Black Works Studio was opened up under Black Label Trading Company with the goal of “developing unique blends highlighting Nicaraguan tobacco”. To that end James Brown blended the Bishops Blend in 2016 to be a rich and intense experience.
Released in two vitolas, and 20 count boxes, available as a Corona Larga (6-1/4x46) or Robusto (5x48). Production was limited to just 150 boxes of each vitola for 300 total boxes.
It landed as my number 5 cigar of the year, so that spoils the review a bit.
Check out our interview with James Brown at the IPCPR 2016 in Las Vegas:
Check out my video review here:
The nose on the Bishops blend has sweet leather, with hints of sweet cedar underneath. The foot is closed, so unfortunately I’m not able to pick up anything else here.
Using my Lotus v-cutter I found the draw to be ideal.
I initially tasted some subdued pepper notes, with sweetness and creaminess out of the retrohale. The smoke has a velvety mouthfeel to it. As the first third progresses the pepper picks up in intensity but the sweetness does as well, and it serves to provide a nice balance to the profile.
The Bishops Blend continues to ramp up in intensity. What started out as a medium strength cigar in the first third, has hit medium plus here going into the middle third. The leather has picked up to medium plus, and a chocolate nougat joins in with the pepper falling back down. Once the middle third settles in, the chocolate, leather and pepper all seem to fall in the medium to medium-plus range. The nougat is much more rich and intense on the retrohale.
In the last third there’s a mesquite barbeque flavor that I was picking up as a background note in the transition, and it settles in nicely once the last third establishes itself.
Total smoking time was 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The Bishops Blend is a phenomenal example of the unique blends coming out of Black works Studio.
If you were like me and waited to long to get your hands on the 2016 Bishops Blend, the good news is the 2017 Bishops Blend has just released.
I’ve already picked up a box and look forward to reviewing it.