Cigar Review: Velvet Cigars, The Tompkins

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Size: 6½x52, Torpedo

Wrapper: Maduro

Filler:
Cuban-seed, Dominican Republic

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 25, $185

Grade: 8.9

Velvet Cigars in New York City recently sent us a few samples of their full-bodied house blend, The Tompkins. Each of their three cigar lines is named for locations in New York City’s East Village; the Tompkins is named for Tompkins Square Park.

In the past four years, Velvet has sold over 50,000 of their house blends. Their website describes their house blends the following way:

A master blend of finely aged Dominican, Cuban-seed tobacco, each Velvet Cigar is a handcrafted, exceptional smoke. Our expert rollers select only the choicest of leafs to craft our exclusive line of cigars. For over three generations, the family-owned business has produced cigars that have stood out for consistency and flavor.  It’s a passion you’ll taste in every stick.

You can learn more about their line of house blends here. We held onto these smokes for about a month and we’re ready to fire one up!

Velvet

Pre-light, 1.8:
I was first drawn to the eye catching band on this cigar; it had a very elegant color scheme of scarlet and gold and it really seems to fit with the Velvet line of cigars. The toothy wrapper was in good shape, though it did have some evident veins which gave the smoke a bit of a rugged look. The cigar was firm to the touch with good weight but was a little spongy towards the foot. The pre-light aroma was of clean tobacco with some hay at the foot.  The cold draw produced notes of leather and some spice in the back of the throat.

Burn, 1.6:
After a clean cut and a good toasting, I had this Torpedo lit up. The draw was a little tight at first but opened up after ten minutes or so. I did not feel that this stick produced an adequate amount of smoke; in the first third I almost felt like I had to work at it a bit to keep it going. The light gray ash held for 2 inches before falling but after that it did not hold well for the rest of the smoke. However, there were not any issues with touch ups or re-light.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first third of the torpedo produced notes of leather and spice with a cedar type finish. Even though there was not a large amount of smoke at this point, it really coated my palate well. The second third of this cigar really opened up and produced more smoke and flavor. The leather was still present, but the cedar notes were replaced by a much sweeter finish. The last third of the smoke lightened up a bit with an earthy tobacco flavor capped off with a lingering sweetness.

Overall, 2.7:
The highlight of this smoke is the flavor profile; it was a very full flavored smoke and I would rate it more towards medium to full as opposed to full bodied. The $9.00 per stick price is fair and I think most purchasers would be satisfied with that price point. I still have another Torpedo in the humidor, along with a Robusto. We will add to this review in the future when we spark the Robusto. I hope the burn issues will clear up with the next stick; if they do, this one will likely cross the 9.0 mark.

(Total: 8.9)