We had just received a shipment of Makers Mark Cigars that are packed in glass test tubes and found that a few of the cigars were broken during shipping! We contacted our local rep and also the national rep, Eric of Makers Mark Cigars, about the disaster and without hesitation replaced the broken ones. In addition, Eric sent us a few samples of the new HOPZ Craft Beer Cigar. In 2009, we met Eric at the cigar trade show over in New Orleans. Because of our relationship with Makers Mark Bourbon, we picked up the cigar. The Makers Mark cigar is a Dominican long-leaf “infused” with the bourbon. The bourbon never actually touches the leaf. The result is a smooth, flavorful cigar, medium bodied and a great match with Makers Mark Bourbon! The bonus is that it comes in its own humidor. The glass tube is sealed with the signature Makers Mark Wax! It’s now one of the best-selling “flavored” cigars that we carry.
Now HOPZ, on the other hand, had us worried. Imagine smoking hops? The smell alone is gonna get us thrown in jail as the Humulus Lupulus (hops) are cousins of the Cannabis!!! We found out the actual method of getting the hop taste is similar to the Makers Mark cigar. It is infused with Centennial Hops, known for a more fragrant, floral aroma and not too bitter flavor.
As we opened the tube-yes this one comes in its own humidor as well, there was a distinct smell of hops, flower and of course tobacco. Afraid that this one will taste like bitter cardboard, we fired it up….
The first few puffs had the same hoppy/flowery flavors. With this cigar, it’s not spiced like the typical bombs that we like to chew on. Getting down to the first half, it burned quite nicely and like many of the “flavored” or “infused” cigars, it did have some large flakes of ash. The heavy hoppy-ness blended into the Dominican Republic tobacco and the flowery aspects were well hidden. It was a light to medium bodied smoke that was quite clean with a slight integrated sweetness.
The second half burned almost the same as the first with the sweet hoppy/ leather-like flavors coming through. We smoked down to the nub of the cigar. It took about a good 35-40 minutes (sampled the petite corona – 5 x 38)
Admittedly, we were looking for some flaws to not want to get this cigar, but in the end we found it to be quite balanced and not over hoppy or sweet and more importantly none of that cardboard tasting stuff either! Pair this with an IPA from Yeastie Boys or the Dead Guy Ale from Rouge that has an IBU of 40 on a scale of 100. Either way, it looks like we will be getting some of these HOPZ in soon to pair with our wide selection of Craft Beers. The cost of the cigar will be about $12 for the Toro (6 x 50).
Category : Cigars &Reviews Posted on May 1, 2012