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Cigar Review – Excalibur Legend Conqueror

As I may have mentioned in previous reviews, there are certain cigars I’ve been eyeballing ever since I started here last summer. Strictly due to the sheer badassery of the name, Excalibur was on that list right from the beginning, though at the time I knew nothing about the cigars themselves. I later learned that the Excalibur line was meant to serve as a powerhouse extension to the Honduran Hoyo de Monterrey brand, complete with a bunch of different wrapper shades, very cool packing, and a marketing campaign that would appeal to any video game-crazed 20-something.

Last week I was lucky enough to smoke the Excalibur Legend Conqueror, and coming off of a quadruple-wisdom tooth extraction, I’m just getting around to writing it up now. I’ll start by saying that this stogie had one of the most diesel-looking Connecticut wrappers I’ve ever seen. If I had to guess, I would have said it was a Corojo or Habano or some other semi-dark leaf.

Construction wise, the stick was pretty much perfect. There were no soft spots from head to foot, and the cap clipped to reveal a nice cross-section of perfectly spaced tobacco leaves. The pre-light draw was generous and revealed flavors of caramel and cedar with much less pepper than I expected from a cigar that was billed as full-bodied.

This hefty, 54-ring-gauge cigar took a bit of effort to light with a double torch, but once it got going, it produced an enormous amount of smoke. From this thick smoke I got a blast of heavy pepper, eventually settling on buttery and creamy with a little bit of residual spice. The cigar also hinted at sweet caramel once the pepper wore off, and that hint eventually progressed into a light sweetness.

Further in, that caramel flavor evolved into an almost aggressive vanilla note. I say aggressive because it otherwise wouldn’t have been able to come through the massive amount of pepper that seemed to periodically shoulder itself into the flavor profile on its own accord. That vanilla gradually became less and less sweet until it started to remind me of oak.

Finally, as I neared the end of the smoke, the creaminess returned fully, blanketing the pepper and keeping it from becoming overwhelming. Overall I’d say that this was among the drier cigars I’ve had. The sweetness was never exaggerated, and the flavors stayed in the somewhat traditional vein of pepper, wood, cream, and a little bit of vanilla.

I had some slight burn issues during the first half of the smoke due to the thick ring gauge of the cigar, but these resolved themselves with a little bit of touching up. The ashes held on for a solid inch at a time, and the draw stayed perfect from the moment I clipped the cap to the moment I put down the nub. If you’re looking for a real powerhouse, though, this shouldn’t be your first choice. In my personal opinion, the Excalibur Legend Conqueror never quite got past medium-bodied, but that said, it was balanced, tasty, well-rolled, and an all-around solid smoke that I’ll definitely be picking up again.

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