In the final installment of our look at the 3 different store exclusives offered by Barrister Cigars in Union, NJ, we take a look at the Verdict by Barrister Cigars today. Our journey began about a month ago, when we provided an exclusive first look at the Herrera Esteli Tienda Exclusiva for Barrister Cigars. We followed that up last week with the original Barrister store exclusive - the Justice.
While David Mallow, the owner of Barrister Cigars, told us about the time and effort spent on blending the Justice and the time and effort spent on the Herrera Esteli Tienda Exclusiva, the Verdict has a bit of a different story - it was almost an accident. On a recent excursion, David Mallow and Debonaire's Phil Zanghi stumbled across some first generation Piloto Cubano tobacco. Loving the unbelievable floral notes from the leaf, the duo created the Verdict by blending the Piloto Cubano with some spice to create a really unique flavor. The Verdict is available in a Churchill, Torpedo, 6x60, and, surprisingly enough, a Culebra. Mallow also tells us that the duo is working on a Robusto that will soon be released as they continue to tweak the blend to perfection.
The Verdict is a newer addition to the Barrister Cigars' shelves having debuted a little over 6 months ago. The cigar has a rustic, mottled light brown wrapper with some visible veins. The band is completely different than the Justice - it is a purple band with a black oval containing the Scales of Justice and saying Verdict Ultra Premium. There is also a gavel on the backside. I clip the cap and take a few prelight draws that are incredibly open and have a floral sweetness note. I'm typically not a fan of Churchills, but I'm excited to light this up.
As I light the cigar, I'm met with an extremely strong floral note that is just amazing. In the background, there is a vague manure-like flavor. I'm reminded here of Jose Blanco who told me how he was looking to make "full-flavored" cigars - this cigar is the epitome of full-flavored. The floral sweetness is so pronounced I'd question if this was an infused cigar if I didn't know any better. This mild smoke is pretty far outside my typical preferences, but I'm absolutely loving it as I reach the 1" mark. As I pass the 1" mark, the sweetness tones down a bit, but the floral flavor remains with a bit of spice in the nose on the retrohale. This continues as I move further into the middle - the sweetness has all but disappeared, but the floral notes remain with a bit of earthiness and the spice has picked up a bit on the finish. I find that the spice and floral notes marry through the end with the flavor profile remaining fairly consistent.
This is cigar is way out of my wheelhouse. I often find Churchills to be too large for my typical enjoyment and I don't typically love milder cigars, but this cigar might have single-handedly changed my view on cigars. I absolutely LOVE this cigar. The floral notes are epicly pronounced and provide a deep, full-flavored experience that keeps you interested throughout with the spice on the finish. For this price, this is a box buy easy for me.
The nose on the Barrister Cigars Verdict was barnyard hay and this underlying note of sweet cherry. The wrapper smelled faintly of chocolate and had some floral qualities.
The first few draws were light pepper combined with dry wood. Curiously I get the exact same profile with the exact same strength on the retro-hale. After a few minutes the Verdict takes on a floral and botanical quality. The pepper has fallen away and the dry wood is only coming through at the end of the draw. I would describe the initial profile here as very Cuban-esque. The first third continues to develop with the wood falling away and being replaced with a subtle sweetness.
As it leads into the middle third there is some lingering sourness that reminds of a botanical gin with rose petals. The retro-hale has also changed to be primarily floral.
The pepper comes back into the retro-hale in the middle third. There’s no changes to the main flavors from the first third. As the middle third establishes itself there is some creaminess added in and the floral and botanical notes drop off in intensity. The dry wood also returns at the halfway mark.
The last third is largely pepper and the same sourness from the end of the first third. The sourness drops off and gives way to cedar.
The Barrister Cigars Verdict was quite floral with an almost Cuban profile in the first third. Unfortunately most of the flavor wheel here fell outside of my preferred tastes. If you enjoy cigars in the floral and botanical spectrum you’re going to go absolutely nuts over the Verdict.