Founded by the creator of Black Label Trading Co. James Brown and a partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra, BLK WKS Studio was started in November of 2015. The Fabrica Oveja Negra factory was opened so that they could experiment with with tobaccos and blends, making it a "playground" for blending. BLK WRKS Studio is another outlet to produce unique, quality, boutique blends. This is a way for them to bring blends to life, that have been just sitting "on the shelf". The NBK is one of the first release blends.
NBK by BLK WKS Studio
Vitola: Box Press Corona
Wrapper: Ecuador Habana
Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Cigar for review provided by a fellow BOTL
Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system.
Prelight: The wrapper has a calm aroma of earth, leather, fermented tobacco and just a touch of barnyard notes. Surprisingly, even with the 95% closed foot, the foot has stronger barnyard notes and some chocolate comes into play. The cold draw is an interesting mix of oats, hay/grain and some natural tobacco sweetness.
Beginning: The NBK starts out as a bit of a flavor bomb. Some chocolate and malt notes dance around in the forefront. There are also some bread notes on the finish, which is long and thick. The retrohale has a nice, subtle white pepper spice mixed with some cedar notes. There is also this smokey-sweet fruit-like note that pops in and out, mostly on the retrohale. Towards the end of this third I also started to get the occasional sweet burst of cherry. Fairly straight burn and a tight almost white ash testify to good construction.
Middle: The second third starts off with a similar profile to begin with. But the a caramel flavor comes in and the profile becomes creamier. The retrohale has a lot of malty, bread notes with the occasional pop of red pepper. An interesting transition on the retrohale for sure. The main profile changes up again about halfway through, and a toasted cashew flavor takes over. I also start to pick up a hint molasses and dark honey towards the end as well.
End: The final third was mainly a mix of grain, dirty earth and wood notes. I did have to go quite slow in this final third, or the NBK seemed to overheat and get some bitterness. Just as long as I kept it slow and steady, things seemed to go just fine. This third definitely ramped up to medium full in body, but stayed around the medium in strength.
Final Thoughts: Tasty little cigar. The first two thirds were in the medium strength and body range, with lots of great flavors. The final third was less fantastic, but still good, and in the medium-plus almost full body range. I was really surprised by the complexity of this NBK and I would love to pick up a few more.
Rating: 88 AKA "5-pack"