Micallef Leyenda No. 2
In discussing some of the more common methods to properly cut a cigar, someone asked me about the “Dickman” cut, a technique I’d mentioned a time or two in my reviews. Well the story goes it’s named for it’s creator, Joe Dickman, a retired west coast Fuente sales rep. It is said he favored this style of cut on tapered figurados like belicosos and torpedoes. His rationale behind the cut is to create more surface area allowing for maximum draw and contact on the palate thus optimizing the level of flavor. This cut is made at a 45º angle using a straight guillotine-style cutter, but the amount you trim is dependent largely on the size of the cap and the taper angle.
This becomes particularly relevant as the subject of our next review, Al Micallef’s Leyenda No. 2, is a 5.5” figurado with an elongated tapered head. The word, leyenda, is Spanish for “legend” as this unique vitola pays tribute to and was a personal favorite of Don Pedro F. Gómez, grandfather to the third generation of Gómez Sanchez cigar makers, Joel and Edel. The distinctive shape of the No. 1, a 7.5”x54 missile, and its smaller sibling No. 2 is accomplished by hand-forming the cigar while rolling – not with a press. An amazing feat considering figurados are some of the most difficult vitolas to craft.
Our inaugural review of a Micallef cigar was the Grande Bold Mata Fina, a Brazilian-cloaked treat that we thought very highly of, but also felt that use of both Nicaraguan binder and filer leaves overwhelmed the nuances of the Mata Fina. In contrast, the Leyenda line, launched in 2017, employs a 4-country blend, the highlight of which is that ALL leaves, including the Ecuadorian wrapper, are aged for 5 years followed by an additional year of post-roll “rest” . In addition, a Special Edition Toro was added to the line which features tobacco of extended age and hand-selected primings.
Two of my all-time favorite figurados are the torpedo and belicoso. The shape of the Leyenda, however, takes this shape to another dimension taking on the appearance of a 20mm round shod in an Ecuadorian wrapper. This attractive, cognac-hued cigar is well balanced and feels firm throughout showing only minima veins. The roll is seamless, and the tapered head appears well executed – clearly not the torcedor’s first rodeo. I spotted some imperfections in the wrapper leaf during the sniff test, but the sweet barnyard, milk chocolate and fudge brownie fragrances brought me back to what’s important. I executed about a 3/8” Dickman cut and the draw is nicely open.
The lush, open draw provides a toasty backdrop around dominant notes of vanilla crème, caramel, nougat and cashews on the retro. With a warm character and silky-smooth texture, our Leyenda offers a light spice on the tongue and a toasty finish of oak. It remains medium bodied and slowly takes on a smokier persona as it settles into a more oaky core. Spice increases through transitions as the body thickens around savory intonations of oak, cocoa and milk chocolate with a flash or two of pecan nuttiness. The final leg offers a bold, full-bodied profile of earth and cedar around a spicy, chocolatey nucleus.
Complexity fires on all cylinders and while it does wane late, what is left is well-balanced and very enjoyable. Like our first outing, combustion is aces but like the Mata Fina, the ash is very weak, tumbling at the slightest provocation. Leyenda feels good in the hand and burns cool, encourages a more robust pace and is an excellent smoke producer. As a bonus, these cigars are packaged in cool coffins which can be repurposed as a rockin’ business card holder. Overall, the price is right and the aged tobaccos spin the texture and flavor wheels nicely offering a well-tuned and enjoyable smoke. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The Leyenda No. 1 and No. 2 cigars are proudly rolled and formed all by hand without the use of a press.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Taper Figurado
- Length / Ring: 5.5″ X 52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano (5 yr.)
- Binder: Nicaraguan (5 yr.)
- Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran (5 yr.)
- Production: Micallef Cigars S.A.
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price:$10.80 [Box $108.00]
- Humidor Age: 14 mo.
- Box: 10
- Other Vitolas: No. 1 [7.5″x54]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:15
Draw: Open (3/8″ Dickman cut)
Construction: Firm throughout; minimal veins; oily, Cognac hue; nice shape; seamless; some imperfections; very weak ash; copious smoke producer.
- Wrapper – Barnyard, milk chocolate
- Foot – Fudge brownie
- Cold Draw – Raisinesque
- Initial: Toasty nucleus; lush draw with a toasty finish; notes of cream and dominant caramel on retro; light spice on tongue; hints of oak on finish; adds intonations of oak, nougat and cashews on retro; very smooth; spice increases; medium bodied and well-balanced; smoky texture.
- Transition: Woody, oaky core; maintains spice level; savory with notes of cocoa, milk chocolate and oak on retro; flashes of bitter aftertaste; spicy, woody finish adds dark roast coffee late; more body; becomes nutty w/pecan essence; noticeable hints of salted caramel on draw.
- Transition: Pervasive chocolatey essence; complexity falls off cliff; notes of earth on palate; rich draw with cedar notes on retro; maintains good balance; Remains spicy.
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Very weak ash
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]