Bite Size Review: El Septimo Fabuloso Diamond Dark Ruby
One of the aspects of my business life is the fact that I spend a lot of time in airports and on planes. Sure, I enjoy status on a few well-known airlines and the perks that accompany my loyalty, but it’s just not as fun, or rewarding, as it once was. Over the years, it has simply evolved as a means to an end. Want to see a person’s true colors? Just stand around an airport baggage carousel. The same elderly passengers for whom you previously assisted stow their overweight carry-on bags are throwing elbows to get to their checked bags like it was on fire or picked up someone else’s bag in error, ‘cause they all look alike, and upon realizing their mistake, shamelessly body slams it back onto the conveyor. Kum-ba-ya.
Fortunately, there are far more positive aspects to my chaotic life than there are “unpopular” ones. One of them is preparing for the next review. After many months of trying to source products from El Septimo Cigars, we hit pay dirt this summer. Our persistence paid dividends as we reviewed two of the most unique, ultra-premium cigars available: Excepcion Light and Double Shot White Diamond. The fact that El Septimo offers over 30-plus lines from which to choose just made our job tougher in selecting which cigar to review next.
Some of the hallmarks of El Septimo’s cigars include the fact that all are Costa Rican puros. Their tobaccos are grown in a fertile, mountainous terroir around San Jose at over 9,500 ft. above sea level and all are aged from 5 to 15 years. Many of their lines are rolled in a single vitola and you can expect the ring gauge to be large (>60 RG) and in some cases, extra large (>64 RG). And as the wave of new boutique offerings break upon the shores of the US, bigger ring gauge cigars are becoming more en vogue and are in higher demand than ever.
Zaya Younan, CEO of the Younan Company, owners of the El Septimo brand, made it easy on us as he, himself recommended we test drive one of their most popular blends, the Fabuloso Dark Ruby (FDR), an oily, toffee-hued fat boy the size of a pipe bomb (sans the end caps). At over 6” with a 63 RG (1 inch = 64 RG), our FDR feels solid throughout, but does not feel overtly heavy. Like its previously reviewed predecessors, the cigar is insanely aromatic offering a leathery core with hints of chocolate and honeysuckle. The fruity cold draw on this behemoth is effortless, again, with just a punch. Crazy.
Once the shaggy foot was lit, a complex, velvety-smooth mélange of dark fruit, caramel and almonds emerged, backed by a leathery nucleus. The clean finish of charred wood and coffee is a nice complement. Hints of black peppercorn come and go and I cannot overstate the fact that while your taste buds get a phenomenal massage, the character remains light and airy. A light spice surfaces late and a savory oatmeal essence on the draw becomes more noticeable. Transitions are equally multifaceted highlighted by an increase in spice amid notes of mesquite, cherry, nougat and sherry.
Combustion is not the best in this round as it appears filler tobacco is bunched to one side resulting in a nagging, and annoying, shallow runner that is finally rectified after the last transition. This big boy holds a strong ash and produces a good amount of smoke. If not for the FDR’s flavor-packed nuances and rich, silky smooth disposition, I’d have dinged this cigar for its construction issues.
As a reminder, pricing for these cigars is based on uniqueness and a sumptuous experience, but El Septimo continues to “massage’ US pricing so keep an eye out. Also keep in mind these cigars are available in boxes of 5, 10 or 20. Ultimately, these sticks are supposed to represent the “Bentley” of cigars, one aspect of a luxurious lifestyle that in this case – for most of us – is far more attainable than the car. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: El Septimo recently launched The Alexandra line which is comprised of two cigars, Marilyn and Coco, specifically blended for the female palate.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Gordo +
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.3″ x 63
- Purchased: *
- Origin: Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Costa Rican Oscuro
- Binder: Costa Rican
- Filler: Costa Rican
- Blade: Xikar Punch
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $76.00
- Humidor Age: 4.5 mo.
- Box: 5, 10 or 25
- Other Vitolas: N/A
* 99 Cigars typically pays for all cigars; however, cigars were provided by El Septimo Cigars Geneve S.A. in exchange for complimentary advertising.
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:32
Construction: Some tooth; oily; fat, uniformly solid without being hard; semi-seamless; minimal veins; toffee hue; “pig tail” triple cap; shaggy foot; velvety feel; holds 1″+ ash; good smoke production.
- Wrapper – Leather, honeysuckle
- Foot – Milk chocolate
- Cold Draw – Leather, fruity
- Initial: Core of leather; subtle notes of dark fruit, caramel and almonds; sweet finish of charred wood and coffee bean; hints of black peppercorn play peek-a-boo; savory oatmeal essence on draw; light spice in nose.
- Transition: Woody center with an increase in spice; cherry essence on retro along with notes of mesquite, leather and nougat; long, toasty finish of leather and wood; hints of nutmeg and roasted kettle corn late.
- Transition: Rich, sweet, wood and sherry profile; notes of sweet cedar; baked quality to profile; leather notes linger; increased spice (nose); plummy finish w/hints of espresso;
Touch ups: 2
Combustion: Good – nagging shallow runner required correction
Weaknesses: Runner – could be due to uneven roll
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]