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Battleground Old Powder Keg (OPK) Maduro Corojo

Punch and Draw set a match to an Old Powder Keg (OPK) Maduro Corojo and try to get away to a safe distance.Battleground Old Powder Keg (OPK) Maduro Corojo cigar

This Old Powder Keg (OPK) Maduro Corojo is a 7.5 x 50 vitola which we received at the 2014 IPCPR show. Its composition is only disclosed as being “rare corojo ‘maduro’ leaves combined with South and Central American binder and filler tobaccos.”

Punch: Immediately after taking it out of the cello the aroma is intensely rich, and fruity (pear) with some bourbon or brandy (I don’t have a lot of experience with liquid spirits to determine what it really reminds me of.) The cold draw is fruity.

Draw: Cherry cheesecake, pear, brandy or bourbon of some kind. Agreed; I need to drink more… uh, more variety… of spirits. This is an oscuro corojo wrapper, with hints of red varnish underneath. Like a mahogany, yes. Wrapper edges are quite visible due to the rich overlays and varying visual densities; same as for the veins. This is a rough looking stick in terms of overall aesthetic (including the cap), but otherwise smoothly rolled and constructed. Generous give in the stick without being squishy, the wrapper contains several bunches of accordion-fold filler.

P: Yeah. It is beautiful and rich looking – almost scary.

D: I’m afraid that when I light it, it will go HISS and BOOM! A nice cut gives a modestly tight draw. Almonds, walnuts (English, toasted) and hardwood, and maybe straw on the cold draw.

P: Starting off this Old Powder Keg (OPK) Maduro Corojo has a very complex flavor including that sweet onion, vanilla, carbonized marshmallow – full flavored from the get-go.

D: Well, it looks like Punch set off a Powder Keg with his comment. I guess I’ll do the same. Tang on the attack (a metallic tang, not the orange drink), carbonized meat and onion, traces of sweetness which I’ll say is vanilla, and, a flavor I always characterize as… gunpowder.

P: After an inch it has settled down a bit. That rich onion and carbonized marshmallow has shifted to caramel and old leather. And I get that gunpowder you mentioned. There is not pepper to speak of at this point.

D: First third, the initial intensity does fade a bit, but the flavors are fairly consistent. Old leather and gunpowder are the primary flavor from beginning to end. Yellow onion supplies the tang to the attack and sweetness in the middle. The rest of it is strong old leather, and this carries into the aftertaste.

P: Into the second third (after half an hour) the flavor has shifted to a simpler salty old leather with a mild underlying sweetness.

D: The ash held on for almost the entire first third. My burn is a little crooked; I probably got a bad lighting, but it has slowly been correcting itself. A little ahead of where I’d normally call “second third” there does seem to be a transition of flavor. For me the sweetness has faded, and the leather has stepped up. There’s more of an alcohol tang on the attack, and the finish is greening up. Punch nailed an increase in saltiness, and my aftertaste gives the distinct impression of used Doublemint™ gum.

P: What? No baked beans?

D: No, that would just be crazy-talkin! Speaking of that, though, here near the end of the middle third, it’s gone weird. The leather is going old chamois twisted around green pepper, the attack is now “prickly”, like habanero cream moving through the whole flavor, and wow… it’s like the first third was “fuse”, the second third “primer”, and I am now entering the “powder keg”. The intensity is way back up, but the profile has narrowed. Totally not what I was expecting.

P: I wouldn’t go as far as saying it got “weird” but it has gone through a significant change. There was a period of meatiness, and at this point, it is a lot less complex – in fact it is rather simple – earthy meat with some menthol coming on. With an inch-and-a-half to go this is where most should put it down, but for you, our stalwart readers, I shall burn on to the nub and see if anything else develops.

D: Getting past the flavor explosion, like the ringing in your ears, the flavor subsides. There are notes of nutmeg, cedar, gum base, and mint. Old leather remains the flavor carrier. At about two-and-a-half fingers, I’m finding the physical heat comes straight through. I’m going to keep working with the heat to enjoy any other residual subtleties.

Burn it or Spurn it?

P: Ignite and stand back! I found myself sipping this like a fine rum. This has flavor to spare, starting off with a complex explosion of sweet onion, vanilla, and carbonized marshmallow and progressing through sweet, salty leather and on to meat, earth, and menthol. A multi-course meal all in one serving. The look of this cigar instilled the fear that I might be finishing it lying down, but I was pleasantly surprised that the nicotine was a non issue for me. At around $6.30 per stick in a 20 count box lay in a cache of these for when you are feeling hum-drum. This Old Powder Keg Maduro Corojo is dyn-o-mite.

D: Burn it, but draw a line of powder from the keg to your chair. This cigar explodes at the end. Three significant transitions of flavor and intensity with the last more intense than the first. There’s a lot of depth in the flavor overall, savory and salty with a hint of sweet. Mildish strength. Fine construction, good burn characteristics with a nice burn line and long-clinging ash. Generous smoke production with an oily mouth feel. This cigar will set you off!

This first impression based on a single stick each gifted to us by Michael Tarnowicz at IPCPR. If you haven’t already, check out this unrehearsed description of the company and it’s cigars by this “un-employee”!

Go to Connecticut Valley Tobacconist to purchase direct: 8 x 50 @ $6.25 each in boxes of 20 and 6 x 50 @ $5.95 each in boxes of 20.

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