I am not the biggest fan of flavored or infused cigars, and to my knowledge, we’ve never posted a review of one on this blog. But when we got in our first shipment of Java Mint and hastily cracked open a box, I couldn’t help but succumb to the Thin Mint-like smell of these stogies. Having smoked and enjoyed a handful of cigars from both Rocky Patel and Drew Estate, I figured that not a lot could go wrong here. So with that, I threw my own reservations to the side and snagged a Java Mint Robusto for review.
Right out of the cellophane, this cigar let loose a torrent of chocolate, mint, and tobacco aromas. I checked the cigar for soft spots, and while the entire thing was somewhat softer than a normal cigar, it didn’t feel underfilled or hastily-rolled. In fear or ruining the dramatically square-pressed cap, I opted for a punch cut. The draw was easy-as-can-be with just the right amount of resistance to keep it from getting hot, and the pre-light flavors, as you may have guessed, were chocolate, dark tobacco, and sweet mint. This wasn’t the type of mint, though, that you’d get from a swirly peppermint candy or a stick of gum; this legitimately tasted like fresh mint leaves. Anyway, enticed by the dessert-like pre-light flavors, I half-drunkenly staggered out of my front door with a clipboard and a cup of coffee and lit up this cigar.
Once this super-dark, sweet-smelling stogie was lit, it produced some of the thickest smoke I have ever tasted. Initial flavors were pepper, coffee, mint, and some nice maduro punch, presumably from the ultra-thick Brazilian wrapper leaf that adorned the cigar. Once the pepper died down, I started tasting the mint, and again, it was the least artificial mint flavor I’d ever tasted. It was as if they steeped the tobacco in freshly-made peppermint tea, which, for all I know, they did, because as you may already know, Drew Estate’s infusion process is a well-kept secret.
Further into the cigar, the pepper subsided almost completely, giving way to flavors of coffee, cocoa, and rich tobacco, all kept cool by the lingering mint flavor. The sweet tip mellowed out about halfway through the cigar, though it never completely lost its sweetness. On the retrohale, the cocoa flavor was a lot stronger, and the peppermint tingled lightly on the sinuses. At this point, and the for the rest of the smoke, no touch-ups were required.
In the final third, the pepper stayed at a consistently manageable level, and the mint flavor got a little bit mellower, though it never disappeared completely. The cocoa and coffee mellowed out, allowing for the rich and earthy flavors of the tobacco blend to shine through. I still tasted cocoa and mint on the retrohale, though it was a bit spicier than it had been earlier on. Feeling substantially buzzed from the surprisingly strong nicotine level of this cigar but still wishing there was a bit more to smoke, I put down the Java Mint Robusto with about an inch remaining.
Like I said earlier, flavored cigars aren’t really my thing. But the Java Mint Robusto was by far the most cigar-like infused stogie I’d ever had. While the mint aroma was present for most of the cigar, it didn’t mask the chocolaty, peppery flavors of the tobaccos in the blend; it just complemented them. It was almost as if they rolled peppermint leaves right into the cigar. Anyway, whether you’re a fan of infused cigars or not, I highly recommend trying one of these. When you’re too full for dessert after a huge dinner and a few (too many) drinks, there’s nothing better.