SIZE: 5" X 48
FACTORY: El Titan de Bronze
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
FILLER: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Three-season porch off the back of my house
April 4, 2017 @ 1 PM
Best coffee known to man – K Bay outta Alaska
Cool spring day, mid 50s – no rain (yet)
Just finishing up Iron Fist & starting Luke Cage
(backwards, I know)
Only available in the belicoso vitola
RELEASE TYPE: Limited Release
ORIGINALLY RELEASED: January 2015
Bundles of 10
60 bundles produced; 600 cigars total
CIGAR BACKGROUND INFO
This is a version of the La Colmena Unico blend wrapped in the same Habano Oscuro wrapper found on the El Oso line.
These were only shipped to thirteen retailers.
The blend was aged one year prior to release.
There’s some speculation on the interwebs that this was a blend created to test the La Colmena Unico but then left to rest in the aging rooms at Titan. Once they were pulled and tested later, they were given the name Black Honey and the world was never the same place.
The La Colmena line has an almost immediately iconic band. “La colmena” translates to “the beehive” and the yellow lines on the band could definitely be a cool, minimalist take on a beehive/honeycomb look.
I love the band for the typical La Colmena line, but for the Black Honey it falls way short. Even if Warped didn’t think these were going to turn into the cigar lover’s unicorn that they’ve become, the super limited nature of them should’ve merited a little more creativity on the band. Maybe all black with embossed gold for the lines? Really anything to help it stand out from the typical line.
The Black Honey is a beautifully made cigar. There is something about the this vitola that feels … perfect. The medium brown Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper is gorgeous and reminiscent of aged leather. This mostly smooth wrapper does have some slight veining but no significant raised areas.
A delicate inspection doesn’t turn up any soft spots and speaks to the solid construction beneath the wrapper. The foot is packed carefully and the cap is a work of art with how it seamlessly blends into the body.
Aroma is primarily of tobacco (imagine that!) along with some barnyard and a little hay, damp forest
Not getting many discerning notes from the cold draw. Maybe some light citrus and cucumber or cut green peppers.
LIGHT & DRAW
Clip the tip and fire it up! An immediate spice kick right off the bat that mellows into something that kinda tastes like the char from a grilled steak … in a good way! Draw could not be better – truly effortless.
Smoke production is very nice – definitely leaning towards churning out more smoke than not. Nothing obnoxious and nowhere near DE stuff but each puff puts out a decent plume of white smoke.
> Barbecue, Pepper, Cream
So far the barbecue-y, steak-y flavors are holding. There’s a little pepper to it but by no means a pepper-bomb. There’s also some sweetness that builds in the mouth as the cigar rests. Also getting some light creaminess and subtle chocolate notes.
Except for a minor deviation, the burn line is razor sharp.
> Grilled meat, smoked almond, vanilla
As the second third starts, the pepper kicks up a little bit and the grilled meat tastes continue. There’s a little hint of vanilla and cream on the tail end too. There’s something light and distinct on the retrohale but I can’t quite place it – kinda like smoked almonds. Still finding some underlying sweet cream tying it all together.
> Caramel, nutty, cocoa
The grilled meat notes are waning a little and I’m getting more of a woody, nutty taste with some definite mild citrus and caramel tones taking over. Ash is holding very well as I get into the final third. I don’t often try to purposefully maintain a long ash, but it sure is tempting here. (Note: Fell off immediately after I typed this) The final third really is a drastic shift from the first – certainly sweeter notes – caramel, bitter cocoa/coffee.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
👍 Impeccably crafted cigar
👍 Flavors and progression are magnificent
👎 Availability is non-existent
Construction & Appearance ....... 0.80 / 0.80
Pre-Light Characteristics ............. 0.50 / 0.50
Lighting Process ............................. 0.50 / 0.50
Smoking Experience ..................... 7.11 / 7.70
Personal Enjoyment ....................... 0.50 / 0.50
a modern masterpiece. 8
.3 / 10.0
No doubt this is a very, very good cigar. There’s something mythical about sticks released in this limited of a quantity and sometimes that creeps in to blur the actual cigar experience. It’s rare and I’ve seen some insane prices dished out for original black honies.
I’m happy to say, the Black Honey has indeed lived up to the hype and really hasn’t been overstated in terms of craft or taste. The progression of flavors is impeccable – the way it slowly moves from steaks on the grill to sweet, caramel-y coffee at the end. It’s a modern masterpiece to be sure.
MORE PICTURES FROM THE REVIEW:
HOW WE COMPARE:
I love reading other reviewers' thoughts on the cigars I'm smoking and reviewing. Here's a look at how my review compares to what others are writing and rating this cigar at:
|Site||Vitola Reviewed||Rating||Normalized Rating||Link|
You'll be hard-pressed to find a mediocre review of the original Black Honey release, much less a bad review or rating. I rated it a 9.41 which is pretty much inline with the average rating of 9.4.