Bite Size Review: Felix Assouline Ego Black
Update your beneficiaries, make a peace offering to Pazuzu and dress in enough nomex to dance at Chernobyl. The Dark Lord has arrived. Just having some tongue-n-cheek fun, k? I blame D’Artagnan Clark, VP at FAC, since I usually give him a head’s up that I’ll be reviewing something and he responds with some level of smartassery or at least something witty to say.
On a more serious note, I also chatted with D’Artagnan in the days leading up to IPCPR and got some first hand accounts about the recent upheavel in Nicaragua. I am glad he did because it drove the reality of the situation home. Everyone involved in and around the cigar industry in Nicaragua has been affected by the recent social unrest and violence. Some have selfishly focused on the fact that its merely an inconvenience that slows down cigar production and shipments. Sure, it affects many businesses, but it’s dangerous and people are dying. Nonethless, Felix and his crew were winging their way back and forth from the fray. Kudos, and please stay safe.
Anyone who’s experienced Felix’s handywork knows Felix and his cigars are diamonds in the rough and he represents what we all want our cigar makers to be: passionate, genuine, generous, innovative and have high expectations of themselves. Cigar after cigar I’m reminded of those words. The downside of such a high bar is that expectations for future offerings rolling out of the Assouline barn are equally higher. Does the Dark Lord embody the Assouline ethos? The very words “ego”, “black” and “dark lord” conjure images of some merciless, malevolent force to be reckoned with…and one who doesn’t share his french fries. Felix wanted a puro and more importantly, one made with leaves all from the same farm.
The ligero wrapper and figurado shape is just beautiful: seamless, oily, dark chocolate-color and lightly veiny. Finely rolled. Thanks to the ligero, there’s lots of aromatic pepper to go around, from the wrapper to the foot to the cold draw. The draw is excellent. The Dark Lord starts wonderfully rich and complex. Leather, baking spice and some anise on the retro is delicious. And there’s LOTS of black pepper. The first spice bomb detonates and its wonderful, like being slapped in the face by Sophia Vergara and Angelina Jolie simultaneously. There’s decadent nuances on the inhale and finishes throughout the transitions. And pepper. There’s marvelous mesquite intonations in the transitions. Thick and chewy, the earthy, chocolate texture seduces your senses.
The Lord lures you into his windowless van with some candy and like a frog slowly boiling in water without realizing it, you’re paralyzed with pleasure. Did I mention the pepper? The 10 megaton spice bomb is the epilogue and its Uranium 235 grade. Not for the novice or faint of heart, but oh boy, it hurts so good. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: Ego black is not only a Honduran puro, but is also unique in that all leaves – wrapper, filler and binder – were grown and harvested from the same farm at Jamastran Obraje, Honduras.
- Profile: Full
- Vitola: Dark Lord [Box press Dbl Perfecto/Figurado]
- Length/ Ring Gauge: 6.5″ / 56
- Purchased: Cigars2Me.com
- Origin: Honduras
- Wrapper: Honduran Ligero
- Binder: Honduran
- Filler: Honduran
- Cutter: Colibri V
- Lighter: Xikar Exec. II
- Price: $30
- Age: 6 months
Build: Superb; uniformly firm; burns cool; easily holds 2″ ash
- Shaft – Chocolate, pepper, dark fruit.
- Foot – Pepper.
- Cold Draw – Chocolate and pepper.
- Initial: Leather, backing spice, black pepper; Anise on retro; dark fruit on inhale; chocolatey finish.
- Transition: Woody profile; tangy mesquite with more earthy finish; light sweetness for good balance
- Transition: Heavy earth presence with espresso intonations; High spice and lots of pepper.
Complexity: Very good
Touch ups: 2
Combustion: Very good
Weaknesses: Burns irregular at times requiring 2 touch-ups; By the end it feels like you’ve swallowed a scorpion.
Recommend: Does Bigfoot have a hairy ass? Get a box of 5 – yeah, they come in coffins.
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- 3rd stringer
- Smoke a banana instead