Posted by Jack | in Cuban Stock | on 01 Nov 2012 | at 4:53 PM | 2187 views
A few weeks back, I spotted these at The Market.  Not recognizing the brand, I skipped over them that day.  Well, as time passed I saw Mike at The Wharf smoking one of these - a sample he received from a rep.  He gave it a thumbs-up so I picked one up to try for myself.  How was it?  Let's see....
Construction:  The 231 is a very attractive beefy size cigar.  The only vitola I could locate was the double toro and it is well put together.  Nice oily wrapper, heavy in the hand, this is a cigar that just begs to be smoked.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: out of the cellophane, the 231 gives off a nice sweet tobacco and grassy spice aroma that really piqued my interest.  My exact words upon taking that first whiff were " wow!" ....okay, that's one word....but still.  The draw was a bit tighter than I expected but still allowed for a nice pull of air through the leaves.  Expectations were high....
Light and Burn: The lingering wind from Hurricane Sandy - what little of the storm we received here in southwestern Ohio - seemed pretty lax today, so I opted to light this behemoth with matches.  This was an unqualified mistake.  It took me 6 tries to light it up....not because of the cigar....the wind must have been worse than I thought.  As I smoked it the burn went from laser perfect to only slightly off-kilter.  Overall very nice.
Tasting: The 231 is a medium bodied gem.  It reminds me of a Camacho mixed with a Torañ o mixed with a Kristoff....I picked up loads of spice in the first third - not anything like Don Pepin or Tatuaje spice - but it was still evident.  Lots of earth and leather with a mild maple syrup flavor appeared as I hit the middle third followed by a nice cocoa aftertaste laced with a nice sweet tobacco flavor.  I must admit, I was impressed.  The 231 is a slow burner with a a medium amount of smoke.  I checked the center of the burn and noticed a creamy tan color - something I found in copious amounts in a Four Kicks cigar I tried (and didn't like) - but this cigar it really didn't detract from the flavor.  Heading into the final third I picked up black coffee and a strange but pleasant spice that made me say " woah" this time.  It was something I haven't tasted before....not sure even how to describe it....maybe paprika and oak mixed?  Anyway, it was an odd flavor that only lasted one puff.
Value: Herein lies the 231's great appeal.  At $4.99 for a massive toro you can't go wrong.  This is a gem, a steal, a veritable diamond in the rough.  Easily worth stocking up on!
Final Thoughts: I'll admit that the 56 ring gauge is a bit of a jawbreaker.  If I can find them, I would probably hit the torpedo size next go around - just to save my jaw a lot of wear and tear.  The tobacco is tightly packed so chomping it into a more comfortable shape, as many aficionados will frown upon anyway, is not really possible.  I really enjoyed this cigar.  The flavors are really nicely played and the construction is top-notch.  If I have to slight it at all it would be the band....it looks like something one of my design students would crank out with less than prodigious Photoshop skills.  I know a band doesn't make the cigar, but one this good really deserves a better presentation in my book.  I highly recommend the 231 Rockhill.  Needless to say if The Wharf gets them, I will smoke them.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: DominicanRepublic Ligero
A really nice looking cigar
There is the band....just ugh....ugh...ugly
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