Origin : USA
Format : Robusto
Size : ~5.25 x 44
Wrapper : Ecuador (Habano)
Filler : Nicaragua and Honduras
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $195-230 for a box of 20 depending on vitola
Thanks to Velvet Cigars for providing a sampler!
The Bowery is a new release by Velvet Cigars from New York City. According to their press release, “the Bowery is a medium to full-bodied box pressed cigar, featuring four year-aged Nicaraguan and Honduran filler, with a Habano Ecuadorian wrapper.” Velvet cigars are hand-rolled in their Club in NYC by a team of Dominican rollers. I have never smoked anything from Velvet, so this is a completely new experience for me.
The first thing that I noticed when I pulled the cigar out of the cellophane was how soft it felt in the hands; it does indeed feel like “velvet”. The wrapper is a very dark brown with a fair amount of veins. As mentioned before, it is box-pressed, but it was not an even pressed cigar as the cigar seemed to slope from left to right.
Two soft spots were felt: one at about 2 in. from the foot and one right at the band. The cigar has a single cap which seemed unevenly applied. The pre-light draw had some resistance to it, but overall was fairly good. The ash was light grey and tight. It also produced a lot of smoke which rose quickly.
The wrapper had a nice barnyard smell with a hint of chocolate. The foot featured chocolate and coffee aromas. The pre-light draw had a nice sweet taste, just like candy.
Initially, there was an almond flavor with a slight spice taste. About an inch into the cigar, leather notes were introduced; there was a slight peppery taste on the lips. A roasted coffee flavor with a bit of pepper were present towards the last third of the cigar.
The finish was somewhat short and mostly felt at the roof of the mouth.
This is a relatively expensive cigar which features good attributes in term of appearance, construction and flavors. The price most likely is higher than the robustos in the market since it is hand rolled right at the Velvet Club in New York. If purchased online, it would cost less than purchasing them at the Club.
Overall Rating :
My first experience with a cigar from Velvet Cigars was a very enjoyable one. This seemed more like a medium-bodied cigar and I would have wanted a bit more pepper from an Ecuadorian-grown Habano wrapper. Maybe that quality will materialize with more aging. I would recommend everyone give The Bowery a try. I will definitely try other cigars in the Velvet line.