Just about a month ago, we provided an exclusive first look at the Herrera Esteli Tienda Exclusiva for Barrister Cigars. With Barrister Cigars, located in Union, NJ, now gaining notoriety on a national scale, we wanted to delve a bit deeper into their offerings. Beyond the Tienda Exclusiva, Barrister has two other store exclusives - the Verdict, a cigar we will review next week, and today's subject - the Justice.
David Mallow, the owner of Barrister Cigars, spent 18 months working with Mario Perez and Jose Blanco on this blend at the Joya de Nicaragua factory before it was finalized. The Justice is available in a Corona, Robusto, Torpedo, Churchill, 6x60, Gran Perfecto and 7x70. Juan Martinez also created a limited edition Lancero for the 2014 New Jersey Cigar Festival, and I have seen a few still floating around.
The Barrister Cigars Justice looks like your typical house blend - when you walk into the humidor at Barrister Cigars, you see a decent amount of shelf space dedicated to this unassuming cigar with an unassuming band. The band is the Barrister Cigars logo - a black band with maroon emphasis and the Scales of Justice. The cigar itself is a medium, dark brown with slightly visible seams and some minor veins visible. As I clip the cap and take some prelight draws, I get some dry, almost chocolatey sweetness and some earth.
On the light, you are immediately hit with spice and power. As a fan of full-bodied, full-strength cigars, I'm immediately assuming I will enjoy this cigar. About an inch in, the spice and power tone down a bit and an earthy sweetness takes over with the spice remaining on the finish. As I go to put the cigar down for a photo op, the ash falls off about an inch in - maybe a little less. At the middle, the cigar is really hitting for me. The smoke is extremely smooth on the front of your tongue providing some sweet earth/wood flavors with the spice really accentuating the experience on the finish - especially on the retro. As I enter the 2nd half of the cigar, the sweetness is really starting to hit and I'm really starting to enjoy this cigar as its presenting a really unique mix of sweetness and spice. The sweetness tones down from the peak as I smoke to the nub, but the same relative flavor profile remains with the smooth flavor on the front, and the spice on the finish.
I don't know that this is my favorite cigar ever, and probably not even something I'd buy a box of, but its a mighty fine cigar - especially for the price. The unique mix of sweetness with spice is something that really hits my palate and keeps me going back regularly. This is a cigar that I think should be a staple in your humidor, but the price catapults it up a few notches!
The nose of the Barrister Justice cigar is sweet cedar with just the faintest note of barnyard and hay.
As I lit up and took my first few draws I immediately tasted the sweet cedar from the nose and there was also some faint pepper as well. On the retro-hale the pepper is far more pronounced, reaching the medium intensity level. The nice thing about the pepper on the retro-hale is that it didn’t linger. At the halfway point of the first third the pepper on the retro-hale softens and develops a bright and almost floral profile.
The middle third develops some more savory quality to each draw but the primary note was cedar.
The last third winds down with a combination of leather and cedar that play off of each other.
The construction and burn on the Justice was absolutely impeccable. At one point I had a very solid 2” + ash going. The flavors were enjoyable but not full bodied enough to be something in my regular rotation. The Barrister Justice is a great choice for someone who enjoys some pepper and sweetness in their cigar that isn’t going to knock them over with strength.
You should pick up a couple of these for yourself and see how your experience compares.
The Barrister was an excellent smoke really, and something I would highly recommend. It started as a dark chocolate flavor bomb with a defined San Andreas profile. Medium bodied overall, it left little spice on the lips and had a clove appeal. As the cigar progressed, the chocolate moved to espresso, and finished with a savory taste. Given the price point, I would highly recommend this paired with a bourbon and a steak. The rating is only indicative of my flavor preferences, as I smoke maduro once a month at most. The Justice is a flat out steal, and a box buy easy.
The first third starts off with milk chocolate and a hint of dark coffee notes. A slight bitterness enters the mix accompanied by baking spices and slight raisin. The smoke billows out similar to a Drew Estates Undercrown.
Into the second third the chocolate and raisin notes continue. The bitterness has disappeared altogether. This is quite an interesting cigar and right up my alley.
The final third transitions into a very woody profile and it is like smoking oak. The bitterness returns slightly but with a flaming purge it disappears. The cocoa and chocolate come back in a pleasant way. I nubbed the cigar and let it go out with an inch or so left.
Overall, this was a very interesting cigar. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I very much enjoyed it. This cigar rates an 89/100 meaning I would pick up a 5 pack.