27 Jan 2014
Aging Room. Boutique Blends. Oliveros Cigars. Swag. Call this Miami-based organization what you will. I call it a damn fine maker of premium boutique cigars. Since the company was launched, my colleagues and I have been consistently impressed by its offerings, from Swag Elite and M21 to SoBe and M356.
So, even though I had only very limited at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, I made sure to stop by the Boutique Blends booth. There, I found the company’s president, Rafael Nodal, and spoke to him about his newest creation, the Swag S Maduro.
This blend is intended to reflect “the taste of young and modern smokers who are tired of the same old traditional brands,” according to the Boutique Blends website. “Contemporary, slick presentation, oversized vitolas, perfect construction, and an incredible taste is what Swag S is all about.” The line is comprised of Dominican binder and filler tobaccos and a San Andres maduro claro wrapper. Billed as medium- to full-bodied, five sizes are available in the $8-13 range. They include Infamous (6 x 54), Ego Grande (6.5 x 60), Carter (7.9 x 63), The Bawse (7 x 70), and Spin (5.5 x 57).
My first impression is that this cigar—or at least its marketing—is not targeted to my tastes. I typically prefer slimmer, more traditionally sized smokes, classic names and bands, and an emphasis on balance and complexity over brute strength. But the bottom line is the Swag S smokes nicely and has a solid taste. For me, the blend is further proof you can’t judge a cigar by its marketing copy.
The Spin vitola is a gorgeous, pigtail-capped smoke with a dark, clean, toothy wrapper offset by a bright band of white, red, and gold. Its foot gives off a subtle pre-light aroma of sweet raisin and leather. The cold draw is smooth. Once lit, the bold profile has a charred character with notes of espresso, unsweetened chocolate, dry wood, and black pepper. The texture is simultaneously gritty and oily. I find few changes from light to nub.
With good construction and a full-bodied taste that has some depth, the Swag S Maduro Spin from Boutique Blends is a fine cigar. I may not smoke it too often—the price is a little high for an everyday cigar, and I tend to favor slightly milder blends—but when I do I’ll pair it with an after-dinner sipping rum. And I will enjoy myself. These conclusions result in an admirable rating of three and a half stogies out of five.
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