“Medicate Your Mind”
Ventura Cigar Company has been around the cigar world for a good amount of time. I never knew what all they had their hands in until I took a look at their website and was quite astonished at the amount of blends they have. They have cigars in every price range from very economical to economical; all their cigars are pretty reasonably priced. I recently reviewed their Project 805R and really enjoyed it. Their recent blend is the “Psyko Seven”.
Wrapper: Hybrid Domincan
Binder: Mexican Sumatra
Filler: Multiple Country Blend
Country: Dominican Republic
Price: $7.19* (price from Two Guys Smoke Shop)**
The first thing that sticks out when I first laid eyes on it was it enormous band. This band is possibly, if not bigger than the La Sirena band. But it is more than just a band, it has the cigar’s blend information on it as well. That is something I have not seen ever on a band that I can recall. It is very eye catching and stands out in the crowd.
Under the massive outer band, which was difficult to remove, is the inner band. This inner band is simple, yet has the phrase “Medicate Your Mind” in places, leading me to hope this will be a relaxing cigar or possibly a mind altering smoke. The medium brown wrapper has a few veins towards the foot. There also looks to be somewhat of a shade difference in the wrapper leaf. But all that is cosmetic and shouldn’t effect the smoking properties of the cigar.
A straight cut reveals a somewhat thick draw with notes of some cinnamon and straw. The flavors are fairly faint, most likely to the thickness of the draw. The foot has a stronger aroma of a light to medium wood. I lit the cigar with a Commonwealth Cedar Spill, as they give off a “truer” first few draws and doesn’t overheat the tobacco from the start. I do recommend using some sort of soft flame whether from a cedar spill or soft flame butane lighter. But when using a cedar spill you have to watch out for falling ash/embers from the spill.
The draw did loosen up some to a little lesser form of the thick cold draw. The burn wasn’t dead on, but not horrible. There were a few waves and rolls in it, but was easily managed with pointing the slow burning part down. The ashes were fairly tight ringed with off-white and grey hues in it. Each ash lasted about an inch or so, but could have lasted longer had I not been man handling the cigar so much. There was an abundance of smoke produced from both drawn and ambient. It wasn’t very “dense” as it easily dissipated quickly.
The first few draws are pretty nice! There are hints of a slightly sweetened black pepper with some hints of a light cream. A bit into the first third, an interesting herbal note enters the smoke. Its not too strong, but it is definitely noticeable. The black pepper is more pronounced during the retrohale and is borderline too much for me in strength. Easing out of the first third, the black pepper notes do take a step or two up in flavor strength. But never enough for me to dislike it.
Proceeding into the middle portion of the cigar, there is a nice cocoa flavor easing up from the ashes. After the cocoa comes a cedar note on the back half of the smoke. The smoke is smooth and creamy as the sweet cream is still in the smoke, but lesser in strength as before. About the halfway point, the cigar takes a noticeable change. The black pepper eases off a good bit, allowing the sweeter notes of cream and cocoa shine through. The cream is more on the long finish, but I really enjoy it in that spot. Its not overly sweet as you would encounter with a flavored or infused cigar. I also get a hint of some of the woody flavor I encountered during the cold draw as I leave out of the middle third.
The final third had a change as well. The cocoa changed into more of a light roasted coffee flavor. I am a coffee nut, so this really appealed to me. The black pepper is still on the palate, but in a way lesser form as it first started out being. During the time that I pulled off the band, I noticed how “wet” this smoke was. I wasn’t not wanting a drink from a dry mouth, although a nice cup of coffee would go great with this cigar. The cigar ends well with the coffee flavor being the key. It was a nice way to end the smoke that never got too bold, bitter or overpowering.
I really enjoyed this cigar. It had enough sweetness that was offset by a rounded black pepper. Each flavor throughout the cigar was held in check by an opposing flavor, but each one never got too far out of hand in strength. The draw was a little bit thicker than I would have liked it to have been, but nothing to worry myself with. I like the sweetness that comes from the Sumatra in the blend as well as the black pepper that was just enough in strength for my likings. I also liked the switch the smoke did around the half way mark. Almost ditching the black pepper and replacing it with a sweeter flavor intrigued me.
For a lighter medium bodied smoke with a solid medium flavor strength, this was a good smoke! This cigar would be a nice way to start off the day with some coffee and a buttered biscuit. The “Medicate Your Mind” saying came to light with me as the smoke was never too strong, bold or harsh; very relaxing smoke that appealed to my taste buds.
Note: If you caught the holder I used when taking the pictures of this review, it is brand new on the market. I will be doing a full review of this week as well prior to the official launch of the holder. So be on the look out for it.
* This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Ventura Cigar Company for this review. Many thanks to them for the opportunity to review this cigar!