Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cigar Review: Carlos Fernandez Medio Tiempo Pyramide Extra

Lately I have been diving head first into the world of custom rolled Habanos through several avenues I have established over the years. As I have been obtaining these cigars, I have been smoking them fresh and taking notes for review so I can compare the changes that take place after their initial sick periods. One of the rollers I have obtained custom blends from, is Carlos Fernandez. Carlos is a level 9 roller at the Partagas factory, and he does rolling events abroad. If you are lucky enough to be in the area when he is rolling at an LCDH or know someone whom is, you may ask the man for a blend based on your preferences. For this example, I had asked for a medio tiempo blend in a pyramide extra size. My experience with medio tiempo in both Habanos and Nicaraguan tobacco has typically been it smokes harsh young, but balances with age, so I was excited to get my hands on one, as I had heard good things about his medio blends. Tuna recently reviewed his Ligero blend, and I will hopefully get to a few others if time permits.

Dry Draw: tea and hay

First Third: The tea notes were very strong up front on the draw, and the cigar began with a dry cedar finish. The body was rather medium, and a bit harsh, which was probably due to the youth of the filler and my mild taste preference. As the cigar progressed, the harshness backed down and a vanilla note picked up on the draw. The nose had a stiff cedar bite, kept some of the tea notes, and a light pepper burn as well. By the time I neared the second third, the finish had smoothed out, and the spices went from cinnamon, to light pepper, to tea. The vanilla combined with a creamy draw to give me custard notes as well, which point to an increase in complexity for my palate.

Second Third: The custard note really developed on the draw, with the cinnamon note burning on the nose. I love it when distinct flavors combine in the different tasting areas to give me a complete flavor profile like a good meal. In this instance, the vanilla was on the draw as well as cream, while the nose picked up the cinnamon and cream as well, leaving the custard afterthought on my mind. The finish was excellent at the midpoint, and the tea notes still seemed to float in and out on the nose and draw. The retrohale seemed to grab all the notes at different times, deepening my appreciation for the blend. By the time I reached the final third, I could see why Carlos’ medio tiempo blend is regarded highly.


Final Third: The retrohale was very complex by now. All the notes were complimenting the finish on my palate. A good blend has flavors that hit the tongue on the draw, then accentuate on the retrohale, and combine on the finish. This blend was full-flavored by now, with the main note being the custard profile surrounded by the complimenting notes of light pepper, cinnamon, tea, vanilla, cream, and cedar. At that point, the note pad got put down, so I could enjoy the final third in all its complexity.

Construction: I love the shag wrapper personally. It allows the first few inhales to grasp the flavor of the wrapper, and makes for a consistent light and cherry with little toast needed.

Final Thoughts: Let’s just say in about two years, I will be a very happy smoker. The only bad part about custom rolls, is having to wait for the sick period to get over, and for the tobacco to marry. In this case, I have a feeling the harshness I detected for a short period will be gone in no time, and the balance of the flavor will only continue to grow. I have several of these sitting in a large glass jar that I will age them in with boveda packs. Thus far, I have been very impressed with the blends I have smoked by Carlos, and all five have had distinct flavors with excellent changes and finish. The medio tiempo blend is extremely unique, and unlike anything in the regular production world. If you ever get the chance to smoke one, jump on it.