Team Cigar Review: Red Meat Lovers

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Cigar Details: Red Meat Lovers

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf No. 1 Dark
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés Negro Oscuro
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Esteliano La Joya C98 Seco, Ometepe Viso, Jalapa Cofradia Ligero and Pennsylvanian Seedleaf Ligero from Nicaragua
  • Factory: NACSA
  • Blender: Steve Saka
  • Price: $11.95
  • Release Date: January 2019
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a marbled medium brown with a few smoothly pressed veins present. The seams are really only visible due to the color variation of the wrapper. The head has a deep double cap that is finished with a small, tightly wound pigtail. The band is red and white and has the logo of the Red Meat Lovers Club. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and hay while the foot brings wood, hay and leather. The pre-light draw brings more wood, hay and leather along with some white pepper that lingers on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The cigar has a nice light Maduro coloring, somewhere between Colorado Maduro and Maduro and it has a soft grit texture, somewhat sandy throughout. Nicely applied pigtail cap and firm throughout. Medium sized veins are consistent throughout and the aroma on the wrapper is of earth, tobacco, soft spices and wood. The foot is giving off aromas of rich earth, heavy spices, tobacco, fruit bread and chocolate.

Pre-light Experience

The Red Meat Lovers is a long and girthy cigar coming in at 6×56. The wrapper shade is of a Colorado Maduro with good traces of oiliness. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll uniform and the pigtail cap has a well applied double wrap. Aromas from the wrapper give strong cedar, sharp minerals, barnyard and hay. Aromas from the foot give sharp cedar, roasted nuts and cream. Cold draw tells hay, minerals and natural generic wood.

First Third

The cigar begins with cedar, some gritty earth and a bit of cinnamon. At a quarter inch in, a slight mustiness joins the profile which smooths out the earthiness and cinnamon. At an inch in, the cedar and mustiness are up front with the earth and cinnamon in the background which carries a long finish. The retrohale has the cinnamon and mustiness up front with the cedar slightly behind. As the third comes to a close, the cedar and mustiness remain up front while the earth is in the background and the cinnamon has dropped out. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third starts out by delivering a sweet and rich earth flavor profile. There are some strong spices present with that, noticeable red pepper, and it has some toasty and nutty qualities on the finish. I would classify the first third as medium in body and strength, and it is a slow start in my opinion.

First Third

The initial inch or so’s core flavor profile is a lot like many Saka creations. Flavors of milk chocolate and dry red pepper spice is bountiful. Past that mark, pencil lead like minerals and some barnyard are added. The retrohale gives accentuated dry red pepper spice, minerals and creamed sweetness. The finish is a long and lingering minerals and cedar. Strength is more leaning towards medium-full and body is medium-full.

Second Third

As the second third begins, a faint cinnamon rejoins the profile. At a half inch in, the cedar gains some char while the mustiness is slightly behind. The earth and cinnamon have left the profile. At an inch in, a slight vegetal note has joined. The retrohale has the vegetal note up front with the charred cedar and mustiness behind it. The third finishes with the charred cedar and mustiness up front and the vegetal note in the background. The strength bumped up to medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third of the cigar now and finding the flavor profile to pick up some. I am getting some chocolate cake qualities, there is this moment where it has a molten lava cake quality, and with that is some cinnamon, rich earth, toast and walnuts. The pepper flavors have died down some which is a bit of a bust as I believe it would have added to the overall complexity. In terms of body and strength, I am finding this third to smoke at a solid medium level like before.

Second Third

The second third’s flavor profile becomes creamier, especially highlighting the milk/creamy chocolate aspect. Other than that, there’s less of the dry red pepper and more of the pencil lead like minerality coming through. Strength moves to a consistent medium-full and body stays medium-full.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the char has increased and the cedar has moved to a general wood note. The mustiness is just behind while the vegetal note has dropped out. At a half inch in, the cigar is warming up which brings some toast to the charred wood. At an inch in, the charred and toasted wood is more defined as oak. The retrohale carries the same profile of charred and toasted oak and mustiness. The cigar gains some of the vegetal note as it wraps up. The strength in this third bumps up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third now and there has been a nice transition in flavors. I am getting a lot of toasty, rich spice and black pepper qualities. There is some meatiness present with that, really reminds me of beef jerky, and it is a major change from before. It has lost a lot of that sweetness and become darker and bolder.

Final Third

The last third has the dry red pepper spice making a comeback in addition to the familiar creamy milk chocolate and pencil lead minerals. Further, the overall profile has a cedar quality to it (via mouth draws, retrohale, and finish). Strength and body finishes medium-full.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy throughout. It did go out once in the middle third and require a re-light. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn in the first third was terrible. Wavy and major canoeing taking place, but as I got halfway into the cigar it corrected itself and towards the end was perfect. I didn’t even bother trying to correct the burn line at the start, would have had to torch a huge aspect of the cigar, instead I just waited it out.

Burn

Picture perfect burn performance. Long and tight ashes, even and cool burn, good smoke production.

Draw

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

Overall

The cigar started out with cedar, earth and cinnamon. Some mustiness joined in and as the cigar progressed, some char joined in as the cinnamon and earth dropped out. The final third had a heavy char and the cedar transitioned to oak. Strength built from slightly below to slightly above medium. Construction was pretty good and required one re-light. I felt the flavor profile was pretty linear and only provided an average experience. Designed as a cigar for meat lovers, it would be interesting to see how it paired with a steak. On it’s own. it isn’t likely something I’d return to. The cigar has a long smoking time, so it does provide some value there.

Draw

The draw was somewhat loose in my opinion. I took my time as best as possible, but it didn’t seem to matter overall in how the cigar smoked.

Overall

Overall, I felt Red Meat Lovers lacked as a cigar. I felt the complexity was missing and while there was some transitioning that took place, the cigar just didn’t have the depth and complexity that I believe it needed to stand out as a good cigar. I wouldn’t say the cigar was full on one dimensional, there was transitioning, but even with the transitioning the flavors present were not enough. With the terrible construction to start the cigar, it was hard see the positive qualities at the end, and hard to justify any good experiences to outweigh the issues and lacking flavor profile at the beginning.

Draw

The draw was a bit tight for my liking, but it is still considered very good.

Overall

For fans of Saka’s style Connecticut broadleaf, the Red Meat Lovers will certainly not disappoint and many will be happy to find familiarity. This isn’t Saka’s most complex cigar, but I find it to be what Connecticut Broadleaf wrapped cigars should taste like giving milk chocolate, dry red pepper spice, pencil lead minerality and creamed sweetness. If there was that extra dankness and umami effect, this would have been a very good cigar. This is another great addition to Smoke Inn’s Microblend series.

Aaron
Seth
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdGoodSecond ThirdGood
SubparFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Good
GoodBurnSubparBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawAverageDrawVery Good
AverageOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.05

Cost/Point

$2.37

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.60

Cost/Point

$2.13

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.02

Cost/Point

$1.70

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Red Meat Lovers
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Red Meat Lovers

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