Cigar Review – Swag SoBe Edition V.I.P.
The Swag SoBe (South Beach) Edition is one of the latest blends to be released under the Boutique Blends (formerly Oliveros Cigars) imprint, and is handmade at the company’s Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic. The blend is comprised of 100% Dominican tobaccos and has been described by Boutique Blends as “a cigar for the new generation, Miami style.” At the ripe old age of 31, I don’t know whether or not I qualify as “the new generation”, but regardless, I picked up a sample of the Swag SoBe V.I.P. (4 ½ x48) for today’s review.
The SoBe sports some eye-catching, Miami-themed artwork, both on the boxes and the bands. All but about an inch of the V.I.P. was covered in elaborate triple-banding, boasting the signature pink and teal colors of the line. Although attractive, the packaging immediately brought one thing to mind: the 80’s hit T.V. show Miami Vice. I could totally picture Don Johnson throwing on a dark pair of shades and lighting one of these up after a successful mission, looking super-cool. But anyway, back to the cigar.
After removing the bands I realized this was a good-looking stick, with a slick and toothy Habano wrapper firmly in place and a solid triple cap up top. Pre-light notes gave off a taste of dry wood and just a faint bit of nuttiness. A quick flick of the torch and I was off and smoking.
Initially the cigar had a smooth taste of cedar and espresso, with just a slight baking spice note on the finish. The smoke itself was full and dense through an appropriately firm draw. During the first 3rd the profile was silky and rich, which is pretty much what one might expect from a cigar made with all-Dominican tobaccos.
A little further in the baking spice note became a bit more pronounced, before melding with a new note of heavy cream, which made for an interesting profile. The burn-line had started off a bit wobbly, but by now had evened itself out as a firm white ash continued to build at the head. In this 3rd the flavors came across as more creamy and relaxed, while maintaining a bit of spicy ground nutmeg character all the way through.
Before burning into the final portion I did a quick purge of the cigar, after which I was treated to a surprising bit of Vanilla, and a little more spice-kick on the back of the throat. Everything remained smooth and cool, and a malty sweetness finally joined the party as I took the SoBe down for the count.
The Swag SoBe had a great burn-time for a cigar of this size, nearly 80 minutes in all. It definitely smoked like a Dominican, but with more spice than usual. This stick was not crazily complex, but had a nice amount of depth that kept the smoke interesting. Aside from a crooked start to the burn (which may have been due to my hasty lighting job) the cigar smoked evenly and easily for the duration of the review. I give the Swag SoBe V.I.P. a solid B+, and I recommend it for fans of smooth Dominican flavor looking for something new with just a little extra kick. These should be landing on our shelves sometime in the next couple weeks.
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