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Global Premium 1502 Ruby

Punch and Draw put a cut on a 1502 Ruby by Global Premium Cigars, and tell you from their first impressions if the discovery sparkles.

1502 Ruby cigar

Punch: I’ve been looking forward to this since we latched on to it at IPCPR 82 this summer. Global Premium, a proudly Nicaraguan company, created the 1502 cigar line to mark the year Columbus discovered Nicaragua and opened the world to the riches of the country, most importantly its tobacco. There are currently three products in the 1502 label to celebrate those riches, the Emerald, the Ruby, and the Black Gold. All three are highly rated for their premium flavor and construction.

Draw: Indeed! The wrapper leaf is very much part of the presentation of this prensado, the leaf structure being very visible and the colorado maduro color helping lift and focus every bubble, wrinkle, vein and seam. There are highlights around some of the seams, which I suppose is the result of stress during pressing. Make no mistake, this is a well constructed stick. The seams are tight, and the triple cap looks like it would survive a war. The foot is different – while not completely closed, the loose edges are curled toward closure.

P: Yes, that treatment is what Enrique Sánchez, the company’s president, calls the Cigar Lock. Here is a short video of him describing it. Made in Nicaragua, the 1502 Ruby features local Jalapa and Estili tobaccos, wrapped in an Ecuadorian maduro. Measured at 5 ⅝ x 42, the sample stick we are smoking this afternoon doesn’t quite line up with any of the six vitolas currently available in this line: robusto, toro, torpedo, perfecto, a conquistador at 6 x 56, and lancero.

It yields all the flavor and aroma from de valley of Jalapa and Estelí in Nicaragua, wrapped with a beautiful dark wrapper from Ecuador.” —

D: Aroma is mild elephant pen, and some sweetness, and what said, “dirt” to my brain. It’s pretty windy out, and I’m unable to refine that further. Cold-draw suggests wheat straw, wheat nuts, and dirt. It also is giving my lips a tingle.

P: Using my big punch on this small stick would just be silly – I’m nipping the head, instead. On the cold-draw I get a dominant wild cherry.

D: I concede your wild cherry; there’s fruit-tartness on the tip of the tongue, and some faint cherry. Upon lighting, the initial flavor is: tang on the tongue tip… okay, I’m calling no-joy on initial flavor. On the first two tokes, the wrapper crawled up a good half inch, leaving behind a stiff core. Now the core is burning, but hasn’t caught up to the wrapper. I also notice that the initial ash appears full of holes. What I thought was: bug holes, which would explain why the wrapper flash-burned. However, there are no holes in the wrapper itself. We’ll see how this goes.

P: Hmmph. That’s unfortunate. Mine has a very smooth and mild start with some intriguing complexity. I challenge your “no joy” and raise you an “interesting”.

D: At about an inch in, I agree that it’s very smooth, and see your complexity. I’m getting sweet toast…tasting like “cocoa-toast”, a delight from my childhood where you dip buttered white-bread toast in hot chocolate. Espresso, latex, and now green chile on the finish which makes it into the aftertaste. I notice a hard pull releases strong new leather in the middle and finish. A slow pull showcases the other flavors. This stick is burning fast!

P: Shortly after lighting I noticed that this 1502 Ruby has become soft up to the band. Mine seems to be packed somewhat loosely, which would account for it being a relatively fast burner. But, with these svelte vitolas that may be a good idea to defend against the tendency of these small diameter cigars to be too tight.

Moving into the second third, some of the flavors I can identify include cotton-candy, almond, and new leather. It is smooth, lite and open – not heavy at all. I really like this and want to sip it continually as I try to put a name to the flavors in this intricate profile.

D: Yeah, there has been some transition. Punch’s cotton-candy is a large flavor theme, along with cantelope, almond or cherry, less cocoa now and – while I agree it remains smooth – I notice my whole mouth tingles while I hold the smoke. The 1502 Ruby represents the middle of the strength profile in the 1502 line. I want to point out the ash: it is as ragged and moth-eaten as my underwear, as holey as ash can be and still cling to the cigar. However, it does appear to be burning true.

P: Thank you, Draw, for that vivid and unforgettable image. This loose pack doesn’t idle well – the wrapper went out while typing my previous paragraph. And without the wrapper the flavor is seriously lacking. Ahaa – the wrapper is relit and the yumminess is back!

D: I’ve been doing a solid purge-stoke before drawing (if it’s been even a moment idle while typing) to avoid the wrapper lag that Punch described.

Last third (at about three fingers), there is some cloying of flavors: cheezy nasty leather and cedar. I’ve brought it to two-fingers, and I’m debating to nub it or not. With generous purging I can still get some caramel-coffee flavor, but pretty much all of the interest is gone.

P: Good purge-stoke strategy. I hadn’t been doing that and at the halfway point the yumminess was gone – just a tobacco manage. I purge-stoked to make sure the wrapper was burning and it made a big improvement. It is still not the same as earlier, and you described its current state well. The best part remaining is that caramel-coffee – more of a burnt coffee, too. I’m glad it didn’t start out this way or I probably wouldn’t have made it this far.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Draw: Burn it if you only have a time for a quick smoke; you won’t be disappointed. We’ve made this last about 30 minutes, and that is too long. Stop sooner. Full-flavor, full-complexity that walks with almost every puff. Mild-strength, if even that, as I do feel it on my lips; a larger vitola might leave me beside the road – hard to say. It tends to tunnel, and my ash suggests the filler was mined for valuable ore before being bound up. But don’t neglect the wrapper if you want all the shine this 1502 Ruby has to offer.

Punch: Sure. Burn one. This started off Gangbusters – smooth, light, open, complex and (I’ll say it again) yummy. But the last third turned heavier and almost harsh, with the sweetness gone. It didn’t turn bitter, but I am. I’m peeved that the whole stick wasn’t what it was at the beginning – that part was gooood. Okay, I’m over-reacting a bit. The end isn’t bad, I just didn’t expect such a dynamic change. Full flavored, unique, and …yummy!

Draw: Just a reminder: this is our first impression based on one stick (each) gifted to us by Leonel “Leo” Poveda, business development manager for Global Premium, at IPCPR 2014, so it has been aging for around 40 days in our humidors. If we obtain others, we’ll update this review.

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