Sam Leccia is a name that a lot of cigar aficionados are familiar with. Most people know same from his time at Oliva where he was the face of the Cain and Nub lines. Sam left Oliva in 2010 with a plan to launch his own cigars, but due to legal issues was unable to for two and a half years. Now Sam is back with the Leccia Black and White line of cigars which is being distributed by Torano. The Black is made in the Dominican Republic (which I am reviewing today), and the White is made in Nicaragua. Both lines come in 4 sizes, 4 x 46, 5 x 52, 6 x 50, and 6 x 60. For today’s review I am smoking the 5 x 52 robusto size. The Black is unique because it is the first cigar to feature Dark-Fire cured tobacco, which should give the cigar a deeper smokier flavor.
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Rosado
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican, Meta Fina, Dark-Fire
Strength: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto features a single band just like the white. The band is fashioned as the inverse of the Leccia White. It is predominantly black with Leccia Tobacco written in the center in white, to the left of that is a black “L” within a white pattern, and to the right the word “BLACK” written in black on a white background. On the back of the band is also Sam’s signature in white.
The wrapper of the Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto is a beautiful medium brown with a rich reddish hue. The wrapper features some moderate veins, with a nice rich oil, and a tight cap. The construction is solid and there are no soft spots that I can detect.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto has notes of wood, leather, and a rich heavy woody whiskey scent. On the foot the scent is absolutely dominated by charred oak and whiskey. To prepare smoking the Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto, I use a straight cut, and on the cold draw there are flavors of a smoky peat, oak, leather, and a bit of spice.
Smoking Characteristics: Firing up the Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto, I am met with a bit of a surprise. Considering what I was detecting on the cold draw I expected the blend to be overly dominated by the fire cured tobacco, with little complexity. The first few draws are already proving me wrong, there are notes of a whiskey or bourbon like I would have expected, but also a bit of wood, leather, black pepper, and a nice light spice. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of smoke with a nice even resistance. The blend gets a bit richer as the first third develops, the smoky flavors increase in intensity, the spice and black pepper both remain, as does the woody flavor. The strength in this third is just over medium.
Into the second third of the Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto, a little of the sweetness returns to the blend. The notes of smoky oak, leather, wood, and pepper all remain. In this third the spice becomes a bit richer, but the blend is still very smooth. Now the rich charred oak lingers on the palate long between draws providing a pleasing finish. The strength in this third kicks up to medium to full, and provides an excellent buzz. The ash holds firm, well past the inch point, but the burn has required two small corrections so far to remain even.
During the final third of the Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto, the flavor really smooths out and becomes much creamier and richer. The woody, charred oak flavors still remain dominant, but the notes of wood, pepper, and spice all remain. During this third, the leather starts to fade out of the blend. The ash continues to remain very firm, holding well past the inch point, and the burn hasn’t required any additional corrections. The Leccia Tobacco Black Robusto smokes cool to the nub, with the deep smoky flavors.
Conclusion: While this cigar was more complex that I expected, the dark fire-cured tobacco dominates the profile. This is a cigar that you will really like or dislike. I think with a bit of age this blend will be absolutely superb. It is still worth picking up by the stick without a doubt just to experience the unique flavor of this cigar. It holds its own against most new releases of this year and shows that Sam Leccia still has a few tricks up his sleeves when it comes to unique blends. I’m going to rest a few and try them three months down the road and see how kind a little time is for this stick.