Cigar Details: 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Wrapper: Candela & Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua
- Factory: Oscar Valladares
- Blender: Oscar Valladares
- Price: $8.95
- Release Date: December 2017
- Source: Developing Palates
The major feature of the pre-light experience is the barber pole wrapper combination between Candela and Mexican San Andres in a box pressed format. The wraps are inconsistent in width all the way down as they are thicker at the head than they are at the foot. There are two bands with the primary being the standard Oscar 2012 band in green, black and gold color combination. The foot band denotes The Cigar Shop which this cigar is an exclusive for and the color combination matches well with the primary band. The aroma from the wrapper is a very faint wood, regardless if I was smelling either wrapper type. The foot brings a nice sweet hay along with some wood. The pre-light draw is just a light wood note.
The 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole has candela and Colorado maduro wrapper shades in of course a barber pole design. The box pressed cigar’s construction looks well executed as veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll uniform and a thick cap. Aromas from the wrapper give cedar and hay. Aromas from the foot tells tamed black pepper spice, cedar and nuts. Cold draw gives cedar shavings, hay and subtle dry nuts.
The cigar begins with a nice mix of cocoa, cream and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, some wood takes over most of the cocoa note while the cream and baking spice are still present. At an inch in, the wood is up front with the cream slightly behind while the baking spice is very faint in the background. The retrohale is primarily wood with a slight creaminess. At an inch and a quarter, a slight vegetal note pairs up with the wood. As the third comes to a close, it remains primarily wood that is paired with a slight vegetal note along with some cream and a very subtle baking spice. The strength in this third was right at medium.
The first third’s flavor profile consists of a creamy candy consistency almost like caramel, drying wood, hay, leather and nuts. Retrohaling brings in black pepper spice and deeper notes of nuts and hay. The finish is fairly earthy with dry wood and faintly bitter nuts. Strength and body is for the most part medium.
As the second third begins, the cream increases as does overall smoke production while the wood is still an important player along with the slight vegetal note. At a half inch in, a fair amount of black pepper joins in to mix with the creamy wood while the vegetal note is no longer detectable. At an inch in, the slight vegetal note returns as the pepper eases back quite a bit. As the third comes to a close, the profile becomes a bit drying as the cream has receded while the wood is up front and still carries the slight vegetal note. The strength has bumped up to slightly above medium.
The second third brings the flavors into more focus as the notes become more distinct and fuller. The caramel like creaminess and sweetness is especially further accentuated. Graphite minerality also comes into play bringing in another layer of earthiness. The graphite minerality especially bodes well with the leather notes. Strength is creeping towards medium-full while body maintains medium.
As the final third begins, the cream comes rushing back in to mix with the wood along with a dry earthiness. At a half inch in, the wood gains a char note while the cream remains a supporting note. At an inch in, some bitterness joins the charred wood and cream. At an inch and a half, the bitterness has subsided and the charred wood is up front with the cream not far behind. The retrohale carries a slightly musty wood along with the cream. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.
The last third loses out on the sweetness and creaminess (caramel) and instead shifts to a profile that is mainly minerals and leather. The minerals are now also evident on the finish with the same other notes (dry wood and bitter nuts). Strength is still a tad above medium and body right at medium.
The burn line was slightly wavy the entire way and needed just a minor touch-up at the end of the second third. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.
Burn performance although overall good, can use some help. Two re-lights due to slight tunneling was the major issue. Other than that, burning temperature was cool, relatively sharp burn line and short half inch ash retention.
The draw had just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
As with a lot of barber poles, people tend to think of them as a gimmick, but that’s not the case with this cigar. It provides a good flavor profile centered around wood and cream with baking spice as an early contributor. There was a brief moment of cocoa early on and I wish that was more prevalent throughout the cigar. Construction was very good and allowed for flavor to be the main focus. This is a good shop exclusive and one that should do well for The Cigar Shop. It’s also another good cigar from Oscar. The Candela didn’t impart any bad flavors that are typically associated with it and only brought some slight vegetal notes which I enjoy. I would recommend grabbing some of these and I look forward to smoking more in the future.
The draw was perfect. The ideal resistance and air flow.
I always look forward to smoking barber pole cigars. Barber poles intrigue me because due to the different wrappers, I have no real expectations of what it should taste like (as compared to if for instance it’s a Connecticut Shade cigar, I go into it expecting a certain set of flavors). In the case of the 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole, it tastes a lot more Mexican San Andres than Candela. Flavors of caramel, drying wood, leather, minerals and nuts were the main components of this cigar. I overall enjoyed the cigar’s journey of sweetness to earthiness and would happily smoke this again.
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