Saturday 14 September 2019

Review ~ SOSA Belicoso (6/10)

 So, it turns out the few of these sticks I have left from the bundle I bought ages ago are now a bit of a rarity. 

Originally, they were made by the Fuente family in the Dominican Republic, but in December of 2016, A.J. Fernanzez announced that he would be buying the entire Sosa family line, and would be producing them, using the same blends and wrappers, but he would be growing the tobacco himself, and using his own, distinct manufacture and curing methods, as of January 2017, so I imagine the ones put out after that would have been a similar, but not the same cigar.

I got these around 2015, so they would have been the ones made at the A. Fuente Factory, apparently by Juan Sosa, himself! (Pretty cool factoid there, IMO)

They have since been completely discontinued. I'm not clear on just when that happened, but they are not available anywhere that I can find. Just as well they aren't a new favourite or I'd be hosed! ;)

Anyhow, on the the review part!

The construction was good and solid. It felt firm, with just the right give, and it looked nice - chocolate milk brown, and a smooth sheen to the wrapper. 
The scent was fairly straightforward tobacco, with a bit of coffee and spicy chocolate. 
It lit up nicely, using the light and cut method. 

Despite the light and cut, the cigar started out pretty harsh, (the first time that has happened since I learned that technique!) and I was wondering if it would end up in the ashtray in short order, but at about an inch or so in, the harsh beginning gave way to some actual flavour, albeit difficult to define. It was almost acrid, like a very, very dry white wine, but not in an unpleasant way. 

I have to admit, I was a little confused by the seeming disparity between the unlit smell and the taste of the smoke, but it isn't the first time I've encountered this. I may have even noticed it when I smoked the rest of them, several years ago, and then forgotten, or, perhaps, the time in the humidor has changed their profile more significantly than it does most.

The flavour continued to improve, as well as mellow, and by almost 1/3rd of the way down, I started detecting notes of cedar, and something almost, but not quite like leather, along with a tobacco... "crispness", is the best way to describe it. Definitely not bad at all.

It was about that time that the uneven burn became clear as well, but I'm willing to speculate that the breeze and not keeping it rotating could be at least partially to blame. It was simply a matter of having to periodically torch one side a bit.

The emergence of black pepper on the tip of my tongue, joined (finally!) by a nice black coffee/espresso flavour, and followed closely by hints of unsweetened cocoa was a nice turn of events.

At about the halfway point, I was confronted by a nasty "burnt cigar butt" taste, and was afraid the cigar was done, just when it had started to get pretty good. Luckily, just blowing it out well and letting it burn for a couple seconds banished the burn, and it was back to the slightly spicy, rich, dark, chocolate espresso profile for the duration which turned out to be right down the last inch and a half or so!

Most of the cigars I smoke with cocoa and/or coffee notes also tend to have creamy or sweet notes as well, and, curiously, this one didn't. At all. Like, there wasn't so much as a hint of either. Different from the usual, but not at all a criticism.

They are meant to be medium to full bodied, but I found it pretty mild after the initial few, dubious puffs. 

The ash held firm to a little past an inch and a half on average, and was a dusky, blue-grey.  The volume of smoke wasn't terribly impressive, but, while those thick billows of velvet clouds are usually a plus for me, as there is more to play with and taste and get a good mouth feel, it's not the end of the world. 

All in all, it was a decent smoke, and I do look forward to enjoying the rest of them over time. It gets a solid 6/10, which is pretty good from me, for something I didn't flat out love.

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