Black Works Studio Hyena
I really feel like I smoked about 20 cigars this week. That’s the effect of the great spring weather we have in El Paso. Taking full advantage of it I ventured out back with a Black Works Studio Hyena paired with a bottle of Hidden Springs Moby Thiccc Imperial Stout.
The Good Stuff:
In 2015 Black Works created their “Studio” cigar line which is used to showcase some of their unique blends. This year the Studio line welcomes the Hyena. Created to celebrate Black Work’s creator, Jame’s Brown’s wife’s many years spent in Africa the Hyena features a very rare African Cameroon wrapper over a Nicaraguan Habano binder and all Nicaraguan fillers. The Hyena is offered in a 6.5 x 42 Lonsdale as well as a 5 x 46 Corona Gorda format. Both come packaged in boxes of 20 running between $12 and $12.50 per stick. I purchased mine over from our friends at Cigars International who have them in stock now.
- Size: 6.5 x 42
- Wrapper: African Cameroon
- Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Full
- Strength: Medium/Full
- Price: $12.50
- Pairing: Hidden Springs Moby Thiccc (Imperial Stout 13% ABV)
The Black Works Studio Hyena starts out with the very dark, rustic looking cigar that is splotched with lighter, darker, and even orange shaded areas. The wrapper itself carries some slight tooth, and a ton of oils as its laid seamlessly over itself. The cigar’s body showcases only minor veins as it leads up to the cigar’s round, double-wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with the standard Black Works black and white band with the Hyena emblem and graffiti symbol printed across it.
The wrapper on the Black Works Studio Hyena gives off a good amount of floral and cocoa aromas while the foot of the cigar carries much more spice and earthy scents. The cap cut like butter using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a good amount of rich chocolate, floral, and musk flavors.
The Black Works Studio Hyena starts out with a very subltle blast of black pepper which faded after the first few puffs allowing the cigar to release rich dark chocolate and oak notes over some great cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, black cherry and earthiness along with a great musk. The start of this cigar reminded me of some of the more potent German gingerbread cookies we have each Christmas. The draw is absolutely perfect as each and every tiny puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick, white smoke which seems to take forever to dissipate. The cigar releases a good amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray as well. The burnline is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted white and light gray ash.
Into the second third of the Black Works Studio Hyena and a lot of those nutmeg and cinnamon notes have calmed down allowing the cigar to showcase much more musk, earthiness, and oak over black cherry and floral flavors with light notes of black tea, honey, and almond. This is a hell of a flavor profile. The retrohale brings out some subtle spice that I don’t necessarily pickup during the standard experience. I close out the second third with only a tiny little nicotine hit.
I’m kinda bummed heading into the final third of the Black Works Studio Hyena. Not cause the cigar isn’t great, but because it’s almost over. The flavor profile is still boasting earthy notes over oak and musk with lots of black cherry and pecan over lighter floral and pine notes now. This has been a complex, yet extremely enjoyable flavor profile from start to finish. The cigar took me about an hour and a half to smoke down to the nub and I just didn’t want to put it down. I experienced no harshness nor any extended heat while I only got hit with a minor nicotine kick.
The Black Works Studio line is unique, and the Hyena is a perfect example of that. Cameroon is a tobacco that I don’t often smoke, and every time I do I wonder why I don’t smoke more of it. The tobacco is just so flavorful which is on full display in this African version, which is the first time I have ever tried. The cigar is packed with very deep, rich, and complex flavors that will keep you on your toes but more importantly, are all extremely pleasant and appealing. This was probably one of the better cigars I’ve smoked all year and something that I will definitely keep on hand going forward.
Moby Thiccc is a 13% Bourbon Barrel Aged stout from Hidden Springs brewery in Tampa, Florida. Brewed with toasted coconut, chocolate and almond this beer leads with all the flavors in a boozy almond joy. Loads of coconut up front over rich milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and just a dash of almond with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with even more milk chocolate, light coconut, and a hint of bourbon barrel. The adjuncts in this beer nail the taste pretty perfectly. I am not a huge fan of coconut in beer but this was just subtle enough to be present, but not dominate the profile. The chocolate and almond mashed brilliantly with the flavors in the Black Works Studio Hyena while the sweetness helped push the flavors in the cigar to another level.