Back in early August, I did a blog on the full portfolio of Black Label Trading Company. With the company set to debut on CigarChat with Rob and Logan later this week, I thought it was a good time to highlight those "reviews" to get every primed for Thursday night's show. We'll begin with one that I enjoyed a lot - the Black Label Trading Company Last Rites 5x54.
After skipping Tuesday for work commitments, I decided to pull out the Last Rites for Wednesday's post-work smoke. From everything I've heard on Twitter and throughout the "blogosphere", the Last Rites seems to be extremely popular so I was hoping for something big. The Last Rites includes fillers from Nicaragua and Honduras with a Honduran binder and a dark, deep brown Aged Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper - one of, if not THE, darkest wrapper in the line. One odd note that is bothering me is that the foot band that says "Last Rites" is slightly off-centered from the main BLTC band. I don't know why this bothered me, but it was significant enough for me to take note. Again, even from the pre-light draw, I can tell that the draw on this is much more open than my initial experiences. While I haven't re-tried the Salvation or Benediction yet, I'm beginning to think Eric was right - I did have a fluky experience. Further, while the draw and smoke output were excellent again on this, the burn was a bit wavy and once got a bit out of hand, and I would have to relight this cigar a few times throughout the smoke. Again, while I find myself expecting these cigars to be full-bodied for some reason, I find this to be firmly supplanted in the medium-full range throughout. The major flavors seem to provide an earthy, bitter sweetness - almost like a black coffee - that draws some chocolate flavors as it burns. I found these flavors to be dominant throughout, and while I enjoyed the smoke and will smoke it again, I think the lofty expectations I had for it bring it down a notch in my eyes. I think I'll find, as I often do, that I enjoy this immensely more the second time I smoke it with slimmed down expectations. As for now, I rank the blends as Lawless, then Last Rites, but the Last Rites has definite potential to be my favorite of the line when I go in blank.