Cigar Reviews

Buffalo Trace Special F

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This week I take a look at another bourbon-cigar collaboration. The Cigars International exclusive Buffalo Trace Special F paired with a dram of Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Spec’s pick bourbon.

The Good Stuff:

Scandinavian Tobacco Group has teamed up with Sazerac Co. to bring forth yet another cigar that features tobacco aged in bourbon barrels. The Cigars International exclusive “Buffalo Trace Special F” is composed of fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua under a Brazilian Arapiraca binder that has spent 6 months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels and then finished with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. The cigar is offered in a single 6 x 60 torpedo format and runs $11 per cigar. You can order yours directly from Cigars International.

  • Size: 6 x 60
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Brazilian Arapiraca
  • Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
  • Body: Medium/Full
  • Strength: Medium
  • Price: $11
  • Pairing: Buffalo Trace Bourbon (Spec’s Single Barrel Pick)


The Buffalo Trace Special F starts out with a very messy, rustic looking wrapper. That’s not a bad thing, the Ecuadorian Sumatra just does a great job showing off all the characteristics in its tobacco leaf. It’s very dark brown with loads of lighter and darker areas scattered throughout the cigar. On top of that there is a ton of natural webbing and light veins running through the leaf. The wrapper’s texture is very oily and very toothy while the cigar feels a bit spongy to the touch. The torpedo shape on this cigar is quite long as the cigar starts to taper shortly after the foot leading to the sharp cap. The cigar carries matching branding to the Buffalo Trace bottle with a band that features the buffalo image and a secondary band with the Buffalo Trace logo which is laid over a very elegant green ribbon for an awesome added touch.

The wrapper on the Buffalo Trace Special F gives off notes of black cherry and musk while the foot of the cigar is much more spicy with loads of earthy aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw is straight up chocolate with earthy undertones.

First Third:

The Buffalo Trace Special F leads with loads of chocolate, spice, and cardamom over lighter notes of leather, floral, and a nice woodsy mixture. It wasn’t until I was a few draws in that a great cayenne pepper entered the mix only powerful enough to tingle my lips. The draw is phenomenal as each puff kicks out huge clouds of thick gray smoke while the cigar releases a great amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is mostly even and very thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted white and lighter gray ash which held on for about an inch before giving way.

Second Third:

Into the second third of the Buffalo Trace Special F and the spice and woodsy flavors have really picked up along with a blast of floral hints. This makes for an amazing pairing with the leading flavors in the Buffalo Trace bourbon I paired it with. The chocolate, spice, and leather are all still factored into the profile, however they have taken a back seat at this point. The retrohale really brings out the spice in this cigar. I close out the second third with no type of nicotine hit.


As I get into the final third of the Buffalo Trace Special F I am impressed with just how much spice is still in the flavor profile. I think it’s important to note for two reasons: 1) The spice matches up identically to the spice in the paired Buffalo Trace bourbon and 2) in my cigar experiences that spice has long been gone by the time you get to the final third. The backing flavors are still very woodsy with lighter notes of chocolate and leather with hints of floral. It took me almost two hours to smoke this cigar down to the nub. I experienced no harshness nor extended heat although the final third did leave me with a slight nicotine kick.


I was a bit pessimistic about another bourbon-themed cigar, but I am happy to report that I truly enjoyed the Buffalo Trace Special F. I am a fan of Buffalo Trace bourbon, especially since it is very easy to obtain at MSRP in these parts. While I am unsure how much of an impacted the barrel-aged tobacco had, the blend itself made for a perfect pairing with the bourbon. I even think that if I smoked this cigar without the bourbon, and instead paired it with water that I would still be able to pick up the complimenting notes in the cigar. The pricing is also very reasonable for the cigar especially given its burn time. I was surprised, and I would definitely find myself going back to this one.


Naturally I decided to pair the Buffalo Trace Special F with a bottle of Buffalo Trace Spec’s Single Barrel pick bourbon. The bourbon leads with tons of spice, wood mixture, and floral flavors over lighter notes of orange, caramel, vanilla, and sweetness. It’s easy to see why the pairing makes so much sense as the flavors found in the bourbon not only marry up with the Buffalo Trace Special F, but compliment the cigar without overpowering it.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

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