Total Flame Cigars – FTW (Forever Two Wheels)
I apologize for my lack of posts the last few weeks. My family and I recently moved from El Paso, Texas to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As you can imagine, things have been quite hectic but I should be back into the routine of things within the next couple of weeks. I am hoping that from this point forward, my posts will be back to their regularly scheduled time, as well as a few multi-post weeks coming up to catch up for slacking it at the end of June. Also, I was to thank Jeff for covering for me last week in my absence.
Today, I will be reviewing the FTW (Forever Two Wheels) by Total Flame Cigars for your reading pleasure. Total Flame Cigars was founded by two Russian motorcycle enthusiasts who have a passion for cigars – Vladimir Roshchin and Maxim Privezentsev. FTW is one of four lines with the other lines being Bright Line, Dark Line, and Nicaragua. The FTW was released in 2013 and is currently available in two vitolas: Robusto (5 by 54) and Toro (6 by 52). A brochure I received with the cigar has this to say on the FTW:
Consisting of a robust yet smooth blend of three aged Nicaraguan ligeros, this cigar represents the strongest of the Total Flame Cigars. The FTW was made to represent the essence of the biker spirit; strong, bold, fearless and powerful.
Samples Provided by Total Flame Cigars
Size: 6 by 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan “El Corojal”
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
The FTW Toro is dressed in a medium brown wrapper that has a deep red hue. The oils on the Nicaraguan “El Corojal” leaf glisten in the sun. The cigar feels smooth and oily to the touch but the wrapper does not lack in small and medium veins and bumps. I encounter no soft spots as the cigar is packed evenly through and through. The wrapper has a faint pungency, barnyard, cedar, and chocolate aroma. The foot gives off much heavier cedar and chocolate notes.
The cap is large and has been applied neatly. Upon clipping the cap with a double guillotine cutter, I find a draw that has a touch more resistance than preferred but still within the acceptable range. The cold draw showcases thick notes of cedar, exotic spices, and some chocolate.
While the draw remains firm once lit, the FTW is pouring out thick, chewy smoke. The flavors consist of cedar and pepper that balance nicely. As I push a small amount of smoke through my nasal passage, a heavy pepper spice jumps out. The burn, which began a bit wavy, has just about corrected itself within the first inch. The flavors are borderline full and the strength is not overpowering but noticeable. At this point, I would mark the strength as a solid medium.
The core of the smoke continues to be of cedar and pepper with the pepper intensifying as I burn into the second third. Additionally, there is a faint tartness that is barely noticeable but is a flavor I commonly pick up on with Mexican tobacco. A toasted bread flavor is also coming through. The finish is now bringing out notes of chocolate similar to those that I picked up on foot aroma. The flavor remain at the same level but the strength has gradually increased bringing it to full.
The flavors have become deeper as I enter the final third of the cigar with a newly found coffee flavor building upon the toasted bread, cedar, and peppery profile. The smoke production has decreased as I am fighting a small tunnel that is forming but with only an inch and a half left, I am not too worried about it. Other than the tunneling at the end, the performance has been spot on all the way down to the last puff.
Prior to the samples received for review, I had absolutely no experience with any of the offerings from Total Flame Cigars. First impressions are huge. Right or wrong, a first impression will determine if I ever pick up a cigar again or visit any of the other lines from a particular company. The FTW presented itself well in both samples showing consistency in flavor and performance. The burn-line was spot on, the ash held to an inch, and the smoke production was to par. The smoke delivered balanced yet bold flavors of mainly cedar and pepper, along with some toasted bread and coffee as the profile developed. This is a cigar I would love to try again and could see myself grabbing a handful when I stumble across them. And finally, I want to say “Thank You” to Total Flame Cigars for providing the samples.