This cigar came to me by way of a contest over at Cigarbrief.
A heavy woody smell with some underlying spicy notes
This cigar is Toro shaped 6.5x52 and box pressed. As this is a pre-release the band is plain white with the Vintage 2003 lettering.The wrapper is brown and there are no imperfections.
My initial impression is roasted nuts. There is a taste of pepper on my lips after the first few draws. The first third becomes creamy with only a slight sweetness to it. A smooth start.
The flavor profile of the second third is largely comprised of tobacco, the unsweetened creamy flavors from the first and nuttiness as an aftertaste. It becomes predominantly leathery at the halfway point.
Still leathery to start the first third. There is an earthy taste that mixes in which slowly becomes slightly bitter as the third progresses. At the halfway point of the final third it becomes quite harsh and I let it go out.
The draw on the Vintage 2003 was easy and I had no burn issues. Total smoking time was approximately an hour and 5 minutes.
Singles range from $8-$9, 5-packs are approximately $34. You can pick up a box of 20 for $120 - $160. Based on the flavor profile the price offering here is quite average value.
The Vintage 2003 Box Press is a fairly balanced cigar ideally suited to smokers who don't want something overly complex or at the fuller range of strength. If that is the kind of cigar you enjoy, this would be a good choice. I didn't find the Vintage complex enough for me to enjoy as a regular choice from my humidor.
Keep in mind that a pre-release is not always going to represent the final product. Often tweaks will be made to the blend prior to full release. I'd definitely recommend you pick up the release and let us know how it compares to this pre-release.