David P. Ehrlich Tremont Toro
It’s recently been reported that the Health subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently voted to pass a resolution known as H. R. 2339 or “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019.” This resolution is designed to address various regulatory aspects of the tobacco industry like more aggressive guidelines towards flavored e-cigarettes and vaping, raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and heightened caveat efficacy in warning labels for cigarettes.
Unfortunately, it also takes aim at banning online tobacco sales (including cigars) within 2 years. The resolution will go to the House floor for a vote and if passed, will make it’s way to the senate. Even though groups like the CRA are on top of these issues, when I think of the specter of what these threats pose to the industry many of us love as consumers, I often forget what it means for growers, cigar retailers and artisans, particularly small, family-owned boutiques.
One of many boutiques facing an uncertain future is MLB Cigar Ventures. Mike Bellody, an investor by trade, was bitten by the premium cigar bug shortly after college. Like some, he’s parlayed his passion into his own successful, and popular, premium cigar business, launching MLB Cigar Ventures in 2015. In the last 5 years, Bellody has built multiple lines of award-winning stogeys, not to mention a healthy following. Glowing reviews aside, Bellody states he’s committed to making high-quality premium cigars “developed by legends” and with a “flavor profile unlike any other premium cigar.” We like that recipe.
Owing to one of his first experiences with premium cigars, Bellody pays tribute by creating a new brand dubbed David P. Ehrlich. “Ehrlich’s”, as it was known, was the Boston tobacco shop, reportedly the 2nd oldest in the US, Bellody frequented during his first impressionable years as a cigar lover. The first line in this brand is Tremont, named in honor of the street on which Ehrlich’s resided. Bellody launched the brand/line at the IPCPR show in 2016.
Bellody’s vision includes entrusting the blending of his cigars to masters like Pepin Garcia or Manolo Quesada. Tremont offered Bellody the first opportunity to partner with E. P. Carrillo and his Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic. Our Tremont is one of the oldest cigars in our bullpen and even after 19 months, the toro still showed some oil. Basking in a whiskey hue, the roll is seamless with a nice triple seam cap. Chocolate and cocoa aromas from the wrapper and foot consume the nose while the effortless cold draw coats the palate with the familiar cocoa and raisins.
The initial profile is ultra-smooth highlighted by a rich core of roasted peanuts under a swirling mix of caramel, toast and marshmallow. Pine elements are detected in both the draw and on the retro along with a warm finish of anise and coffee. Complexity wanes while body increases through more woody, earthy transitions which are nicely balanced with chocolate elements and hints of baking spices.
Combustion is superb, the Tremont produces copious amounts of smoke and the toro holds a 1” flaky ash. My only gripe is the wrapper began to unravel and develop an unrelated vertical tear near the band. Fortunately, the tear didn’t worsen and the unruly wrapper was rectified with some handy cigar glue. Our Tremont demonstrated exceptional performance, but the much-ballyhooed flavor profile wasn’t unique enough to warrant boxworthy praise. I do recommend pairing this cigar with your favorite whiskey and I think it makes a great firepit or back patio herf companion with a great story behind it. Tremont underscores the concern that we might miss this and other stories should crippling regulation shudder our beloved boutiques. If we could just convince our legislators to help preserve those stories. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 5 Packer
Did you Know: Mike Bellody has also collaborated with notable industry icons Jose “Pepin” Garcia, Jaime Garcia and Manuel Quesada.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″x50
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
- Blade: Colibri ‘V’
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $8.95 (box $179)
- Humidor Age: 19 mo.
- Box: 20Other Vitolas: Corona [5.5’x44], Robusto [5″x52], Gordo [6″x60], Churchill [7″x47]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:24
Construction: Hard body with uniform firmness; seamless; oily; semi-veiny; lumpy; whiskey-hued wrapper; triple seam cap; holds flaky 1″ ash; excellent smoke production.
- Wrapper – Chocolate-covered raisins
- Foot – Cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – Cocoa and raisins
- Initial: Nutty profile with a pine cone draw; roasted peanuts, caramel and toast notes; finish of coffee and hints of anise; develops hints of marshmallow and pinewood; light spice in nose; develops into woody core.
- Transition: Core of oak; chocolate and baking spice notes; espresso and and charred wood notes on finish; intermittent, bitter papery residue.
- Transition: Fuller bodied earthy profile; hints of cedar and semi-sweet molasses; toasty coffee finish; black pepper on palate.
Complexity: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Wrapper unraveled; tear in wrapper
Recommendation: 5 Packer
- Boxworthy / Go-to
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]