Felix Assouline has 2 brands that really push the envelope with their names, Ego and Something Special. With names like this, you have to produce a quality product that holds up to the name. The Ego Spirit I have had and reviewed and it was terrific. I have the Ego Maniac waiting in the humidor along with a few others. The L.R Something Special I had not, until the other day. It ended in disaster and I did not review it. No fault of anyone but me and the post office (kind of). Long story but it ended with it falling onto the cold concrete, the cigar being cold from being in the mailbox and the fall causing the wrapper and binder to break open. Almost shattering. I was able to smoke it, but no chance of taking photos and no chance of saving the wrapper so I had to take it off and smoke it as it was. Not the ideal conditions for a review by any means. So anyway…
The Something Special was 1 of 2 brands by Felix that I had not yet tried. The other was the Ringo. We will get to that soon. The Limited Reserve Something Special Triumph was the cigar of choice for today.
The L.R.S.S. Triumph 6 1/2 x 56 is a Nicaraguan, Medium to Full bodied, box pressed beauty with Nicaragua/Honduras fillers, Indonesian binder and a Habano Criollo 98 wrapper. It is priced at $7.50 and available at http://felixassouline.com/store/lrss_Triumph.html
Taking this cigar out of the cellophane, it smells heavily of barnyard straw/hay and a semi-sweet cocoa, much like the semi-sweet chocolate morsels used in cookies. I opted for my Colibri V-cutter (love that thing) and wooden matches to get things started.
The cold draw after the cut revealed an earthy, barnyard almost manure smell but it wasn’t harsh or overbearing. Once toasted, we got things started. First pull brought some pepper notes immediately to my palate along with rich cedar. It was very creamy and produced a lot of heavy white smoke. Further into the first third, the pepper toned down a lot and the cedar mixed with the cocoa and earthy notes making this a nice medium bodied, medium to full flavored smoke.
It has been snowing since early this am and now the sun is finally coming through a little making it a nice 35 degrees outside. These cold temps really play havoc on cigars that are use to their warm 70 degree 70% humidity home. The draw remains perfect, the ash is jagged and slightly uneven but in these conditions, any cigar will do the exact same thing. I long to be in a climate where I no longer have to contend with this foolishness. If anyone knows of good jobs in Tennessee or the Carolinas, hit me up please. Lol. Moving on.
One of the biggest misconceptions about premium cigars right now, is the belief that there needs to be huge, swinging flavor profile changes between each third. Personally I don’t like that at all. If I like the flavor profile and all of a sudden it transitions completely to something else and I have to get through it to see what the last third brings me, more times than not, I am not going to smoke it again. I much prefer consistency with subtle changes or no change at all. Luckily for me, Felix has managed to produce some of the most consistent cigars I have tried. Nothing different with this one either. The second and final third bring about some minor shifts with the pepper coming back to the forefront at times then taking a backseat to the cocoa and leathery earth notes. Nothing drastic, nothing crazy. If you like those kind of radical changes, don’t smoke these. If you like the flavor profile of the first third, you will like this cigar from start to finish.
I read reviews all the time and I see some of the craziest descriptions from cedar to burnt marshmallows mixed with crushed almond shells wrapped in raisins dripped in espresso and finished with a fresh citrus squeeze. WHAT? I would need to be on acid to find these flavor profiles. And if these are legit descriptions, I certainly want no part of a cigar that taste like that. Maybe my palate needs some work. I have noticed lately that many of the cigars I have tried really have some of the same traits. I am not sure if that is because I am leaning towards certain types of cigars or if it’s my palate. Either way, it is what it is and the thing about cigars is that everyone will experience the exact same cigar in their own unique way. My perfect 10 cigar may be the worst cigar you ever tried.
My final thought on the L.R.S.S. Triumph. This is a wonderful medium to medium-full bodied cigar that produces an excellent, woodsy, earthy, creamy cocoa profile with some pepper notes that show up from time to time. It is a beautiful cigar with small veins and very tight seams. The box press really gives it a luxury feel. It was light and firm throughout with no soft spots. The burn was great, although uneven at times (simply due to the outdoor conditions), required no touchups, the construction and performance were excellent all the way through. The flavor profile was great and remained consistent throughout the entire cigar. The draw was open with a touch of resistance. I could not put this cigar down and burn time was a fairly quick 1 hour 10 minutes. Keep in mind the temp was mid (and dropping) 30’s and I was drawing pretty frequently on it. It never burned hot, the ash held for over 2 inches at one point with a nice white/grey ash. I really enjoyed this cigar and I will put this in my regular rotation for sure. It is available in 7 different sizes and I plan to try them all. The Elegant I had the disaster with was very consistent with the Triumph as far as flavor went, but was slightly milder, which is expected with a smaller ring gauge cigar. I highly recommend this cigar when you are in the mood for Something Special, it won’t disappoint. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace!