Cigar Review: Sultan

Today we are thankful to have a guest review from Charlie, as I take a brief break to help welcome the birth of my second son. Charlie runs a great cigar website, The Cigar Feed, and is active on Twitter as well. Be sure to check out both of the orange links, and please help me welcome Charlie to Toasted Foot – leave a comment or two!

Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Indonesian

Binder: Indonesian

Filler: Indonesian

Strength: Mild/Medium

Price: Single $6, Box of 20 $120

This story sounds familiar: a cigar produced solely for top government officials and used as the official cigar of the state. Then, someone decides to make the cigar available for the public. No. I’m not talking about Cohiba, I’m talking about Sultan. Oh, you want to know the rest of the story?

It was started a little later than Cohiba, but in 1990 Sultan became the premier cigar of Indonesia. (No clue why it says 1918 on the band) After being the official cigar of the Palace and the diplomatic cigar, it’s now hitting the free market. For those that don’t know, Indonesia is actually one of the best climates to grow tobacco with its (average) 80 degree fahrenheit temperature and 64% relative humidity, but that’s nothing new. Since the 1700s Java has been a premier grower of tobacco. That being said, Indonesian cigar makers have been relatively non-existent. Even, the Montague cigar, backed by industry giant Swedish Match, is known by… pretty much no one. Complaints of quality, consistency and fishy business practices were pretty much synonymous with Indonesian cigars, but Sultan’s trying to change that. It starts with the five different tobaccos that go into the Indonesian puro, each five-year aged. The cigars are then beautifully rolled and aged for another six to twelve months.

Sultan currently offers two sizes: the Robusto (5 x 50) and Churchill (7 x 50) with another size coming later this year. Anyways, my attempts at doing a Toasted Foot-esk review.

The Indonesian wrapper comes in a beautiful light brown color. There are some mild veins and a couple portions of the cigar actually have quite a bit of surface area with no visible veins. Construction appears to be dead-on with no hard or soft spots and no imperfections on the wrapper. Aroma wise, it’s about as light as any cigar I’ve had. The wrapper gives off the slightest hint of tobacco and maybe some white pepper, while the foot gave off a tiny dose of barnyard. The triple cap is easily dealt with my V-Cutter. (I guess this is the part where I move onto the burn)

It’s definitely nothing spectacular, more on that in the next paragraph. The aroma is wonderful. It’s on the heavier side of medium, giving off a medium sweet tobacco and barnyard smell in the first third, transitioning to roasted nuts and barnyard for the final two thirds. Inside the mouth, the smoke is medium in nature, but rather hot. The ash is light both in color and weight, I got an inch and a half, but I’m notorious for not being able to keep ash to save my life. Draw started slightly tight (my ideal) and opened up, finishing just at medium. The burn required probably five touch-ups throughout the entire cigar, but it was justified…

It starts soft with a mild-medium hay and grass at the front of the cigar. Sweet tobacco served as a background undertone and herbs provided a medium finish with a bit of white pepper on the throat. The second third transforms the cigar. Suddenly, a roasted nut flavor and a deep sea salt take center stage. (Salty nuts, doesn’t sound too appeasing, it was) The white pepper picks up and is now both a character and a finish (along with the salt.) The flavor is now on the heavier side of medium. The final third brings a heavier roasted nut, even though the flavor peeks quickly and then goes to medium.

The cigar is mild-medium. A lot of the cigars in that segment talk “mild in strength, full in flavor” – few ever live up to that slogan. Dare I say it, but move over Oliva Connecticut Reserve, this is my hands down favorite mild/mild-medium cigar and I wish this wasn’t the last one I got. Fortunately, there is one U.S. distributor and at $6 a cigar, Mr. Stacy should be getting a lot of orders. No B.S., if you are only allowed to smoke one more mild-medium cigar (which many would have no problem doing) – this is it.