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Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema toro

Punch and Draw give full review to a premium stick, the Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema, from General Cigar for its October 2015 release.Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema cigar

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan Esteli and Jalapa; Brazilian Mata Fina

This Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema is only available in toro and has a $20 price tag.

Punch: This has an elegant black and copper main band, a secondary band emphasizing a celebration of 80 years, and a predominantly black with copper foot-band saying, “Dunhill”. My big punch yields a tight draw, just a few notches below too tight. The cold draw is meaty iron with a hint of clover. 

Draw: Very elegant, dark leathery wrapper. Significant veins add to the leather character. Very rigid construction, with an expected bunch of filler visible at the foot. The copper-leaf printing adds a level of sophistication that I don’t often see; let me rephrase that: the less-often seen copper-leaf printing lends an air of sophistication. Earthy and sweet aroma tending toward clover hay. With such a tight cigar, the big punch did split the cap leaves slightly; on later sticks, I used the small punch and cut a figure-eight without any issues. Cold-draw is quite tight, as Punch described, and clover is apt; I’m also getting what I’ll call “barbecue spices”. My lip is tingling just from the cold draw. 

P: Oh my! That first puff… was unique! In a good way; rich, complex flavors right NOW. Sweet hardwood, mild-medium flavor intensity, decent depth, negligible pepper. 

D: Smooth, savory and sweet. Very nice. Mild plum and clover on the attack, mild radish and old leather is the dominant middle flavor, sage and other woods on the finish.

P: After a quarter-of-an-inch there is some softwood, now in a pine flavor; some melon rind complexity and a sweet undertone. Half-an-inch in it has tamed down significantly from those first few puffs, mellowing to mild-medium hardwood with mild melon rind and a slight brightness on the attack

D: I’m already hot-boxing this, but I think this Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema will perform better if allowed to rest somewhat. A comment I needed to remind myself of at this point on each of the three sample cigars. Otherwise: what Punch said!

P: At about an inch in, mine has been quite consistent since it settled down. I’ve recognized that the profile has a bright component to it – analogous to treble in a musical context – helping it to have an open quality, versus being “all bass” and out-of-balance. There is quite a bit of intricacy, which as usual, is difficult to describe.

D: There’s definitely a sagebrush, or rubbed sage, and bay leaf flavor accompanying the leather and persisting into the aftertaste. This is borderline “hot pepper”. There’s a mild saltiness, and on several tokes I’ve tasted roast chicken. There’s also a simple sweetness I’d attribute to floral, which could also be rubbed sage, and I see it as part of the brightness which Punch describes. 

P: Leave it to Draw to identify and describe the intricacy. Yes, bay leaf. Retrohaling is unremarkable, except that there is a slow burn in the sinuses that eventually shows up as mild pepper, but not eye-wateringly. So far the ash has held for an inch-and-a-half. 

D: As we were just talking about it, my inch-and-a-half long ash finally gave way in the Kansas breeze, and dropped a thoroughly crunchy ash – nothing soft about it – which crumbled to resemble so much portland (cement, not Portlandia). My ash didn’t cling as long on the other two sticks, but I was waving them around more, and purging more frequently – which does kill the cling.

P: Here at the middle, that bright openness has shifted to more of a citrus rind – toward grapefruit – which is out-of-balance and starting to dominate. Delightfully complex. Full flavor intensity and complexity.

D: This is a hard stick to review. Why? Because to give a good report on flavor requires me, at least, to make several successive draws and compare the tastes and so on, but with the Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema, it changes when hot-boxed, giving a distinctly different flavor. This is probably true to some extent with any cigar, but I really notice it on this one. I can taste Punch’s citrus rind, and there is some bitterness, but if I clear the bitterness with a purge, the resulting flavor is almost Peking Duck. The citrus is on the attack, with some caramelized proteins and starches. Careful metering by purging before toking, and resting between tokes, prevents a buildup of the detracting bitterness.

P: Yes, doing a hard purge as per your suggestion, Draw, was very effective in clearing that unpleasant harshness and restoring the profile to a balanced sweet woodiness. Good call, bro.

Oh, wow. Still in the middle third there has been a sharp transition to botanicals – what I perceive as a flavor similar to the aroma of baby powder. 

D: Coming into the last third, the occasional purge keeps the taste rich and clear… which is still very meaty and sweet. There’s now a pine flavor joining in which isn’t purgeable, at about two-to-three fingers remaining. The flavor of this stick is generally less intense in the last third, but there are moments where it comes back. As a smoker, I feel like I have to work at it to keep it either flavorful, or intense, or both, and that is probably more work than most smokers are going to do. However, I think there’s some reward for the work.. the question is, “is it worth the effort”? It must be, because I’m taking it to the nub. 

Just on a lark, after a long rest, I took a drag without stoking. I got gravel dust, which is probably granite dust, along with the Peking Duck, and both flavors were muted. Interesting. The secondhand smoke is quite acrid, really cutting the sinuses; I don’t know how Punch did a retrohale.

P: Last third – still rich and full bodied, with slightly less distinction. Overall, the Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema has quite consistent flavor throughout. With two fingers to go, menthol (or pine) is taking over. Nearing the nub it has devolved to dusty menthol.

D: Consistent with my previous comment, flavors are less distinct in the nub but the melange is still fairly rich. There is a menthol – dusty is apropos – which is ever-present but never dominates the other flavors. Said another way, when the other flavor is strong, it is alongside the menthol; when the other flavor fades, the menthol persists at the same intensity into the aftertaste. On the last of three, I also noticed a slight sour note. I really didn’t start to feel it until the nub, and that was true on all three sticks, so I’m going with mild-to-medium.

Burn It or Spurn It?

Draw: Yes, burn it! This Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema is a very smooth, tasty smoke. Complexity, medium-full; intensity, medium overall. Strength, mild-to-medium. I was a little dizzy after finishing the nub; this really snuck up on me. Burn was even overall, with a decent ash hang-time. Smoke was medium volume, and light in quality. I really enjoyed the seasoned meaty flavor, and the lack of pepper. I was trying to imagine if this stick would be worth the asking price, and I have to conclude yes, yes it is, even if it would not be in my price range.

Punch: For sure, burn one. This started off with good complexity and held my interest throughout. Sweet and woodsy for the most part with a citrus openness, which on one of the three samples briefly turned bitter, with a sharp transition in the last third to florals. It finished up with menthol earthiness. Another one of my three was plugged necessitating poking it to open up the draw. That one did not progress to floral botanicals until near the nub. I’ll consider that an anomaly, as the first two were clearly more interesting in that respect. Overall the flavor intensity was in the medium-plus range, and I detected mild nicotine near the end. The burn, while somewhat erratic, was self-correcting and required few touch-ups. I would say that generally this Dunhill Signed Range Selecction Suprema lives up to the $20 price tag and would be a good special occasion stick for me, or a nice regular smoke for those who are not limited by the high price.

This full review is based on three sticks each, received with thanks from General Cigar. Tune in for our follow up in six months and 18 months, to see how these age.

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