I was fortunate enough to sit down with Juan Cancel of Cubariqueno Cigar Company last weekend at Famous Smoke Shop. It’s always great talking with the people that bring these great cigars to the market and find out some of the back story behind it.
William Agathis is the third man behind the brand and they set out to make a blend that was more to his liking, true to his Greek heritage, and his taste. Preferring a milder strength and having a more delicate palate, he went to work with Hector Alfonso Sr at the La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The outcome was the Themis. From ancient Greek mythology, she was the second wife of Zeus and is described as the “Lady of Good Consel”. You will notice the Lady of Justice symbol on the logo. Keeping true to the Law Enforcement theme that started with the Protocol (Juan and Bill both work in law enforcement), the Themis comes to the market at IPCPR 2017.
Juan told me they wanted a cigar that appealed to a larger number of people, because they are repeatedly asked if they have anything in the mild to medium range. Until now, the answer was no. If you have had the Protocol or Probable Cause you know this is true. I am not typically a Connecticut fan. Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed them or dislike them in anyway, I just typically smoke darker cigars. I always keep an open mind about any cigar and this was no different. So let’s jump in to this one and see how it turned out.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan
Orgin: La Zona, Esteli, Nicaragua
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto (Also available in 6 x 52 Toro)
The look of this cigar is just really appealing. The medium tan color of the cigar really works well with the Gold foil bands and the orange silk foot band. The color combos really work perfectly with this cigar. The cigar has some medium veins, open foot, and a rounded triple cap to finish things off. I really like the look of this cigar.
I pick up notes of barnyard, leather, and cocoa from the open foot. From the barrel I get more barnyard, mostly dry hay, and earth. The cigar is light but feels firm throughout with no soft spots. I used a V-cutter and the cold draw reveals a nice open, airy draw. I pick up notes of earth, hay, and roasted nuts.
1st Third: Once I get the foot nice and toasted, I get a nice big pepper blast right out the gate. Juan told me about it and even with advanced notice, I did not expect that from this cigar. Being a big pepper and spice fan, this was a great treat. I also picked up some earthy, nutty, and woodsy notes but overall the pepper takes the forefront. I am getting a ton of creamy smoke from this cigar. About 1/4 inch in, the pepper is there but really tones down and becomes a nice, smooth mild-medium strength, full flavored cigar.
2nd Third: As I move into the second third, the transition into more of a woodsy, grassy profile starts to take shape. Not full on but it’s subtle and it’s a nice change. The grassy note flirts with an almost mint like taste. Like if you burned a mint leaf from a plant. Hard to explain but that’s what I got. The pepper note still lingers but blends very well with the other flavors. I pick up some cocoa at times and it just adds to the mix. This is a very complex Connecticut and I am having a hard time letting it rest. It keeps pulling me back to it to discover new notes. Performance is on complete cruise control. Draw is open and great, nice, even, slow burn, tons of smoke and the ash is holding like a champ.
Last Third: Closing in on the final third it transitions into a silky smooth, creamy blend that is more of a mild-medium strength but bursting with flavors. The pepper has really toned down and taken a back seat to the roasted nuts, cocoa/coffee, and sweet cedar wood. I am really amazed at how complex this cigar is and how well the notes just flow from one to the next.
Final Thoughts: This review was a bit different because Juan and I talked about the cigar almost a week before me trying it. He was absolutely right about it. This is a mild-medium, full bodied Connecticut that has that Protocol punch to it. Like I said before, I am not a big Connecticut smoker but I will have these in my humidor. I see myself enjoying these as a first cigar of the day with a cup of coffee or at an event as a great, light after dinner stick. I was a little concerned about loosing what I love so much about the Protocol and Probable Cause when I heard about them doing a Conni, but rest assure, it does not lack that Protocol kick. I am really amazed at how complex this cigar is and how well the notes just flow from one to the next. Nothing is out of place and the blend just works. Great flavor profile, great performance, great smoke. Very well done gents!
This cigar is great for new smokers or those that prefer a milder cigar, but it is complex enough for even full bodied smokers to enjoy. Yet another winner from Cubariqueno Cigar Company. The Themis completes the trifecta for sure!
**Note** I did not originally rate this cigar at the time of this review. I started the rating process later in the week and thought it was only right to come back and rate this since it is a 2017 release and I want to score it. 6/18/2017
Appearance / Construction: This is a beautiful cigar. The gold band really tie this cigar together and make for a great presentation. It is close to perfect. I score this a 19/20.
Performance: This cigar was on cruise control after I lit it. Slightly wavy burn but no touch-ups required and a nice open draw. I score this a 24/25.
Flavor: For a Connecticut to really get my attention and hold it there, it has to be a special cigar. This was complex, flavorful, full bodied, smooth and really just a great stick. I score this a 24/25.
Overall Experience: From the moment I set it up to take pics, this cigar really stood out. Once I got it lit and settled in a bit, it really began to show me what it was all about. Juan said it was a Connecticut with the Protocol flare and it was every bit of that. Certainly not your standard and I am happy to see a few really good Connecticut smokes hitting the market. I score this a 29/30.
Final Rating: 96
96 – 94: Excellent cigar. In the hunt but just missing the top level. Worthy of more than a single for sure.
Total time was 1 hour 20 minutes. I paired this with water as I always do with a first time cigar. I see this cigar pairing well with coffee in the am or with a nice wine after dinner.
Speaking of coffee. If you like pairing coffee and cigars, then you will want to check this out!
Cubariqueño Cigar Company is excited to announce the release of three Protocol branded coffees in partnership with Layne Coffee Co. The Protocol Azul, Protocol Rojo, and Protocol Oro have all been methodically crafted to be paired with each prospective cigar. Cubariqueño Cigar Company teamed up with Layne Coffee Co., which is a ”small batch” specialty coffee roaster, because of their focus on quality and consistency. Working hand in hand with Layne Coffee Co., Cubariqueño cupped countless coffees in order to bring an experience which would enhance and complement each Protocol cigar. Each coffee uses highly rated specialty beans and is sourced from respected growers all over the world. https://www.laynecoffee.com/collections/protocol-coffee
I want to thank Juan Cancel for allowing me to check out this cigar prior to their release and for always helping me spread the word of the blog. I always enjoy getting to hang out with you when I get the chance. We have to do some more Smoked Juleps and cigars soon. Can’t wait to review the Probable Cause Lancero next!
I hope that you enjoyed this review. I really enjoyed this cigar and I hope that you will check it out. Please feel free to share this on your social media pages. As always, I encourage comments, thoughts, or questions. Until next time friends, long ashes and full glasses. Peace!