A pleasant surprise arrived in my mailbox this past week: a gift box from JR Cigars–completely unsolicited but apparently as a result of my activity on Reddit’s Cigar sub-reddit. Included were 5 cigars including JR’s newest in-house blend, the JR Uncharted.

So what? JR requested that I supply an unbiased review of the Uncharted (with the other 4 cigars acting as a thank-you, I suppose). And as I am a firm believer in one hand washing the other, I shall proceed to relay my thoughts on the JR Uncharted Toro (in addition to my typical review format, there will be a picture of the review sheet that JR sent along, now filled in with my chicken scratch).

And now, let’s delve into the JR Uncharted Toro.

JR Uncharted Background

jr uncharted toroSize: 6″ x 52 ring gauge
Style: Toro
Blend:
Wrapper: Ligera Habano Ecuadorian
Binder: San Andres
Filler: 75% Nicaraguan, 25% Jamastran

Based on this blend, I expect to enjoy some spice, some pepper, some earth, and maybe some baking chocolate and bitter coffee. I’m excited as this cigar promises to be in my flavor profile wheelhouse.

Initial Observations

jr uncharted band jr uncharted cap jr uncharted footAppearance: Smooth with a light oily sheen, mildly veiny but none that will impact the burn.
Aroma: A barnyard coated in caramel. Interesting.

Pairing, Cutting, and Lighting

Drink Pairing: Kirkland Acai/Blueberry/Pomegranate Water
Lighter: Xikar single-flame butane
Cutter: Xikar guillotine

Cutting and Cold Draw

The cut is as smooth as butter–any mohel would be proud. The cold draw is meaty with a hint of sweetness and spice.

The First Third

jr uncharted first thirdAs is customary with an AJ Fernandez blend (did I mention this cigar is an AJ Fernandez blend?), there is white pepper in the first puff or two. Already pleased when a sip of my drink brings out an overwhelming caramel-molasses note–I highly suggest pairing this cigar with a sugary beverage to taste what I’m tasting. The end of the first third brings about cocoa, mild coffee, and nutmeg. All around solid first third.

The Second Third

jr uncharted second thirdAt this point, I’m sweating profusely because it’s humid and hotter than a cat on a frying pan in an oven in an active volcano as far away from Ann Coulter as possible. Try to figure out that metaphor. But the heat isn’t bothering me because this cigar has my full attention: even burn, thick white ash with minimal flaking. After tapping the ash, a beautiful cone appears–to me, the cone signifies a well-burning and well-made cigar.

The burn is a bit wobbly at this point, but corrects itself after a minor touch-up with the lighter. Profile continues with a more pronounced coffee note. The band comes off with little to no effort on my part even though there is a significant amount of glue. Think Arturo Fuente levels of glue.

The Final Third

jr uncharted final thirdThe burn at this point is crawling slower than a baby wearing a backpack. Not complaining–I want this cigar to go on forever. The strength is through the roof with a persistent spiciness and meaty finish. Delicious and utterly unheard of in a house blend.

I would be willing to bet that this cigar would pair beautifully with a steak or other fine cut of meat, something for which I’d ordinarily reserve a high-end Liga Privada or punch-in-the-mouth LFD.

The Last Inch

No ammonia, no bitterness, nothing that turns me off. I can nub this cigar without any apprehension.

Final Impressions and Rating

jr uncharted nubIf you had handed me this cigar without its band and told me it was the latest from LFD or Tatuaje, I would’ve believed you. AJ Fernandez and JR deliver a bold, strong, spicy blend that does not disappoint. There’s complexity, there’s solid construction, and there’s no harshness or acridness that would indicate cheap filler tobacco.

Honestly, I’m blown out of the water with this cigar and my excitement grew even greater when I realized that this cigar retails at 20/$85. About $4 per cigar. I’d easily pay $9 for this cigar and not bat an eye.

Rating (Seek out and buy again, Smoke if I happen to find one, Avoid at all costs): SEEK OUT AND BUY AGAIN

IMG_2985Everything about this cigar is right: the price, the construction, the profile. The band even looks like a boutique band (so you don’t have to feel like you’re smoking a Ron Mexico–I know how vain some of us cigar smokers can be).

Do not miss out on this cigar–for $4 a pop, you will not find a better everyday smoke or yardgar.

Cheers.

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