One of the new companies to look out for this year has to be Sindicato cigars, and they have a very interesting story behind them. The company is headed up by Jim Colucci, former Executive V.P. of Sales & Marketing for Altadis USA (makers of Romeo Y Julitea, Montecristo, and many more). Yet, the actual company is formed of high profile cigar shop owners from across the Nation. This year Sindicato debuted 3 lines at the IPCPR, the Hex (which I am reviewing today), the Affinity (should have a review shortly), and the Casa Bella which is a value branded cigar with an MSRP under $2.10 a stick. Since the company is formed of mostly high profile retailers you should see these blends in a humidor near you very soon, and the distribution for them should be quite widespread.
Size: 7 x 54
Wrapper: Select Dark Ecuadorian
Strength: Medium (Close to Medium to Full towards the end)
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The Hex Churchill features a single band which is mostly white and black. In the center Hex is written in black on a white background, and on back is the Sindicato logo. The band has a nice, almost modern sort of sleek feel to it, as does the logo.
The wrapper of the Hex Churchill is a dark brown with a very slight reddish hue to it. It has a moderate amount of veins to it, but also a nice rich oil. The Hex is topped off with a neat pigtail and a nice tight cap. The sample I smoked for review had a nearly seamless construction, and no soft spots that I could detect.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Hex Churchill has notes of cocoa, coffee, and a nice rich oak. The foot has the scent of hay, coffee, dark chocolate, oak, and a nice rich spice. Rather than twist off the pig tail, I decide to go with a straight cut to smoke the Hex, on the cold draw there are flavors of coffee, chocolate, oak, and hay.
Smoking Characteristics: The Hex Churchill kicks off with a nice mix of spice, white paper, oak, chocolate, and a slightly bitter espresso. After a few puffs the pepper fades out, and while the spice remains, the blend becomes much sweeter. There are still notes of chocolate and espresso, but now the woody note is a cedar rather than an oak, and there is also a slightly nutty flavor. The draw offers just the right amount of resistance, and the volume of smoke is excellent. The strength in the first third is a solid medium, but starts to build a bit towards the end of it.
Into the second third of the Hex Churchill, all of the notes of spice, chocolate, espresso, cedar, and nuts have remained. The flavors become intensified and defined, and far more enjoyable with a bit of complexity. The ash holds firmly, well past the inch point. While the burn wavers, it corrects itself on its own at this point. The strength is just starting to enter the medium to full range during this third. The blend still isn’t kicking out the power I had expected it to, which just goes to show you should never judge a book by it’s cover.
During the final third of the Hex Churchill, you see a fairly dramatic shift in the overall tone of the smoking experience. The sweetness now fades a bit, and the spice becomes much more present. The notes of chocolate, espresso, cedar, and nuts all remain, but also a bit of dried fruit starts to join the blend as well. The strength remains very close to medium to full, but hasn’t really increased much from the second third. The construction remains excellent, the ash holds firmly well past the inch point, the burn is very sharp, and the draw is perfect. I smoke the Hex Churchill to the nub without it becoming soft or hot. Towards the end the spice really amps up, and the sweetness fades from the profile almost entirely.
Conclusion: The Hex Churchill by Sindicato was not quite what I had expected going in, however it did cast a bit of a spell on me. In fact, the blend had more complexity than I would have presumed and a bit less strength, which in my opinion is a good thing. The pricing on the Hex is also very reasonable. I mean $8.75 for a churchill (which is actually in gauge closer to a double corona) is excellent. Overall I have to say this is a great start for Sindicato Cigars, and the Hex is something worth smoking.