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Cigar Review – Pura Soul Honduras 5×50 Box Pressed

purasoul_hond_5x50_stickThis summer Robert Wright introduced the 2nd blend under his Pura Soul banner, a Honduran puro aptly dubbed “Pura Soul Honduras.” Wright, a jazz musician with over 40 years experience, brings a music theme and a unique viewpoint to his brands. As a big fan of the first Pura Soul Release, I was more than happy to light up a sample of the 5×50 Box Pressed vitola that Robert had so generously left us during a recent visit.

The stick was milk chocolate brown with some darker spots here and there, and appeared to be evenly filled throughout. The neat, understated band on the Pura Soul Honduras is nearly identical to the one on the original Pura Soul (now called “Pura Soul Nicaragua,”) with the exception of the green color in place of the maroon hue of the original. This was what I would call a “soft” box press, with somewhat rounded edges as opposed to the strikingly square appearance of some box-pressed cigars. I peeled back the cap to reveal a pre-light taste of mild, earthy sweetness.

Upon lighting, the cigar came roaring out of the gate with a taste of full, creamy earth and some nice white pepper with a hint of sweetness on the finish. Dense, chewy smoke poured out of the P.S. Honduras with each draw. About 1 1/2 inches into the smoke I started to pick up some cool subtleties of roasted almond and lemony citrus, adding some depth to this smooth profile.

Pura Soul Honduras 5x50 Box Pressed
Pura Soul Honduras 5×50 Box Pressed

Somewhere around the 2 1/2 inch mark the flavors saw a significant transition. There was less pepper, more cream, and new notes of nutmeg and breadiness over the earthy core. This portion of the smoke in particular had the kind of “next-level” creamy balance that every cigar blender hopes to achieve. A bit further in, some bold black pepper surfaced when I least expected it, accompanied by a graham cracker-like note.

The profile shifted again as I burned into the last 3rd. Here I was treated to a “darker” dose of earth as the cigar took on a juicy, meaty taste with hints of smoky leather. As fast as it had popped up, the black pepper faded into the background, its tracks covered by the stick’s final development: a thick, syrupy sweetness that brought the smoke to a close.

The original Pura Soul was quietly one of the best new cigars of 2013. Much like its predecessor, the Pura Soul Honduras was a stand-out smoke in every regard. It’s always a treat when I get something like this to review, as it makes my job very easy – I could go on at great length about how well the flavor components, body, and burn of the P.S. Honduras mesh, but I won’t. Instead I’ll just tell you that this cigar had more character in its 1st third than many entire cigars I’ve sampled. The Pura Soul Honduras’ combination of lush, layered flavors and an easygoing full body make it a home-run hit in my book, and I give it a well-earned A+ grade. I’m hoping this cigar sees a little more P.R. action than the first Soul release as it certainly deserves it. And, if the masses don’t discover what an exceptional effort this is, well, that just leaves more for us, right?