2012 has seen so many great new things introduced to the cigar world. 2013 looks very promising. A friend, http://shaggyfeetz.blogspot.com/ had recently forwarded my info to Rafaeli’s Cigars, and a short time later I was contacted and asked to give their cigars a smoke, and an honest opinion. Rafaeli’s Cigars is a dream envisioned by David Rafaeli, a jeweler out of Los Angeles. His passion for the Knights Templar has taken theme in his jewelery, and the design of the band of the cigar line. Extremely appealing especially to a die hard Indiana Jones fan, and of course a fan of the Knights themselves.
The cigar had a toothy look and feel. The veins were prominent yet wrapper seams well hidden, virtually undetectable. Pre-light sniff offered some coffee, and coca, at the foot the same with a slight pepper spice note. The cap came pre-punched, which I accepted as a courtesy from the company, saying, please try this, enjoy, let us do the work, you smoke and enjoy. The dry draw gave more cocoa, wood notes, and coffee.
Toasting and lighting opened the first third with a nice blend. In the first few puffs were notes of coffee, and pepper. There were also the cocoa notes I detected, but slight at this point. The first few puffs emphasized the coffee and pepper. Into the first third the cocoa took on more of a primary role, and joined with the coffee formed a mocha-like profile that was rich and creamy. The pepper still held on detectable a bit more on the retrohale. For a toothy cigar I was pleasantly surprised at the near perfect burn. I did expect issues with the burn but never had any problem. The burn ended in a nice tight white ash. The draw was exceptional offering an ample amount of aromatic smoke.
The second and final third didn’t see too much in the aspect of major transitions. The flavors of cocoa and coffee forming their mocha creamy profile stayed true and at the forefront. At times I did notice a wood note creeping in an out of the profile, along with some added sweetness, and the pepper stayed as before, at the back of things and also more on the retrohale. The burn, ash, and draw stayed as pleasing as they began up until the finish.
This cigar, being one of Rafaeli’s first offerings, is in my humble opinion, a great start. Rather than offering a lot of flavor transitions, the cigar took on a classic Maduro like sweetness which was flavorful from beginning to end. I easily see the Maduro becoming one of my go to sticks and an easy box purchase. When these hit the shelves or become available online I’d suggest at least picking a few up and giving them a smoke, if your palate is similar to mine, I’m sure you’ll feel the same. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan