Cigar Details: Byron Serie Siglo XXI Aristócratas
- Vitola: Double Robusto
- Length: 8″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Nicaragua and Peru
- Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
- Blender: Nelson Alfonso
- Price: $34.00
- Release Date: October 2018
- Source: United Cigar
The eight inches of length is the first thing you notice about the cigar and then pick up the smooth and flawless golden brown wrapper. The seams are smooth but slightly visible and the head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. There are two bands, with the first made to look like two bands with the top in black and gold showing the brand name and the lower in blue and gold signifying the series. The foot band is white, gold and silver and shows the company name. The aroma from the wrapper is a hay forward barnyard while the foot brings wood and graham cracker. The pre-light draw is a light mix of hay and wood with a mild spiciness on my lips.
The Byron Serie Siglo XXI Aristócratas has a main band that is black, with gold accents, and a semi-detached secondary band in blue indicating ‘Reserva 4 Años’. The cigar also has a third band on the foot, in white and gold, indicating Selected Tobacco. The wrapper color is Claro, and extremely smooth. Nosing the cigar, I’m able to detect aromas of hay and various wood notes. In the foot I’m smelling sweet raisin and tobacco. The cigar in the Aristócratas vitola measures a whopping 8 inches by 52 ring gauge.
The Byron Serie Siglo XXI Aristócratas is a beast of an 8×52 cigar. The wrapper color is a silky smooth light caramel Colorado claro shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head finished off with a deep wrap. Aromas from the wrapper give roasted chestnuts, subtle white pepper and cedar. Aromas from the foot tell more pronounced white pepper, plums and chestnuts. Cold draw gives roasted peanuts, jammed plums and salt.
The cigar begins with a smooth mixture of creamy wood and mild black pepper. At a half inch in, some hay joins in to pair up with the wood up front while the cream and black pepper are slightly behind. At an inch in, the wood is really showing a lot of depth. The retrohale also carries the deep wood note along with some hay and black pepper. At an inch and a half, the cream increases a bit to become even with the wood and hay. As the third comes to a close, the cream recedes slightly, leaving the wood and hay up front with the cream and black pepper slightly behind. The strength in this third was mild-medium.
The initial few puffs of the Byron Serie Siglo XXI reveal flavors of a light sweet cream, with a delayed wood note that carries through into the post draw. The sweet cream is far more intense on the retrohale, moving up to a medium minus. As the cigar progresses, I also start to taste baking spices and mild chocolate. Those two flavors harmonize in a satisfying way once the cigar has established itself. Around the 35 minute mark, there is another layer to the wood flavor, and a sweet cedar begins to define the post draw. At the 1 hour and 15 minute mark, the chocolate from the retrohale also joins the post draw.
Within the first inch or two, the cigar is fairly muted and is in it’s warm up stages. Flavors of airy cedar and dried nuts. Past that mark, the flavors deepen with the addition of well mannered white pepper and minerals. Retrohaling is great as there are bigger notes of white pepper, a good amount of body from bread/yeast, and sweet cherries. The finish is medium in length with namely an ongoing soft cedar. Strength and body is medium.
As the second third begins, the wood, hay and cream are at equal levels while the black pepper is now very faint. At an inch in, the black pepper picks back up and all of the notes are at equal levels. The retrohale is creamy wood with some black pepper. At an inch and a half, the wood is taking on a young character that has a slight bite to it. A quarter inch later, the wood loses it’s youngess and falls back into line with the previous profile. As the third comes to a close, the cream and hay have dropped out as the wood and black pepper are teamed up. The strength in this third remains at mild-medium.
The Byron Serie Siglo XXI hits the middle third at approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, with no measurable flavor profile changes. Sweet cedar is still dominating the post draw, with the chocolate having moved to the front of the retrohale. In the bottom half of the second third, the post draw cedar takes on a toasted quality, roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes into the smoking experience.
As the final third begins, the wood is really showing its depth again while the black pepper is slightly behind. At an inch in, a slight cream returns to the profile. The retrohale carries a young wood note to go along with a light black pepper. At an inch and a half, a slight bitterness joins the profile. As the cigar comes to a close, it begins to heat up which enhances the bitterness in the profile. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.
The biggest detectable flavor change is the baking spices from the retrohale carrying into the post draw. The final third retrohale is still defined by chocolate, and mild baking spices, with toasted wood and mild spices in the post draw. Total smoking time wraps up at 2 hours and 43 minutes.
The burn line was straight the entire way and the ash held on around inch and a quarter increments.
The burn begins very straight with the ash falling off in half inch increments. The burn is slightly wavy going into the 2nd third, eventually requiring a touch-up. A second touch-up is required halfway through the middle third.
The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
This cigar brings a similar Byron flavor profile of wood, cream and black pepper just with a longer smoking time. While the flavors are good, they become a bit monotonous as there really aren’t any transitions to speak of. Construction is perfect as I’d expect from the brand and price point. Strength is below medium the entire way and would be approachable to all smokers. This cigar fits in a specific smoking scenario. You’re going to want to have an extended amount of time dedicated to it and want to be able to focus on it at least for the first half to really appreciate it. It would be great for a lazy morning with some coffee or in the evening when you have a fair amount of time. I could see coffee or a smooth Scotch being a good pairing. I wouldn’t have a problem smoking this again when I have the time, but my preference would be for a shorter vitola in the line in most instances.
The draw is perfect on the Byron Serie Siglo XXI, with the resistance falling right in the middle of the ideal zone.
The flavors on the Byron Serie Siglo XXI Aristócratas are enjoyable, but there’s no boldness, intensity or significant change ups which leads to an overall flat, albeit pleasant experience. While I realize that blending larger cigars can be tricky so as not to overwhelm the palate, I feel like the profile here fell too far the other way.
Draw was perfect. Great airflow and resistance.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience with the Byron Serie Siglo XXI Aristócratas. For fans of softer and more subtle notes (think a more traditional Connecticut shade or Cuban cigar), this will be a good fit. The only gripe I have is, for such a long (3 hour) smoking time, there weren’t enough transitions and build ups as I’d like it to have.
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