Ventura Cigar Co is one of the newer companies on the market, their previous releases include the Estilo Cubano, the Pura Sangre, and the Placencia Reserva Organica. This year at the 2013 IPCPR, they released two new blends, the Project 8o5, and the PSyKo 7. The PSyKo 7 is being made by the renowned Henke Kellner in the Tabadom Cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. It is being released in four sizes, a 6 x 60 Gordo, a 6 1/2 x 48 toro, a 4 x 58 Gordito, and a 5 1/2 x 50 Robusto which I am reviewing today.
Size: 5 1/2 x 50
Wrapper: Dominican Hybrid
Binder: Mexican Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero, Peruvian Pelo de Oro, Honduran Holancha Seco, Dominican Hybrid, and Lancaster Ligero
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The PSyKo 7 Robusto features two bands, one large one which is layered over a smaller more typical band. The larger band is styled to look like the label from a prescription bottle, and on the robusto it is large enough that it has to be removed before smoking. On this larger band it says “PSyKo Seven” in the upper left hand corner and “Ventura Cigar Co Ventura County, CA Medicate Your Mind” in the upper right hand corner. In the middle of this band it has the dosage which indicates the size, on the robusto a 5 1/2 x 50. It also lists the types of tobacco and the countries of origin. At the bottom is a list of Doctors who all have some names which are puns. Also on the band it lists, “NO GENERIC SUBSTITUTIONS.”
The Doctors are all Ventura Employees:
Dr B-Rad is Brad Arlington
Dr The Candy Man is Keith Maas
Dr Bad Boy is Barry Bennett
Dr Who Dat? Is Paul Hight
Dr Socks is Adam Shepard
Dr Peter North is don Callander
Dr Big A is Andy Seigrist
And the prescription is signed by El Diablo Blanco a.k.a Patrick Hurd, GM at VCC.
Under this band, the PSyKo 7 Robusto offers up a much more typical band, this one has a nice modern feel to it. It says PSyKo Seven in the center with a Ventura logo on the back and the Medicate your Mind slogan written all around it. The color scheme is primarily red and white.
The wrapper of the PSyKo 7 Robusto is a medium brown which is both slightly golden, yet slightly reddish at the same time. It features very thin veins and a very nice rich oil to it. The roll is almost completely seamless and the cap is extremely tight. On the sample I am smoking for review, there are no soft spots that I can detect, but there is a slight crack in the foot of the wrapper which happened during shipping from the trade show.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the PSyKo 7 Robusto has notes of sweet cedar, nuts, earth, and a little bit of grass. On the foot the scent of cedar is much richer and there is also a bit of spice along with a little bit of coffee. To prepare for smoking I use a straight cut, and on the cold draw there are notes of spice, cedar, nuts, earth, grass, and a little bit of coffee.
Smoking Characteristics: Since there is a slight crack in the foot of the PSyKo 7 Robusto, that I am smoking for review I decide to opt for a cedar spill to light it. The reason for this is that I hope that the lower heat of the soft flame on the spill will lessen the chance of the crack expanding and ruining the sample. Despite the damage to the foot of the cigar, the first few puffs offer the perfect resistance and an excellent body of smoke. As for flavor, I’m getting a lot of cedar (which may be due more to the spill), along with a bit of spice, grass, nuts, and a nice rich savory tone that I can’t quite place. After the first few puffs, the cedar flavor reduces quite a bit. The dominant flavor is a nice, rich, steak savoriness, with a bit of nuts, grass, spice, and some cedar on the back end. The texture of the smoke is very creamy and buttery. In terms of strength, the blend is starting out solidly in the medium range.
Into the second third of the PSyKo 7 Robusto, the blend loses a bit of the spice. The primary flavor is still a nice rich, meaty, savoriness, with a bit of cedar, nuts, and a light hay which has moved into the background. The savoriness is profound with an incredible complexity. The texture of the smoke is still very creamy and buttery, I really can’t get enough of this smoke. The construction is holding up wonderfully, the crack does not expand at all, the ash holds firmly past the inch point, with a razor sharp burn. The draw is perfect, with just the right amount of resistance and easily provides a full body of smoke. The strength has remained in the medium range, allowing for a nice slight buzz.
During the final third of the PSyKo 7 Robusto, the blend keeps the rich, nice, savory, creamy, and buttery texture that has been taking place in the past two thirds. The spice has now all but faded from the profile entirely, and the cedar is now starting to become much more subtle. The notes of nuts and hay become much more intense and pair well with the cedar undertone. The construction on the PSyKo 7 Robusto continues to stand up well, the burn is sharp, and the ash holds very firm. The draw remains excellent, easily providing a full body of rich, cool, smooth, creamy smoke. I smoke PSyKo 7 Robusto all the way down to the nub, until I get that finger burn that I tend to allow with any smoke I’m enjoying far to much to allow to end. It remains smooth, and creamy to the last puff, the flavor not becoming tarnished in any way.
Conclusion: The PSyKo 7 Robusto has been my favorite smoke from the 2013 IPCPR that I’ve tried thus far. I still haven’t smoked enough of the trade show releases to say that this is going to be my favorite cigar of 2013, but I’m confident it will be top 5. The flavor was wonderful, the texture amazing, the the construction astounding. I know I’ll be buying boxes of this when the full release comes out.