Cigar Review: 13th Floor Foundation Series


Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Ecuadorian

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium/Full

Price: Box of 20, $165

Grade: 9.0/9.1

13thFloor_2I can’t recall how Bryan White and I began talking, but we’ve been going back and forth on Twitter and via email for several months and it’s been a great joy to learn a bit about the production process. Bryan’s official launch of 13th Floor Cigars was at Casa Fuma Cigars in Arizona on May 22 (pictures). Bryan briefly described the meaning of the company name:

The meaning behind 13th Floor revolves around those rich, relaxing, priceless experiences with family and friends. And yes, the 13th Floor actually exists in Southern California and is a special place that I have visited with my family since I was a kid.

Offered in a Robusto (5×50), Toro (6×52), and Churchill (7×50), Bryan’s cigars come out of Little Havana in Miami, on the famed Calle Ocho, and are constructed by Level 9 rollers utilizing the Cuban style of tubing the filler (entubado) and topping it off with a triple cap. 13th Floor Cigars are produced by Willy Herrera of El Titan de Bronze. Here is what Bryan had to say about their relationship.

I had the opportunity to work with Willy Herrera of El Titan de Bronze on the blend for our first series. I met Willy Herrera at an event out here in Phoenix and we hit it off right away. I explained my plan and idea around our brand. From there, my wife and I went down to Miami and we met the El Titan de Bronze family at their factory right on Calle Ocho. After our trip down to Miami, we got back on the plane and knew that we were working with some of the best folks in the industry.

Add Bryan to the growing list of socially connect brand owners; check him out all 13th_boxover – Facebook, Twitter, and online. Sometime later we’ll be interviewing Bryan and offering a bit more information about him, the brand, and whatever else comes up! Bryan is also going to give away some of these bad boys on Toasted Foot, so be on the lookout.

It’s been quite a while since we have done a dual review and we were both really excited about this new release from 13th Floor Cigars, so, here it is – a dual toast of the newly released 13th Floor Cigars.

Pre-light, 1.8:
The light to medium brown wrapper on the 13th Floor pre-release is in great shape with minimal veins and well rolled seams. The triple cap is constructed well and the cigar is firm to the touch with no soft spots. The pre-light aroma is of woodsy hay with a sweet spice note on the foot. The cold draw produces notes of tobacco with some sweet spice on the finish, and clove, though the latter is less strong.

Additional notes and score: With a triple cap, clean seams, and a slight red hue, the 13th Floor is a beautiful cigar. The sporadic dark spotting creates a weathered and leathery appearance that is firm throughout. The aroma is of sweet cedar and nuts. A great draw reveals a slight spice with an otherwise muted profile. (Score: 1.7)

Burn, 1.7:
The cigar cuts well and the draw is excellent, really perfect right out of the gate. The ash is a consistent white and holds well past an inch before falling for the first time. Into the second third, the ash flowers a bit but this only lasts a bit before it tightens up again. The cigar produces an excellent amount of smoke with a good temperature throughout.

Additional notes and score: Excellent draw, thick smoke, and a stacked white ash, the smoking experience requires no attention whatsoever in between puffs. (Score: 1.8)

Flavor, 2.7:
The first puff on the 13th Floor produces notes of woody tobacco with a very mild spice. The first third continues this trend but I also pick up a hint of sweetness that is very subtle, almost like honey. The finish is super long and this is very pleasing on the palate. The second third finds an increase in the spice but the base notes continue to be nutty tobacco with hints of wood on the finish. The sweetness is still present but not as much as before. The long finish continues on this smoke which gives it a very creamy and smooth texture. The last third brings another increase in spice but the other notes remain consistent.

Additional notes and score: Excellent profile – sweet cedary and nutty notes are the core of this cigar, with pepper dancing along the edges on the tip of the tongue. The pepper passes fairly quickly in the first third, and doesn’t return until near the band. The second third is incredibly smooth and gentle, and almost mild in flavor, while the final third returns a kick of pepper and flavors of oak barrel, a slight cocoa, and a nice subtle creaminess. Excellent. (Score: 2.8)

13thFloor_1Overall, 2.8: This cigar produced a very enjoyable experience. It was constructed very well, burned excellent, and had a solid flavor profile with a nice finish, which was the highlight for me. At around eight dollars a stick this is a good smoke which I would highly recommend.

Additional notes and score: This is a heck of a first impression and Bryan has done an excellent job with his debut. I think this cigar will reach a wide audience – Pepin fans will definitely be on board, while those preferring a sweeter and creamier profile will also find something to attach to. (Score: 2.8)

(Total: 9.0 and 9.1)