COVERING YOUR ASH: CULT OMETEPE TORPEDO

Cult cigars have gained an enthusiastic following in recent years, first with its Classic and Fuerte lines, and now with the Ometepe. The newest line, introduced in 2012, is billed as a full-bodied smoke packed with nuanced flavors. What’s not to like about that description? Sign me up for a test drive.

Cigar Stats: The limited-production Ometepe features binder and filler tobaccos from its namesake island in Lake Nicaragua, wrapped in an Ecuadoran Habano. It’s available in four sizes: Grande Robusto (5½ x 54), Grande Toro (6 x 60), Torpedo  (6¼ x 52), and Grande Churchill (7 x 54). Expect to pay $8-9 per stick. This week’s review concerns the Torpedo.

Appearance: The reddish-brown wrapper is lightly veined, and the stick is well-constructed. It’s tightly wrapped, but not rock-hard, with a slight give that imparts a feeling of freshness.

The Smoke: After it is lit, the Ometepe delivers on its initial promise. In the early going, there is a rush of earth and wood flavors, primarily cedar. Soon enough, a fruity taste of apple joins the party, along with quite a bit of creaminess. All the while, there’s an abundance of rich, aromatic smoke. What I like most about this smoke is that flavors and taste hold up throughout the experience. In lesser cigars, the second half of the smoke is awash in bitterness, but the Ometepe is a delight from start to finish. In addition, the  burn line is excellent and the draw is easy.

Verdict: We all have personal benchmarks or signals that tell us just how much we have enjoyed a smoke. With me, it’s what I leave behind in the ashtray. If it’s a nub of an inch or less, that’s a very good sign. The Ometepe passes the eye and taste test in spades. To learn more about the Cult Ometepe or the full line of Cult Cigars, visit www.cultcigars.com. – Brian Coyne

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