A while back, I set out to try some of the TL Johnson line, as I continually heard good things from the cigar community. I put out some feelers for trades and ended up getting a Legend Reserve Habano dedicated for review. I did not know much about the company going in, nor could I find any info other than a website under construction and a Facebook page.
Filler: Peruvian Ligero, Nicaraguan Habano Seco
Dry Draw: berries, cedar, red pepper
First Third: The Legend Reserve Habano started out as a spicy cigar up front, coating the roof of my mouth with spices. The finish was a bit dry at times, with hints of citrus lingering in the depth. I felt like for my palate, a bourbon pair would be ideal at this point. The retrohale had a nice creamy appeal with notes of red pepper and cedar. As I neared the end of the first third, the richness of the draw picked up, but the roof of my mouth was still a bit dry.
Second Third: Richer flavors started coming through, but nothing I could put my fingers on. I felt the retrohale was the best part of the cigar at this point, with the pepper and cedar combining with hints of citrus. The finish began to mellow a bit, and was less dry to taste. This may be my palate talking though, as I am akin to milder cigars. As I neared the midway point, brown sugar notes came into play and I really started enjoying the Legend Reserve.
Final Third: The retrohale had a bit more sting to it, while the finish improved to my liking. My mouth was encompassed in light red pepper and cedar on the finish, ever so slightly. The draw was providing the brown sugar for the palate, while citrus hints snuck in and out of the draw and retrohale. The complexity and balance of the final third made for a wonderful cigar.
Construction: Amazing box press I must admit
Final Thoughts: Fans of spicier cigars need to seek this cigar out, as I think the blend will compete with any out there. The changes that took place signified excellent blending skills, and the quality of finish excellent tobacco. While the profile is not one I seek, the quality of the blend has me very excited to try the rest of the line. Any Fed Heads out there want to trade for the Maduro, Connecticut, or Tempio blends let me know. I see why TL Johnson gets good press from the review sites and forums. I would highly recommend this cigar to anyone whom likes My Father or Tatuaje cigars, AJ Fernandez, and full-bodied enthusiasts.