Team Cigar Review: Atabey Spiritus

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Cigar Details: Atabey Spiritus

  • Vitola: Lancero
  • Length: 7.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Country of Origin: Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Undisclosed
  • Binder: Undisclosed
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
  • Blender: Nelson Alfonso
  • Price: $30.00
  • Release Date: July 2018
  • Source:  United Cigar

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a light golden brown with a few well pressed veins present. The seams are smooth but easily visible due to the light color of the wrapper. The head is finished off with a single cap that has a very small flag at the end. There are two bands, the primary being the traditional band for the brand while the foot band denotes the company name and seems to be a newer addition to some of the more recent vitolas. The aroma from the wrapper is lightly sweet hay. The foot brings wood and more sweet hay. The pre-light draw brings light hay notes.

Pre-light Experience

The Atabey Spiritus is lovely in appearance and the cigar comes with a well applied cap and gorgeous light, natural colored wrapper. There is an attempt of a pigtail cap, but it is not that successful and the cigar is fairly firm throughout. There are few veins present throughout, and the ones present are small in appearance and have no impact on the overall texture. The wrapper has this lovely golden hay coloring and it is silky in texture throughout. The foot of the cigar is giving off aromas of sweet cocoa, almonds, rich earth and spices while the wrapper is showing aromas of cedar, earth and barnyard notes.

Pre-light Experience

The Atabay Spiritus has a striking gold band with white and black accents, along with a secondary foot band. The wrapper is velvety smooth with a light brown wrapper and a pigtail cap. Nosing the wrapper, I pick up aromas of faint leather, cedar and sweet tobacco in the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Atabey Spiritus has a Colorado Claro wrapper shade showing a smooth and silky texture. Construction looks good as veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even with a good give and a well applied double cap. Aromas from the wrapper give strong white pepper and fresh barnyard. Foot aromas tell rich nuttiness and white pepper. Cold draw gives cedar and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with a light wood and mild black pepper. At a quarter inch in, some cream joins the profile. At an inch in, the profile consists of wood, dry earthiness, cream and mild black pepper. The retrohale carries a profile of wood and mild black pepper. A little further in, the wood gains a toasted character to it. As the third comes to a close, the toasted wood and cream are up front with the dry earthiness and black pepper pretty mellow in the background. The strength in this third was mild-medium.

First Third

From the get go, the Spiritus delivers some solid cedar, cream and coffee notes. There are some lemongrass flavors present as well and with that are some light amaretto qualities. It is a nice light flavor profile that has some depth and complexity, especially for the restricted tobacco used in the smaller ring gauge format. It is between mild and medium in strength, medium in body and similar level for flavors.

First Third

The Atabey Spiritus begins with creamy coffee, finishing with leather at a light plus intensity. The retrohale consists of rich spices and a sweet finish. Each draw has the spices intensifying, bringing a new flavor of powdered cocoa along with it. The leather flavor also starts to show up on the post draw, building in intensity to a medium minus. At the 30 minute mark, the intense baking spices on the retrohale start to become offset by the creamy coffee, and powdered cocoa.

First Third

The first third gives flavors of cedar, nuts and a surprising amount of white pepper on the tongue and finish. Towards the latter portion of the first third, baking spices and minerals join the profile. Retrohaling brings out more of the white pepper and nuts. The finish (aside from the lingering pepper) also has a very lengthy cedar note. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the flavors are quite full with the toasted and creamy wood really delivering and the dry earthiness and black pepper as quality supporting notes. At an inch in, the retrohale is carrying the toasted and creamy wood without the supporting notes of the mouth draws. A little further in, the black pepper morphs into a very generic mild spice while the rest of the profile remains intact. As the third comes to a close, the toasted wood takes the lead over the cream while the spice increases a bit and the dry earthiness is faint in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.

Second Third

As I get into the second third of the cigar, I find a new addition in the flavor profile and it is a soft chocolate flavor. It is pairing with those cedar, cream and coffee notes, and has a finish of amaretto and soft spice. The lemongrass flavors have faded at this point and with that a bit of complexity and depth. It is still between mild and medium in strength and the body and flavors are at that medium level.

Second Third

In the second third, the baking spices being to harmonize with the powdered cocoa and creaminess to deliver almost an espresso like experience. While the first third had each flavor fighting for strength dominance, they all settle in here at a medium level for the entire second third smoking experience.

Second Third

The second third is very similar to the first third. Still a medium strength and bodied delivery of white pepper, cedar, nuts, baking spices and minerals. At times the profile becomes more mineral and wood focused, but in terms of flavors, pretty spot on as the first third.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the toast note transitions to a light char of the wood while the cream remains slightly behind. At three quarters of an inch, the char continues to build while the cream is now very faint and the earthiness and spice aren’t really detectable anymore. At an inch and a quarter, the cream picks back up but is still a bit behind the charred wood. This is how the cigar finished out. Strength bumped up to medium.

Final Third

When I get into the final third of the cigar, I find the flavor profile lacking when compared with the first and second third. The cigar is delivering the core flavors of cedar, coffee, cream and soft chocolate notes, but the spice and amaretto flavors have vanished. It has continued to lose the complexity as the cigar progresses through each third and it has a flat finish. The flavors and body are just below medium and the strength is at that level between mild and medium.

Final Third

There is a mint like sweet candy flavor as the Atabey Spiritus transitions into the final third. The spice intensity is down along with the creaminess. A toasted earthiness comes into the retrohale that moves into the post draw, pushing the leather flavors aside. The final third settles into a toasted graham cracker profile.

Final Third

The last third takes a turn towards the worse halfway through, as the profile becomes less diverse and complex. Main notes of white pepper and cedar persists with the same medium strength and body profile.

Burn

The burn line was perfect. The cigar did go out once in the second third and required a re-light. The ash held on in one inch increments.

Burn

In terms of construction the cigar was fantastic. The lancero smoked cool from beginning to end and with that was a perfect burn line. The ash had a nice coloring to it, solid gray and it held firmly on throughout.

Burn

If you’ve ever smoked an Atabey before, you know that the burn tends to set the standards for what a perfect burn should be. Ash was holding up to 1 inch increments with a minor wavy burn in the first third that immediately corrected itself.

Burn

Burn performance was perfect. Even burn, tight and sturdy ashes, cool burn.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The flavor profile was centered around toasted wood and cream with some dry earthiness and pepper as supporting notes. Some heavy char became present in the final third. Strength level was medium and below. This cigar did a great job of delivering full flavors at a low strength level. The price of the cigar is a bit of a deterrent, but I’ve always felt that this brand was a good indulgence cigar, in that when wanting to try something at a higher price point for a special occasion, the cigar delivers. I would have no problem smoking more of these as they are quite enjoyable, but the price does limit the frequency. If you haven’t tried the brand, this is a pretty good representation. If you have tried it, this is another good vitola.

Draw

The draw was simply perfect.

Overall

I have always been a fan of Atabey releases that I have tried. It is a super premium line that lives up to their price which a lot of other super premium smokes do not. With that being said, I do not believe this to be a line that should have been created in a small ring gauge offering. I think the wrapper is too weak on its own to carry the blend and the cigar excels with more filler tobacco. I would be interested to see how the cigar smokes in a true Churchill or Double Corona offering; I would have gone down that road first before attempting a large lancero, but I am not sure if that will work either. It is a large spread between mid to high 50’s to then create a 40 ring gauge offering. It is a bold undertaking, and I give them props for attempting it but if you want to really enjoy Atabey, stick with the larger offerings. Spiritus is not a bad cigar, it’s fairly solid overall, but nothing compared with the larger ring gauge offerings.

Draw

Each puff has a slight resistance to it, making it a perfect draw.

Overall

The Atabey Spiritus is a complex and rich Lancero smoking experience. The cigar has bold flavors that don’t overwhelm the palate, for a truly luxurious profile. I do find myself comparing the Atabey Spiritus to the Atabey Misticos, and for me the Misticos edges out the Spiritus in overall flavor complexity. Ultimately though, I’m comparing degrees of excellence in terms of overall scoring. If you are an Atabey fan, or are simply looking for a premiere smoking experience, you would do well to pick yourself up a Spiritus.

Draw

The draw was perfect as well, giving the ideal resistance and air flow.

Overall

Overall, the Atabey Spiritus has a good set of flavors centered around nuts, white pepper, cedar, baking spices and minerals within the first two thirds (with the last third trailing in complexities). But having smoked the larger (55 ring plus) versions of the Atabey 1.5 years or so ago, it seems like the newer Atabey has changed and it no longer has the special touch and wow factor of the original Atabey. I’d say try a couple to gauge but probably no more than that.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Very GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawVery GoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
GoodOverallAverageOverallVery GoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$4.47

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.50

Cost/Point

$5.45

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

8.23

Cost/Point

$3.64

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$4.40

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Atabey Spiritus
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Atabey Spiritus

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4 comments

Join the conversation
  • Nathan Parsons - August 27, 2018 reply

    I’m very curious to hear what beverages were paired with this, if any, esp. with the sample John smoked. Did all of these samples come from the same box? While I do enjoy Atabey’s other offerings and the Lancero is my favorite format in general, I look forward to trying this vitola from them soon, although perhaps with some apprehension. Thanks for the quadruple review!

    Aaron Loomis - August 27, 2018 reply

    The other guys can chime on their routine, but I think it’s similar for us all in not drinking anything that contributes any flavor to the review. I always drink unflavored mineral water when I review.

    The Senator - August 28, 2018 reply

    Canada Dry Club Soda. Glass bottle. Same for all reviews.

    John McTavish - August 28, 2018 reply

    I make a point of pairing nothing but water.
    I think it’s fair to say I would rank near the top of cigar reviewers in terms of pairing experience, and I don’t see how you could fairly review the notes in a cigar if it’s competing or being affected by flavors from non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages.
    I did do a guest spot on Sharing Our Pairings where I paired the cigar, and I though it performed well.
    I think the overall consensus was that on its own, this is a solid lancero, but several people expressed that the larger ring gauge cigars simply perform better.

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