COVERING YOUR ASH: SENCILLO PLATINUM SHORT CHURCHILL

When exploring a line of cigars, it’s always best to smoke more than just one of the sizes that are offered. There can be subtle, yet clear differences in taste and smoking characteristics from one size and shape to the next, even though they share the same blend. Operating on that premise, I went back to the Sencillo Platinum, crafted by Christian Eiroa of Camacho fame for Keith K. Park, who is also the creator of the Prometheus, God of Fire and Angelenos lines. A year or so back, I had sampled the Piramide version (6.125 x 54) and was duly impressed with its mellow flavor and aroma. This time around, the Short Churchill (6.25 x 48) goes under the flame and the microscope.

Cigar Stats: The Sencillo Platinum is a Honduran puro, with a Habano Jamastran wrapper, filler and binder, with some Piloto Cubano added to the mix. In addition to the Short Churchill and Piramide, it is offered in a Robusto (5.25 by 50), Double Robusto (5.75 x 52), Robusto Gordo (5 x 56), and Gigante (6 x 60). Suggested prices range from $6.95-$8.95, with the Short Churchill squarely in the middle.

Appearance: The Sencillo makers keep things simple and elegant, with a tasteful white and platinum band and a deep, reddish-brown wrapper with faint veins. It’s a tightly wrapped stick with a well-constructed cap. In essence, the presentation says, “Let’s get on with the smoking.”

The Smoke: First, the inevitable similarities with the Piramide: There is still plenty of rich, aromatic smoke once you light up, and the overriding taste is a smooth blend of spice, wood and earth that lasts from early in the smoke until the end. But the Short Churchill does possess some unique traits. The thinner ring gauge is a welcome change from 50-plus sizes that seem to dominate these days, and there are some real differences in taste. There’s a pleasant note of fruit – apple or raisin, perhaps – that comes on in about the second third of the smoke, adding to the mellowness and creating a more complex flavor profile. The draw is on the easy side, and the burn line is consistent.

Verdict: This is a tasty, rewarding smoke for just about any time of day. You will enjoy a smooth ride without feeling shortchanged on taste. And that’s likely true no matter which model you choose to test drive. To learn more about the Sencillo line, visit sencillocigars.com.

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