Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

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Cigar Details: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: San Lotano
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $11.95
  • Release Date: January 2022
  • Source: Cubariqueno

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: The Protocol Bass Reeves Natural is box pressed with a wrapper that is light brown with well pressed veins. The seams are smooth and the caps decently applied. There are three bands, with the primary and secondary overlapping each other as the previous offerings in the Lawmen Series have done. The color combination is gold, cream and purple, has an image of Bass Reeves on the top band and the year 1875 on the sub band. The foot ribbon is an orangish-gold color. The aroma from the wrapper is creamy wood while the foot brings wood, pepper and a light ammonia bite. The pre-light draw brings light, musty, dry cedar along with a mild spiciness on my lips.
Seth: Nicely pressed, and silky in texture, the Protocol Bass Reeves Natural sports a wrapper that is between Natural and Colorado in coloring. Few veins present, and those present are small. Slightly firm throughout. Aromas of chocolate, earth, tobacco and leather.
John: The Protocol Bass Reeves Natural comes in cellophane and does not have a UPC code. The cigar has a primary band that is really two bands stacked on top of each other, and a secondary foot band that is a bronze ribbon. The coloration is to indicate that this is the ‘Natural’ variant of the Bass Reeves release. For additional complications, the cigar is box pressed. For aromas off the wrapper, there was a complex wood that mixed with hay and a faint tobacco sweetness. From the foot, there was a combination of hay and tobacco sweetness.
Jiunn: The Protocol Bass Reeves Natural has an overall Colorado wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even but on the slightly looser end and head well capped. Aromas from the wrapper tell of barnyard and cedar. Aromas from the foot give white pepper and cedar. Cold draws give cedar, white pepper and stale nuts.

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with creamy cedar and slightly sharp cinnamon. At a quarter inch in, the cedar becomes toasted and the cinnamon loses its sharpness. At a half inch in, the cinnamon has morphed into black pepper. The retrohale is toasted cedar and a bit of a black pepper zing. At an inch and a quarter, the creaminess becomes fairly light as a light black coffee note joins in. As the third comes to a close, the creaminess has departed and the profile is toasted cedar up front, black pepper a bit behind and a light coffee note in the background. The strength was slightly above medium.
Seth: The first third opens up with sharp mineral notes, toasted nut qualities, dry wood, and spice qualities on the finish. Lots of red and black pepper. Some cinnamon notes as well. Dry profile overall. Medium to meidum-full in strength and body.
John: Dry wood is the opening flavor of the first third and carries into the post draw at medium minus strength. The retrohale consists of medium strength baking spices and pepper, which also carries into the post draw at medium strength. That pepper moves up to medium-full strength after just a few puffs. Once the first third has settled in, post draw pepper has receded to medium intensity. Approaching the halfway point, some light-plus chocolate accents to the wood on the main profile. In the bottom half, a mild peanut comes through at the end of the draw, later joined by hay.
Jiunn: The first third starts with a nice dry red pepper spice pop. The spice settles down about an inch in. At that point, it’s more about pencil lead minerality, roasted nuts and cedar. The spice is still there but it’s on the back end, providing a long and lingering finish. Retrohaling is rough, as it gives fierce white pepper spice that is tough to nasal my way through. Strength is medium-full and body is medium.

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, some dry earth joins the profile. At a half inch in, the dry earth is even with the toasted cedar up front. At three quarters of an inch in, some bitterness becomes present. The retrohale is now toasted cedar and dry earth. As the third comes to a close, the toasted cedar and dry earth remain up front with black pepper a bit behind and coffee and bitterness in the background. The strength remained at slightly above medium.
Seth: The second third was right in line with the first third. I was picking up mineral qualities with dry wood, harsh spices, nuts, and dry earth on the finish. Medium to medium-full in strength and body.
John: The second third gets going with nuts, hay and wood. Dry hay and mild wood combine into the post draw. As the cigar progresses, baking spices and mild citrus sweetness comes through on the retrohale. There is no more evolution through the second third.
Jiunn: The second third has a couple transitions. First, the spice continues to settle down, especially on the retrohale. Also, the profile becomes more pencil lead mineral forward, with cedar and roasted nuts as secondary notes. Strength and body remains medium-full and medium.

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, both the toast and bitterness levels pick up while the coffee note has departed. At a half inch in, the toast transitions to char. The retrohale is now heavily toasted cedar and dry earth along with a slight bitterness. As the cigar wraps up, the profile is charred cedar and dry earth up front with black pepper and bitterness a bit behind. The strength bumped up to medium-full.
Seth: Lots on mineral qualities with black and red pepper. Dry wood too. Medium-full in strength and body. Unpleasant.
John: Wood and baking spices lead off, and both flavor components trail into the post draw. The wood takes on some dry characteristics as the final third progresses.
Jiunn: The final third is pretty similar to the second third. It’s still highly mineral forward, but the pepper starts to creep back up. Cedar and nuts are definitely on the lowest tier of flavors though. Strength and body is unchanged at medium-full and medium.

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Burn

Aaron: Other than a little waviness in the first third, the burn was perfect the rest of the way. The ash held on in inch and three quarter increments.
Seth: Very good burn.
John: The burn requires no intervention with a straight burn line and the ash holding on up to one inch before I tapped it off.
Jiunn: Burn performance was excellent. Even burn, cool burning temperature, solid ashes and ample smoke production.

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

Draw

Aaron: The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
Seth: Very good draw.
John: The draw is at most a 1/2 notch into the resistant spectrum which puts it right in the ideal zone for a flawless draw.
Jiunn: The draw was fairly loose on the two examples I smoked. Not a major issue, but a notable one.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with creamy cedar and slightly sharp cinnamon. A toast note joined a bit later and the cinnamon morphed into black pepper. Some black coffee joined a bit later. The second third saw dry earth join in and later some bitterness became present. The final third saw the coffee depart while the toast transitioned to char and the bitterness built up. The Protocol Bass Reeves Natural started nicely, but dropped down in each following third as dry earth joined and then the profile became charred and bitter. This rendition of the Lawmen Series is about on par with some of the previous versions and not something I’d really see myself coming back to. I’m curious though if some time might help to settle down the final third.
Seth: I was disappointed with this release, and I was hoping for more with it being an Ecuadorian Sumatra offering. I am not sure what happened, but these things do from time to time. This was a poor Sumatra release for all parties involved. Lack of complexities and balance. Too harsh and dry throughout. I’m not sure if it was this particular batch of wrapper leaf or the blend itself, but it just did not click.
John: The Protocol Bass Reeves Natural had some pleasant flavor components which reached medium-full intensity at times, but for me, I never felt they combined in an interesting or dynamic way. I was left with a fairly linear but not unbalanced profile from beginning to end. The draw and burn were both flawless. Given the price point of the Bass Reeves Natural, and the fact that Protocol has such a strong performing core range, I’d be more inclined to reach for their core range than another Bass Reeves Natural. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 52 minutes.
Jiunn: Overall, I found the profile of the Protocol Bass Reeves Natural to be too mineral forward, suppressing the other good flavors of roasted nuts, white pepper and cedar. Because the mineral notes were too dominant, it tipped off the balance of the flavor profile. This ultimately gave the vibe of an average tasting cigar.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
AveragePre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawVery GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery Good
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.12

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.15

Cost/Point

$2.32

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.08

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.95

Cost/Point

$2.01

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Protocol Bass Reeves Natural

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