El Septimo Short Dream Topaz

As some of you know, we take a more pragmatic approach to cigar reviews, and sometimes that means doing things a bit differently. Among the myriad of criteria we use for our “bullpen” is our infrequent use of live trials, i.e. discovering a new cigar through real-world tasting in informal settings or even social situations. Cigars in this case are usually paired with a drink and no notes are taken, but it does offer us a fast and dirty feel for aromas, flavor and performance. A “thumbs up or down” is no guarantee of anything – there is no real ‘bar’ against which the cigar is being measured; however, it IS difficult to ignore cigars that positively distinguish themselves.

One of those cigars belongs to a Geneva-based outfit with a growing US presence, El Septimo Geneva S.A.. El Septimo was built as an ultra-premium brand in Europe fifteen years ago to appease a sagging European market devoid of individuality, quality and diversity. The brand flourished over the years amassing 30+ luxurious cigar lines often with pricing to match. But to the cigars’ growing faithful, El Septimo’s unrelenting and unapologetic approach rescued scores of cigar smokers from mediocrity with its decadent sticks.

The brand was recently acquired by the Younan Company and is but one jewel in the crown of the Younan Collection, a global portfolio of luxurious properties and goods amassed by CEO, Zaya Younan. Mr. Younan was not only responsible for growing the brand’s presence here in the US, but has since grown the brand to include new collections of cigars as well as a large portfolio of luxurious cigar accessories and personal accoutrements. We’ve reviewed four of their most popular cigars to date – Excepcion Light, Double Shot, Fabuloso Dark Ruby and Aqua Anu from the new Gilgamesh collection.

Our fifth review from El Septimo’s cavernous portfolio comes to us like a piece of candy careening out of an exploding piñanta. A member of the company’s Diamond Collection, Short Dream Topaz, like many of El Septimo’s legacy lines, is a Costa Rican puro, features a large ring gauge (60) and well-aged (5 years) tobacco throughout.

This dark roasted looking fireplug measures only 4” in length and glistens with oil. The roll is near seamless and sports a sharp cap up top. Topaz shows some veins and light tooth, but the marbled, toffee shade is tantalizing. The package is tied up, literally, with a pigtail-wrapped closed foot, another hallmark of the Swiss brand. As usual, aromas from these cigars will command your attention as the Topaz’s alluring honeysuckle and rich chocolate scents are simply decadent. Even with a closed foot, the cold draw feels open but difficult to get a handle on flavor.

The pigtail foot helps facilitate a good light and kicks things off with a warm, rich, toasty draw. The retro notes are dreamy (pun intended) as vanilla, honey and leather intonations caress the senses. The nutty core swirls around a warm, semi-sweet layer of oak and dark chocolate in the nose. Topaz finishes with a long, spicy finish of roasted nuts. Ridiculously flavorful, our short gordo transitions into a fuller bodied profile, with an emphasis on notes of oak and espresso. With a light spice in the nose, hints of honey and graham cracker intonations are followed by a toastier finish.

Performance of our stocky smoke is superb, highlighted by excellent combustion and great smoke production. Fair warning, although a slow burner, Topaz likes to be smoked or she will go out on you – twice if you’re not paying attention, like me. The cigar gets hot towards the end, particularly if you try and nurse it along, but Topaz’s smooth, decadent flavor wheel and textures is betting you won’t mind. These attributes are what seized my notice while casually sipping a bourbon mixed with good company. Our Topaz indeed distinguished itself as a gem of a cigar. – In Fumo Pax!

Recommendation: Boxworthy

Did you Know: Most El Septimo lines are packaged in translucent clear and colored boxes.

  • Profile: Med-Full
  • Vitola: Short Gordo
  • Length / Ring: 4.0″ x 60
  • Purchased: **Direct
  • Origin: Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Costa Rican
  • Binder: Costa Rican
  • Filler: Costa Rican
  • Production: Undisclosed
  • Blade: El Septimo punch
  • Fire: Colibri Firebird
  • Price:$28 [Box 10 $280]
  • Humidor Age: 15 mo.
  • Box: 10 or 25
  • Other Vitolas: N/A

** Cigars provided by El Septimo in exchange for complimentary advertising

N O T E S

Smoke Time: 1:02
Draw
: Open
Construction: Oily; dark; nice cap; closed foot w/pigtail; semi-veiny; marbled toffee color; solid throughout; seamless; excellent smoke production; holds 1″ ash.
Aromas:

  • WrapperHoneysuckle, rich chocolate
  • Foot – N/A – closed
  • Cold Draw – N/A – closed foot

Tasting Notes:

  • Initial: Warm, toasty draw; rich primary retro notes of vanilla, honey and leather; notes of oak and dark chocolate in nose; hints of espresso on retro late; roasted nut core; spicy, nutty finish; light on palate; dreamy.
  • Transition: Dominant oak and espresso profile; hints of honey and graham cracker on retro; finishes more toasty; cedar added to retro late; fuller bodied; light spice in nose; gets hot towards end.
  • Transition: N/A

Complexity: Excellent
Balance: Excellent
Touch ups2 (my fault)
Combustion: Excellent
Weaknesses: N/A
Recommendation: Boxworthy

Recommendation scale:

  1. Go-to
  2. Boxworthy
  3. 5 packer
  4. Yard ‘gar
  5. NR [No Recommendation]

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