Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Jameson Red Label

Jameson Red_1

Size: 5×44, Corona

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Medium

Price: Box of 20, $96

Grade: 8.7

One of the original offerings from Jameson Cigars, the Red Label is owner Brad Mayo’s mildest offering, teetering between a high mild and a low medium. The Red comes in five sizes – a Torpedo, Toro, Robusto, Perfecto, and Corona. Today we are taking on the Corona, though I’ll admit my eye is on the beautiful Perfecto pictured online.  The pricing on Jameson Cigars is very reasonable in my opinion; the Torpedo is the highest price size in the Red Label, which still comes in at $5.75 a stick.

Brad Mayo has impressed me ever since we started talking on Twitter; he is one of the few cigar owners that runs his own Twitter account and offers great interaction to his smokers. If you have a chance, start following Brad on Twitter – you’ll enjoy the interaction. Jameson Cigars also produces the Black Label and the newly introduced Declaration (review). The only differences between the Black and the Red, the two labels that Brad introduced Jameson Cigars with, are that the Black Label utilizes a Brazilian Maduro wrapper and the Black offers a Churchill rather than the Toro. In addition, Brad also began a micro-roasted coffee company, RockStone Premium Coffees (review, review). If you are interested in trying out some of Brad’s offering, his website offers several sampler options for his cigars and coffee.

Now, let’s toast this petite Red Label!

Jameson Red_2Pre-light, 1.8:
The Jameson Red Label Corona is a nice petite smoke that appears gentle and tame; the elegant label is white, gold, and maroon and utilizes a very classy script. The almond shade wrapped had some very nice plume and an overall leathery and aged texture and appearance. The veins were very evident but matched well with the rugged exterior. Though it is triple capped, the head is still a bit sloppy, while the foot is perfectly packed and balances perfectly straight on a flat surface. The aroma was a very sweet barnyard, mostly of green hay. The draw was very open and the taste did not differ from the aroma.

Burn, 1.5:
Though well packed, the ash started off with a split down the center in one of my samples, causing some major flake and hold issues. I had a loose ash on more than one sample, but then again I’ve been smoking a lot of 50 ring gauge and higher the last few months, so I may have been accustomed to the firmness a larger gauge brings. The burn on the Red was very slow and fairly even throughout, after the split corrected itself. The smoke emitted was very thick and had a nice aroma. Though the dense packing of the Dominican filler did create a nice, slow burn, it also caused a bit of burn issues. Moving into the second third is where the burn issues multiplied in both samples, causing relights in each.

Flavor, 2.7:
A wonderful cream hit me write out of the gate that was also very gentle and smooth. A bit of pepper also hung around through the first third, mostly in the back of the throat rather than on the tongue. My guess would be that the Honduran wrapper attributes to this added depth. The sweet and spicy profile dominated the first third and created a wonderful burst of complexity, something I wasn’t expecting from the milder bodied Red Label. Ultimately, the Red did not have much movement. But though there was not a lot of transition in this smoke, the flavor that it locked in was solid and very enjoyable. One of my samples did have some bitterness on the tongue; hopefully it was isolated and I didn’t note it in the scoring.

Overall, 2.7:
I absolutely love the Corona size in this Jameson Red Label and it was a solid quick smoke for me. The price point is also very nice on this size, at just under $5 a stick. Though there were some burn issues, it wasn’t a nuisance and was easy to overlook due to the nice flavor profile and value. I would definitely pick up a fiver, especially in the Corona size, but I think for a box purchase I’d turn other places first. Without much movement in flavor, it might be worth checking out a larger gauge.

(Total: 8.7)

Question of the Day: How often do you purchase cigars from a B&M compared to online?