Saturday, March 29, 2008

God of Fire Carlito 2005 Double Robusto
Size: 5.7 x 50
Tobacco: Dominican (with Cameroon wrapper)
Price: $20-$24

Billy Ferriolo, from CigarsDirect (a great online site that specializes in high-end superpremiums), gifted me this cigar, which I enjoyed with a glass of Glennfiddich 12-Year Old at Swig's martini bar, right off Beale Street in Memphis. I was celebrating my NCAA championship tournament bracket, which was a perfect 8-0 in the Sweet 16. (I am currently 2nd place in the CigarsDirect bracket competition. The winner gets a Padilla humidor, filled with cigars valued at $1500!)

Cigar Background: God of Fire is made annually by The Arturo Fuente Company, in extremely limited quantities which seem to be released around Christmas every year. They tend to be hard to find and sell out quickly, putting them in the same category as OpusX in terms of its ability to generate word-of-mouth buzz. The cigar comes in 2 blends, one by Don Carlos and the other by his son Carlito. The Don Carlos blends are said to be smooth and full-flavored; the son's blends are spicier and stronger.

Appearance: The cigar sports a cool multicolored band depicting a famous scene from Prometheus Bound, where Prometheus is held captive by the Greek gods for giving the secret of fire to mortals. Every day vultures come and peck out his liver. The cigar itself is wrapped in a medium-brown wrapper that is as near to perfect as I've ever seen: shiny, tight, no veins or visual defects--it almost appears to be a single intact leaf.

Prelight: I detected no prelight aroma. When I tasted the cigar cap, I was surprised at a definite sweetness in the wrapper, which often indicates a mild cigar. After clipping the head, though, I could easily taste the pepper spice in the filler tobacco. The sweet wrapper was intended to soften, just a bit, the full onslaught of flavor that was to come.

The Experience: All I can say is... wow! I have never tasted a cigar like this before. It was loaded with pepper spice from the first puff until I nubbed it in the ashtray. Yet, even with all that strength, it never became harsh or overpowering (I immediately think of Camacho Coyolar Puro or Gran Habano #5!). The burn was razor sharp, the ash tight, and the draw was just perfect. In fact, I've not had any cigar since Cuban Montecristo #2 that burned as exceptionally as this one.

The spice abated slightly in the middle third of the cigar. If there was anything disappointing in this cigar, it was that middle section where I thought a new flavor should have made itself known (similar to what happens in a Padron 1926). But I'm nitpicking here... I like spice, and that's what this cigar was all about. I don't know if it was the excitement of the evening or the heavy nicotine content, but my heart was racing during the last half of this beauty.

Final Thoughts: God of Fire ranks easily in the Top 5 cigars I've ever tried. Perhaps the Top 3-right next to Padron 1926 and Cuban Monte #2.
On my 10-Leaf scale, I'm awarding this one a perfect 10!

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