Ventura Cigar Company Archetype Initiation
Sorry for the absence last week, I was dealing with a sever sinus infection. I always seem to get them when I babysit my niece and nephews. This week I am feeling much better as I sit down to review the Ventura Cigar Company Archetype Initiation paired with a can of Blackrocks Brewery’s Barbaric Yawp Scotch Ale.
The Good Stuff:
Launching last year at the 2016 IPCPR show in Las Vegas, the Archetype is the newest line produced by Ventura Cigar Company. Some of the blends for the Archetype series are being produced at Davidoff, a company Ventura has partnered with in the past, while others are being produced at Drew Estate. As far as I know, this is the first time they companies have partnered with one another. In the case of the Initiation, Drew Estate handled the production. The Ventura Cigar Initiation is blended using an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano Binder, and Nicaraguan Habano Filler. The cigar is offered in 4 sizes: Churchill (7 x 48), Toro (6 x 52), Robusto (5 x 54), and the Corona (5 x 48). Each blend comes packaged in boxes of 20 ranging between $10.49 and $12.99 a stick. Big thanks goes out to Ventura for sending a few of these our way.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Pairing: Blackrocks Barbaric Yawp (Scotch Ale 7.5% ABV)
The Ventura Archetype Initiation starts out with a beautifully consistent dark/medium milky brown wrapper. The wrapper’s color is so consistent its hard for me to even pick out the smaller veins and natural webbing in the leaf. There are a few bigger veins which are easier to pinpoint but I doubt they’d cause me any problems. The wrapper feels pretty thin with a decent amount of tooth and a great amount of oils. The cigar itself is very light and small, with a good amount of give as I squeeze it between my fingers. The shorty, snobby body is finished off with a round double cap while the cigar itself is polished off with a silver, black, and red band with a Phoenix on the front, as well as a silver secondary foot back with the word “Archetype” printed across it as well as a little maze logo which seems to accompany the series.
The wrapper on the Ventura Archetype Initiation gives off very little aroma. I was able to pull out some slight natural tobacco and earthiness, but hat was about it. The foot of the cigar is a different story releasing a good amount of spice, pepper, earthiness, grain, and tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces some nice floral, cedar, moss, and spice flavors.
The Ventura Archetype Initiation starts out with a big pepper blast mixed with a surprisingly bold mixture of something almost metallic. The pepper dropped off after the first few puffs while the metallic followed suit shortly after leaving behind some bold oak, musk, cherry, moss and spice with a great floral aftertaste. The draw is incredible. It takes no effort at all as each tiny puff kicks out a massive trail of thick, white smoke. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of dark gray has which held on for a half an inch before falling into my ashtray.
There is so much roasted oakiness coming out of the Ventura Archetype Initiation it often feels like I’m smoking a stick of wood, but in a good way. On top if that the flavor profile boasts of floral notes, pine, spice, earthiness, and some underlying coffee. The wrapper is also leaving behind a good amount of salt on my lips and tongue. The retrohale brings that spice up to the front of the palate, but adds a bit more that I’d like so I don’t find myself doing that too often. The burn line is still perfect and I close out the second third with only a very light nicotine kick.
The final third of the Ventura Archetype Initiation showcases a much more piney/earthy makeup. Leading with pine, most, dirt, and natural tobacco backed by musk, spice, and dark cherry the flavor profile in this cigar has been a bit wild, but always familiar. The cigar burned perfectly from start to finish without any attention from my torch. There was no harshness, nor any extended heat even into the final inch. The Ventura Archetype Initiation left me with a decent little nicotine kick as I put it down.
I have had most of the cigars in the Ventura Cigar Company portfolio. While they aren’t the most well known cigar company out there the blends they release have always impressed me. Partnering with some of the biggest names in the cigar business will tend to do that. The Ventura Archetype Initiation is no exception. Its a great little cigar. The flavor profile is meaty, beefy, and complex while the burn and experience was flawless. I would like to see a bit lower price on these cigars but that won’t stop me from picking a few more up. Now I’m excited to see what the other blends in the series bring to the table.
Jeremy is such a good guy. Did you guys know that? I hope so. Each time he comes into town he smuggles down new local beer from the Michigan Area for me to try. Small batch stuff that never makes it way remotely close to here. One of those brewery is Blackrocks. I have one or two of their beers so far and have really enjoyed them. The Barbaric Yawp is a scotch ale brewed in Marquette, Michigan which comes in at a nice 7.5% ABV. The Barbaric Yawp leads with roasted malt, smokey peat, barley, a ton of spice, and some nice light oak with a hefty mouthfeel before finishing heavy with a bit of booziness, a ton of roastiness, some slight citrus, and a whole lot of malt. As the beer warms the booziness comes out more and more. This is a beer that could easily overpower a cigar, or make for the absolute perfect pairing. I had been waiting for the right cigar to pair this with and the Ventura Archetype Initiation was just that. The flavors mashed up extremely well while the citrus added to the cigar.