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Doc's Analysis - Hooten Young Paladin Series Toro

Whether you're on the right or on the left, blue or red, we can all get behind the phrase "Support Our Troops". Despite wanting to be a jet pilot for about 10 years of my childhood (thank you Top Gun), I never ended up serving in the armed forces. My short stature didn't quite reach the bar and my dreams of being the next Maverick were shot down. Regardless, I've always had admiration for the men & women of the military who sacrifice so much, some who give all, and they should be honored & remembered.

That's exactly what Delta Master Sergeant Norm Hooten and his buddy Tim Young did when they created Hooten Young Cigars in 2018. Each line has some reference to the military and ten percent of all profits go to charities that provide services to U.S. veterans. The one we're going to take a look at today is the Paladin Series Toro, which pays tribute to the warriors of the United States.

I got your 6 homie

Booted up and ready!

Wrapper like an old woman's thigh!

Breaker breaker 1-9, do you copy?

Removing the band was like a grenade blast to the wrapper

The Deets

Cigar: Hooten Young Paladin Series Toro

Origin: Nicaragua

Factory: Córboba & Morales

Size: 6 x 52

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Claro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua


Appearance  9/10

 The Paladin uniform is tight with the crisp logo shield and camo print. The appearance is bold and strong. In the backpack we have multiple strong caps that are cleanly applied. The seams are fantastic and the wrapper has so much visual texture! The feel itself was smooth and thin yet rugged, but the vein patterns were like an old woman's leg! Veins just shooting out everywhere. It actually looks great on this cigar, not so much on legs. The uniformity was probably perfect at some point, but it had some dents in the fender when I got it. The main band was sloppy loose too. Had to take it off almost immediately to avoid a slipping hazard. Overall, this cigar is a badass.


Draw  8.5/10

 The dense frame had me pull out a hearty straight cut. I felt the need to do a fair amount of tweezing to loosen up the head which was like the front row of a Pantera concert. I created enough elbow room to end up with a tight but acceptable draw. About halfway I did some no-removal poking and it gave me a much better draw for the remaining duration.


Burn/Construction  8/10

 Started out with some seriously dense snow white ash. Sure was pretty. The burn line was not as purdy and needed some chewing out by the flame superiors. Minor offenses though, nothing that needed major correcting. So why 2 points off? The secondary band was dipped in rubber cement before placing it on the cigar and it grenaded my wrapper upon removal. All that time and effort to create a cigar worthy of a veteran, only to ruin the experience with sloppy AF band applications. If anything jams my rifle up, it's cigar destroying bands.


Taste  9/10

 1/3 - The mission hump begins in a damp forest, mossy, and with an interesting sour finish that follows a retro of cedar and hay. Half inch in and some sweet sands are on the boots. I'm also picking up yesterday's croissant and a subtle mineral note. For a short while at the beginning I was getting a finish that was chalky cheap balloons. The first inch had some notes that would normally be a hard pass, but they move around together nicely. After a little over an inch there is a large transition and it's still the 1st third. The flood gates open and there is a blast of cream with a buttery flavor. Some sandy leather and the finish is a little less sour now. By the end of the 1st it's been interesting already.

2/3 - The 2nd third is filled with buttered toast and a creamy cedar retro. The finish is now an oddly interesting sweet & sour. Notes from the 1st third like sandy leather, yesterday's croissant, and minerals are balanced and play the supporting background.

3/3 - Sweet & sour cedar with sandy leather are the dominating driving notes on the final third. Since the sweet & sour note moved way up front, the retro reverted back to a dryness that was similar to the 1st third. Luckily it wasn't the chalky balloons from the beginning and was more of a low-fat powdered donut.


Overall  8.6/10

 If the Paladin had a better draw and the bands didn't explode the wrapper upon removal, then I can see this being over a 9 easily. There is a flavor profile that has some not-so-common notes that harmonize well together. I also really liked the overall presentation on the Paladin. I would certainly smoke one again and it has sparked an interest in the other lines from Hooten Young.


**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1


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