Black Label Trading Company is relatively new to the cigar industry. Established in 2013 with 6 cigars under their portfolio all ranging from medium to full. Black Label’s philosophy is to create truly small batch cigars in limited quantities, this allows them to treat their creation with attention to detail, just as when we create art or observe a great piece of art. Black Label’s use of tobacco is primarily coming from Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico and Ecuador. They boast that using these specific tobacco plants allows the consumer to truly experience the “Black Label Cigar Experience.”
At IPCPR 2014, Black Label announced the release of a much anticipated cigar, called MORPHINE. Morphine is unique because it uses two maduro wrappers, which according to James Brown, founder of Black Label, it is a badass cigar with an extra bold and full bodied blend.
James Brown on the press-release of Morphine said,
Let’s look at the details of Morphine:
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Mexican San Adrés Maduro
- Inner Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
- Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
- Filler: Honduran & Nicaraguan
- Vitolas: Corona 5 1/2 x 42 (reviewed) & Lancero 7 x 38
The cigar world right now is booming with Mexican San Andrés, as we previously reviewed last week, Satin Glove by L’atelier. There is really no shortage of this leaf and the demand has been huge. Other releases this year include Jericho Hill by Crowned Heads, and Norteño by Willy Herrera.
And so we find ourselves reviewing the Morphine corona. The outside wrapper is oily with minimal veins and the color of the wrapper has espresso qualities. The band has a death-like feel to it (hopefully this morphine fixes my illness!), with what seems to be the body of bee, the head of a human skull, the wings of a butterfly, and a five point crown. I am not too sure what the logo symbolizes, but I do know the five point crown can represent a part of a certain gang, I hope this cigar doesn’t get me in trouble!
Now unto the pre-light experience, there are some dry blueberries, a sweet leather draw, and a few notes of wood – I’m immediately reminded of Cabernet Sauvignon. The last time I had this draw was with Tatuaje Belle Encre reserva. Really loving the draw, especially the sweetness.
The cigar is now cut and is ready to inject its medicine into my veins. As I warm up the foot and slowly take in a few draws, I initially get a very deep and dark espresso flavor, but with an undertone of sweet leather. As I slowly continue to push down the injection through the first half, there is a slight sweetness to the cigar and I am tasting some dry cocoa mixed with the blueberries – really enjoying this undertone and encourage you to pay attention. So far, I’m really taken back by this injection, it hasn’t been met with any bitterness or sourness, that I often taste from cigars sporting the San Andés wrapper. Looking at the cigar ash, the color is grey like coal after it has been put out for a few hours, grayish with black all in between. Throughout, the ash consistently held on ’til the beginning of a new third.
The injection continues to progress into the middle of the cigar. Each puff builds up into what I am expecting will remain until the end. On this portion of the cigar though, the fruity undertone is gone (sad face). But the cigar has now developed into more dark qualities. I get dark cocoa, espresso, and the leather is still present. This is all I’m tasting at this point and the smoke is a bit rough inside the mouth. So far the Morphine is at medium for me – It has not kicked me off my “ass”…
The morphine is almost out. We are entering the last few drops. Now, we are getting some soft pepper, it really isn’t spicy and it doesn’t hurt, so don’t be afraid to try it! The flavors from the 2nd third stay present, but the added soft pepper becomes the dominant trait. At this point, the Morphine is starting to show the true colors of San Andrés, I am tasting just a tad of bitterness and my mouth is starting to feel a bit of dryness. I decided at the point of the band, to let this Morphine go out.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes. Only because I want to try more of the double wrapper! I think the Ecuador wrapper really helped smooth out those bitter and sour qualities that I find with San Andrés wrapper. Construction was on point. I invite you to try this cigar and smoke it as art and see what it can teach you.
- Interesting, unique flavors
- Excellent construction
- Bitter/dry at times
- Tight draw