We present to you brief summaries of six cigars from Total Flame. Fasten your seat belts and hang on …

This is a collection of our thoughts on several offerings from Total Flame Cigars. These were in a sample pack we received at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show.

Total Flame’s products and image center around the theme of motorcycles and the open road; the other common passion (in addition to cigars) shared by the two original brand owners. See their About page for the backstory on this novel cigar company which originated in Russia.

For a couple of the lines we report on here, the vitolas differed in our two packages and we have noted where that is the case. The Premium and Wild One are hitherto unreleased, but are scheduled to be available in the Spring, along with two other new offerings. All sticks were smoked with five months age. We like to do full reviews based on smoking a minimum of three samples of a given brand, but obviously, in this case these are just our first impressions based only on the single representative stick in each of our sample packs. The lines included in this roundup are:


Bright Line

Total Flame - Bright Line - Custom - cigar

  • Wrapper: Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaragua, Mexico
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

Summary

Punch (Custom 7 x 47): Pretty good. Near the middle the flavor is at its fullest with complex onion, cotton candy, maple, and leather with a mild pepper finish – well-balanced and medium-full flavor intensity. Overall, I was surprised with the amount of flavor that came from this Connecticut cigar. In fact I would enjoy this on a regular basis. This Bright Line Custom had nice complexity and interest. The loose fill didn’t allow it to idle well, and the burn time was relatively short for such a long cigar. The burn time is the one thing that would keep me from rating it as a good value at $8.50 (in a five pack from Cigar Federation). On the other hand, CigFed members get exclusive discounts, and they frequently have percent-off deals popping up at their Web store.

Draw (Old School 6 x 52 torpedo): Excellent mild smoke. Great flavor, fairly consistent. Mild-complexity, mild-to-medium intensity, but the flavors themselves are mild – overall very smooth. Zero-to-mild strength. Great appearance and construction. In the smoking, I didn’t notice a soft spot, and did have issues with peninsulas, but that can be a humidification problem. Mine lasted about as long as Punch’s, and I didn’t feel like I had loose filler. Ash held on well until deliberately dashed. Don’t nub this unless you’re willing to purge-puff, otherwise it does munge up. At $8 typical for 4-inches of good smokability, that’s more than I’d like to pay – which is too bad, because I’d like to smoke this often.


Dark line

Total Flame - Dark Line - Old School - cigar

  • Wrapper: HVA Clara (Ecuador)
  • Binder: Cuban (Dominican Republic)
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru

Summary

Punch (Old School 6 x 52 torpedo): This is unequivocally “not-bad”. The flavor, while fairly consistent, remained interesting throughout, a fairly bright medium-full and rather unique profile of leather, pencil, with cardamom and some mint/menthol near the end. Based upon Draws comments, I’d recommend the torpedo “Old School” over the toro “World Trip” Draw had.

Draw (World Trip 6.5 x 56): I equivocate. The first third was mild and pleasant, and quite smooth. The middle ceased to exist, and the finish is just harsh. Average flavor intensity: mild. Complexity: mild. Strength: mild. Great construction, and great burn characteristics: lots of smoke, decent ash, burn line maintained without touchup. Based on one stick, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get another.


Wild One 5 x 50

Total Flame - Wild One - cigar

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican Republic

These are sold as tubos, but the samples we received at the 2014 IPCPR trade show are sans tube. The Wild One is the only other cigar we know of which uses Andullo tobacco. The other is Ventura’s Project 805.

Summary

Draw: Meh… okay, burn it! This is a Wild One, for sure, that took me on an unexpected trip. Starting out with a boldness that almost had me leave it behind, and finishing on an unexpected, almost soapy mildness. The middle is where the flavor is. Decent burn characteristics, medium-full-to-full flavor most of the length, mild-to-medium complexity with some wild transitions. Gonna keep ’em movin’ wild, gonna keep a swingin’ baby, with this real…wild…child.

Punch: Sure. It would be a good investment of butane. This Total Flame Wild One has enough complexity and change to keep it interesting for the duration; cooked onion, cherry, charcoal, meat and menthol. I felt a bit of nicotine near the end, but not a problem at all. My experience was tarnished by the need for several touch-ups. I’d be happy to smoke another.


Premium Perfecto 5 x 54

Total Flame - Premium - cigar

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
  • Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

Summary

Punch: I hate to say it, but this does not get a recommendation from me. The flavor was mostly smoky salted meat with some nuttiness on the finish. To be fair, the last inch did get interesting, but that’s too low of a percentage for me to work for. Overall, this is just another cigar, and it is not to my particular liking. And the burn issues I had with this stick did not help my attitude in this case. It was not bad, just not a lot in this one stick that grabbed me. This is why we like to do our full reviews based on smoking three sticks. But based on this one I wouldn’t make the effort to get another one.

Draw: I agree; this is the drawback to “first impressions”. Some people are going to really revv this cigar: consistent flavor profile, not overly broad, and the flavor strength is about medium. Decent burn qualities, though I did touch it up at the middle (my fault), and one more time near the end (canoeing). The flavor lingering in my mouth is not bad. It’s still not one I’m going to go for. I think, overall, there’s too much radish for my taste, and not enough to offset it. Strength is mild – I can tell I smoked it. I say, light one up and let us know if it’s for you.


FTW Limited Edition 2013 Robusto 5 x 54

Total Flame - FTW - Robusto - cigar

  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan “el corojal”
  • Binder: Mexico
  • Filler: Nicaraguan

Summary

Punch: Oh yeah – burn it! Some honeysuckle sweetness with smokey hardwood. This is one of my favorites of the Total Flame lines, along with the Bright Line. Good medium-full intensity of balanced and interesting flavor. In the motorcycle world “FTW” stands for “Forever Two Wheels”, but here I’d say it’s “For The Win”.

Draw: Yeah, burn it! This is a good smoke! The last third, not so much, but great for the typical smokable length. Sweet and meaty, with a touch of heaty. Complexity is mild-to-medium, intensity is the same. Strength, not so much. I had no burn issues except one relight after a long idle. It still has a nice aftertaste long after putting it down.


Nicaragua 2013 Robusto 5 x 50

Total Flame - Nicaragua - cigar

  • Wrapper: Honduran Connecticut
  • Binder: Mexico
  • Filler: Nicaragua & Mexico

Summary

Draw: Yeah, I think this is my second-fav of the set. Medium complexity, mild-to-medium intensity, consistent overall with one major transition. Strength is nada. Great burn, good ash retention – that’s important in your later years… okay, no its not. Well constructed. This is a nice cigar. The flavor tends toward fruity and sweet, which is something I like. The pepper presented a nice counterstatto to the sweet.

Punch: Mm hmm. A nice pleasant flavor with no tricks or flip-flops, smooth and well-balanced, medium flavor strength, medium complexity with a slight brightness from a subtle sweet citrus.


New in 2015

In addition to the Wild One and Premium we have summarized here, Total Flame will be releasing two other new products this Spring.

One will be OTR (Off the Rails). This will be four petite robustos in a resealable, humidified can. Each will be 4.5×52 and composed of:
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Manufacturer: Nicaragua

The other will be Spokes, a long fill Panatela measuring 5×32. This will be a Nicaraguan puro.

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