In 2011, AKA Cigars began selling cigars with the sole purpose of supporting the troops, especially those deployed and those who ended up as part of the Wounded Warrior Program due to injuries sustained during combat. I am very partial to companies like this because I am both a combat veteran and a wounded warrior. AKA basically stands for “American Kick Ass”, and that is a good way to describe them. I was sent several of their cigars to try out, and chose their ‘Respect HOOAH’ blend first, since that is the one blended to honor the troops. There are various sizes and shapes
that go along with a service connected theme. The other cigar blends they offer are the Solace and the Hybrid . So how did the HOOAH rank?
Draw and Construction
This 5.5” x 50 ring gauge
cigar is a very nice blend of expertly grown tobaccos. The wrapper
is a very dark brown Ecuadoran Habano leaf, which gives the cigar a nice firm feel but with a little give. The binder
came from the farm of Christian Eiroa and is a 4 year aged Honduran Corjo Ligero. The fillers
are a stroke of genius, with 4 and 5 year aged Dominican Corojo Ligero from the Kelner Cigar Family, and the same Eiroa grown Honduran Corojo used in the binder. The draw is nothing short of perfect and effortless. Although very easy to light, the ash is very weak and flaky and does not hold at all. I had one relight at about the mid-point of the cigar, and my smoke ended with around 2 inches left. The cigar lasted for about an hour.
Flavor and Aroma
Right away you can smell the cedar in this cigar, even before lighting. Even my wife commented on the nice cedar aroma, and I walked by her with my unlit cigar and that really impressed me. After lighting, the cedar continued with other woodsy aromas like oak and mesquite. The flavors
matched perfectly with the aromas, and there was even a hint of sweetness and a little chocolate. At the mid-point after I relit the cigar, it got quite spicy with both a red and black peppery flavor. I would label this a full flavor cigar, but not at all heavy. I really believe that a novice smoker could enjoy this double ligero corojo cigar.
The single sticks of the Respect HOOAH sell for $8.25 per cigar, or in a box of 18 for $133.50, which brings the average box price down to $7.40 each. This is a respectable cigar, and knowing that the company is donating money to the Wounded Warrior Program makes it all the more worth the price. I think it is a very good value and a very good cigar.
AKA Solace and Hybrid Blends:
AKA Solace Cigar
The AKA Solace was even better than the 'Respect' blend. It is smooth, nicely aromatic, easy draw and very much on par with a high end Davidioff-like quality and smoking experience. This is what you expect from a $15 stick, but very, very nice when you can get it for $8. Initially, I gave this cigar a 4 star rating because there were some wrapper issues, in as much as the leaves unraveled a bit at the head. That aside, it was still an excellent cigar, and my second sample smoked much better, earning the AKA Solace a final rating of 4½ stars.
AKA Hybrid Cigar
The Hybrid was not memorable in flavor or aroma. The construction and draw were every bit as good as the other two blends, but as far as the rest goes, it was average.
So as far as star rating for the three blends, it will be as follows:
- Respect: 4 stars - Mainly due to the poor ash and slightly uneven burn.
- Solace: 4.5 stars - My second Solace was way better than the first, and the ash was better as well. As I said, it was a very 'Davidoff-like' smoke.
- Hybrid: 3.5 stars - Good construction but not much on the flavor or aroma.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy