This week the panel at the Smoke Stack decided to do a blind tasting of a selected stick. Each member was issued a cigar by the esteemed Ed Brandyberry and asked to give their opinion and score the stick using a 100 point categorized system based upon: 1) Appearance and Construction , 0-15 pts 2) Flavor, 0-25 pts 3) Smoking Characteristics, 0-25 pts 4) Overall Impression, 0-35 pts.

We will start with the Appearance and Construction category. The panel pretty much came to a consensus that the cigar had a great appearance and construction. The comments ranging from; “has a great dark color with few construction flaws”, “Appearance and Construction score perfectly for me”, one cigar in the test group had a microscopic hole beneath where the wrapper would have been. The wrappers were removed for the Blind Tasting.
Appearance and Construction Scoring; 13, 10, 15,14 for an average of 13. The lowest of scores coming from the stick with the hole in the wrapper.
This category of judgement turned out to be a category that varied the most in the judge’s opinions. It is interesting to see that there is such a variance between the palates of each individual.
The one judge noticed hints of subtle sweetness and hints of cocoa with a pleasant richness throughout. We also had a slight white pepper taste observed. Another judge was able to obtain a taste of black tea and hazelnut. While one of the panel was overwhelmed by a leathery presence that crescendos to a bitter bite as the stick advances.
Flavor Scoring: 20, 22,22,21.5 for an average of 21.5

Smoking Characteristics:
All the judges noticed good draws through the smoke and the only knock on the burn was that one panelist noticed the tendency of the ash falling off about every ¾ of an inch.
Smoking Characteristics Scoring: 23,23,24,23 for an average of 23.25
Overall Impression:
This is the most subjective of all the categories upon which we judge each stick. It does shine the light upon the fact that each individual who smokes a cigars brings their own particular palates and criteria to the plate. It seems to be a consensus that the flavors were consistent from start to finish with this smoke, it was pointed out by one judge that with the appearance of some flavors during the smoke that may come across as unappealing, that this cigar is worth trying and would not deter him from trying this cigar again or stop him from recommending this smoke for a try! Yet, one of the panel was not overwhelmed by the flavor character, “ it was while not being impressed by the flavor as a whole , it just kind of sat there with the same taste throughout…sort of like a tuna fish sandwich on a hot summer day…nothing exciting.”
Overall Impression Scoring: 26, 29, 30,33 for average of 29.5
The final score of all included categories comes to 13+21.5+23.25 +29.5 for an overall score of 87.25.

The Cigar Judged was:
Cabarete Maduro by Villiger.

Here is what Villiger has to say about their product.
They do not give much information about the flavor profile on the official website ,
Toro Lago 54×6
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
Filler: Piloto Cubano, Criollo, San Vincente and Cubano Ligeros
Binder: Cuban Seed