Cigar Review: Serpentine Ltd. Edition by Isabela Cigar Company

Serpentine 2016 Limited Edition by Isabela Cigar Company

Isabela Cigar Company’s 2016 Limited Edition Serpentine cigar is one of the more uniquely made sticks. It falls in line with cigars like Alec Bradley’s Filthy Hooligan, Rocky Patel’s The Edge A-10, and the Camacho Liberty Limited Edition 2007, just to name a few. It’s what is known as a “barber pole” style made cigar with two different types of wrappers intertwined with each other, like a serpentine.

The cigar was handcrafted by Cuban Master Blender Vicente Ortiz in Miami, Florida. Johnny Piette, the founder of Isabela Cigar Company, in his search for that perfect, nonpareil cigar, met with Mr. Ortiz and had a lengthy discussion with him about the history of tobacco and what goes into the making of creating distinctly made cigars. Over the years, Mr. Piette built a relationship with Mr. Ortiz and learned many things about the industry, from the basic fundamentals of the soil, seeds, and sunlight in the tobacco fields to the meticulous ability to combine different tobaccos as well as the priming and aging of tobacco in the factory.

Although Isabela Cigar Company was founded in 1997, they are now producing more cigars than ever before with a very high consumer demand for Isabela cigars. In the beginning stages of the company, their cigars were produced in extremely small batches and only sold in some select retail shops and on their website. In 2016, they have branched out to more than forty retail shops across the nation and have generously upped their production of cigars. Using traditional Cuban practices, the Isabela Cigar Company’s 2016 Limited Edition Serpentine is rolled by level 9+ Cuban Master rollers who have 30+ years of cigar rolling experience each. It would appear that these torcedores know what they are doing. The tres capa is sealed using a sugar-based sealant which is what creates the sweetness at the beginning of the cigar that is quickly replaced.

Now, let’s break down the Isabela Cigar Company’s 2016 Limited Edition Serpentine cigar:

Wrapper – Ecuadorian DeFlorada Connecticut/Ecuadorian Habano Maduro

Binder – Nicaraguan Tiempo

Filler – Nicaraguan

Size – This cigar only comes in one vitola: a 6 x 54 “Belicoso-Serpentine”

Price – $9.95/stick

The Review

The visual of this fantastic cigar is quite stunning with its well constructed “barber pole” fashion of roll. The seams are tight with minimal veins appearing on the wrappers. It seems packed tight with tobacco, but it is slightly soft upon a gentle squeeze in the center of the stick. When I glide my fingers up and down the cigar it is barely noticeable where the change in wrappers are. It is very smooth to the touch. The aroma coming off of the “barber pole” style wrappers has an earthy scent with a slight odor of hay. The tobacco in the foot of the cigar brought an earthy sweetness to my senses. The band all the way around this cigar appears to be a background of a beach town with palm trees and buildings with a blue, green, and yellow hued sky. On one side of the band is the word “ISABELA” in the center of the band. It is written in a silver, mirror-like lettering. It is inside of a white rectangle outlined in the same silver, mirror-like appearance. The straight cut went well with no loose tobacco falling from the cut cap. The dry draw is bringing notes of hay and earth with a little chocolate sweetness on the lips. The dry draw is perfect. It has no resistance. Let’s light ‘er up!

Upon the toasting and lighting of the Isabela Cigar Company’s 2016 Limited Edition Serpentine cigar I’m getting a slight pepper spice with some mild sweetness. Wood and hay notes have quickly taken the place of the sweetness and pepper spice. The chocolate sweetness also quickly evacuated itself from my lips. The retro-hale is sweet with no burn. There is a slight floral flavor in the back of the palate. The ash is growing through this initial third as a nice white hue with a slight gray spot on one side. About halfway through the first third there is a malty taste presenting itself. So far, this has been a low medium stick. The hay has resided and left the profile before the end of the first piece of this cigar. The wood is now in the background while the malt and slight floral flavors are still lingering in there. Towards the last of this initial third I’m beginning to get a dried fruit flavor added to the characteristic of the experience. The ash finally left the cigar at the start of the second part of the stick. The first of the cigar lasted 25 minutes.

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The beginning of the middle piece of the smoke is bringing wood, malt, dried fruit, and now caramel is making an appearance along with some creaminess. The slight floral flavors have left the profile by this time. This cigar is putting out lots of thick and chewy smoke. The white ash is building once again throughout the second third. The retro-hale is smooth, creamy, and still does not bring a burn to the nostrils. The wood and malt are leading the profile with the dried fruit and caramel coming in behind it. After the halfway point of the Isabela Cigar Company’s 2016 Limited Edition Serpentine cigar I’m getting some nutmeg on the palette in addition to the other present flavors. The strong white ash dropped once again at the end of the second portion of the stick. The middle part of the cigar had a burn time of 25 minutes.

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The final period of this smoking experience is bringing flavors of wood, malt, caramel, dried fruit, nutmeg, and creaminess. The dried fruit is beginning to fall into the background of the profile. The white ash is once again growing from the beginning of this last third. Halfway through this final piece the flavor profile has remained the same. This has been a very tasty stick so far with lots of different flavors coming out of it. The ash is holding strong on this final part of the smoke. As the burn line burns down to my fingertips the heat is not overly intense. I put the cigar down about half an inch from the cut cap. The ash was still holding on strong. I wondered how much longer it would’ve remained if there were more of the cigar to burn. The final third had a burn time of 30 minutes. The burn line remained even throughout the entire smoke and the draw was cooperative with a non-resistant smoothness. Throughout the smoking experience this cigar was in the low medium range.

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Conclusion

The one hour and fifteen minute burn time for this cigar was very much enjoyable as the myriad of flavors danced around my palette. It consisted of many different flavors of sweetness, pepper spice, wood, hay, floral, malt, dried fruit, caramel, creaminess, and nutmeg. The retro-hale was smooth, sweet, and did not present any type of burn to the nostrils. The ash held strong during each stage of the cigar, being the strongest during the final piece. The construction was amazing with both wrappers burning evenly throughout the smoking experience. There were no burn issues or touch-ups required at any point. Being on the lower end of medium-bodied, I’d recommend this cigar a try for anyone interested in a cigar with a multitude of various flavors. I look forward to enjoying another of one of these tasty and extremely well made cigars soon. Till next time, my friends.

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