Cigar Review: Arnold’s House Blend, No. III

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Size: 6X50, Toro

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Dominican Republic

Strength: Medium to Full

Price: Box of 20, $110.50

Grade: 9.1

A couple months ago we started talking with Bruce Goldstein of Arnold’s Tobacco Shop about his house blend. We were hearing some pretty good things about the La Flor Dominicana blend and wanted to try them for ourselves. Bruce was kind enough to send us a box of his House Blend No. III to review and we have been very excited about firing them up.

Bruce also spent some time interviewing with us. You can read the interview here, where Bruce talks about his move from a local Manhattan shop to a strictly online retailer. And, stay tuned tomorrow for a contest! Bruce has generously donated a box of his No. III to give away to one winner! You can learn more about the Arnold’s house blend here.

So, on to the review!

Pre-light, 1.9:
When I first took these cigars out of the box, I noticed that the Ecuadorian wrappers were very delicate and appealing. The light to medium brown sticks seemed to exude creaminess from a glimpse at the wrapper alone. The construction of the stick was very consistent with a firm touch and with good weight. The black, gold, and white label is classy and raised and the words Hecho a Mano, or handmade, is a very nice touch.  The pre-light aroma is of clean tobacco with some light spice at the foot. The cold draw produced similar notes but with some sweetness on the finish.

Burn, 1.8:
The draw of this stick is perfect, not to loose and not too tight. It toasted and lit well with a nice burn line; however, one the smokes I lit did V some but it corrected itself within the first third. The stick produced an adequate amount of smoke and the temperature of the smoke was very nice. The ash held well past an inch and a half before I bumped it off. No touch ups or re-lights were required at all.

Flavor, 2.7:
A flavor of fresh tobacco with a hint of peat really hit me on the first draw. The first third continued this profile of fresh tobacco, some leather, and hints of spice in the nose. The finish was not long but had a pleasant character of fresh grass with some mint. The second third of the smoke really seemed to bring a nutty presence to the flavor profile, with more leather and less spice. The finish at this point is more full and with more body than earlier. The final third of the smoke did not transition much from the second third but was very consistent. Throughout the smoke there was a creaminess that was very nice and coated the palate well.

Overall, 2.7:
I enjoyed this smoke for a number of reasons. The flavor profile was very nice and consistent. The cigar itself was well constructed and in turn smoked well. Lastly, I enjoyed the fact that this was a house blend from a family that has such a great history in the tobacco business. The cigar is a great deal at $5.50 a stick, and it is well worth the money at that price point. I look forward to smoking a few more of these and trying other sizes at some point in the future.

(Total: 9.1)

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