Byron comes to you from Nelson Alfonso who does a lot of packaging for some of the top Cuban cigars on the market today. The man behind the rebranding of Behike wanted to deliver a cigar to the American market that was reminiscent of the Cuban brands from the 19th (XIX), 20th (XX) and 21st (XXI) centuries. Since being introduced to the brand, these have consistently scored in the very high 90’s.
This past week before The Cigar Authority podcast, Dave told me he smoked today’s review because the slightly darker wrapper stood out. He raved about how the cigar smoked and performed so I opted to treat myself to one today.
Cigar Review: Byron
Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Ring Gauge: 56
Size: Veneciano (Torpedo)
The Look: Part of the 20th Century Selection the Byron Veneciano is packaged in 25 count humidor quality boxes. In side the cigar features a dual band with the primary band showcasing an image of Lord Byron the poet whom the cigar is named after. A secondary band denotes 4 anos which is the amount of age this cigar receives. The nutmeg brown wrapper has a few noticeable veins and an abundance of wrapper oils. In the hand the cigar is firm to the touch with a hefty weight and nice amount of darker ligero tobaccos visible on the foot.
The Notes: The cold draw offer up rich notes of honey and molasses while the foot of the cigar has a touch of cedar and a slight wisp of blueberries. Wasting no time I cut the cigar and patiently toast the foot of the cigar. As we smoke the first third notes of graham are dominant with a sprinkling of cinnamon. As the cinnamon note fades about a half an inch it I replaced by a sweet blueberry component. As the first third comes to a close with the ash still hanging, notes of fresh bread lightly toasted begin to emerge. The retrohale is incredible smooth with a bit of a pecan pie sweetness.
Moving into the second third notes of graham remain and the blueberry sweetness is replaced with notes of warm honey. As the cigar continues the complexity is simply mind blowing. There are notes of sesame, slightly over cooked breadsticks, wheat and the aforementioned honey and graham. There is so much going on that this is simply the fullest flavor cigar I have smoked in my lifetime.
The last third sees some subtle notes of blueberry return but they serve as an afterthought. The cigar continues to be complex with nuances of sesame, melba toast, hay, cedar and an earthy finish. The retrohale serves some subtle pepper and cornbread.
The Finish: As I smoked the first third of the Byron I was beginning to think I had my first 102 rated cigar. It’s something I’ve joked about on The Cigar Authority podcast, and while I still feel that day is coming the cigar lost the sweetness of the first third. For many people this will be huge plus, but I was I totally digging that blueberry note. It was something so different that I was totally enthralled with it. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a one-third cigar. The depth and complexity of Veneciano is simply incredible. It’s smooth on the palate and the retrohale. It’s medium in strength, but so full of flavor.
Price: $34.00 / $849.99