Team Cigar Review: Providencia Hostage

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Cigar Details: Providencia Hostage

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Honduran Ligero
  • Factory: La Pequena Vega
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $9.99
  • Release Date: September 2018
  • Source: Providencia

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

This square pressed Toro has a dark brown wrapper with a couple of slightly raised veins. The seams are raised in some places as is the triple cap. The band is primarily red and white and has the company logo on it along with the line name which is book ended by a pair of handcuffs to go along with the theme. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and cocoa while the foot is also wood along with some nice tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw is wood with a slight saltiness to it.

Pre-light Experience

The Providencia Hostage has a large red and white band, with yellow and black highlights. The center ‘Hostage’ logo has handcuffs attached on either side. The cigar has a firm square press, with a dark chocolate colored wrapper. Aromas from the wrapper are at an intense medium plus, with notes of leather, earthiness and subtle spices underneath. There is a sweet plum in the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Providencia Hostage has a medium roast espresso brown to the wrapper and feels of fine grade sandpaper. Bunch and roll is even, seams tight, veins well pressed and a thick wrapped cap. Aromas from the wrapper give cedar, dry dirt and white pepper. Aromas from the foot give white pepper, nuts and cedar. Cold draw tells dry dirt, cedar and allspice.

First Third

The cigar begins with wood, some mustiness and a mix of baking spice and black pepper. At a half inch in, some dry earthiness joins the profile as the baking spice leaves and the black pepper is faint in the background but has a long finish. At an inch in, the profile is now wood, dry earthiness and mustiness as the pepper has dropped out. The retrohale carries the same profile with the addition of some black pepper. At an inch and a half, there are slight hints of cocoa mixed in between the wood and dry earthiness as well as faint black pepper notes. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

My initial flavor impressions are dry cedar, with light spices and earth on the retrohale. With each puff, I find the dry cedar moving through into the end of the draw and lingering post draw. As the Hostage establishes itself, leather and cedar join the post draw. Minutes later, a rich sweetness, with hints of chocolate develop. The light spices on the retrohale continue to intensify through the first third, bringing the earth flavors with it. In the bottom half of the first third, there is distinct minerality to the flavor profile, and a spike in the sweetness at the end.

First Third

The first third’s flavor profile is a bit thin, especially for Mexican San Andres (medium-light). Flavors of dry earth/dirt, tame black pepper, burnt cedar and a hint of roasted nuts. Retrohaling gives the proper amount of black pepper and amplified roasted nuts. The finish is medium length with a lingering dry cedar and earthy dirt component. Strength is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood gains a fair amount of char while the dry earthiness is right behind it. There is still some black pepper in the background but the cocoa is gone. At an inch in, the charred wood has gained some bitterness as the dry earth and new addition of mustiness are right behind it. The black pepper has left the profile. The retrohale has the dry earth up front with the mustiness slightly behind. At an inch and a half, the dry earthiness has taken the lead while the mustiness is right behind and the charred wood is quite faint. The strength in this third dropped down to medium.

Second Third

The baking spices and earth flavors on the retrohale continue to increase in strength, reaching medium plus by the time the second third has settled in. A chocolate flavor begins to push through the intensity of the other notes, but fades by the halfway mark. In the bottom half, the intense spices and earth have all but fallen off, with cedar and sweetness carrying the profile for the remainder of the third.

Second Third

The first half or so of the second third is just like the first third. Past that point the profile changes giving more robust flavors. Spice of black pepper, roasted nuts and a toasted wood are especially accentuated. Body is still more medium-light and strength nears medium-full.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the dry earth and mustiness remain while the charred wood has left the profile. At a half inch in, the wood returns with a heavy char. At an inch in, the charred wood leaves and the dry earth and mustiness remain. The retrohale carries the same dry earth and musty profile. As the third comes to a close, some wood returns without the char along with a slight mintiness. The dry earth is faint in the background. The strength in this third bumped back up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

In the final third, I’m tasting light cedar. There are no other flavor changes here to remark on. As the final third establishes itself, I start to feel some nicotine strength taking hold.

Final Third

The last third is perhaps my favorite part of the cigar. The flavors continuously deepen, giving the same black pepper, roasted nuts, toasted wood and even a dry barnyard. Body moves to a medium and strength increases to medium-full.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy the whole way. In the final third, the cigar went out once and there was a portion where the cigar wanted to go out but frequent draws kept things going. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn started out well in the first third, with ash holding up to 1.5 inches plus. There was a minor canoe at the end of the first third that required a touch-up. Another touch-up was needed in the middle third, with the ash holding on well enough to resist multiple knock off attempts.

Burn

Flawless burn performance. Even burn, tight ashes, cool burn and slow burn rate.

Draw

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

Overall

The cigar started with wood, baking spice and black pepper. Some dry earthiness joined in along with some mustiness. As the cigar progressed the baking spice and pepper left as the wood gained some char to go along with the dry earth and some mustiness. The burn was an issue at the end a bit. Strength was right around slightly above medium. This was my first introduction to the Providencia brand and it was an average one. I’m not sure I’d look to revisit this cigar, but I do look forward to trying some of their other lines.

Draw

The draw was about a half notch towards the resistant spectrum, but still in what I would classify as the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

The Providencia Hostage delivered a bold and at times, medium plus flavor experience that I found enjoyable. With notes of cedar, baking spices, leather, chocolate, earth, minerality and sweetness, there is a lot going on. I enjoyed the firm square press format, and found the cigar very comfortable for the 2 hour and 28 minute smoking experience.

Draw

The draw was also perfect. No issues what so ever.

Overall

The Providencia Hostage took a while to hit its stride (about midway through the cigar). The initial half was a bit thin in body and flavors. Uncharacteristic of most cigars, the last third was the best part, giving more robust notes of black pepper, roasted nuts, toasted wood and even a dry barnyard. I say this is a decent entry point into the market. But with so many great Mexican San Andres cigars, especially within 2018, this one falls a bit behind.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Good
GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.05

Cost/Point

$1.98

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$1.49

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.47

Cost/Point

$1.54

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Providencia Hostage
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Providencia Hostage

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