Doc’s Cigar Corner: ICHIBAN Churchill Maduro

Doc of Doc’s Cigar Corner

The featured cigar is the ICHIBAN Churchill Maduro (7″ x 50) by Room 101.  

Room 101 introduced the Ichiban blend in 2015 as a very limited edition, available at only seven cigar shops in the U.S., and with a maximum production run of 80,000 cigars in all vitolas and wrapper options. Apparently it was well-received since they have now released the Ichiban as a bundled cigar (bundles of 20) through some of the catalogs. I have not seen them in any of our local cigar shops yet.

Ichiban, in keeping with Room 101’s odd cigar names, means first in Japanese, though the cigar has no evident connection to Japan. It is also, obviously, not their first cigar, nor do they consider it their best, or a premium product (alternative senses of Ichiban in Japanese). It is a good cigar, a bargain at the bundle price of $2.00 to $2.50 per stick, depending upon the wrapper and vitola chosen.

This cigar has a wrapper of Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, a binder of Nicaraguan Criollo, and a filler of Nicaraguan Corojo.

Initially I thought construction was very poor, rating it 25/40, with uneven burn, many repetitive slow runners which would not respond to repositioning, and a friable ash. Underburn of the wrapper, resulting in requirement for touchups, resulted in flaring of the wrapper over long and wide segments.

Ichiban, in keeping with Room 101’s odd cigar names, means first in Japanese, though the cigar has no evident connection to Japan.

As frustrating as this was, the flavor profile was quite interesting and pleasant, so I stuck with the process and eventually found that the cigar was merely “delicate,” requiring careful lighting around the full circumference of the foot, with as little depth as possible. The rest of the surface of the foot should then be lit very lightly and shallowly as well.

Gentle puffing with prompt repair of any slow runner (never allowing a runner to reach a length over 1/4 inch) and touchup of any runners that will not resolve promptly with position will minimize the number of runners as well as the underburn problem. Slow smoking will relieve the problems with ash friability.

The flavor I found to be quite consistent between cigars.

The flavor I found to be quite consistent between cigars. Beginning immediately with a complex mixture of natural tobacco (slightly sweet due to the Maduro wrapper), flavors of earth with oak and/or cedar tinge, and spice (black pepper) form the baseline profile. Spice is initially strong, but rapidly tames to a light black pepper which persists. At about 1 to 1.5 inches a very pleasant creamy leather appears over the background, and also persists. Spice again becomes strong at the finish. In a few examples, light citrus and/or herbal notes were present, but these were rare and short-lived.

This cigar is solidly medium-bodied, fairly complex, and in my opinion enjoyable.

My rating: 93 (if you don’t mind some nursemaiding)

This cigar can be found at Cigarsinternational.com, Cigar.com, Thompson Cigar, and other vendors

Enjoy!

Doc

 

What do you think?...

© Pratt on Texas / Perstruo Texas, Inc.