Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona Grande
Size : 165 x 18 mm [6 1/2'' x 46]
Ring : 46
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$2.50 each [~$60 for a box of 25]
More info about purchasing Benchmade cigars...
What do you get when you cross a bundled value cigar with the signature blending style of Don Pepin Garcia? You get Benchmade, a mixed filler cigar by Ashton.
The bands and boxes these are packed in are plain and nondescript. Unless you’re looking for these, I could see them being lost among the glitz and glamour of competing products. The cigars themselves, however, are attractive. The wrapper is nice and dark, no large veins or noticeable flaws. There is a small pigtail at the cap that just doesn’t look as good as some other pigtails I’ve seen.
Somewhat of a spongy feel on the squeeze. Clipping the head was a mess. Bits of tobacco spilled out. During smoking, there were a few times where I had to spit some bits of tobacco, but not as much as I expected. The burn was respectably straight, requiring only the slightest of touchups. The only crack in the wrapper occurred when removing the band. One thing that got on my nerves throughout the time I spent smoking this cigar was that the ash kept falling off unexpectedly. It got on the table, on my lap, in my drink, and on the laptop.
When smoking a cigar, I like to be taken on a journey. I like when the flavors morph and expand, keeping my interest and begging for more. Unfortunately these Benchmade’s were less like a planned journey, and more like getting lost on a mountain road. Between the 3 sticks I smoked this week I noticed quite a bit of inconsistency. Granted, 2 of the cigars were purchased this week, with the stick pictured purchased 5 months ago. Being mixed filler, it’s highly improbable that a great deal of consistency can be found. But even within a particular cigar I found peaks and valleys of flavor, rather than rolling hills.
At the light, blasts of white and black pepper smack you on the tongue and in the back of the throat. The pepper really blocked out any other flavors for the 1st third, when it moved off of the tongue and allowed for some light wood to sneak through. The middle third was nothing to speak of, providing flavors of earth and spice, and popsicle stick undertones.
The final third is when this cigar changed direction completely. The amount of smoke doubled, and flavors exploded. The pepper and spice completely leaves, filling my mouth with great flavors of tobacco, earth, and something I can only describe as chewiness.
I think $2.50 is a good price for this cigar. I didn’t feel like I spent too much for this cigar, but I didn’t really get the feeling that I got a great deal. With Benchmade, you get what you pay for.
Overall Rating :
The market is simply flooded with cigars at the price point, especially online. Most of them are consistently bad. These cigars were anything but consistent in terms of both as a cigar, and as a cigar line. That being said, these are worth a try. I think a better Pepin-blended mixed-filler choice would be a Tatuaje White Label, but they cost a bit more.