With the addition of AKA Cigars to the CigFed Store, I decided to make sure there was a review of each blend here on the site. Rob reviewed the Nthº last year, but the other blends were, thus far, not reviewed here at Cigar Federation. So, I am going to fill in the gaps for those of you who have not had a chance to smoke these cigars.
The AKA Respect 2013, is the current iteration of the original blend, aka the Respect 2011. For reference, this cigar will be reblended every two years. This review is on the 5.5x50 vitola, called the “Hooah” Army. It has a smooth, dark chocolate brown wrapper with minimal veins. The foot and wrapper smell like a creamy chocolate with a slight spice. Looks great with the silver and black bands, of which there are three on this particular cigar. The cold draw sent a spice kick to the back of my throat and had notes of tobacco, pepper, wood and cocoa. It was also a bit dry on the draw.
Once lit up, the first puff of the AKA Respect is a full bodied blast of flavors! Once the initial blast wore off, the first third was a steady medium-full. The main flavors started off of cedar and pepper, but it wasn’t a spice bomb. Then, about a quarter inch in, there was the distinct note of lemon pepper, which I found interesting and very enjoyable. The draw was creamy & smooth, with a dry pepper note and the burn was spot on.
The second third of the AKA Respect 2013, has a similar profile to that of the first. The body however, goes down to a medium and the retrohale is much more citrus than spice. The draw is still dry, but this is not detrimental, just a note. The spice has died down and I am picking up a cinnamon note on the background. The burn is still razor sharp and the smoke production is thick & white.
The final third of the AKA Respect 2013 ramps up the spice for a few minutes, before dying back down. The main lemon pepper, that was present in the first two thirds, has left the scene. The main profile is now more woody, mostly oak. But there is still a flavorful note of black pepper throughout, just without the tingly kick.
In the end, the AKA Respect 2013 is a solid cigar. Not a powerhouse, but not breakfast stick either. Lots of enjoyable flavors and a pleasant kick of pepper throughout. I personally preferred the original (2011) blend, but I will discuss that when I review it. ;)