Once in a while, I get cigars sent to me for an honest review. This cigar maker generously supplied me with five cigars to sample. I choose not to look at the price until I was done with my full review and tasting (and you will have to read to the end of the article to find out as well). Famous Smoke Shop does what many other catalog cigar houses do, and that is contract tabacaleras in various countries to make them special blends that are proprietary to their line. The Iron Horse is one of those that comes from a small Dominican tabacalera. Let’s see how they did.
Draw and Construction
This is a 7" cigar having a 50 ring gauge making it a size that is commonly called a Churchill. The wrapper is a very nice rustic looking marble Sumatran maduro leaf grown in Ecuador. It is firm with a little give. The binder is a Cuban-seed Criollo ’98 which is actually a hybrid leaf developed in Cuba to be resistant to Blue Mold, and is now also grown in the Dominican Republic. The filler is a Dominican Olor. Okay, so what is an ‘olor’ tobacco? The word in Spanish simply means ‘scent’. That translates into ‘cigar-speak’ as a tobacco with a nice ‘scent’ or aroma. The fist cigar I smoked had a very uneven burn with the ash coming off at 1”, but the uneven burn continued throughout the entire smoke, a full 90 minutes. I decided to let the cigars rest in my humidor for about a month. Often times when ordering online, the cigars tend to dry out a bit during shipping. Letting them rest and bringing moisture back into the cigars will give you a better smoke. In this case, it was exactly what these cigars needed. I took my time with the lighting on the rest of the cigars I had to test, toasted the foot adequately, turned the cigar while lighting, and I even remembered to blow lightly on the foot to make certain I got an even burn. The rest of the cigars lit easily, drew well (with a slight restrictiveness) and burned more evenly. The ash still fell off at 1” but that is not a significant negative. I say the burn was more even than before, not perfect, and the cigar did smoke well. One word of caution, don’t let this cigar sit for too long in between puffs or it will go out.
Flavor and Aroma
The ‘Olor’ tobacco lived up to name. The aroma before lighting up was that similar to standing in the middle of a tobacco barn with leaves all around you….very nice. The taste of the tobacco before lighting the cigar was just tobacco, no bitterness and no sweetness, but after lighting up there was a distinct flavor of dark roasted coffee and coco. The folks at Famous Smoke Shop wrote to me that this is a medium-to- full-flavor cigar and I agree with them. It is not a full-bodied cigar, it is not strong, it does not have any bitterness, but it does have a background flavor of leather that is not overpowering. The aroma of the smoke is a pleasant cigar aroma and sort of a ‘subtle’ experience. I would say that it is one of those cigars that after smoking it for a while, you realize that it has a nice aroma. It sort of creeps up on you.
Okay, now to answer the big question as to this cigar being a good value. My first thought was that this is a nice $6.00 cigar, and matched up well with others in that range, and for a Churchill it would be a good value. Then I looked up the price in the Famous Smoke Shop catalog and discovered that this cigar is being sold in boxes of 20 for $49.99. That’s right, a cigar this good for about $2.50 a stick. That makes this a great cigar and an excellent value. Famous Smoke Shop has been around for more than 70 years and they really know cigars. Don’t be shy about trying their cigars at these low prices. I am certain that you will be in for nice smoking experience. To quote Scott Shemtov from Famous Smoke Shop – “it’s an honest smoke at an honest price.”
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.