Bite Size Review: Cigar Art Singer & Monk Habano
While most of our reviews are planned, others sometimes pop up on the radar without notice. In fact, this has occurred more this year than any other, and that’s ok. Sometimes, we come across something unique while perusing B&Ms or shopping online and spontaneously make an executive decision. This is most recently apparent with Cigar Art’s Singer & Monk, a company and brand local to my home state of Texas. This is our second review of a local Texas cigar, the first being One 13’s Chronicles 2015.
Cigar Art is a Dallas-based, artisanal boutique offering small-batch, handmade premium cigars produced both locally at their shop in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District and by the La Corona factory in Estelì, Nicaragua. The Singer & Monk brand is offered locally as well as at select B&Ms within/outside of Texas. The blends apparently gained enough traction that the Cigar Art team opened a hat boutique next door under the same brand name.
According to co-founder, Marco Cavazos, the Singer & Monk project includes both Habano and Connecticut-wrapped blends. He also alluded to the fact that the name, Singer & Monk, was simply a product of the Cigar Art team sitting in a room employing the tried and true strategy of randomly throwing out names and picking ones they liked. Cavazos also shared that they employ aged tobaccos for the Singer & Monk which were sourced from the Jalapa region and are 3- and 5-years old, for wrapper and binder/filler respectively.
The rustic, caramel-colored toro sports a nice triple seam cap and a seamless roll. A unique aspect of the Singer & Monk is it’s knotted, closed foot which is designed to aid in lighting. The textured Ecuadorian skin offers scents of dark cherries and raisins and the draw, sadly, is tight which improves only minimally throughout the smoke.
The initial profile is a delicious mélange of leather, caramel and almond notes around a toasted oat core, which features prominently on the long finish and in the draw. It’s a struggle to draw in enough smoke, but when I did, the texture is velvety smooth. Transitions are not terribly complex, but they are well-balanced and interesting enough. Combustion is the other knock on this cigar. While burn is solid early, first a runner appears then a flame- out on one side requiring a touch-up. Not bad at all for some Texas locals. Now, if only they could just fix the draw and combustion issues, they’d have themselves a player. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 2. 5-Packer
Did you Know: Cigar Art Brands recently became the US distributor for new Swiss boutique, Cavalier Genève.
- Profile: Med – Full
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6″x52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan Sungrown (Jalapa)
- Filler: Nicaraguan Sungrown (Jalapa)
- Cutter: Colibri V
- Lighter: Colibri Firebird
- Price: 11.00
- Humidor Age: 10 Mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Corona Gorda [5.5″x46], Petit Edmundo [4.75″x50], Churchill [7″x48]
Construction: Toothy; nice triple cap; seamless; minor soft spots; closed foot; rustic appearance; minimal veins; light grit; holds, compact 1″ dirty-gray ash.
- Wrapper – Dark cherry, raisin
- Foot – Cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – Apricot
- Initial: Toasted oat core which is prominent on draw and finish; peripheral notes of leather, caramel and almonds; hints of allspice on retro; woody notes appear after about 10 min.
- Transition: Nucleus of wood and earth; caramel and almond notes carry over; fuller bodied; sweet oats and coffee bean on finish; notes of baked bread on retro.
- Transition: Overtly malty with robust oak notes on retro; espresso and dark chocolate intonations; earthy, coffee bean finish; full body and strength.
Complexity: Very good
Touch ups: 1
Weaknesses: Tight draw which improves only minimally; runner in middle transition; one-sided flame out late.
Recommendation: 2. 5-Packer
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead