Team Cigar Review: Freyja 12 Brísingamen

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Cigar Details: Freyja 12 Brísingamen

  • Vitola: Churchill
  • Length: 7″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Dominican Corojo
  • Filler: Dominican Corojo, Piloto Cubano and Criollo ’98
  • Factory: Tabacalera Palma
  • Blender: Emma Viktorsson
  • Price: $12.00
  • Release Date: May 2018
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Freyja 12 Brísingamen is medium brown with some slightly darker marbling to it. There are some raised veins and other raised areas. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly lifted throughout. The head appears to be finished off with a deep single cap that ends in a small, tightly wound pigtail. The band is the traditional design for the brand and just has an added number 12 to it for this line. The aroma from the wrapper is a wood and hay forward barnyard while the foot brings wood and light stone fruit sweetness. The pre-light draw brings a sweet and spicy cedar along with a decent dose of spice to my lips as well.

Pre-light Experience

The Freyja 12 Brísingamen is quite a large cigar and comes with a nice pigtail cap. It has a silky wrapper that is smooth in texture and the wrapper seems to have no veins present whatsoever. Its coloring is top notch, solid Colorado and I am getting aromas of barnyard, earth, sweet spices, coffee and cocoa. It is firm throughout and simply a well made cigar.

Pre-light Experience

The Freyja 12 Brísingamen has a pigtail cap and a chocolate, mottled wrapper. Nosing the wrapper of the cigar, I was able to pick up sweet bready notes, and hints of chocolate. In the foot, there was sweet prune.

Pre-light Experience

The Freyja 12 Brísingamen has a beautiful oily near Colorado Maduro wrapper. Major veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even but on the firmer side and head finished off with a deep rolled cap. Aromas from the wrapper give floral perfume, cedar and barnyard. Aromas from the foot give rich nuttiness, sharp dry red pepper spice and plums. Cold draw reveals aged cedar and nuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of spicy cedar along with some sweetness. At a quarter inch in, some black pepper and mustiness join in as the sweetness departs. At a half inch in, the profile is mildly spicy cedar, mustiness and light black pepper. The retrohale is mustiness and slightly spicy cedar. At an inch and a quarter, the black pepper picks up a bit. At an inch and three quarters, the slightly spicy cedar is pretty far out front as the mustiness is in the middle with the black pepper being fairly light again. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering a complex flavor profile that touches on almost everything. I am getting some meaty qualities to the cigar and with that are some cream, spice, coffee, earth and nutty notes. There is a faint hit of cocoa on the finish and it has a smooth finish with a touch of pepper. I would classify the cigar as being between medium and medium-full, and that goes for strength, body and flavors.

First Third

My first few puffs bring dry, sweet cedar. Some rich baking spices and sweetness come through on the retrohale. On the post draw, there is light white pepper that lingers between draws. Some bread notes settle into the middle of the retrohale as the cigar progresses. Chocolate mixes together with the spices on the bottom half of the retrohale as the cigar settles in. Approaching the halfway point, the dryness has dropped from the cedar, leaving a bready cocoa combination that harmonizes pleasantly.

First Third

The first third has a medium body and strength profile. The cigar has a really nice oily mouthfeel that salivates the palate. In terms of flavors, there’s a mix of minerals, baking spices, semi-sweet nuttiness, bread and cedar. Retrohaling gives a tart cherry, a hint of barnyard funk and dry red pepper spice. The combination sounds weird but I dig it. The finish is a soft and lingering baking spice and minerals.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the cedar is quite full and shows a nice depth as the spiciness has left it. The mustiness is not far behind, but the black pepper is very faint. At a half inch in, the cedar and mustiness are even while the black pepper is still faint in the background. At an inch in, a light char joins the profile as the black pepper has gone away. The retrohale is slightly charred cedar and mustiness. The third finishes with the even combination of charred cedar and mustiness. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

The second third shows little transitioning, but with the complex flavors in the first third, that is not necessary. I am getting some cream, nutty, herbal and tobacco notes, and the finish has that coffee, earth, leather and soft cocoa. It is elegant and I was not expecting a profile of this nature from the vitola being used. Like before, the cigar is smoking at a level between medium and medium-full.

Second Third

Spices and cedar define the retrohale, with earth finishing and leading into the post draw. The middle of the profile is made up of baking spices and sweetness. The earth on the post draw starts to take on a medium plus strength and some loaminess. That earth continues to build as the cigar progresses, lingering significantly between draws.

Second Third

The second third is identical to the first third. The profile is still medium strength and body focusing more on the minerals and baking spices side of earthiness. Semi-sweet nuttiness, bread and cedar still plays as the surrounding cast.

Final Third

As the final third begins, it continues on with the charred cedar and mustiness. At a quarter inch in, some dry earth joins the profile. At an inch in, the charred cedar, mustiness and dry earth are all even. The retrohale also has all of the components at equal levels. At an inch and a quarter, the dry earth has a slight lead over the charred cedar and mustiness. At an inch and a half, the cigar begins warming up which brings a mintiness to the profile. As the cigar comes to a close, the profile is charred cedar, mustiness, dry earth mintiness and a newly added vegetal note. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third shows a return to the profile of the first third and it has a great finish. I am getting some meaty notes up front and on the finish, and they are paired with spices and soft pepper qualities. I am getting some cream and coffee notes, and there is some earth, nutty and cocoa qualities thrown in also. It is complex and as it has from the start, it is smoking at a level between medium and medium-full.

Final Third

Sweet cedar as the cigar moves into the last third. The cedar takes up the middle of the profile. Earth is still present on the post draw, and begins to push into the middle. Char accents the earth as the last third settles in. By the midway point, the earth and char have dominated the profile with cedar accents to finish.

Final Third

The only change within the final third is the strength moving to medium-full (body still medium). In terms of flavors, minerals, semi-sweet nuttiness, bread and cedar.

Burn

The burn line was a bit wavy throughout but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn was very good from start to finish. At no time were problems presented and even with this larger offering the burn was consistent till the end. Well made cigar.

Burn

The burn started out straight with the burn becoming unevenly partway through the first third that required a touch-up. The cigar goes out in the second third, requiring a re-light. There was a minor canoe by the halfway point requiring a second touch-up.

Burn

The burn had some issues. The main issue was a couple times in which the cigar tunneled, leaving the wrapper unburnt, requiring a couple touch-ups and complete re-lights.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with spicy cedar as some mustiness and black pepper joined pretty quickly. Some char joined in during the second third as the pepper left. The final third saw some dry earth join in and towards the end mintiness and a vegetal note as it warmed up. Construction was pretty good and needed no attention while the strength went from slightly below medium to slightly above. The first third of the Freyja 12 Brísingamen had a nice combination of flavors, but once the char joined and the pepper left, things became pretty average the rest of the way. For a cigar of this size, the flavor combination really needs to keep you engaged and this wasn’t able to achieve that. I’d be interested in smoking this in the shorter vitola if I ever came across it, but as it sits, probably not something I’ll return to in the near future.

Draw

The draw was solid throughout. I found it to be to my liking and while this is a large cigar, it smoked like a large cigar should. It took its time.

Overall

I went into the Freyja 12 Brísingamen thinking that the cigar was going to be a slightly stronger Freyja and really smoke like a big/full offering out of Tabacalera Palma. That was not the case at all. This cigar was elegant, not that Palma releases aren’t, but much more elegant than I was expecting. It has this smoothness for a larger cigar that you get with a 60 ring gauge offering, but it was more constrained and complex. The complexities present in each third were fantastic and while there may not have been a lot of transitioning it still was very enjoyable. With the great construction present, this cigar is great. These smoke good now and will age even better.

Draw

The draw was a half notch towards the open spectrum, well in the ideal zone.

Overall

The Freyja 12 Brísingamen started out quite promising, with a complex balance of baking spices, sweetness, bread, chocolate and cedar. The complexity was lost moving into the middle third, and the cigar became quite earth forward and unpleasant in the last third. Unfortunately, for a cigar that measures 7 inches long, having to sit through an unpleasant third is more impactful than a smaller cigar might be. I’m going to try another Freya 12, but based on the long smoking time, if the middle third became unbalanced again, I would be unlikely to continue. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Draw

The draw was a bit snug but in the grand scheme of things, still very good and overall a non-issue.

Overall

A good consistent cigar is how I would sum up the long 2.5 hour smoking experience of the Freyja 12 Brísingamen. I especially liked the body of the cigar as it gave a nice oily mouthfeel that salivates the palate. The flavors are more geared towards minerals and baking spices, but it had enough soft notes of semi-sweet nuttiness, bread, cedar to not make it too earth forward. The only thing missing from being a great cigar is the lack of transitions and building complexities, mainly given such a long smoke.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Very Good
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
Very GoodSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
Good
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGoodBurnAverage
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery Good
AverageOverallVery GoodOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.05

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

7.98

Cost/Point

$1.50

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.55

Cost/Point

$2.16

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$1.79

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Freyja 12 Brísingamen
Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: Freyja 12 Brísingamen

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