9 Oct 2013
With its extremely sharp press, this cigar makes a strong first impression that’s enhanced by a strong pre-light aroma from the Habano ’98 wrapper.
I smoked three of these, supplied recently by Flex Assouline Cigars, with whom we failed to personally connect at the IPCPR Trade Show this summer in Las Vegas. The Blaze is 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 54, an MSRP of $7, and an international composition. The binder is Indonesian and the filler comprises Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco.
Overall, Havana Sunrise is an enjoyable cigar, with balanced flavors that are medium in strength. The finish is a bit harsh at the start, though that soon rounds out.
But I did encounter some negatives, mainly with the burn. The worst came in the second sample, when a tunnel developed about half way down, airing out the smoke and creating a terrible off-kilter burn I tried vainly to correct again and again.
I wasn’t particularly concerned since I was smoking outdoors with the attendant hazards of errant breezes and still-high Florida humidity. And the first Blaze I smoked outdoors burned just fine, produced thick smoke like a forest fire, and had an excellent draw.
Unfortunately, the third cigar also had a tunnel, though less severe. There was also a problem shared with the earlier stick: a rock-hard ash as the tunnel developed, which can be indicative of problem tobacco.
According to the Flex Assouline website, distribution is limited. So you might not see these cigars at your local shop. If you do, though, I’d recommend giving them a try. It’s the kind of cigar a lot of smokers will enjoy. Unfortunately, the performance issues were a drawback. I rate it three stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys