JR Cigars has been around since as long as I can remember. They are mainly an online retailer, yet they do have a few B&Ms in the Northeastern US. They sell anything tobacco related from pipe tobacco, pipes, cigars, smoking accessories and the ever growing E-cigs & Vapes. Another thing they also have is a selection of their own lines of cigars made from various companies. The Unchartered is one of those cigars and is made by AJ Fernandez in his Nicaraguan factory.
Wrapper: Ligero Habano Ecuador
Binder: San Andrés
Filler: 75% Nicaraguan and 25% Jamastran
A dark brow wrapper with tiny veins, slight tooth and a slight sheen adorns the Unchartered. A simplistic, yet classic band covers an inch of the cigar’s Ligero Habano Ecuadorian wrapper. It has a “normal” feel to it with no hard or soft spots, but overall a firm cigar. The wrapper has an aroma of dark earth and a little leather. The foot has notes of cinnamon, spice, a nice cedar and a bit of earthiness. The cold draw, from a straight cut of the double cap, reveals an easy draw with hints of the cinnamon and cedar detected in the foot’s aroma.
The draw was a bit on the loose side, but it wasn’t an issue with me as it gave off plumes of dense rich smoke. A slight wave in the burn revealed a slightly flaky dirty white and gray ash that held on fairly well. Around the halfway point I did need to give it a touch-up on the burn. But other than that, it burned quite well without effort.
After a long and slow toasting of the cigar I let it sit to avoid any off flavors from the heat of the toasting. Once settled, the first draws give off a superb amount of dense smoke that’s full of flavors. Notes of dark coffee, leather, spice and hints of a sweetness have their way with my palate. I am really surprised at how much smoke this cigar gives off and the fullness of the flavors. A little ways into the smoke the dark coffee note takes on a sweet caramel note that I enjoy. The spice is in the back half of the smoke and lingers for a while on the finish. While starting to end the first third, I notice a cedar flavor ramping up in the draw with hints of the leather and earthiness found in the wrapper’s aroma.
During the start of the mid portion of the cigar, the cedar note eases off some and coffee takes prominence with an added leather note to the mix. The smoke seems to be a tad bit smoother in this portion of the cigar. The punch is still there as this is an upper medium, almost full bodied smoke. The caramel sweetness has died off some in the dark coffee as well as some of the cedar. The spice is a bit lesser than before, but still around. The leather is still appearing periodically in the smoke, but not as much as before. Ending the middle portion of the cigar, I get a bit of black pepper creeping up into the mix of flavors. Its not a flavor I particularly wanted to show up. But it was kept under control by the dark coffee, amply sweetened caramel and leather.
Considering how “dark” the flavors are, the final portion shows some creaminess in the draw. It rounds off the dark coffee and settles down the black pepper a bit. The black pepper only lasts for a handful of draws and eases off a good bit at the end of the cigar. With about an inch or so left the flavors got pretty muddled up. This is the only thing I didn’t care for at all. I guess I am hoping for more of the nice mix of flavors. A slight purge does some bit of good to fix the “off” flavors, but it was short lived so I am forced to lay it to rest in my ashtray. I really didn’t want this cigar to end as I enjoyed the flavors and wanted a bit more. I think I will pick up a 5pk of the toros for $17. I wish I could get a box, but my humidor won’t hold another full box.
For $4, there are some real junk cigars and some decent cigars offered today. This is definitely not a junk cigar and I really enjoyed it. I think they have a hit by having AJ Fernandez blend and roll this cigar as he is one of my favorite blenders. The smoke from this cigar was rich with an upper medium flavor strength and medium to full body. This would be a pretty smoke to pair with some dark coffee in the evening time after a hearty meal. Occasionally I like to have a cup after dinner and I think this cigar would pair very nicely with it.
Is it worth the $4? You bet your bottom dollar it is. At this price, its a steal to me and would pay twice that for it after trying a few of these.
*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from JR Cigars for this review. Many thanks to those great people for the opportunity to review this cigar!