Cigar Details: Island Lifestyle Island Club
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Undisclosed
- Blender: Undisclosed
- Price: $4.50
- Release Date: July 2018
- Source: Island Lifestyle
The wrapper is a light golden brown with a few slightly raised veins that run the length of the cigar. There are some color variations of darker colors and the wrapper folds over to cover the foot. The seams are visible due to the color variations and being raised in one area near the foot. The head is finished off with a well applied double cap. The band is very simple, being white with a reflective gold for artwork and lettering. There is a palm tree and the line name. The aroma from the wrapper and covered foot is mainly hay with a bit of leather behind it. The pre-light draw brings an initial bit of hay and then a heavy graphite like component dominates.
The Island Lifestyle Island Club features a gold on white band that indicates ‘Island Club’ and ‘Esteli Handmade’. The cigar itself has a light shade colored wrapper, with a closed foot. Nosing the wrapper reveals medium intense dry hay, with light barnyard underneath. Even with the closed foot, I’m able to pick up aromas of sweet tobacco.
The cigar begins with wood, hay and black pepper. At three quarters of an inch in, the hay takes a slight lead over the wood while the pepper becomes fainter but does have a long finish. The retrohale is a mix of wood and hay. At an inch and a quarter a slight creaminess joins the profile which mellows the black pepper a bit more. As the third comes to a close, the cream increases and becomes even with the wood and hay while the black pepper is very faint. The strength in this third was mild-medium.
My initial flavor impressions are sweet tobacco, finishing with sweet hay. The retrohale is a light creaminess with faint baking spices at the end. The post draw begins to develop some chocolate. Several minutes later, cocoa joins the retrohale at a mild level, with sweet lingering hay on the post draw. At the 30 minute mark, light cedar shows up on the post draw as well.
The second third continues on with the cream, wood, hay and mild black pepper. At a half inch in, the wood gains a toast note to it as it has the lead over the hay and cream. The black pepper is still faint but continues with a long finish. At an inch in, the toasted wood (now more defined as oak) gains some char and remains up front while the cream and hay are faint in the background matched up evenly with the black pepper. The retrohale has charred oak and a light cream. As the third comes to a close, the cream and black pepper increase and are slightly behind the charred oak. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.
The flavor profile is very similar to the first third, with no notable changes during the transition. The profile begins to lose strength as the cigar settles in, with most of the flavors either falling off or falling to a light level. A light toastiness develops which runs underneath other flavors, as the hay moves up to light plus.
As the final third begins, the cream has become even with the charred oak while the black pepper is in the background and carries the finish. At a half inch in, the char lessens as the toast note comes back to the oak. At an inch in, a slight floral perfume note joins the profile. The retrohale has the perfume note up front with the wood and cream in the background. The cigar finishes out with this same profile. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.
As with the middle third, there are no flavor changes moving into the last third. Once the last third has established itself, the cocoa on the retrohale moves up to light plus.
The burn was a bit wavy but always kept up with itself. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.
The burn is slightly wavy through the first third, and uneven going into the middle third. I let the burn go for as long as possible resulting in a canoe and a required touch-up. The burn continues to be uneven requiring another touch-up before the third is done. Another touch-up is required in the last third.
The draw had the perfect amount of resistance that I prefer.
The cigar began with wood, hay and black pepper. As it progressed, some cream joined in as the hay went away. The wood became more defined as oak and gained some char. A floral perfume note joined in the final third. Construction was very good and didn’t require any attention. Overall, the profile of the Island Lifestyle Island Club was pretty typical of other Connecticut shade cigars as it didn’t do anything to stand out from the pack. The draw to this cigar would definitely be the price point as it’s quite low and this is the advantage of this cigar. While it’s not something I would chase after, I could see people going for this because it’s cheaper than many other Connecticut shade cigars on the market and can provide an equal experience.
Using my v-cutter, as I always do, the draw is 2 notches into the tight spectrum. At the halfway point of the cigar, I begin to get loose tobacco with each draw which becomes very distracting in the last third.
The Island Lifestyle Island Club was a fairly paint by numbers Connecticut Shade experience. There was a lot of promising flavor complexity in the first third with notes of chocolate, baking spices and the hay/cedar combination. Unfortunately, the rest of the cigar didn’t lift it above other similar blends in the marketplace. The loose tobacco issue I had with the draw was distracting at first, and became a significant issue in the last third resulting in an unenjoyable draw by the end. I believe the Island Club will have significant appeal for the Connecticut Shade smoker who is looking for a great deal.
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