Cigar Review: Acme Route 66 “Tandem”

Cigar Review: Acme Route 66 “Tandem”

Acme Cigar Co.
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua, Mexico & Dominican Republic
Size: 8 1/2” x 52
Strength: medium-full
Price: $7.40

Overall Rating: n/a
Overall Opinion: Good
Smoke Time (Full): 2 hours 12 minutes
Smoke Time (Half): 56 minutes

With the economy being what it is, cigar smokers are constantly on the lookout for good cigars at great prices. The guys at Acme have managed to do just that, but rather than stop there, they have managed to find a way to give cigar enthusiasts two good cigars for the price of just one. Meant for those times when you are sharing a cigar with friend, the 8 1/2 inch Acme Route 66 Tandem can either be cut in half to share or smoked all the way through. The cigar is rolled in such a way that cutting it in two does not effect the integrity of the cigar. Since this cigar is so unique, we decided it deserved a unique review where it is smoked both all the way through and cut in half.

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Pre-Light: The Acme Route 66 Tandem is a unique looking cigar. The long 8 1/2 inch length seems imposing, but when cut in two it becomes two manageable 4 1/4 inch cigars. With a 52 ring gauge, most cutters will fit over the cigar easily to cut it in two. The Cuban-seed Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a coffee bean like color with just a hint of a reddish tinge to it. The small dark strip of tobacco halfway through makes for an easy to spot place to cut the cigar in two without it falling apart. The iconic Route 66 road sign graces the band, and fits with the cigar’s theme perfectly.

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A very naturalistic barnyard and earth aromas can be noticed from the wrapper of the cigar. When cut in two, there are notes of nuts, cocoa, earth and natural tobacco from the foot. A firm pre-light draw allows through flavors of cocoa, earth and a mild grassiness.

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Burn: When smoked all the way through, the draw on the Route 66 Tandem is a bit on the firm side during the first third, but opens up nicely afterwards. If cut in half, the Tandem has a very good draw throughout. The burn of the Route 66 Tandem can be uneven at times (both whole or cut in two), and on a few of the cigars smoked for this review it had to be touched up with a lighter. Once going the Tandem produces a good deal of smoke.

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Flavor (Smoked Through): Starting off there are some wonderful nut notes. The first third of the cigar features a mix of nutty and woodsy notes including maple, oak, almond and walnut. During the transition to the second third, leather and coffee notes begin to come through. On the retrohale, there is a bit of pepper, coffee and leather that blends together nicely. At the halfway point, where the cigar would typically be cut in two, there is a fair amount of coffee, pepper, wood and nut notes. The transition to the final third of the Tandem sees many of the same flavors continue, while the nuttiness of the first third begins to come back. The pepper is still present, but not to the degree that it was in the first third of the cigar. Close to the end of the final third, the coffee note can be slightly bitter.

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Flavor (Cut in Half): The cigar begins with a burst of black pepper and coffee. On the retrohale, notes of leather, coffee and mild black pepper occur. There are some notes of leather and nuts in the background during the first third of the Route 66 Tandem, when cut in half. The second third of the cigar has a strong mix of coffee and nuts. Black pepper is still present, but in a slightly subtler way. The last third of the cigar is full bodied mix of coffee, earth, nut and pepper notes. The last third of the Acme Route 66 Tandem finishes nicely.

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Overall: When reviewing the Acme Route 66 Tandem, I treated it similarly to cigars such as the Woody by Oscar, and decided not to give it an actual number rating. (For a review with a number rating check out my Acme Route 66 Churchill Review.) However, unlike many gimmicky cigars, the Tandem is actually meant to be smoked (just cut in half first). The Tandem is an interesting concept, because it is basically two cigars for the price of one, when cut on the line in the center of the cigar. Although the cigar can be smoked all the way through, I suggest cutting it in two and smoking it as two separate cigars, as this is a much more enjoyable smoking experience. The length does effect flavor, as tar build-up and such can alter the flavor profile (especially in the last third). Medium-full to full bodied, the Route 66 Tandem is the perfect cigar to bring along when you know you’re going to share. Personally, I have a few of the Tandem in my humidor and plan to break them out when at the lake house with my family or camping with friends. The size does make it a little hard to transport, but the savings make it worth figuring out a way to bring it with you.

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Pairing: The Tandem pairs very well with a beer, making it a great cigar for boating, camping and fishing. Personally, I enjoy a Newcastle or Belhaven Scottish Ale with the Acme Route 66. A cask strength Speyside single malt or a good bourbon is also an excellent choice for pairing with the Route 66 Tandem.

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On a side note: As said before, the Acme Route 66 Tandem is an extremely good value. Although we don’t take price into account during the review process, some would argue that the Tandem is even better due to the value. It seems only right to share the math behind this cigar. The Route 66 Tandem retails for $7.40 (or around that range), and comes in boxes of 20 for approximately $148. When cut in half, the box actually provides 40 cigars at $3.70 per cigar. However, when you buy a box, most places offer a 10%-20% discount which further lowers the cost to $133.40 (10%) or $3.34 for 40 cigars or $118.40 (20%) or $2.96 for 40 cigars. That is some fairly impressive math, and puts the Tandem into a range not typically seen premium cigars.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigars for this review were provided by Tom Poehler of Acme Cigar Co. While the generosity is greatly appreciated, it does not alter the overall review of this cigar. At Toasted Foot we remain committed to providing impartial cigar and product reviews.