Cigarro: Bespoke Basilica Cotton Tail
Fábrica: Kelner Boutique Factory
Country: Dominican Republic
Capa: Brazilian Cubra
Capote: Dominican San Vicente
Tripa: Peruvian Seco & Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Dimensions: 4.88 x 52(head) - 62(foot)
Vitola: Butifarra (Flying Pig) "Cotton Tail"
Production: Regular Release/Core Line
Released: 2009 (Renamed Cotton Tail 2011)
Into my 2nd review of a Bespoke cigar, the 1st being the Basilica C #1, and I have gained a little more knowledge on the company. While their website does list the brands and has a small write up of each cigar, it doesn't go into full detail of the blends, only stating some of what the components are. This is where Katman comes in, I believe he was diligent enough to request the information for his reviews. Once it's out it's out, no need to send another email, and so I thank Katman for doing the legwork. The Bespoke Cotton Tail, which belongs to Bespoke's Traditional Line and manufactured at Kelner Boutique Factory is up next. Here is an excerpt from the Bespoke Cigar website:
"The Flying Pig – Cotton Tail
It is said that this vitola heralds from the 1930’s a “Selection Suprema” created by H Upmann factory in Havana for Dunhill Ltd of London. – It was fondly named “Flying Pig” in the 1950s. This vitola, like many others, was discarded and largely forgotten after the 1959 Revolution in Cuba. But in Havana around 2007 Hamlet, a torcedor from La Corona factory, was seen rolling these by one of Bespoke’s prominent Saudi clients who promptly created a mold. We had the size re created, with Carlos’s blend, for clients in Saudi Arabia in 2009. In 2011 the cigar was introduced to the playboy club in London for a special opening party and was renamed “the Cotton Tail” in deference to Playboys iconic “Bunny” girls as well as bowing to the Casdagli family’s history with the cotton trade."
"Before The Flame"
The Cotton Tail sports a pig tail capped foot and progressively tapers from 62RG at the foot down to 52RG at the head. The Brazilian Cubra wrapper used on this is a significantly lighter shade than the one used on the Basilica C. Aroma from the wrapper is of wood, hay, and tea. I went with a straight cut on the head using my Xi3 (I need to get either a Xikar VX or Colibri V, or I'll always seem to mention using the straight cut). The cold draw produced some wood, hay and a little pepper. I unraveled the pig tail on the foot and simply used a single torch to get it started and then toasted the whole foot. For a 62 ring gauge it was actually very simple and very fast.
1/3 "The Appetizer"
I initially pick up dried fruit, cream, and pepper with the first couple draws. Chocolate and sweet nougat soon join in the mix. I identify the fruit as raisin and there are some nutty qualities to the profile in a tertiary fashion. Well into the 1st and I start to pick up a tart citrus flavor. This is different from the lemon peel I tasted in the Basilica C, but I can't help but to compare and wonder if it's coming from the shared Brazilian Cubra wrapper. There are some woody notes emerging and a very minimal pepper. As the 1st ends the pepper positions itself more in the center of the profile. The citrus hasn't worked its way in to being a major player and cream is no longer.
2/3 "Main Entrée"
There is a spice introducing itself, this would eventually evolve in to cinnamon. The nougat flavor seems to have dissipated but a light sweetness remains. The pepper takes on more of a jalapeno flavor but the spicy factor is weak. The fruity flavor is tertiary at best. Citrus notes have dialed back yet I can taste it on my lips. There are some secondary chalky flavors. By the end of the 2nd the flavor profile was cedar, pepper, cinnamon, and some chocolate.
Pepper gains in intensity during this 3rd and an earthy character makes its way in. The sweetness has almost seized to exist and the chocolate has made a decrease as well. Chalkiness is no longer available. Coffee would be the last flavor that enters the picture. The nub was quite flavorful.
Strength starts out medium strength and works its way to medium-full. Body begins as medium-plus making its way to medium full. Flavor is medium and ends medium-full.
KBF surely knows how to make some well-constructed cigars. The draw was just about as perfect as I could ask for from a vitola such as this one. The smoke production was a little on the light side at the start but by the 2nd third it picked up to a decent level. Ash is sturdy, an almost white light grey, and compact. Only one ash dropped. The burn line is good down the foot and into the beginning of the cigar, making its way to razor sharp the majority of the cigar, and finally becoming a tad bit wavy well in to the last third.
The Bespoke Cotton Tail is a good cigar. Personally I found it quite a bit better than the Basilica C #1. It had a higher level of complexity to it and the flavors were a little bit richer. There were a good amount of transitions, which when looking back ultimately would seem the profile went through a lot of change from beginning to end. It isn't a home run but there also isn't much to complain about, especially when it is constructed as well as it is. Price is not a factor in scoring. I was thinking this would be a good cigar to have sparsely in rotation, if anything it deserves to be taken for a test drive.
Smoking Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Pairing: Zero Water