The 2006 Liberty Series had a limited release of 40,000 cigars. Upon freeing it from it’s Spanish cedar coffin I was a bit disappointed, at least initially. The wrapper near the foot was cracked in two places. I had purchased this from a forum member and never opened the box until just now. The cap was a little sloppy and the rest of the wrapper could best be described as rustic with quite a few bumps and veins visible. Not bad looking, just not what I would expect from a limited release cigar. The aromas coming off the wrapper and foot were a muted cedar and hay mix. The cold draw added a bit of nuttiness to the cedar.
Cedar and tobacco are in the forefront as the burn easily powers through the cracks in the wrapper. There is a slight edginess to the initial flavors stopping just short of turning harsh. The sharpness of the cedar prevents me from picking up any other subtle flavors that may be in the background. An occasional spice on the retrohale does add a bit of interest. Near the end of this third, some leather begins to develop and almost immediately works on smoothing out the profile. The balance between the cedar and hay still seems off but I can finally pull a little sweet tobacco out from the background. Some cigars take a while to find their identity and I’m hoping this one will settle in soon.
The cedar picks up a little char during the middle third while some toast and grasses weave in and out of the flavor profile. Sadly, the leather begins to fade leaving the rest of the flavors to become a bit harsh. As a result, the toast is now a bit burnt and the gasses are turning dry. At the halfway point, the wood shifts from cedar to more of an oak, which is a welcome transition for my palate. The occasional pepper on the retrohale is becoming increasingly sharper as is the overall harshness of flavors. Nothing seems to be clicking for this cigar.
The woodsy flavor is an interesting mix of cedar and oak. Some floral in the background and a muted spice on the retrohale signal the first real shift in the profile. The balance is still a bit off and the borderline harshness never quite goes away. As the third progresses, the cedar overtakes the oak while hay and tobacco return. The muted pepper on the retrohale intensifies but remains at an acceptable level. The floral helps keep the other flavors in line and is a bright spot in an otherwise confusing profile.
Wide open and consistent to the very end. This made smoking at any cadence possible when trying to see what would coax out the flavors.
The mystery of a coffin…not knowing what you’ll find inside…the hype of the Liberty line. Let’s face it, I was truly looking forward to smoking this one. The 2005 I enjoyed a couple of years ago was pretty darn good. A lot of cigars have a slow start in settling into whatever profile the blender had in mind. For that reason I gave the initial third a bit of a pass. The flavor combination was OK with cedar and hay being the mainstays. Besides an ongoing sharpness to the profile, it was pretty one dimensional until the final third. The leather that initially developed was nice as was the fleeting toast. Unfortunately, the supporting flavors didn’t fully develop enough to impact the first two thirds. I really appreciated the transition from cedar to more of an oak along with the floral near the end. Although the balance was better, it was still not quite there. It was an OK cigar to smoke while doing something else but didn’t really live up to my expectations for a limited release.
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