Cigar Review: Velvet Cigars Bowery

Size: 5×50, Robusto (Box Press)

Wrapper: Habano Ecuadorian

Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran

Strength: Medium/Full

Price: Box of 20, $195

Grade: 9.1

The Bowery from Velvet Cigars, as all of their smokes, is named for a location in NYC’s East Village, which is very close to the Velvet Cigar Lounge. The Bowery features four year aged Nicaraguan and Honduran Filler and is encased by a Habano Ecuadorian wrapper. The press release from Velvet tells us a bit more about the development and packaging of this smoke.

The Bowery offers box-pressed perfection, with a rich and unique flavor augmented by the flawless Habano wrapper,” says Dan Bsharat, managing partner of Velvet Cigars. “For our newest release, we wanted to offer something very different and spent 10 months on the development of the blend and manufacturing of the cigar.”

Housed in a sleek, black box with velvet red accents, The Bowery adds a new, unique option to Velvet’s diverse offering of prized hand-rolled cigars: The Cooper, The Astor and The Tompkins. “The new line is a perfect complement to our existing offering of freshly hand-rolled Dominican cigars. Our portfolio now consists of 16 distinctive cigars, so we can truly say we have a stick for everyone.”

The medium to full bodied smoke is box pressed and comes in four sizes, Robusto (5” x 50), Toro (6.5” x 52), Torpedo (6” x 52) and Churchill (7” x 52), which are now available at www.velvetcigars.com.

We also reviewed the Velvet Tompkins and you can read it here.

The Bowery is a beauty to hold in the palm of your hand, so I was pretty excited about firing it up. Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.8:
The Bowery has a dark oily wrapper that is smooth to the touch with minimal veins. The box press is nice, and though the cigar appears well packed, there is a sponginess to it. The cap is constructed well and the Robusto has a nice weight in the palm of my hand. I really like the label on this new offering by Velvet Cigars; it really fits the name and is super classy as you can see in the pictures.  Along the wrapper I pick up notes of barnyard and compost, with a berry sweetness at the foot. The cold draw produces another blast of berry, leaning towards cherry, with a hint of spice.

Burn, 1.7:
The Bowery cuts clean, toasts well, and lights up like a champ. The draw is great and produces plenty of smoke every time. The ash is consistent in color but does not hold well; however, the smoke temperature remains pleasant throughout. I really enjoyed the draw on this smoke – sometimes a box press is a little tight for my liking, but this one was spot on.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first puff on the Velvet Bowery produces some sweet notes, with a solid woody tobacco base and some spice. The first third follows the same trend but the sweetness takes on a berry type profile; the tobacco profile is consistent, and the spice is present around the edge of the tongue on the exhale. The finish, while not too heavy, was very pleasant. I found that a bit of creaminess and a longer finish was introduced in the second third, while the overall flavor profile remains the same. The final third of the cigar does not really transition for me but carries the above profile to the end. If anything the cigar seems to lose a little body in the last third, but not in a detrimental way.

Overall, 2.8:
I smoked this cigar in the evening and I would say that it leans toward medium/full, but could swing either way depending on your palate.  At around $10 a stick this is not an everyday smoke for me; however, it is a good smoke and it is worth the price point.

(Total: 9.1)