The Headlines cigar has quite a mix of history. Started by Fusion Cigars and eventually revitalized in early 2015 with the help of Arby Sosa of Antillian Cigar Corp. 2014 was the 50th anniversary of Antillian Cigar Corp and in late 2014, Fusion Cigar and Antillian Cigar Corp signed a distribution agreement. This entailed a few other cigar lines and accessories and will help broaden their piece of the cigar industry.
Vitola: Toro (Page 3)
Wrapper: Dominican grown Pennsylvania Seed
Binder: Dominican Olor
Filler: Dominican Criollo 98 (ligero), Dominican Piloto Cubano (ligero), Dominican Criollo 98 (seco) & Dominican Olor (seco)
Factory: Tabacalera, Real, S.A.
Country: Dominican Republic
The thing that sticks out the most when looking at this cigar, is the fairly large and interesting band. It looks like the front page of the L.A. Times with font chosen for the cigar name. A closer look at the band reveals a summarized story of the Headlines cigar; claiming to be “The Perfect Dominican Smoke.” The cigar itself is not one to admire as there are some veins, a few color variations in the wrapper and a cap that’s less than perfectly applied. The cigar has a few places of softness, despite the overall firm feel to the cigar. But we don’t smoke the looks of the cigar and band.
The wrapper aroma is similar to leather and wood with a slight mustiness to it. The foot has a stronger aroma of nutmeg and dried hay. The cold draw has little resistance, has a light feel and has some of the nutmeg found in the foot aroma as well as a faint spice kick.
The draw got a bit thicker than the cold draw once the cigar was lit and diminishing into a pile of ashes. This was a good sign for me as the cold draw was a bit looser than I would like to see in a lit cigar. Each ash dropped a little over an inch from a somewhat uneven burn that never seemed to straighten itself. Although the burn was sketchy at times, I never had to touch it up or relight it. The ashes from said burn had a dark gray hue to it with bits of dark gray and almost black in some areas.
Toasting up the cigar with a soft flame, the first few draws have a slight darkness and sweetness in the smoke. Soon there after a nice peper-like spice shows up in the smoke and I start to notice that this cigar puts off a good amount of dense smoke. Around the middle of the first third, there is a nice amount of a floral and herbal note that accompanies the faint amount of sweetness in the smoke. Leaving out of the first third, I get a malty note that has some cocoa-like qualities to it that spark my attention some.
Getting into the middle portion of the cigar, the flavors are staying pretty much the same with the malty cocoa, and floral notes. The slight spicy kick is more noticeable on the finish as well as the faint sweetness. The longer I keep the smoke in my mouth, the creamier and sweeter the smoke gets. A full retrohale around the middle point of the cigar reveals a blast of nuttiness and a less spice that really clears the sinuses immensely. Past the halfway mark, the spice seems to mellow off a good amount and lets the floral and creamy cocoa notes shine through and is the highlight of the cigar in my eyes.
Rounding third and heading home into the last third of the cigar, the malty cocoa and floral notes seem to step up a notch in strength and the pepper spice comes back up into the flavors, but not as much as its previous appearance. The creaminess and sweetness are also taking a step back in strength in the mix. With not much left in the cigar, the sweetness has pretty much played itself out of the flavor mix allowing the floral, herbal and pepper notes to shine even more. Ending the cigar, the flavors start to get a bit muddled and the only thing I could get out of it is a dark and salty-like flavor that I don’t really care too much for. I believe the heat started taking its toll on the flavors. I wish the cigar would have ended nicer than it did, but overall an enjoyable smoke.
I enjoyed this cigar and would smoke it regularly. It is a good medium bodied smoke with strong medium strengthed flavors. For the $8 MSRP, this a good value for the money. I really enjoyed this Dominican puro that showed off nice flavors that never got too muddled together, but still offered some complexity in the smoke. When first looking at the cigar, I figured to have some construction or draw issues, but once lit there were not many. The burn was a little on the wavy side, but never gave me any issues. The col draw was loose, but once into the cigar, it tightened up some; but still had a little looseness to it. Overall I enjoyed this cigar. Look for a review of the “Second Edition” of this cigar in the next few weeks to see how it stacks up to the First Edition.
*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Sosa & Fusion Cigars for this review. Many thanks to those great people for the opportunity to review this cigar!