A couple months ago I had my first Black Star Line cigar, the El Milagro Habano. It was a decent smoke and wanted to see more from Aric Wimberly-Bey's company. Then recently I was fortunate enough to be on a virtual herf with Aric and a cigar club. Listening to his story and seeing his passion for cigars was inspiring. Now I was really looking forward to exploring more from BSL. He spoke about the two new blends that recently dropped and they sound great. Mr. Fahrenheit is said to be a Connecticut powerhouse with a shaggy foot. Rosewood 1923 has my favorite wrapper, Mexican San Andres, and made at the Oveja Negra factory in Nicaragua which makes Black Label Trading Company cigars (another favorite of mine). So I had the El Milagro Habano already. Now it's time to try out the Corojo. Let's fire it up and see what's up.
Cigar: Black Star Line El Milagro Corojo
Origin: Estelí, Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa SA, a.k.a. TABSA
Size: 6 x 46
Binder: Nicaraguan (double)
The corojo wrapper has a slight oil glisten that looks delicious. I read that these have a triple cap. I had a hard time seeing that, but the cap was nice and had some shoulder room. The band would slide a little, which I'm not a fan of. Decent seams, but the wrapper did have a gnarly scar towards the foot. Scars are cool when you're a pirate, but on a cigar it just looks beat up. The veins were skinny, yet their protrusion was pronounced. That I actually liked, but I didn't like the uneven profile with wavy bumps.
I went with a large punch on this one. Perhaps I should have gone with a small punch instead because the draw was certainly on the open side. As the cigar burned, the draw would tighten a smidge. Overall though it was still open and required slow, gentle pulls in order to keep the cherry temp as low as possible.
I felt I was babysitting the burn line here. A touchup was required after each ash tap. The response was quick, but it was also quick to be messy again. The ash managed to stay off my lap, although I was nervous much of the time. Once the ash would get past 1/2" it seemed dangerous. No ash flakes and it did hold until it was time for the ashtray bump, but its appearance is a little alarming.
1/3 - Things start off with a spicy corojo red pepper blast. The retro is powerful and makes certain you know the spice is here to stay. White pepper joins the spice in the retro. Flavor notes of dusty walnut crumbs and peanut shells with a finish similar to a champagne dryness. In the very way back there is a hint of sweetness.
2/3 - Ending the 1st third and rolling into the 2nd is creamy cedar, which proves to be a nice addition. We're still very much spicy corojo forward. The finish continues to be short, but there is small ramp up in richness. I also pick up traces of what seems like pita bread to me. Minimal change for this third. Light+ to Medium body.
3/3 - The spice isn't yelling anymore and coming through at normal conversation volumes. Cedar decided it needed more talking time. Cream said screw this, I'm out. The pocket of sweetness in the back is still present and reminds me of chalky candy hearts, like the ones at Valentine's Day. Medium body at this point. Funky bitters close things out.
Well, I wasn't overly excited about it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. That's the assessment I gave for the Habano too. To be fair, much of the praise & social media posts have been about War Witch and Lalibela. If you were going to dive into the brand, I would start with one of those two lines. The El Milagro Corojo was acceptable to me, but I didn't find the richness & complexity that I prefer.
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1