One of the many, many cigars introduced under Foundry Cigar’s new Compounds, Elements, and Musings line at this year’s IPCPR Trade Show, Vanadium is a striking figurado cigar featuring long leaf tobaccos from Nicaragua, Mexico, and Brazil. As with most of the C.E.M. Releases, not much specific blend info on the Vanadium has been divulged, and everything from its special v-shaped box to its unusual shape stirs the smoker’s curiosity. I decided to light up a sample of Vanadium in today’s review in an attempt to shed some light on these mysterious stogies.
The cigar was neatly crafted into a pyramid/perfecto shape that may be exclusively unique to this cigar, as I don’t recall ever seeing one quite like it before. After a quick snip of the cap pre-light puffs gave me flavors of cedar, anise, and a light spice.
The perfecto-style tip took a few puffs to really get going, but once it did I began to pick up a woody and nutty taste with notes of graham, espresso, and crisp black pepper. The draw was a bit firm but smoke production was good, and a little further in a strong note of warm cinnamon/nutmeg spice piped up.
Going into the 2nd third the burn was a bit off-kilter though the cigar was still smooth-smoking with each puff giving off layered and pungent flavor. Despite the very full flavor of the smoke, the body was at a comfortable mellow-medium level. As the flavors progressed, notes of slightly sweet cream and spicy black pepper became the most prominent.
In the final third flavors remained dense and consistent, as the strength of the cigar ramped up a bit and the burn had straightened out nicely. Additional tasting notes of rich cedar and leather reared their heads for a final transition, acting as a grand finale to the fireworks show of bold flavors displayed during the course of the smoke.
The Vanadium was an interesting smoke loaded with unyielding full flavors and a fair amount of complexity as well. The strength never exceeded medium-bodied, though the bold taste and extremely slow burn of the cigar gave it a bit more of an “edge” than your average mid-strength smoke. My only complaint was in regards to the burn, which ran crooked for the first half of the session, though this was a sample obtained at the trade show so travel/storage conditions for it had not been optimal which very well may have been the cause of the issue. Based on today’s experience I award the Vanadium a B grade. This was a flavorful change of pace, one that I would recommend to anyone looking for something new to shake up their usual stogie routine. I should add that Vanadium, like all of the C.E.M. Blends, is a limited offering and once they sell out, that’s all she wrote, so if you’re looking to check these out, time is of the essence.