Team Cigar Review: Prototype Super Unknown (Pre-release)

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Cigar Details: Prototype Super Unknown (Pre-release)

  • Vitola: Short Robusto
  • Length: 4″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Undisclosed
  • Binder: Undisclosed
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Factory: Undisclosed
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $10.00
  • Release Date: Pre-release
  • Source: Prototype Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Interesting look as the cigar is covered in foil from the foot to about two thirds the length of the cigar. It’s about the thickness of the foil that Wrigley gum used to come in. After removing the foil, a perfectly uniform dull light brown wrapper is revealed. The seams are tight and nearly invisible. There are some visible veins and the wrapper is wrinkled in a few places including some of the edges of the single cap. Nosing the wrapper gives a light aroma of cardboard. From the foot, the aroma is lightly musty tobacco which hints at some age to it. The pre-light draw brings some of the same mustiness along with a nice amount of pepper to my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Prototype Unknown’s appearance is rather “unknown” until you slide off what looks like a thin aluminum foil that covers roughly 80% of the cigar. Upon doing so, a pale light brown wrapper is shown. In addition, the cigar feels fairly well rolled with no soft spots present aside from the foot. The head is finished off with only a single cap. The wrapper smells of a dominant fragrant floral / flowers, slight barnyard and cedar. Foot smells of namely barnyard and cedar. Cold draw reveals cedar and sawdust.

First Third

Right after lighting, the cigar is allowing me to bring in a lot of smoke on the draw. I’m getting a blast to my tongue of what I’m deciphering as intense sweetness, reminiscent of if I poured a packet of artificial sweetner (Sweet’N Low or Equal) on my tongue. That’s not really a good or bad thing, just a very interesting experience. The retrohale is a nice mild mustiness, similar to the aroma from the foot and pre-light draw which is very nice. About 1/3 of an inch in and the artificial sweetness sensation has mellowed out. Some oak has come into the retrohale to go along with the light mustiness. Some sourdough is starting to come into the picture as the sweetness fades out even further. Nearing the end of the third, some of that artificial sweetness is making its way into the retrohale. Right as the third finishes, I get the flavor of fresh pine wood on my tongue. The strength in this third was right at the midpoint of mild and medium.

First Third

First thirds flavor profile is one that works in unison quite well. Consistent notes of sugar, cream, bread, roasted dried nuts, charred wood, hay and slight black pepper spice. Through the retrohale, both the black pepper spice and cream is further realized. Although this is a small cigar, I smoked through the entire first third (roughly 1.5 inches) in just a matter of 8 to 9 minutes (perhaps due to the soft feel within the foot area). Body and strength within the entire first third is at a solid medium.

Second Third

Right as this third began, the ash from the full first third dropped and seems to have made a decent change to the flavor. The mustiness has picked up quite a bit with still a little pine in the background. The pine is sticking around on the finish but the primary flavor is a musty oak. The retrohale is nice and smooth. The mustiness is much more defined on the retrohale while the mouth flavor is a mix of musty oak and a finish of slight pine. The strength in this third remained mild/medium.

Second Third

Second thirds flavor profile is one that almost mimics the first thirds profile. Still consistent notes of bread, roasted dried nuts, charred wood and hay. The only difference is the sugar, cream and black pepper spice is amplified but still working well together with the other mentioned flavors. Burn rate continues to be fast within the second third. Again, ~ 1.5 inches took about a quick 8 to 9 minutes. Body and strength within the entire second third continues to be at a solid medium.

Final Third

This third starts the way the previous one ended with the musty oak and bright pine finish. The cigar begins to really heat up about a half inch in. With the heat, the pine is really accentuated. There is some added bitterness to the flavor and retrohale with a strong mineral finish lingering on the tongue. There also seems to be a little mintiness mixed in with the other flavors.The strength in this third has jumped up to medium with the added heat.

Final Third

Last thirds flavor profile exactly mimics the second thirds profile. Still consistent notes of sugar, cream, bread, roasted dried nuts, charred wood and hay. Just like the first and second third, the burn rate continues to be fast. Same burning rate of 8 to 9 minutes for 1.5 inches. Further, starting from the beginning of the last third, the draws become noticeably hot. Body and strength within the entire last third continues to be at a solid medium.

Burn

The burn on this cigar was about as perfect as can be. The burn line was perfectly straight and the ash held on for large chunks between of about an inch and a quarter.

Burn

Burn was good in terms of ashes but fails in terms of rate. Ash was tight and fell in solid 1.5 inch marks. The burn was fairly razor sharp. Unfortunately, the burn rate was also incredibly fast averaging 8 to 9 minutes for each third. Also, the burn got noticeably hotter at the beginning of the last third, taking away from the comfort of smoking and focusing on flavors.

Draw

The draw was very good. Just slightly looser than I prefer, but that’s trivial. Each draw allowed for lots of smoke to be brought in.

Overall

This is an interesting cigar and an interesting concept. Not knowing the age or location of this tobacco or how long this cigar has been aging after it was rolled goes along perfectly with its name. Some of the flavors and aromas lead me to believe some of the tobacco has a good bit of age on it, but I doubt we’ll ever know. The flavors presented brought bright experiences which shocked the taste buds at times. With the size of the cigar, it still burned pretty fast. The performance was great, but that’s not enough to carry a cigar. This isn’t something really in my wheelhouse but definitely an intriguing smoke. For the price, you don’t get a lot of smoking time, and the time I did, it wasn’t great flavors, so it would be a pass for me in the future. I will be interested to see the reception this cigar gets when it is released and what other cigars this company may come out with.

Aaron
Jiunn
Subpar Pre
Light
Subpar
Subpar First
Third
Good
Average Second Third Good
Poor Final
Third
Average
Amazing Burn Subpar
Very Good Draw Subpar
Subpar Overall Average

Draw

Draw was fairly loose for my taste. It was comparable to just breathing air. Although this did not affect flavors within the first and second third, it did for the last third.

Overall

This was overall a tasty linear cigar. The flavors were consistent and worked well together. No major building of complexities and/or transitions, but given such a short smoke, this isn’t a disappointment (more so in line with a short cigar). Would happily enjoy more of the Unknowns but just wish the burn rate was slower so that I can enjoy the flavors that much longer.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

4.47

Cost/Point

$2.24

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.33

Cost/Point

$1.87

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Prototype Super Unknown (Pre-release)

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