa. The cocoa is gaining ground in the profile. The first ash held all the way through the middle of the second third. There was no improvement to the burn through much of the third, but it has now become a thin, razor sharp burn-line.
The Pura Soul Barber Pole is hitting on all cylinders. The cigar has developed to a rich combination of sweet cocoa, smoky wood, and diesel. While the flavors are full when they first arrive, the finish is clean with a light diesel and cocoa that lingers on the finish. The strength of the cigar is finally catching up to me. The even burn was short lived and regressed back to its old ways.
I have only smoked a few barber pole cigars, but I expect that they are not easy to make from the blending to the rolling. Overall, I found the Pura Soul Barber Pole enjoyable, but at times disjointed, specifically in the last third when it became a completely different cigar from the prior two thirds. Even with the drastic change at the end, the flavors were right on. The pepper blast up front may scare the novice away, but a seasoned cigar smoker who has a preference for heavy spice will have no problem handling the spice of this Honduran puro. There were some similarities between the Maduro and the Barber Pole, but the dissimilarities were much more noticeable. The $11 price tag seems like a fair price for this limited production cigar, but for my taste I will be reaching for the $7.65 Pura Soul Maduro robusto.