|The one thing I regret about my years of living in Pa is that I did not|
know or get to meet Vince Hill and visit BNB Cigars. The beauty of social
media is that it allows us to connect with people much easier. Vince has
been a great supporter of the Cigar Hawk brand, blog, and we have
developed a friendship via social media. Hopefully we get to hang out
one day soon and enjoy some smokes together. I could not be any
happier to see this event to celebrate 15 years in business. For those that
don’t know, Vince and BNB Cigars are hands down one of the best shops
for everything boutique in the cigar world.
I wish I could make it there for the
event because I know it will be amazing. Anytime Juan Cancel shows up
to an event, it’s a party of a different level. “Ain’t no party like a Protocol
Congratulations on 15 years and Cheers to many more!!
Message from Vince:
Starting tomorrow Friday 6/21/2019!!!! BnB Cigars is celebrating our 15th Anniversary
with a weekend packed with great events with some of our best friends
in the industry.
Friday June 21st starting at 4 PM we welcome Erik Espinosa from
Espinosa Cigars and the owner of the La Zona Cigar Factory in Esteli,
Nicaragua along with Juan Cancel and the Protocol Cigar Gang for a
night of fun and great cigars. Great deals on all La Zona made cigars.
Saturday June 22nd we welcome back our good friend James Brown
owner of the Oveja Negra Factory and blender of Black Label Trading
Company and Black Works Studio Cigars for an exclusive Blending
Seminar from 12-3 PM and a BLTC/ BWS Event starting at 3PM. James
produces some of the most sought after boutique cigars on the market
including our very own Flor de Cesar brand. This is a chance to get
some great cigars never available before ( NBK Lizard King and
Santa Muerte Barrio Santo) and ones that won’t be available again
including Factory Exclusives you can only get at the factory in Nicaragua. Also making a special one time return is the BLTC Redemption which
hasn’t been available in 3 plus years.
Sunday June 23rd we welcome back our good friends from RoMa Craft
Tobac for another great event featuring Danny Vazquez in his first
appearance at BnB. Our RoMa events are always a great time and a
chance for you to enjoy great deals on some of the best cigars available.
Our inventory of RoMa Craft cigars is second to none and we have a
large amount of their CroMagnon line which is going to be in short
supply until the beginning of next year. We will have some great raffles
on tons of RoMa swag and HTF cigars.
This is a don’t miss Weekend of events, great food, beer and raffles at
- PRESS RELEASE
- June 19, 2019 — Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) will be showcasing a new release at this year’s IPCPR in Las Vegas.
- LAST RITES VIATICUM will be available to BLTC retailers at this years IPCPR.This is a small batch release offered on a first-come, first-serve basis to retailers attending IPCPR 2019. Shipping will commence this fall.
- “We wanted to release a cigar exclusively for IPCPR attendees as a way of showing our appreciation for the retailers who come to support our brands and the show. Last Rites has always been a special cigar to me. It was the first cigar I blended on my own, and I blended it to my personal tastes. It’s everything I wanted out of a cigar and a perfect representation of Black Label Trading Co. To celebrate our sixth anniversary, I wanted to do a Special Edition of the Last Rites. The Viaticum is an evolution of the Last Rites blend. It uses most of the same tobaccos but in different proportions and primings. It’s rich, dark and elegant just like Nicaraguan tobacco. We also box pressed the cigar like the original 2013 release,” says James Brown, creator of BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra.
- Last Rites Viaticum
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuador Maduro
- Binder: Honduras Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan / Honduran
- Robusto – 5 x 54 Box Press (20 count) MSRP $15.00
- “Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy, Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality at their own factory in Nicaragua.”
- Visit BLTC Booth #2463 at this year’s IPCPR 2019 for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I really hope hope I am able to try these. Last Rites is my favorite cigar from the Black Label lineup and I am sure this one will be amazing. More great things coming out of Fabrica Oveja Negra. #LongAshesFullGlasses
PRESS RELEASE – Black Label Trading Co. PRESS RELEASE June 17, 2019 —
Black Label Trading Company (BLTC) will be debuting new artwork and packaging for its core-line at this year’s IPCPR in Las Vegas. Visit Booth #2463 to see the display. Royalty, Salvation, Lawless and Last Rites have each been given unique artwork designed by James Brown, creator of BLTC. These cigars are part of the original core-line that BLTC launched in 2013. Benediction was also part of the original core-line but will be replaced with Porcelain to complete the spectrum of BLTC’s five core-line cigars. New Packaging will begin shipping after IPCPR. “I’m very excited for the re-boot of the BLTC Core Line. Black Label is celebrating its six year anniversary and it was time to change things up a bit. I believe every cigar has it’s own personality and tells a story. I wanted to give our core products the chance to tell that story through unique artwork for each line. It was also time to tweak the blends a bit. The blends didn’t change, I just played with different proportions of the original tobaccos creating a new, unique version of the cigars,” said James Brown, creator of BLTC and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra. “Black Label Trading Company is redefining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy, Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality at their own factory in Nicaragua.” Visit BLTC Booth #2463 at this year’s IPCPR 2019 to place your orders. email@example.com.
Thanks to Matt O’Hop at Cigars on State in Clark Summit, Pa for hooking me up with the newly released Morphine. I was able to get all 3 vitolas and plan to review each of them. Check out http://cigarsonstate.com/wp/ for all your cigar needs and great info. Matt does a nice job on his blog keeping you up to date with things going on in the industry.
For those of you that follow me on social media, you have seen my post of Black Label Trading Company and Black Works Studio cigars. It is no secret that I am a big fan of both brands and the cigars they produce. I also had the pleasure of sitting down with James Brown when he visited Pa last year. James is a great guy and he and his wife Angela live in Nicaragua full time where they run Fabrica de Oveja Negra in Esteli that they opened in 2015. The following is from the BLTC website and talks a little bit about the factory.
“As the name suggests, Oveja Negra (Black Sheep), will do things differently.
“Starting our own factory was a natural progression of the brand. We needed the freedom to be as creative as possible and to have ownership of every process that goes into making our cigars. We have always been involved in every aspect of our production but now we can take it to the next level and ensure 100% quality from seed to ash,” stated James Brown, creator of BLTC.
Oveja Negra offers its clients a factory where small batch production is the norm, and quality is the priority. At Oveja Negra smaller brands and retailers wanting private labels can make a cigar without huge minimum orders.
“This is a tough industry for small companies. Its hard to get the attention you need to create a premium product. Our goal is to help support other boutique brands and grow the premium-cigar market,” stated James Brown.
Black Label Trading Company is re-defining the standards for cigar making. With a less is more philosophy Black Label Trading Co. creates hand crafted premium cigars of the utmost quality in small batch, limited quantities.”
Oveja Negra is also responsible for producing cigars for the Nomad brand and is currently working on a project with Veritas Cigar Co. I can tell you that everything I have had so far from that factory is solid and consistent. It feels like every release that comes out is better and better. If you haven’t had any of their cigars, I highly recommend them. Be sure to follow them on social media and check out some of the amazing works of art they are creating.
So with all of that out of the way, let’s review a cigar shall we? Up first from the bunch is the latest release of Morphine. This is the fourth release of this cigar and I am anxious to try it. It was one of my favorite cigars of last year and I enjoyed all but 1 because I wanted to make sure I had one until I got the 17’s in. Well, mission accomplished and now I can go back and see what some aging did to it and compare. Win, win.
Morphine 2017 Corona 5 1/2 x 42 (18 count box)
(Also available this year in Lancero 7 1/4 x 42 12 box count and Short Robusto 4 1/2 x 50 20 box count) 400 boxes of each will be available for 20,000 cigars total.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan habano
Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua
Appearance / Construction: Keeping true to form, this years version is dark, rugged and rustic. The dark brown maduro wrapper presents a few bumps and veins with tight seams. The cigar feels solid with no soft spots. The foot is open and the cap is rounded with a small “nub” on the end. There are 2 black and white bands that blend nicely with the wrapper. One is the logo artwork band and the second has the name on it.
Pre-light: I decided to keep this one in the cellophane until I was almost ready to smoke it. Once I remove it I am hit with heavy barnyard notes, manure, and hay. I let it sit out for a minute or so and breathe a bit. Once I go back to it, I pick up pepper, chocolate sweetness, much less barnyard, hay and earth. On the foot I get more of the same with a grassy undertone. Using a straight cut I remove the cap and the cold draw is open with a slight resistance. I get a nice pepper, wood and hay profile from the cold draw. Time to get this one toasted.
1st Third: Right away the old familiar sting of red pepper/spice hits the throat and nose. Ah….I take a few seconds to enjoy it. Once things calm down a bit I pick up a nice woodsy cedar profile. There is a subtle undertone that reminds me of the smell of damp, freshly cut grass. Crazy I know but that is the only way I can describe it. As I work through the first half inch or so, there is a lot going on here and it’s all really good. There is a little hint of sweetness here and there and the pepper still finds it way in at times. So far this blend is really enjoyable to me. The draw is good. Open with a little resistance but nothing too tight. The burn is good. A little wavy but nothing unmanageable. And here comes the rain! Damn, time to move into the garage. I was trying to beat it and I lost!
2nd Third: As I move into the halfway point, more of the same great notes. This is a very consistent blend. Nothing that shifts and changes in crazy ways but complex enough to keep things interesting. Still very woodsy, earthy, spicy (though not as much as the start), and very smooth. This is a full bodied smoke. The strength is certainly in the full range. One thing about most BLTC is they often pack a punch. Thus the name Morphine! Takes all the pain away! I am getting nice smoke from this stick and so far I am really feeling this year’s release.
Final Third: Again, no major shifts here. Consistent and delicious. As I watch the rain pour down, I am thinking back to last years release and for as good as that one was, I think this years blend has turned things up a notch. No real changes in the profile as I work my way down to the nub. More of the same cedar wood, grassy, pepper, earthy notes that started all blended together in a perfect presentation on the palate. The sweetness still makes an appearance here and there and the much more subtle pepper still lingers but not as forceful as before. I end this one 1 hour 15 minutes in.
Final Thoughts: I really wished the rain had held out and I could have sat on the deck and really taken my time with this one. I didn’t rush it but being forced into the garage due to a downpour makes for a less enjoyable experience. That said, this cigar was really, really good. I have found that I am a fan of the San Andres Maduro and it is featured in a lot of cigars that I really enjoy. This one was no different. There is a sweetness to it and blended with the heavy wood and pepper notes, this makes for a great smoke. As I stated in the review, I think this years release turned out better than its predecessor from last year. I do not recommend this cigar for beginner smokers. If you tend to like more mild or medium cigars, ease into this. This is a full bodied, full flavored smoke with a punch. Another great release from BLTC.
Appearance / Construction: Rugged, rustic San Andres Maduro wrapper with the standard Black and White BLTC bands work for the look of this cigar. The construction is solid, no major flaws. For what this cigar is meant to be I score it 18/20.
Performance (Smoking Characteristics): The draw was open with a touch of resistance that kept things cool all the way down to the nub. The burn got a little wavy at times but no real issues. No touch ups required. I did have to relight it once, only because it went out as I scrambled to get moved into the garage during a heavy rain. Other than a wavy burn line I had no issues. I score this a 23/25.
Flavor: Complex, consistent and good. A well balanced blend of cedar wood, spice, earth and sweetness. I really enjoyed the profile of this cigar and appreciate that is wasn’t all over the place in terms of changes or transitions. Complex enough to hold your interest and not a one dimensional cigar. I score this a 25/25.
Overall Experience: I really liked this cigar. The corona size is that great in between size that you can pull off in an hour. I am anxious to try the lancero and the robusto but I enjoyed my time with this cigar. No real performance issues, great flavor, consistency. What more do you need? I scored this a 28/30.
Final Rating: 94
96 – 94: Excellent cigar. I would add this to my collection of must haves.
So there you have it. My review of the BLTC 2017 Morphine. I hope that you enjoyed it. I welcome your thoughts, comments and reviews. Feel free to share it and make sure to follow me on social media. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace.