Byron Serie Siglo XX 5 Anos
Size: 5 1/2 x 54
Factory: Undisclosed Factory in Costa Rica
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system
The Byron brand is an ultra premium brand with beautiful presentation. The Serie Siglo XX is packaged in gorgeous porcelain jars of 25 with an ultra premium price of $950 to match. For those unfamiliar, Byron Cigars(along with Atabey and Bandolero) come from Nelson Alfonso, the graphic designer behind many of Cuba’s biggest brands, including the Cohiba Behike. The humidor jars used for Byron are even manufactured by the same company that makes the jars for some of the limited edition Habanos.
The wrapper and construction are exactly what you’d expect from something in this price range. It’s smooth, well rolled, with no visual imperfections. The wrapper smells sweet, with notes of peanuts, and the foot smells like molasses with a touch of spice.
Prelight draw is good, but a touch tighter than I usually prefer. The cold draw tastes faintly of brown sugar, and leaves a lingering black pepper spice on the lips.
First third: The first draw is a woody, oaky flavor with a little white pepper, and a touch of sweetness. There’s also a sour note that I can’t identify. After just a few puffs, the sour note fades away quickly.
Nearing the end of the first third, the primary flavor is now a very sweet oaky note, with the white pepper still present, but in the background now. The ash starts flaking off after about an inch, and continues doing so for the remainder of the smoking time.
Second Third: The ash drops as soon as the second third starts, which continues the trend of woody sweetness, with a white pepper spice. Halfway through the second third, the sweetness starts to lessen, while the pepper increases.
Finishing up the second third, the sweetness is coming back around, and the white pepper spice is diminishing. There’s also now an almond note working it’s way in.
Final Third: In the final third, both the white pepper and woody sweetness ramp back up. After this transition at the beginning of the final third, the flavors stayed pretty much the same remainder of the cigar. The body and strength of this cigar held steady at medium-plus for the entire ride, and the burn was sharp.
Final Thoughts: In this price range, I think a cigar should wildly exceed expectations. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the case for my experience with the Byron Serie Siglo XX. While this is a very good cigar, it never got to a point where it was truly great. The construction was fantastic, but in my opinion, there’s just not enough flavor or complexity here to justify the super-premium price.
Before getting to the rating, I think it’s important to note that price is an important factor in our rating system, to the point where I think it’s sort of weighted against them. I were ignoring price, I think this would land around an 88. That being said, at almost $40 MSRP(though the going rate seems closer to $30) I simply cannot justify recommending anyone buying more than a few of these, and I just don’t see them being something that I’d buy if they had them on the shelf at my local B&M.