Brand: Royal Gold
Vitola: Robusto (5x52)
Paired With: Coke
I received this cigar in a bomb from a CATS member. It has a beautiful medium tan Cameroon wrapper, which is almost completely smooth. It has a spicy sweet aroma to it pre-light. I clipped the cap with a standard guillotine, and the cap popped right off. Perfect. I lightly toasted the end with a double torch lighter, and then took a few draws. The draw was quite tight, almost to a fault.
The first few puffs revealed a spicy bite on the tongue that is not at all unpleasant. It also shows that characteristic subtle sweetness that Cameroon wrappers are so famous for, as well as a dull leathery quality. The burn is pretty wonky, and the wrapper and binder are swelling up in one place at the edge of the burn. The smoke output is moderate, nothing like Drew Estate's other offerings (Undercrown, Liga). The spicy-sweetness is a very lovely and prominent flavour, but the dull leather overtones put a bit of a damper on it. After the first half inch or so, the burn finally evened itself out.
After the first inch, the leather tones are making more of an appearance. The ash fell right onto my desk. Bummer. The flavours are not really changing all that much, aside from a ramping up of the spice. The burn overall is wiggly, but manageable. There is an ever so slight taste of bitter chocolate that ebbs and flows as the stick progresses. With about 3 inches left in the cigar, it went out. I took the time to purge the cigar, and then continued smoking.
The overall spice has evened out into a smoother, more bourbon like burn. Cedar undertones are floating around in the smoke as well. The burn has become much better, and is now razor sharp. The ash doesn't hang on for too long, and often looks flaky. I turned the cigar over, only to find part of the wrapper peeling off and the binder pressing up. That was disappointing. Once I burned past it, I did not have any more problems. The characteristic sweetness of the wrapper is still there, and getting a touch sweeter as I go. As I got down to the last inch, it began to get a bit hot, and I let it die.
Overall, a nice, smooth, tasty stick. Quite a few burn problems, and not a whole lot of complexity. Not an everyday smoke for me, especially at the price point, but one I would not hesitate to pick up again.