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Cigar Review – Seijas Signature Series Short Figurado

José Seijas is the head honcho at the Tabacalera de Garcia factory, and is behind many of the blends for the Dominican Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, Trinidad, and more. As such, it should come as no surprise that he spared no expense when creating his very own personal cigar, the Seijas Signature Series, which, according to the Altadis U.S.A. website, is “the Master Blender’s vision of the ultimate cigar.”

Lofty descriptions aside, the Short Figurado was one of the nicest-looking cigars I’ve ever seen, especially for such a small vitola (this one measured at 4 ½ x 46). The wrapper was very dark and oily, the cap was neatly applied, and the transition to the perfecto foot was almost seamless. Once I clipped the cap, the draw was surprisingly easy, especially considering that the perfecto tip was a little under ¼ inch across. Pre-light flavors were subtler than I expected; I picked up a little brown sugar sweetness, which was hidden under loads and loads of bold, woody flavor. It was somewhere between the vanilla-like character of oak and the spice of cedar. Anyway, impressed by the draw, I toasted the foot and went to work on lighting the cigar.

The first few puffs were very spicy with loads of red and black pepper, along with that same woody cedar/oak combination I got from the pre-light. Since this cigar was billed as medium-to-full-bodied, I expected some of that lingering, burning pepper I normally get from darker-wrapped cigars, but there was no harsh aftertaste. All that remained after the woody, spicy draw was a little bit of malted caramel sweetness and some faint cedar.

Further into the cigar, I started tasting malted fruit (sort of like mince pie filling), along with pepper, caramel, and a little bit of leather. At this point the cigar was burning a little unevenly, so I gave it a quick touchup and it was back on track. The burn correction, though, was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Instead of burning down in a line like most unburned edges do, there appeared to be little lightning bolts of red shooting down the scorched part of the wrapper until it turned the same color of the rest of the ash. I’m not sure what caused this, but it was really cool looking.

Anyway, as I neared the end of the cigar, the ash was still hanging on at about 2 inches. The smoke mellowed out, which was surprising considering how much of the cigar was left. The flavors were primarily dry chocolate and wood with some nougat on the retrohale, which, by the way, was smoother than most, especially considering how strong the cigar was. Once there was a little less than an inch left, all I tasted was wood (it was nice—sort of what I’d imagine chewing on a cedar toothpick would be like), and I decided to put the nub down.

I wouldn’t say that the Seijas Signature Series Short Figurado was my personal “ultimate cigar”—it’s not a knock on this cigar as much as it’s a confirmation of how subjective cigar smoking can be. I’d say, however, that it was a damn good smoke with clean, smooth, recognizable flavors, and excellent construction, and if you’ve got the cash for a box or 5-pack, I absolutely recommend trying some out for yourself.