S.O.F. Cigars – S.O.F., A.D. (Soldiers of Fortune, After Death)
Soldiers of Fortune, After Death (S.O.F., A.D.) is the first cigar brand to be released by S.O.F, Inc, an electrical contracting company headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida. But the story of the S.O.F., A.D. goes further back. Tim Lawson, owner of S.O.F, Inc, is a United States Veteran and a former security contractor in the War on Terror. S.O.F., A.D. was created to commemorate a specific event that took place in 2003 and, in Tim’s own words, “the cigar in a way is my victory dance after that event”. Additional background on the cigar was found at sofinc.net:
SOF AD was formed to promote the SOF AD 17-Nov-2003 cigar and celebrate the Solider of Fortune attitude. The SOF AD is not your mama’s cigar. SOF or Mercenary or Security Contractor are not just catchy slogans or a way to pick up chicks. It is a way of life, to preserve life, to live life. Now, it’s a bad ass cigar.
Manufactured in the Dominican Republic at an undisclosed factory, the S.OF., A.D. is currently produced in three vitolas: Robusto (5 by 54), Toro (6 by 50), and Magnum (6 by 60). Having been launched only a few months back, the distribution appears to be rather limited. However, the cigars are readily available through stogieplace.com ranging in price from $6.45 to $7.60 per stick. While not much is known about the blend, the cigar utilizes a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, a leaf I have gained a lot of respect for in the past couple of years beginning with the Intemperance B.A. and Crowned Head’s J.D. Howard Reserve.
Sample Provided by S.O.F. Cigars
Size:6 by 50
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 35 Minutes
The Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper is extremely dark brown, scattered with black color imperfections, and mostly small veins webbing across the leaf. However, it is not nearly as rustic as other Arapiraca wrappers I have come across. To the touch, an abundant amount of oils and a fair share of bumps are easily felt. The cigar gives just slightly when pinched until you make your way to the foot of the cigar that is more spongy.
Strong aromas of barnyard and cocoa emitted off of the cigar when I first removed it from the cellophane. After some time resting without the cellophane, the aroma has noticeably diminished with barnyard and woodsy notes hardly noticeable . Much fuller notes are found on the foot of the cigar – rich cedar, honey, barnyard, and cocoa. The cigar comes to a close with a large swirled, pig-tail cap. Once clipped, a perfect draws shows off some cinnamon spice, rich woodsy notes, and more of that sweet honey.
The initial flavors are dark, but do not come across heaving on the palate. Earth and coffee notes are building on a bed of yeasty, toasted bread notes. Being a few puffs in, a mild black pepper spice begins to warm my mouth and back of the throat. A mild, unidentifiable sweetness is on the finish of the smoke, along with some black coffee and cocoa. With each puff, the sweetness becomes more of a player in the profile. A bit lopsided burn is leaving behind a brilliant white ash.
Moving into the the second third of the S.O.F., A.D., things are moving along very well. The bread notes from earlier continue to hold strong and are really the core of the smoke. A vegetal flavor has arrived and the flavors are gaining in richness with some woodsy notes and, possibly, clove, pushing back the earth and coffee. All the flavors are meshing well and there is nothing off-putting in the profile. The sweetness is still hard to place, but the closest thing I can think of would be white sugar. Also, there is an intriguing interplay between salt and pepper flavors on the finish of the smoke. The ash has become flaky, but continues to hold firm up to an inch or so.
At the 1 hour and 10 minute mark, I make my way into the final leg of the S.O.F, A.D.. The black pepper flavor has gained ground in the profile but no change in heat, the richness withdraws, and darker toasted and coffee notes are firmly established. The consistent factor of this cigar, along with its performance, is the bread-like flavor. At the very end, as the sweetness begins to fade, dry pencil-shaving notes pop in every few puffs.
Just like the life of a security contractor or soldier for hire, really not much is known about the S.O.F., A.D., with the factory and blend being classified….Okay, just undisclosed. It is always a gamble going into a cigar that you know nearly nothing about from a company that is not well established. But truth be told, this cigar took me by surprise. The A.D. is a decently complex cigar that delivers balanced flavors and solid performance. The flavors varied from medium to full, but not once did I feel any kind of nicotine kick. The cigar falls right in the sweet spot price wise. I am very interested in grabbing at least a five-pack of the S.O.F, A.D and possibly a box down the road depending on the consistency of the blend. Finally, I want to say a big “THANK YOU” to S.O.F. Cigars for providing the sample for this review.