Koi ponds with floating orange leaves sprinkle the hills of remote Japan, once acting as the gardens for now forgotten temples; and autumn is the best time to enjoy them. The cool pacific air brings goosebumps to exposed flesh but hidden hot-spring pools in the woods refresh the body and soul. Even the rogue samurai finds solace here in nature’s dojo, and the maiden who has found the pool first is very willing to share. The image is perfect, but can “Vindicator” live up to its own reputation?
There is a certain amount of hype surrounding this particular stick and it is one that I have wanted to try for a while. Attractive in its wrapper and appropriately designed label, this stick seemingly tries to bring an added machismo to the cigar world (as if it was needed).
On the first draw the smoke sliced my tongue with a concentrated flavor that I needed to have more of. At first the stick demands attention to the creamy and leathery flavors that the palate absorbs with subtle pleasure before it trails off into the mundane. Flavor springs every once in a while along the way, but quickly recedes into the night once again. “Vindicator is medium bodied with light flavors. The most obvious downside to this cigar, though, is the draw; it’s very tight. Personally, I like a little pulling pressure when bringing in smoke, but “Vindicator” was more akin to a workout. But all is not lost.
“Vindicator” is light and creamy, and accented with leather. While it’s nothing to write home about, the subtleties are the type that may be remembered or even longed for during a lonely and restless night. This cigar will stand by you and is a safe bet, the kind you would treat your son to for his first smoke, an introductory cigar that does not overpower and is enjoyable in the most rudimentary sense of the word. Flavor does return intermittently and I can understand why a frat house would keep a box of these in the kitchen, but to the aficionado there is much left to be desired.
To its credit, though, this stick is a fine looker amongst other cigars. With a label focused on an Attila-the-Hun-like soldier dressed in full copper armor and crossing two swords, it appeals to the inner warrior in all men; but the cigar’s structure is the real marvel. The burn is as perfect as I’ve seen, the ash a beautifully smooth grey without a single discrepancy. This burn exposes each and every layer allowing you to track your progress, or for those considerably lonely nights, count the rings. Watching “Vindicator” progress almost makes me forget about the work it takes to draw in the mediocre flavors, but I didn’t have to relight or touch up once.
All in all, this gar will be great for a day at the golf course and enjoyable while mulling over documents or reading a book on the porch. I’d personally like to try it again with a glass of pinot noir or a darkly roasted coffee (but maybe sake would be more appropriate). As for a comprehensive dissection of the cigar as a flavorful work of art, forget about it.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Maybe. I don’t golf much, but pinot noir is always tempting, as is a cup of coffee in the early morning while looking at the sea.
- Good flavor
- Great ash and burn
- Tight draw
- Forgettable flavors