Amateur Review: Black Label Trading Company Last Rites 5x54

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.

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