It’s mid-November and there’s a fake rubber bat still adorning the entrance to my humble abode. Whether it’s my love of all things Halloween clinging like a dead man’s hand to the last scraps of the previous month’s holiday or my inherent laziness about such trivial things as seasonal decorations I haven’t taken him down and have no plans too.
It’s a surprisingly warm November night in Pittsburgh with a gentle breeze which causes my little lifeless friend to bob up and down on his elastic string. I sit here about to light my last cigar of the night and think about how lucky that inanimate bat-shaped piece of rubber may be.
He doesn’t have to deal with ignorant people screaming their opinions and shaming you for your own. He doesn’t have to face a future in questionable peril with so many aspects he can’t control. He just has to hang there, enjoying the breeze.
The Escurio is a blend of Brazilian and Dominican tobacco that I’ve heard described as peppery multiple times. I don’t really enjoy big pepper notes so I’m not looking forward to this but at this point in my career I should learn to trust in my own mantra of approaching every cigar with an open mind.
I go with a rather generous straight cut, taking off more of the cap than I usually do. Thanks to my high blood alcohol content after more than a few Cuba libres I sheared off a borderline dangerous amount.
The prelight isn’t peppery at all, in fact it reminds me of standing on the back of my grandfather’s wagon, bailing hay. Dry grass, alfalfa, lemongrass, and wheat are really jumping out at me.
I put my trusty triple torch to it and puff expecting my mouth to dry out and my throat to close up from the pepper I’ve heard so much about but it doesn’t happen. To the contrary my salvation producing glands kick into high gear and my tastebuds do a dance of happiness.
Even with the huge cut the draw is tight and slow, which I don’t care for and I constantly worry it’s not properly lit but it doesn’t go out. The mouth feel is actually very underwhelming but the taste is bold and impressive.
After a few deep puffs the taste is like a well constructed salad with baby spinach, field greens, cucumber, onion and tomato topped with a strawberry vinaigrette.
Halfway into the smoke the balance remains dancing seductively between the previously mentioned green notes and sweet stone fruits like peachs and mangos. The draw hasn’t loosened at all but the smoke isn’t hot. I’m puffing this almost like a cigarette, pulling every draw into my lungs and out through my nose to squeeze every possible flavor out of it.
Just a little over half-way through I’m finally getting that pepper everyone’s told me about but it isn’t an offensive, acidic black pepper, it’s more like a jalapeno that’s been cooked in fat, wrapped in bacon and smoked in my trusty smoker for about an hour. The heat is just barely there.
In the back third all of the previous flavors remain but they take a back seat to cedar, black walnut, beech nut woods and a Brazil nut flavor. There’s an excitement to this stick that is absolutely fantastic.
If I close my eyes I’m transported back to the first time I went to a burlesque show and momentarily fell in love with a Latina girl dancing to “Down in Mexico”. Just as she swayed and slowly swung her hips revealing more and more of her bronze body this cigar reveals more and more delightful flavor.
I remove the rings so that I can smoke through the last inch of this cigar and I’m truly saddened I didn’t get a longer one. The flavor profile turns dark and mysterious like a deep espresso but the overall taste is still that of medium bodied, well balanced stick.
Final thought before I burn my fingers it’s that this is an amazingly enjoyable smoke. I crave a big meal like a large plate of spaghetti or a fine steak but I’m not sad I don’t have one.
Davidoff has absolutely nailed another perfect cigar and despite my feelings at the beginning I no longer envy the decorative bat on my porch because as unaffected by the trials of life as he may be, he’ll never get to partake of such a luxurious experience.
9 out of 10.