Saturday, August 25, 2007

Island Prince
Size: 5.75 x 50
Tobacco: Hawaiian
Price: $15

Shaun brought me back this puro from his vacation in Hawaii, which appears to be the only cigar in the world made from Hawaiian tobacco. The tobacco is grown on the island of Kauai, then exported to Nicaragua to be fermented, aged, and hand-rolled into cigars. The cigars are only sold in Hawaii and through the website

(Side rant: What does that say about our economy? Apparently, it's more cost effective to ship the tobacco across the Pacific Ocean, make the cigars in Central America, then ship them back across the Pacific, rather than to pay American workers to do the same job!)

The company has an interesting website here.

I thought the cigar itself was very good. It had a medium body, with an easy-but-not-too-loose draw. I tasted distinct pepper/spice flavors that grew more intense as I nubbed it. They paired favorably with my drink of the night, a 12-year single malt. The flavors reminded me, actually, of a cross between a CAO Black and a Hemingway.

Granted, this is a ridiculously high price point for any cigar (we're close to Graycliff, Padron Anniversary, Opus X territory here), and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that these cigars are something of a novelty due to their origin and are sold mostly to tourists. Still, I really enjoyed the one I was given, and I'll make sure to pick up some more if I ever get that dream cruise to Hawaii.


smoker said...

I just ordered three sticks and I can't wait to try them!

gregs1 said...

A friend brought me one back from his vacation. He knew I wanted to try a Cuban and they gave him the pitch about how Hawaii is similar to Cuba in climate and they used cuban seed etc. They had gars on display for about $10 but after they talked they reached under the counter and brought a $20 version out and said this is what you want not these others. Who knows... But it really was one of the best I've tasted and had a flavor that I was not familiar with. Very interesting and pleasing smoke. Worth $20? As a treat maybe. Worthy stick if you want to treat yourself to something different.

gregs1 said...

I just remembered one other notable aspect of the Island Prince and that being it had a very very long after taste that extended the pleasure of this cigar more so than any cigar I can recall.