The Headlines Second Edition is a cigar that was re-launched in early 2015 by Sosa Cigar and Fusion Cigars. The Headlines line has been re-blended and re-branded with Dee from Fusion Cigar and the Master Blender, Don Amadiz. Arby Sosa from Antillian Cigar Corporation, is the exclusive distributor for Headlines Cigar.
Wrapper: Dominican Habano Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Piloto Cubano
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero, Dominican Andullo & Dominican 20-20.
Cost*: MSRP between $7.50-$8.50
The large band, just like the 1st Edition stands out very prominently. The band reads of a story behind the history of the cigar; read a brief history here. The wrapper has an ununiformed dark brown color to it with darker brown spots in it. A few good sized veins randomly run the length of the cigar and only one looks to possibly an issue. The overall feel of the cigar has a pretty firm feel to it. The cold draw has a good bit of firmness to it and I hope it lessens up as the cigar progresses.
The construction of this cigar was less than perfect, the draw was slightly thicker than I would like. A ways into the cigar I made a second cut on the torpedo tip to try and ease up the draw, but made little help with it; but it was not a big issue. A somewhat wavy burn line was an issue at times and I had to keep a watchful eye on it periodically. It did need a touch-up in the last portion as it did get too much out of hand. But other than that, a simple turn in the ashtray or in my hand was needed to keep the burn on track. From said burn came ashes of a light dirty white ash with some flakes and fairly tight rings. Overall the cigar had some issues, but none that were big enough to distract from the smoking of the cigar.
The first few draws have a bit of thickness to them with notes of dark cocoa. light black pepper and a taste similar to burning pine straw with a hit of sweetness attached to it. Shortly into the cigar, the black pepper and sweetness amped up a bit in strength as the burning pine straw eases off. Heading out of the first third of the cigar, there is a light citrus note that arises and goes well with the sweetness already found in the smoke.
Working into the middle portion of the cigar, a malty charactoristic is added to the cocoa. The malty cocoa is now lessening the strength of the black pepper. Later, the smoke takes a turn and an interesting exotic nuttiness arises. I can’t pick out the specific nut it resembles, but it is not one that you would usually eat; such as cashew or peanut etc.. As close as I can tell, its similar to a roasted peanut flavor, but its not, it is more exotic. The exotic nut (if you will) flavor lingers for quite a while and can be tasted on the roof of my mouth. The middle portion of this cigar is very rich and complex. Any more complex, and I would deem it being “too complex”, but I like the compexidity of the smoke. The sweetness now is easing off back to where it originally started in the first third. Ending the middle portion, the exotic nut note fades off fast and allows the malty sweet cocoa. black pepper and pine straw show more.
Leading into the home stretch of the cigar, the complexidity simmers down. The black pepper sticks out the most, followed by the malty cocoa that has lost a bit of its sweetness and then the pine straw. The black pepper shows back up into the mix of flavors and mingles in with the pine straw. Doing so, the sweetness eases off even more and the black pepper note takes on a spicy quality. Ending the cigar, the pine straw and the sweetness lessens more in the mix and eventually leaves the flavor mix. With about an inch or so left, the flavors were mainly the malty cocoa and black pepper, yet there was a bitter note that started to appear. Fearing it would get more potent, I ended the cigar there.
Overall, I really enjoyed the smoke this cigar produced. The construction had its issues, but none were so problematic that it became an issue. The smoke started off fairly complex, around halfway the smoke got a lot more complex and more interesting. There was a buffet of flavors that I enjoyed. Except for at the end, which happens a lot in cigars, the flavors never got off or foul and stayed bold yet smooth. There were nice subtle changes in key flavors that allowed each flavor to take a piece of the spotlight. The body of this cigar is of a full likeness and the flavor strength is of the same strength. This is a cigar that someone whom likes full bodied maduro cigars would like.
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*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!